"Thoughts and prayers." Those are the two main things doled out immediately in the wake of a mass shooting in the United States.
Let's face it. While platitudes are all well and good, they are merely a contrivance to fill the silence that has stunned devastated communities.
As many American citizens call for stricter gun legislation, there are just as many who advocate for their right to the Second Amendment.
How has this become the polarizing issue in the country while many other parts of the world maintain peace–presumably due to citizens not having the right to bear arms?
Genuinely curious to hear from a specific demographic, Redditor Wonderful-Wash-2145 asked:
"To the Americans who don’t agree with changing the gun laws? Why?"
People shared their informed opinions in great detail.
When Gun Advocates Lack Common Sense Or Knowledge
"I live in a state, California, which has all of the gun laws that people are asking for and then some. While our gun violence isn't as high as a lot of other states, it was already rapidly trending downward before our biggest laws, like our 'Assault Weapons' ban passed. And we've still had our share of mass shootings. With the laws in place it's easy to see why they're ineffective."
"Assault Weapons ban? Because the only thing separating an AR-15 from any other semi-automatic rifle are ergonomic features like the stock and grip, AR-15s and similar rifles are still sold here, just with those features swapped out for less comfortable alternatives."
"'Universal' Background Checks? What people don't realize is that every gun store around the country has to run background checks on buyers already, 'Universal' means that private sellers have to do that too. How is that accomplished? The buyer and seller have to meet at a gun shop so the gun shop can run the background check. The problem is, there's nothing to stop someone from just NOT doing that. If you want to sell a gun to your best friend, there's nothing stopping you from doing it in the comfort of your own home, no paperwork required. So universal background checks aren't universal, they're voluntary but if people called them voluntary background checks, it would be too self-evident that they're not much of a solution."
"Before people say 'Well one state having those laws is ineffective because people can just buy from another state.' No, that's not legal. You can only legally buy a gun in the state in which you reside. Do people still do it? Yes, people break the law by buying from private sellers, which more laws wouldn't prevent."
"Americans buy 15 Million guns a year from dealers, who knows how many are purchased from private sellers. Countries like Australia where gun control has been effective only had a few million guns in their whole country, much less the hundreds of millions that the US has."
"The reason gun nuts oppose 'common sense' gun control is that a prerequisite for common sense is common knowledge, and it's rare for gun control advocates to have knowledge of both firearms and the laws that currently regulate them in pro gun control states like California."
In The Absence Of Enforcement
"And, a lot of the existing laws aren't enforced. Domestic abusers are supposed to surrender their arms are rarely do and the police rarely follow up, for example. I saw a thread yesterday where someone cited 27,000 known firearms holders that were illegal that law enforcement didn't do anything about."
Weak arguments were also presented.
"So why not make guns have to be registered the way cars are? If I want to sell my car to my friend, I have to fill out paperwork to tell the state that the title for that car is being transferred to my friend. Can’t we do the same for guns?"
A Salesman's Statistic
"I sell auto insurance. Do you know how often someone comes in to insure a vehicle they purchased but never put into their name? Literally like 5 times a weeks if not more."
"A big problem with anything regulatory is how ripe it is to be exploited for the person doing the regulations. A lot of gun control measures have to be enforced by someone and if that person is racist, guess who gets the regulations enforced against them more often? It's still a policing issue when at the core a large group of people simply can't trust the police, and now this is putting both parties in an even more dangerous position."
The thread continued sparking a lengthy discussion about gun culture.
A Slippery Slope
"I think one of the concerns that people are thinking about is that the 'gun reform' movement is a stomach that can't ever be satisfied, meaning, they are always going to ask for more ways to reform guns until eventually people won't get to have any. And I think people who are against gun reform know that 'gun reform' is a slippy slope to banning guns outright and overturning the 2nd Amendment."
What's The Point?
"Governments do not care about their people. Look at selling drugs to the black community, poisoning alcohol during prohibition, anti-privacy laws, I could go on but there's no need to fill paragraphs of these things. And we're supposed to hand over our tools of self-defense and expect the government to protect us? The same government that just sat there outside the Uvalde school?"
"And how are they going to get guns out of the hands of criminals anyway? A good chunk of these shooters are already using guns they can't legally own. If they try to completely get rid of firearms through a 'war on guns' in the same way they've waged a 'war on drugs' for decades, then the amount of illegal, untraceable firearms is only going to go up with every passing decade."
The Challenge Of Regulating Culture
"I think people are dancing around a core point here as well: you cannot legislate culture."
"Say we do implement just the most severe of gun laws and, miracle beyond miracles, they are 100% effective. Alright, so if I want to hurt a bunch of people en masse and guns are out of the question what do I do? What about just running a van through a crowd? What about some improvised explosive devices? Knives?"
