"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?
We've all played the "What I would do if I was rich" game.
You've imagined a trillion scenarios for what you would do (after you paid off your debt, of course) with wads of cash. In your imagination, you've given money to friends, started charities or businesses, and probably bought your fair share of imaginary real estate.
And that's all just the basics. We haven't even gotten into all the rich-people hobbies you could take up like SCUBA golfing, sailboat customization, or learning how to melt down antique jewelry to make gem-encrusted bongs for yoga Wednesdays at the gym-slash-coffeehaus.
Reddit user BabySuperfreak asked:
"What's your fantasy 'rich person hobby'?"
Reddit is absolutely right there with you, folks.
CarpentrySeason 4 Wow GIF by The SimpsonsGiphy
"Woodworking, which I already enjoy. But I'd have a huge workshop with all of the expensive tools."
"It's fun to figure out how you could spend increasingly large amounts of money on a hobby."
"$10k? Sweet garage shop."
"$100k? Build a huge shop and tweak it out. Loan it out to people who don't have access to shops."
"$1M? I have no idea. Train under the best woodworkers in the world? Visit exotic locales to see how materials/supplies are produced?"
"I just want my own bandsaw and I'll be happy, but yeah it's my dream to have my own little shop in a quaint little building in my backyard. It would be the cutest girliest little grandma-core workshop out of a fairytale picture book."
"I'd have little organized stations for everything and it would be so satisfying!"
"I've built a pretty decent 'shop' through marketplace and estate sales. Taken a while but I have most of the major tools I need. Affording wood is another story"
Want To Grab Lunch?
"I want to be a 'lady who lunches'."
"You could even step up your game and do 'Brunch' on Sunday! They would say 'wow she is so rich'.”
"Word. Except I think I would hate those people and just lunch w people who are self-employed artists and/or homeless."
"Those are the only two groups you'd eat lunch with?"
MiniaturesStartup Miniatures GIF by Mighty OakGiphy
"I love building miniatures. I helped my dad build a few models as a kid. Then I stumbled onto those miniature rooms you can buy on Amazon. Surprisingly cheap for the decent quality. I've done about 10 of them and have another 20 on my wishlist."
"I went to a hobby store the other day in search of a material for a custom mini, and my friend brought to me a giant box of a model of the Enterprise. For $1200. 3 months' rent."
"I know my first stop after winning the lottery"
"As a gamesworkshop fan I feel you. I’ve got a wishlist too."
"Being rich, you could build 1:1 scale miniatures."
SailingSewing Bee Hello GIF by The Great British Sewing BeeGiphy
"Sailing sounds fun as hell"
"Sailing is fun as hell. I’ve been crewing now for about 7 years."
"Sailing is cheap. It is owning a boat that’s expensive. I pay $350 a year for access to my local club’s boats if I do want to go take a boat out myself."
"Boat owners frequently spend $350 on parts for a single event, and people always need dependable and reliable crew."
"I’ve even gotten flown out to tropical places and had my accommodations paid for at bigger events! I don’t even own a boat, just pull lines!"
"If you live near a racing community, you can get into sailing at the cost of maybe some sandwiches for the team, or occasionally replacing sunglasses you drop in the drink, you just need the right attitude."
"I agree, but only during the day as the ocean according to videos seems pretty terrifying looking at night"
"Sailing is it for me too, particularly cruising. I'd like a nice, 45 ft catamaran that I could cruise around on with the family."
"I have more immediate ambitions to get a little beach cat (Hobie cat, etc) or a dinghy and improve my sailing skills."
"My local 'yacht club' has a learn to sail class that's pretty affordable for a two day introductory class and going out sailing twice (~$100). I did it last year, but I'm considering doing it again as I didn't exactly consolidate my skillet with practice in between."
"Traveling. I know it isn’t much of a hobby, but traveling can be very expensive, and I’ve always wanted to travel the world."
"Beside the cost, getting time off from your full time job can be very hard. I want to spend the summer traveling in XYZ, not fly in, have a couple of days looking around then fly back to work. There's no time to really relax and enjoy the experience"
"Be one of those people perpetually on vacation."
"I'm with you on that. I see all the wonderful places to travel and will never be able to go to them. At least many are on streaming channels now."
"Traveling without budget or ANY money worries. I'd like that. No more sh*tty third-grade hotels and public transportation *joys* and just enjoying the trip."
