Books, Not Bullets

My friends and family on Facebook see a wide variety of posts from me, including lots of opinions on politics and current events. I try to even out the politics with cute pictures of Layla or funny memes. A little over a month ago, I realized I needed to post something funny because every single thing I had posted that day was about how people should stop being racist and sexist, or how Trump needs to realize he’s not a fit presidential candidate.

I started typing about my theory that George R.R. Martin already has The Winds Of Winter finished, and is just waiting until the perfect moment to pull a Beyoncé and release it without any warning. I was giggling to myself over the thought of how crazy A Song of Ice and Fire fans (including me) would become, when it hit me – THAT is exactly the sort of insanity we need in the world. I couldn’t help myself – I threw a dash of politics into my “only for entertainment” status.

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I believe it is time to expand on the idea that popped into my head that evening.

Our country has been inundated with gun violence. Many Americans hold tightly to their perceived Second Amendment rights, but they have perverted what the Second Amendment means.

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

This amendment was written to give citizens of the United States of America the right to join the military and bear arms against outside forces – not to keep guns in their homes to use against fellow citizens, whom they may or may not be threatened by.

The fact that this amendment in our country’s Bill of Rights has been so twisted by people today means that we have more than daily instances of mass shootings and gun violence. If we were as upset about the things happening in real life as some people are about the fictional events in books, maybe real lives would be saved because we’d have stricter gun regulations.

I know that people are going to say, “Well, banned books are still read, so banning guns won’t stop people from buying and using them.” But it has been proven that if we banned firearms and started getting laws passed that made it more difficult for just anyone to buy them, our country would no longer have multiple instances of gun violence every day.

I'd rather cry while reading about the deaths of my favorite characters, than when I hear the news about another mass shooting.
I’d rather cry while reading about the deaths of my favorite characters,
than when I hear news of another mass shooting.

People speak out against books and have them banned because of “graphic” (violent or sexual) scenes, or because they think reading about scary fictional worlds will disturb children. Yet, it is extremely difficult to see the difference between fact and fiction nowadays, because the events happening in our world – the violent acts happening every day in this country – are often scarier and always much more difficult to deal with than if they were a fictional battle in a book. Personally, reading has always been an escape for me, and I know it is a coping mechanism for many people. We can reassure ourselves that frightening or disturbing happenings in books are made up – but we can’t do that about the very real horrors shown on the news every day.

Wouldn’t you rather the only sadness in our country be about a favorite fictional character dying, than over very real people being gunned down daily? Whether you do or not, go play this simple Would You Rather game that I created on BuzzFeed, and start using the hashtag #BanFirearmsNotFiction

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We need stricter gun regulations in the USA. Let’s spread stories instead of hatred and fear. Let’s read books instead of shooting bullets. Let’s ban guns instead of books.


Today’s post is the final What’s Up Wednesday post of 2015! Stay tuned for more Alliteration Agenda posts each day this week!