A friend of mine, who I’ll call Chase, proudly proclaims himself to be very anti-gun control. Whenever there is a highly publicized story of a mass shooting, for instance, Chase is one of the first people I know who will say we need more guns, less gun control, and will seemingly share anything on Facebook that makes it appear that President Obama is a gun grabbing tyrant in disguise.
In the aftermath of the San Bernardino massacre here lately, the subject of gun control came up once again. This time, in an effort to back up his ongoing point, Chase posted a meme that included a quote by the actor Samuel L. Jackson.
“I don’t think it’s about more gun control,” Jackson said. “I grew up in the south with guns everywhere and we never shot anyone. This [shooting] is about people who aren’t taught the value of life.”
I verified that the quote was real. A few years old, but real. And while I may take some exception to his statement that they “never shot anyone” despite all the guns around (Tennessee, where Jackson grew up, has long had among the highest murder rates in the country, and it’s safe to assume that at least some of those murders were shootings), I decided to reply to the post.
“Even so,” I commented to Chase, “I’m kinda worried about people who don’t know the value of human life having lots of guns, aren’t you?” Surely, I thought, he could be sympathetic to that.
“They shouldn’t have ’em to start with,” he said, and intimated that that is what the government has been pushing for.
Could it be true? After all this time of anti-gun control Facebook posts, and saying that more people need more guns, was Chase really in favor of at least some limited form of gun control? He seemed to be, even if I’m not sure he knew it. I told him I agreed, and stated my opinion that this is one type of restriction it sounds like we both support.
That’s what gun control is to me. It isn’t about confiscating weapons from law-abiding citizens. It’s about keeping guns out of the hands of criminals and other dangerous people. In two quick Facebook comments, then, I found out that even my rabidly anti-gun control friend does, in fact, seem to support some measure of gun control.
So, it turns out, does Samuel L. Jackson.
In the same interview from which the quote in the meme was pulled, Jackson, speaking about the 20 children and 6 adults gunned down during the Sandy Hook massacre, acknowledges that certain restrictions on guns, such as closing the “gun show loophole,” and requiring increased background checks, could help reduce gun violence.
“We need to stop deranged people from getting access to guns,” he said.
I agree, Sam. I agree.