"People think guns are the problem, but they are just a very convenient tool by which the problem expresses itself. I’ve lived in many of the so-called 'safe countries' with strong gun laws. In some respects, they are indeed safer, but it’s because the laws reflect a pre-existing cultural sentiment. This also doesn’t mean random mass violence doesn’t happen. I’m going to use Japan here because that’s a country I spent a long time in: there were the famous sarin gas attacks in 1994, also a murderer who drove a vehicle through a crowd in Akihabara (early 2000’s, I believe), and a lot more public stabbing sprees than you’d expect. One even happened a few stations down from me while living there and three little girls on their way to school died. It’s more of historical crime now, but there was also an early 1900’s mass shooting where a man, rejected by local women, decided to cut off power in his local village and systematically execute everyone in their sleep before blowing his own head off at dawn."
"The effort needs to be put into why we seem to have so many disaffected people who are so far gone that mass shootings seem like a reasonable consideration. Gun laws are ultimately just a bandaid fix and, because a good portion of the U.S. is culturally attuned to firearms in a positive way, it’s a bandaid fix that one would have to fight tooth and nail for."
"It would be an inefficient fight and even absolute victory would just result in a half measure. I oppose gun laws for precisely the same reason I oppose the war on drugs; it’s a fight that will never end just by slapping on new policies. Generations of legislators and activists will commit to it and unfathomable amounts of tax dollars will be dumped into it and in 30 years we will still be asking ourselves the same fundamental questions about our safety."
"The uncomfortable reality, at least from where I sit, is that a lasting solution is going to have to be proactive, play the long game, and be willing to figure out what has gone so wrong in our social makeup as to push people to random acts of mass violence."
"And even then, there will still just be psychopaths beyond salvaging and reincorporating into functional society."
"I also know people will want to just say 'no, more just gun laws' or 'this is all the fault of capitalism' etc. etc. but I think those who hold these simplistic, one-note positions are fooling themselves into thinking that this is as easy as identifying the sole 'big bad thing' and then destroying it. As a historian, I can guarantee you that it’s never just one factor at play.'
"I couldn’t agree more that Americans need a more proactive and preventative approach to this issue. But I think guns are just the patsy boogeyman that is simple and comfortable to place blame on. If Americans choose to fight that fight, then so be it, but I maintain that it will be long and ineffectual. In the mean time, more will die and we can all happily believe we are doing something about it."
What Is It About America?
"I get 'gun culture'. But why is the US more violent?"
I think madmen and people that commit acts of random violence are basically the same % in every country. Difference is that if a mad men in my country comes at a supermarket with a knife, he might kill one or two people but he will get tackled."
"Taking a car trough a crowd, been there. That's a different animal, is terrorism."
The thread was full of debates with pro-gun activists presenting their case and anti-gun advocates responding with arguments.
It's an endless discussion that has no resolve in sight.
So now what? What are your thoughts and suggestions that would promote a compromise or solution about gun control?
People have different levels of tolerance when it comes to profanity.
And some people can't stand the sound of rude or vulgar language so much that they can't bring themselves to say these naughty words themselves.
But when anyone reaches a high level of anger or frustration, they still might need a verbal outlet.
And instead find themselves coming up with an alternative word, which helps them release their anger, but won't offend any nearby ears.
Redditor No-Citron5628 was curious to hear people's favorite alternatives to curse words, leading them to ask:
"What is your best swear word alternative?"
"Oh neptune."- StrappinYoungZiltoid
The last thing you want to find in your bed!
Instead of rude, be educational!
"I said this instead of… other words once when I tripped and accidentally taught this to my nephew."
"Now my sister sends me videos of my nephew saying it when things don’t go his way."- YellowForest4Warning GIFGiphy
Think of the children!
"Not sure of an actual word, but my bf and I have been trying to limit cursing since my toddler is becoming very verbal."
"He’s resorted to making very angry yelling caveman sounds when he wants to curse someone out rather than using the actual words."- Present-Lime-1244
"I like, 'slug in a ditch'."- spiked_macaroonslug GIFGiphy
We can always learn a thing or two from the kids...
"A child in my class tries to swear but unintentionally says foot instead of f*ck."
"It's probably my favorite alternative."
"Wow, didn't expect this to get so much attention."
"Thank you for the award! "
"For those asking, he is a very tiny child with a deep yorkshire accent who actually picked up the word from another child but hasn't noticed he doesn't have the pronunciation quite right yet."
"Context wise though he's bang on which makes it even funnier."- sophishx
Just one word won't do!
"DO YOU SEE WHAT YOU GET, LARRY?!"
"DO YOU SEE WHAT YOU GET WHEN YOU FIND A STRANGER IN THE ALPS?!"- KevinBillyStinkwater
Be mindful, it could backfire
"When my son was little he started saying bastard so I kept saying custard."
