By Judi Zirin
It would be surprisingly easy to limit gun violence in the US. There is one particular group that should be precluded from owning guns. This is a group that has been shown, consistently and statistically, to both be more violent and have more guns, so it makes sense they should have their access to firearms appropriately limited. They are most likely to engage in violent criminal behavior, most likely to both own guns and to misuse them, most likely to kill for sport, and most likely to keep their guns stored close by, locked and loaded.
Sorry men, it’s time… we have to take your guns away. Blame the last few recent mass murderers. These kinds of senseless horrific tragedies, men, are why you can’t have nice things.
The vast majority of violent crimes are committed by men. 93.9 percent of federal prisoners in the US are men. Almost all mass shootings? Men. Almost every war declared? Men. We have a problem in this country, and what it really has to do with is having that Y chromosome. All those studies have shown that the Y actually stands for Yelling and Yowling? You guys just aren’t gun-worthy. Born with two Y chromosomes? You’ve doubled down – and you don’t need to be double-barreled.
The men who run this country have scapegoated ethnic groups, people of different races, those from suspect countries of national origin – unwilling to recognize that the majority of the violent behavior decried is committed by a group many of them themselves are a part of. Men. Women comprise only 21% of the Senate, 19% of the House, and 24% of state legislatures and 27% of positions in the current administration. Determining control of violent men is then left to… other men. Who are themselves statistically likely to have similar propensities toward violence.
39% of men say they own a gun, compared to 22% of women. Women who do own guns are far less likely to keep them close by and loaded, and more frequently cite protection rather than recreation as their primary reason for having one. Far fewer women kill for sport than men – and killing animals while young is widely considered an indicator of later sociopathy. Just saying.
Violent crime? 80 percent arrested are men. Domestic violence? Men, men, men. Killers? 90% convicted are men. Forcible rape? Almost 99% male. And mass shootings? 89 of the last 92 shooters were men. Come on, dudes, wake up. You are the problem. Does that make you angry? Uh oh. What are you going to do about it? Hit me? Troll me in a comment section, calling me a Feminazi? Is your blood boiling right now at my temerity in making the mere suggestion? Hmmm. See what I mean?
Sure, in 2008, the Supreme Court’s Heller decision assumed a right to individual gun ownership never before fully imputed to the grammatically challenging language of the 2nd amendment. But constitutional rights are not absolute. Even late Justice Antonin Scalia, writing for the majority in Heller, failed to determine how and in what manner guns should be regulated, noting “nothing in our opinion should be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms.”
Many rights are limited, constrained by time, place and manner restrictions, restricted when likely to incite violence, when impinging on the rights of others, and for a variety of public policy reasons. With men so likely to tend toward violence, wouldn’t limiting their use of harm-causing firearms seem an appropriate restriction? The majority of citizens would still be entitled to exercise their second amendment rights – women, comprising 51% of the population.
Of yet greater concern is that the majority of our laws are created by, interpreted by and enforced by the members of society most inclined toward criminality. Men comprise approximately 88% of police officers, 66% of the judiciary, and, as previously discussed, the lion’s share of legislators. Even on the Senate floor, women have been shut down in instances where men have been allowed to speak and had their voices quelled in debate.
A violence-inclined testosterone-addled minority suppressing a more nurturant and rational majority, controlling through both veiled and overt threats and attacks, should have their access to firearms and other means of suppression limited as a matter of public policy and public safety. As evidenced by President Trump’s nuclear posturing as of late, limiting male authority seems an urgent matter of national security as well. Recognizing that some men might feel emasculated by losing the use of their guns, they might be reassured to note that this restriction is based less on the size of their weapons, and more on how effective they have been in deploying them.
In all seriousness, the bottom line is that gun regulation has become a highly politicized issue, yet most agree that the recent spate of mass shootings demonstrate a need for some sort of action. Regulations that are constitutional, reasonable and necessary will be less likely to impinge on rights than to enhance them and must be enacted to mitigate this all too real and close to home danger.
Judi Zirin is an attorney and freelance writer in the New York City area.