"I'd travel the world till I physically can't lol that sounds fun"
Esthetic Farmingcalfs GIFGiphy
"Owning a hobby farm/garden with *small breeds of farm animals (mini cheviot sheep, serama chickens, bantam call ducks, miniature jersey cows) *lush vegetation (english garden/new cottage style landscaping) *an orchard with a huge range of different kinds of each fruit and climate controlled greenhouses for plants that wouldn't grow in my region"
"Would they be miniature fruit trees? I want the small animals walking amongst the small trees with small fruit."
"I would love it to have ducks, cats, dogs, rabbits anything to be honest and just watch them enjoy their time and play around. A small pond for the animals to cool down, big trees for nice cool shadows and also some fruits that drop for them etc."
"I'd like to have a large collection of really cool fossils. The really neat ones are expensive."
"Oooh, good thought. You know there's a tech billionaire somewhere (I'm blanking on which one) that got really into collecting gemstones after he got swindled into buying some fakes."
"He found the geology of them fascinating and now he has the biggest jewel collection outside of a royal family and was in a documentary talking about them."
"I think pure geekery unfettered by financial restraints may my favorite use of a large fortune."
"Like a complete T-Rex skeleton and a complete Triceratops skeleton and make them fight like action figures... I'm not going to judge."
Preservation Of WildlifeHappy Feel Good GIFGiphy
"I'd really like to hire a ton of experts to help me find and preserve a wildlife habitat with all native species."
"Get rid of all the invasive plants and whatnot and make it how it was before we got here. I'd be the anti gardener."
"Same goals club! I’ve got a good 100 acres chugging away just woods. Have had several offers to buy it but they’re gonna have to wait til I’m dead."
"Last guy asked me why I wouldn’t sell. 'Because somebody already lives there sir.' Him-' but your house is way up there.' Me- 'yea but the birds and bugs live here.' Also learned that old people get pissed off when young people own land and don’t develop it into housing editions. 'People could live here!' People could live somewhere else too."
"Mine is similar: I want to make a huge bee sanctuary filled with all sorts of wildflowers and plants, with an absolute ton of pollinators like bees, butterflies and moths."
"Also all sorts of other interesting plants like oak trees and wild grass."
"Yours is my favorite I think :)"
'Paying' It ForwardTalking Season 3 GIF by The SimpsonsGiphy
"Anonymously paying debts or giving things to people in need."
"Robin Hood, that you?"
"I'd help with that if I could!"
"I think it would feel pretty amazing to sit in a bankruptcy court and pay off a defendant’s judgment. Idk how it works, though, like whether you can make a payment anonymously on someone else’s behalf."
"I wouldn’t pay off debts (other than to immediate family members), but I like the idea of randomly paying for groceries or gas for strangers."
"Especially at the last week or so of each month. Have some type of set up so I could have an arrangement with a store’s manager to call down to the cashier to just tell the customer after they scan everything, 'It’s your lucky day! You don’t have to pay!'."
"Operating a maker space that enriches the community and enables everyone to have access to tools and space to create anything they need / want."
"oh yeah my husband and I have talked about doing this"
"I'd love to have this for music. Like a rehearsal complex for certain younger artists I see potential in."
"Also have a recording studio nearby as well. Just try to develop some sort of niche community of musicians that focus on certain aspects of music"
"Have all the stuff like drumkits, guitar amps, all that in each room already (kind of like a normal rehearsal space you pay for). Maybe even some cheaper guitars so that even if you don't have money you can use them"
"Maybe do some community events with all the people, and who knows. Maybe some amazing bands or groups could come from it."
Alright bougie broke friends, it's your turn at the mic.
We know what Reddit would do for hobbies if they got rich, but what about you?
Anybody suddenly feel like funding a documentary into Tevin Campbell's life, music, and how homophobia robbed him of a bigger career and the community of a cornerstone personality?
No? Just me and my love for Mr. Campbell acting up again?
When it comes to expressing love, there is a multitude of ways to go about it. Most people stick to the classic: using the words "I love you."
But that's not the only way.
Using thoughtful gestures, love languages, special messages, or even just remembering little details about another person are all great ways to express love.
Curious about all the different ways of expressing love, Redditor sadesspresso asked:
"What is the best way to say “I love you” without actually saying “I love you”?"
"The moon is beautiful...."
"Some old japanese man told me some story and 'the moon is beautiful ' is supposed to mean I love you...."
"Minä rakastan sinua"
"Just say it in another language, and keep learning new languages."
Through Their Stomach
"I made your favourite food"
"This is the way. I bake my husband his favourite treats even though he’s the only one who likes them. That way if he’s having a blah day at work he opens his lunch and feels love"
"Definitely the way! I would love to just receive some homecooked food without having to ask first!"
