Every Time You Shoot Second

It is a hard time to be a gun owner in the United States. It is a hard time to be united in the United States.

“Another psychopathic Iowan loading up another round

While the NRA and Columbine hunt Marilyn Manson down

Powder in the Pentagon, letters in the mail

Some KKK white supremecist cooking up a dose of race hate

I don’t need no country, I don’t fly no flag

Cut no slack for the Union Jack, Stars and Stripes have got me jet lagged”

Woody Guthrie, Alabama 3

Why can’t we, as the bearers of firearms, learn to shoot second? Are our individual lives so precious that we must defend them before we even know what’s going on? Are we all that full of ourselves?

I’m talking to you, police. I’m talking to you, sniper. I’m talking to you, Sword of Terror.

When you take on the responsibilty of a weapon made to kill, you should also take up the romantic notion of chivalry, the ideals of the duel. There should be rules. The ancient kings of Hawaii knew this. That is why their weapons were ceremonial. That is why there is a sword in Scotland that must not be drawn unless it will shed blood.

You should have to know, without a doubt, what you’re doing when you pull the trigger.

Yes, it would be more difficult to be a police officer if you were only allowed to fire after you’ve been fired upon. But upholding the law (and I’m not saying that any of the officers involved in these incidents is or intends to do that, because it looks worse and worse for them every time) is not supposed to be a primarily easy or even safe profession. If I were you, I would be concerned about your image. No longer is it that of the knight in shining armor. Now it is becoming that of the wolf, slinking in the darkness, searching for prey. At this point, I can claim that I don’t trust you anymore. At this point, I can claim that blowing away your opponent before you get the true story is not making it any safer for you or your brethren.

Every time you shoot first, you are fracturing the unity of the country and the people you should be trying to protect. How can you live with that? Why would you want to? Isn’t it be better to die a hero than live as a goat?

Every time you shoot second you’re a hero. Every time.


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