"Until the day he complained that we were having bananas and bastard again."- CheeryShortarseDoctor Who Snack GIF by BBC AmericaGiphy
Mother knows best.
"My mother always said, 'Curses!'"
"We, the kids, laugh about it all the time."- tenzip10-0
If you feel like you've sufficiently got your anger or frustration out of your system, your choice of words served their purpose.
Whether or not they would have to be bleeped out on network TV.
When we think of iconic movie quotes, there are several which come instantly to mind.
"Here's looking at you, kid."
"Love is never having to say you're sorry."
"I'm gonna make you an offer you can't refuse."
Appropriately, the ones that might haunt us the most, are those delivered by villains, who linger in our memories not only by their creepy attire and presence but by their devious choice of words.
Frightening us long after the credits stop rolling.
Redditor N_the_character was eager to hear what the Reddit community considered the best quotes from both Hollywood's legendary villains, as well as some lesser-known antagonists from film, TV, and video games, leading them to ask:
"What's the most bada** villain quote?"
Benedict from Last Action Hero
"Benedict to youg Danny in 'Last Action Hero':"
"I should tell you that I have killed people smarter and younger than you."- S-Marktlast action hero art GIF by xponentialdesignGiphy
"Pirates are evil?"
"The Marines are righteous?"
"These terms have always changed throughout the course of history!"
"Kids who have never seen peace and kids who have never seen war have different values!"
"Those who stand at the top determine what's wrong and what's right!"
"This very place is neutral ground!"
"Justice will prevail, you say?"
"But of course it will!"
"Whoever wins this war becomes justice!"- TimeisaLie
The Man with the Midas Touch...
"Goldfinger after Bond says 'Do you expect me to talk?'
"'No, Mr. Bond, I expect you to die'."- Hunk_StudlyInterrupting GIF by James Bond 007Giphy
The Last Airbender's Azula
"Dai Li: 'You've beaten me at my own game'."
"Azula: 'Don't flatter yourself. You were never even a player'."- herculesmeowlligan
Inigo Montoya, watch out!
"'Good Heavens, are you still trying to win?'"
"-the six fingered man."
Video game villains shouldn't be forgotten, ask Ghaul
“'You are not brave, you’ve merely forgotten the fear of death'."
"'Allow me to reacquaint you'.”- KentuckyBourbon94
The Good, the Bad, and the one-liners
"'When you have to shoot, shoot'."
"Tuco, 'The Good, The Bad and The Ugly'."- jpablo680
Whiterose of Mr. Robot
“'Because Phillip, I had to ask you twice'.”- Lontano64
The final frontier indeed...
"'A true victory is to make your enemy see they were wrong to oppose you in the first place'."
"'To force them to acknowledge your greatness'."
"Gul Dukat, Deep Space Nine."- hamdingersDeep Space Nine Dislike GIF by Star TrekGiphy
A true villain will have you quaking in your boots with just one look.
But it's with their words that they really get you.
And how they instantly go from being merely villains, to legends.
Why can't people ask before they send graphic images?
And for the people who just send them willy-nilly...
Keep it decent, kids.
Redditor OhmMeGag wanted to hear about everyone's reactions to these types of photos. They asked:
"What's the best response to an unwanted d**k pic?"
Why are y'all STILL sending d**k pics in 2022? Like... decent.
Back at You...
"I read, I believe it was here on Reddit. This girl got an unsolicited d**k pic. So for her revenge, she sent penis pics back constantly. Big, small, anything she could find. This guy was telling her to stop, lol. She asked if he liked it."
“'Why does it look like that?' And answer none of their following texts."
"If you feel the need to respond, 'I'll ask my aunt, she's a nurse.'"
Are you Ok?
"When I was a teenager I had just gotten my first boyfriend, and back then nobody sent photos over text because camera phones weren't a common thing yet. Also texting cost a few cents per text. God, I feel old typing that out.
"I had never seen one before, so I panicked and said, 'Oh my god are you okay??' and he just like... got really sad because he thought I thought there was something wrong with the way it looked."
Send it Back
"What I used to do was take their profile picture and photoshop their face onto the head of their d**k and send it back. I never got a second d**k pic doing that lol."
"What she should do instead is make a public directory of unsolicited d**k pic offenders. Get the victim to edit their head on top, and then post it there with their number. Girls can then search their number to see if they've been a repeat offender in the past. Call the website the D**k Head."
SorryText Lol GIF by VTM.beGiphy
"'Oh hey, my ex had that disease too'"
I am loving the revenge response.
YuckAngry Oh No GIF by CBCGiphy
"Google 'genital warts' and send them back any of those images that come up."