Pride And Pride
"I’m proud of you"
"My wife pulled me aside after an especially brutal day at work and hugged me and whispered this in my ear. This was two weeks ago. I'm still floating."
Appreciating The Superstitions
"Kissing my husband goodbye before he goes to work."
"I read somewhere that men who kiss their wives before leaving for work live five years longer than those who don't. So even if I'm not a morning person, I drag myself out of the bed to make sure that I give him a kiss before he leaves for work. It might or might not be true, but I wish to do everything I can so he could live longer because I kinda like him."
"I kiss him when he arrives at work. He will live long."
Using Their Love Language
"There are different kinds of love languages aside from saying I love you. Giving gifts, physical touch, doing acts of service or nice things for them, and spending quality time. I think for me, time is such a selfless love language, because you’re showing that person that they are actually worth your time. And it doesn’t have to spent doing anything extravagant."
"Figuring out their love language and doing something that speaks to them most."
"Depends on what their love languages are. That shi* works."
"Remembering the small details."
"Remembering their likes and dislikes, favorite color, personal style, etc. Using the knowledge to please them often."
"The best way is to show how you care."
"Eg, you're making a coffee or cup of tea and you make one for them without asking, because you already know they'll say yes if you ask."
"Or they're working outside in the sun and you come out with a cold drink for them."
"Small things that show you're thinking about them."
"Surprise them with their favorite food or snacks/dessert. Ask them how their day is. Do their chores before they notice."
"Making sure their phone is fully charged for them before they leave the house."
Getting Home Safe
"Text me when you get home"
"This. My BF and I say this every time and do text each other when we do get home."
I Choose You
"If I had to choose between rescuing you or my PC from a fire, it'd only take me 10 seconds to choose you."
"I cleaned out the cat’s litter box so you don’t have to."
"According to my wife... Doing the dishes."
"Came home from work yesterday knowing I had to do laundry."
"In my apartment complex that just means walking up a flight of steps, walking down an outdoor hallway, and unlocking a door to the laundry room. But it's such a pain in because you have to set alarms for yourself and come back out to move the clothes to the dryer and collect them before you even get to worry about folding them."
"So yesterday I came home from work and my bf had done my laundry for me. He didn't fold it, but it was sitting, clean and done, by our bed ready to be folded and put away. No alarms, no trips, just a quick little in-place chore and it was over."
"That to me is love."
Well, after all, actions speak louder than words.
It doesn't have to be all about action, however. Just finding a new way to say, "I love you" can do wonders for you and the people you love.
Humans, we fall in and out of grace with one another constantly.
But there are reasons.
People change one another's mind through behavior.
At first you can really like someone.
Enjoy their company.
Spend tons of quality time with them.
Then one day, they drop the facade of their character and show you some true colrs.
And those colors can be stomach turning.
Then respect goes out the window.
And all you can say is...
"I can't even look at you anymore."
Redditor MissMona_69 wanted to talk about all the people we can longer be face to face with. They asked:
"What types of people have you no respect for?"
I can't stand hypocrites. I lose all respect there.
"People who fake mental illnesses for attention."
"SO TRUE. In middle school, I had a friend who faked mental illnesses (not 100% sure but at least 99.9% of the things they said were self-inconsistent). Screwed up my perspective on mental illness and I'm still trying to change that."'
"People who don’t understand the difference between opinion & fact and assume that their opinion is a fact."
"For some reason I see a crap ton of this in a horror movie group I'm in. Horror is such a subjective genre with many various subgenres and the amount of people that just absolutely crap on movies and state their opinions as fact is annoying as hell. Of course the music groups I'm in do the same thing too."
"People who can't admit they are in the wrong and sidestep by blaming you for something that happened years ago."
"My mom does it to me too. If she screws up, she blames me, and once proven wrong, she immediately brings up how I screwed something up from like 14 years ago, and somehow uses that to make me feel like it is my fault."
"People who take advantage of old, senile people. What caliber of piece of crap must you be. Fucking cowards, I spit on you."
"I used to work in supportive housing for folks with various disabilities, one day a client came to be crying because he didn’t have rent for the month. The reason?"
"He was scammed by someone pretending to be from social security. They called him to say that he had to pay back money from a (fabricated) overpayment or he would go to jail. It was extremely sad. Also saw lots of lonely elderly folks get scammed by internet 'girlfriends,' F**k scammers."
