What I Learned From Pro-Gun Twitter

The life and rights of a human child should always be valued above the existence or ownership of an inanimate object. Now, you'd assume that the above statement isn't controversial, right? To suggest otherwise is monstrous.
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Yesterday, I posted a single sentence to Twitter:

My child is more important than your gun.

I tweeted this to the tag #StopGunViolence.

Now, you'd assume that the above statement isn't controversial, right? The life and rights of a human child should always be valued above the existence or ownership of an inanimate object. To suggest otherwise -- unless we're speaking of extremely extenuating hypothetical circumstances -- is monstrous.

The following are responses I received.

As this is still going on, almost twenty-four hours later, this is only a small sampling. In almost every case, I responded by repeating, "My child is more important than your gun," and in many cases, the person arguing with me continued to argue, even though they received the same reply over and over.

Some of them insisted that their gun ownership protected my children. Some insisted that they had already saved my life and the lives of my family without my knowledge. Some demanded I thank them. One user sent increasingly agitated messages, claiming they had saved many lives, intent upon receiving acknowledgement from me, until they finally broke, sending rapid-fire tweets of variations of the word "no" before blocking me, as though I had somehow harassed them. One of them asked if my children were good at performing oral sex. Several of them mocked my "feelz" or "fee fees"; apparently their feelz of paranoia and fear are not emotions, but my love for my children is irrational and dangerous.

Jenny...I have no "terror and fear." I choose to arm myself to protect my family. I'm armed....nothing can scare me https://t.co/gKUDoa7vgR

-- SD Wheeler (@SD_Wheeler) January 5, 2016

Others, when faced with my unbending investment in my children over their firearms, resorted to the tactics you would expect:

When I described this tweet as a threat, I was quickly informed by other ammosexuals that it's not a threat to say you're going to shoot someone. It's "self-defense." Placing more importance on the lives of my own children than I do on EscapeVelocity's gun was an act of aggression that EscapeVelocity and other gun owners needed to protect themselves from with threats of violence. In other words: "If you don't value my gun more than you value your children, I get to shoot you."

As EscapeVelocity went on, their fantasies of situations in which they would be called upon to discharge a firearm at a human target escalated. Another Twitter user became involved in the conversation shortly after. I blocked them when they tagged me with a graphic political cartoon of a young blonde woman being gang raped by men of various races, religions, and ethnicities.

Remember the sentence that started this all?

My child is more important than your gun.

Yesterday, conservatives mocked President Obama for crying when speaking about the children gunned down at Sandy Hook elementary school. Fox News suggested he may have used an onion or eyedrops to fake his tears. The notion that a human being might, after spending time with the families of the victims of the tragedy and listening to countless stories of lives impacted by gun violence, become emotional at the thought of children gunned down in their classrooms seems ludicrous. Such an emotion must be faked, for who could ever possibly feel it? Who could genuinely feel sadness over the death of a child?

These are the people in the United States who want unfettered access to whatever arsenal they can build. These are the people who would describe themselves as responsible gun owners, while leaping to threats and intimidation the moment they become frustrated or irritated. All from one single statement:

My child is more important than your gun.

Before these interactions, I would have said that the vocal minority of aggressive gun owners were a fringe group. As I studied the responses I got, and the subsequent escalating behaviors of the people trying to force me to engage with them beyond my form response, I realized the truth. We seem to have fostered a national cult of maniacal anarchy. You live by the gun, or you die by the gun.

The pro-gun right holds us hostage by subtly endorsing the assassinations of elected leaders. They buy politicians outright. They claim that grieving parents of murdered children are paid actors, that all mass shootings perpetrated by white people with legally purchased guns are false flag operations, and that any gun violence perpetrated by people of color is a symptom only more guns can treat. The pro-gun right has one weapon, and that is fear. If they can't make you fear "terrorists," they'll try to make you fear "thugs." If they can't make you afraid at all, they'll become violently afraid of you. Then they'll kill you, and say it was in self-defense because you tried to take their guns. Self-defense, because their guns are their sense of self. That's why they're panicking; if the government legislates their guns away, they're legislating these peoples' identities away.

If you take away the gun, all that's left are angry cowards. Our children are more important than them.

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