"When I was a freshman in college I was home for Christmas break and the guy across the street, who was 4 years older than me and had recently moved back home, sent me one with the message that his family would be out of the house for a few hours if I wanted to come over."
"I knew him, we had lived on the same street for years, but it was completely out of the blue. I'm not even sure how he got my number. I had babysat his younger brother a few times however, which is why I had his mother's number. I took a screen shot of the message & pic and forwarded it to his mom, asking if she could please get Eric to stop sending me nudes."
"Why are you sending me a picture of your thumb?"
"So an old friend took a picture of his nuts**k and sent it to my husband as a joke. My husband genuinely responded 'Why did you send me a close up picture of your couch?' They had an old gray leather couch that had wrinkled over time."
"I know this sounds crazy, but I am a doctor and this might be cancer."
"Because I know they know I’m not a doctor- I say 'that spot looked weird so I sent it to my dad (he’s a doctor) and he said you should definitely go get check out' then don’t respond to any other messages."
"Note- my dad is in fact, not a doctor, and of course don’t forward my father d**k picks. But I very much enjoy the panic from an a** that 1) I sent his penis pic to my dad and 2) that there’s something wrong with his junk."
"Share a penis enlargement ad."
Stop sending these types of pics unsolicited. It's gross. The end.
People say the darndest and nastiest things pretty often.
I feel like I would prefer someone who doesn't realize it because the alternative is evil.
Saying inappropriate things on purpose involves malicious intent.
No matter... wrong is wrong.
Watch your mouth.
Redditor Ok_Context_7495 wanted to know what sort of nonsense has fallen out of other people's mouths, that left us shook. They asked:
"What’s the most messed up/inappropriate thing that someone’s casually said to you?"
I have been left, fainted on the floor with some of the things I've head people say. It can be funny, but still cruel.
OuchShannyn Sossamon Cringe GIFGiphy
"Your brother is only nice to you because he's not threatened by you or your partner. If you were successful and she were pretty, he wouldn't be nice to either of you. - Mom"
"My mom died of cancer when I was 2. When I was roughly 6, my older siblings told me that my mom and I were playing in the front yard and I kicked a ball into the road and when she went to get it she got hit by a garbage truck and that’s how she died. I didn’t find out the truth til a few years later. Odd that I have 0 relationship with my family now."
"I had a miscarriage where the baby was 'absorbed' and all that was left in the uterus was the gestational sac. I got pregnant again and when I told my neighbor she said, 'So are you actually pregnant this time?' Yes, a**hole. I am pregnant this time and I was actually pregnant last time. Unfortunately I just said yes and went in the house."
"It hurt a lot when my mom would get drunk and cry to me that she wishes I had passed away instead of my father. It hurt a lot more when she said it offhandedly and sober though. I'm okay now, but I was only seven. I didn't deserve that crap."
"You didn't deserve it. I'm sorry you had to live through this. Parents are supported to protect you, but they can also hurt you the most. Wish you all the best!"
Lucky YouHow-To Beauty GIF by SephoraGiphy
“'People don’t take me seriously because I’m pretty. You’re so lucky not to have that problem.'"
Some people need a punch in the face.
Deep HateWizard Of Oz Comedy GIFGiphy
"My ex-wife, 'Everyone hates you, they can't stand being around you.' Never could figure out why she said that. 30 years later, I'm still friends with the people that supposedly hated me."
"You look like a fat leek"
"My nan's sister, at our first meeting, said to 14 year old me: 'You look like a fat leek' (but in Dutch). I was flabbergasted. Fun fact. When she died a couple of years ago, during the funeral, her daughter gave a speech and told a LOT of secrets about how her mum was a total b**ch and narcissist , abused her and made her life a living hell. The whole church was in shock and they sort of canceled the funeral due to all the consternation."
See the Art
“'I can’t wait for you to be blind, your art gets better and better.'”
"I am SEVERELY visually impaired, losing my vision to a degenerative disease. I am an artist. I paint and create work with themes sometimes relevant to my vision loss. Someone I knew said this to me, in front of a group of people at dinner 2 years ago. I was 32 at the time."
I think I was 11?
"I had a dentist say that I 'needed to work on that for when I had a boyfriend' when I was gagging during whatever the hell he was doing. I think I was 11? I did not understand it at all until I was much older and saw like the second episode of Glee where a gag reflex comment is made, I asked my mum about it and she explained and I was like 'ohhh... Ohhh is that why (dentist) said this?' She was not thrilled that I'd waited so long to tell her."
"Middle of a grocery store. I’m 18 or 19. A man 50+ years old walks up to me, puts his arm around my shoulders, stares down at my breasts, and says, 'Damn, girl, can you see your feet?'"
Some people really need an electric shock collar as a sensor.