"YES! Here is where the true rage comes in! I live in a beautiful city and the amount of litter is revolting. It makes me so angry. I never chuck anything on the damn floor as there will undoubtedly be a bin nearby. It’s just laziness and carelessness."
Why do people litter? It's so gross. Save the world.
The Real Truth
"People who speak 'truth' without trying to understand perspectives outside their own."
"Along those lines, people who describe themselves as 'brutally honest.' Nah, chances are you're just an a**hole."
"People who are rude to wait staff and people who leave their shopping carts around the parking lot."
"I have always believed there are two types of people, those who return the cart to the corral and those who don’t. And this simple action tells me more about a person than a 2 hour long conversation."
"People who have no introspection and always play the victim."
"So I see you have met my brother. In the process of being sentenced for armed robbery but he still blames his pregnant dope head gf with some bs about how it was to support them and regularly busts out the alligator tears to get our mom to put money on his books."
"People who crap on retail workers or lowest wages just to feel better than them with no reason, screw them all."
"I had a coworker like this, dude was brainwashed into believing the franchise license and stock when the giant corporation had very negative company health and it reflected... Most popular chains in retail encourage low wage and try to establish an odd seniority hierarchy."
"People who smoke around children, especially in the same car."
"I 100000% agree with you and I’m a smoker. I don’t care if it’s cold, raining, windy, hot I’m going to stand my a** outside and have a smoke. I don’t smoke inside my house and I never have."
"I think you’d like to meet my neighbor that lives downstairs. She smokes all day long with an infant strapped to her chest."
Well this is a long list of nonsense people. Steer clear.
So many animals are only dangerous because of their need for survival or hunger.
Humans make the relationship with the animal kingdom worse.
Is there no way to co-exist?
One Redditor wanted to discuss aspects of the animal kingdom.
"Which animal gets undeserving hate?"
Tigers and lions. Have you seen the videos of the tigers and lions who have bonded with their human? It's possible.
Bless Youbat flying GIF by eve_agramGiphy
"Bats. They eat billions of insects. You should be thanking them."
"Vultures, eating dead bodies might seem ugly to some but other animals do the same thing but also murder them so how is just finding something that’s already dead and eating that worse, also eating a carcass removes deadly diseases like botulism from the environment."
"I always show my appreciation to the local goth turkeys."
"Blob Fish... they just get yeeted out of the water and the massive pressure difference makes them look 'strange.' Kinda rude I guess. Like if we get yeeted into space and Aliens would laugh at our disfigured forms and print T-Shirts of it."
"I think I read somewhere that the pressure change causes their cells to explode and that’s why they look so horrific after being pulled out of the water. Dunno how factual that is."
Not the Villain
"Hyenas, partially because a whole generation grew up watching them help kill Mufasa lol."
"I've seen people arguing this before but people hate hated hyenas years before the lion king came out. They were constantly used in folklore as villains and opportunist and were often considered unlucky in most african cultures."Eaglekingoftheskies
Back Upearth skunk GIF by Lil DickyGiphy
"Skunks are cute, man. Just give them space."
Skunks? Um... from afar, they're cute. But stay away...
Geniushomer simpson crow GIFGiphy
"Crows. Yes, I understand the caws can be annoying, but they're far more intelligent than a lot of people give them credit for."
"Possums! They eat pests and won't typically bother you unless rabid or provoked."
"Quick reminder then you need to specify which kind of possum, because not everyone here is from America. There a lots of possums here in Australia but they are completely different from the American kind in temperament! Only annoyance with possums here is if they get into your roof. Meanwhile in New Zealand, possums are ALWAYS a pest."
Bad Movie Vibes
"The guy who wrote Jaws ended up writing another book explaining how misunderstood sharks are. Because the movie Jaws scared everyone, and fishermen began to hunt sharks, making them endangered."
"I was gonna say this! They're not bad guys they are just doing shark stuff! It's the freakin' dolphin types you gotta watch out for. Orcas will kill for fun. A shark is just trying to eat and don't see that well."
"Black Cats.They aren't evil and they don't bring bad luck."
"It's a frequent mistake, but black cats actually bring good luck and blessings from The Void!
"Be sure to tell all your friends. If we work together to insist that black cats are good luck, we can help turn over the discrimination. Also, I have proof that they are good luck - whenever I see a black cat I become happy. Coincidence? I think not!!"
Heroesfrog michigan GIFGiphy
"Frogs. They eat the mosquitoes and other bugs you don’t like."
So many animals need some PR help.
Which ones would you add to this list? Let us know in the comments below.