With the current justified focus on mass shootings, their clear connection to white supremacist ideology, and the clear articulation of white supremacy from the highest echelons of U.S. government (don't panic, that just means the sheet has finally been pulled off), many people, well intentions and all, are calling for the removal of all these guns from U.S. society. The logic imparted by these good people is that the overwhelming access of guns makes the ability for such mass shootings to happen that much easier, so by removing access, the actual problem will be positively impacted.
From our perspective as exploited colonized people fighting for our liberation against this backward empire, we have a completely different take on guns, and particularly gun control. When I was a young man of about 21, I used to go around telling African people that they were foolish if they didn't have a gun and passport. I still believe this almost 40 years later, but with much more depth, but first, its important for peace and justice loving people to understand the basics of guns.
The focus in this gun control debate is on so-called "assault" rifles e.g. AR-15 style, AK-47, style rifles, etc., that exist primarily to do intense and extended harm to other human beings meaning these are not typically the types of weapons one would use for hunting animals/game for food. In fact, these are specifically the weapons - the AR-15 for U.S. troops, and the AK style rifles for virtually everyone else on Earth, used in wars (along with other similar weapons). There is debate about this, but the "assault" title typically refers to these types of rifles that are automatic fire weapons, meaning one squeeze of their trigger produces continued fire of the ammunition supplied into the weapon until it runs out (provided the trigger stays depressed while firing). Automatic fire weapons cannot be sold "legally" anywhere within the U.S. to everyday people, but you can buy semi-automatic e.g. each time you squeeze the trigger a single round is fired and this method repeated, will fire the weapon until it is empty. It should be noted that it is basically possible to convert semi-auto weapons into automatic from information available on youtube and many other readily accessible sources. These types of so-called "tactical" rifles fire rounds from magazines and depending upon how you set up these weapons, they can fire anywhere from a single round at a time up to 100 rounds per magazine. Clearly, as was the case with the shooter in El Paso, Texas, U.S., this past weekend, a person can do significant damage with a weapon prepared to fire 100 rounds, semi auto or auto. With like semi automatic weapons, I've fired 100 rounds at targets in less than five minutes. And, although handguns are much less the focus of the current discussions, its important to keep in mind that handguns kill many times the number of people as rifles of any kind simply because its obviously much easier to conceal handguns and gain access to more spaces than it is with larger long rifles.
With those basic definitions that hopefully increase people's understanding, we should provide our quick analysis of the gun control debate. Let's state clearly that we firmly believe that there are to many guns within the U.S. We also believe that those guns are too easily provided to people e.g. the process to buy them is as easy as buying any other product in most states for the most part. So, we understand the emotional argument about reducing volume ammo magazines and certain types of weapons, but we caution everyone to avoid letting this emotional perspective hide important facts. Like the fact that the U.S. government is the best armed entity on Earth. The U.S. military and police departments all over this country are armed to the teeth. And their weapons are used daily to extract terror on populations all over the planet Earth. Even if 50 people are killed in inner city communities like Chicago, U.S., every weekend for the next 10 years, despite the fact the Chicago example is the one racists are always quick to ignorantly point out, the deaths in Chicago would still pale in comparison to the millions of people the U.S. has killed needlessly in Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, etc., not to mention indirectly through arms sales to countries like Sierra Leone, the Congo, Ethiopia, etc. The point is any talk of gun control without leading with disarming the terrorist U.S. government is the talk of allies to imperialism, good intentions or not. Its the U.S. government that has created and maintains this violent atmosphere we find ourselves in. As previously mentioned, the highest levels of U.S. government are the main proponents of this violence, and I'm not just talking about the criminal Trump administration. The only qualified difference between this administration and previous ones, Obama's included, is this one is more honest about their violence, their racism, and their destruction. At the end of the day, the body count from Obama to Trump, etc., is always going to be consistent because their principle job is the continued dominance of capitalism and imperialism and anyone standing in the way of that agenda is going to face violence, period. Any talk of disarming everyday people without any discussion about state violence is either naive or anti-people's class talk. This is why any buyback efforts imposed on the people of the U.S. are continued failures with less than 1% of guns in any given community being turned in, regardless of what gift certificates or whatever they offer in trade. A large part of the reason for this is because people do not trust the U.S. government, despite the constant propaganda being beamed at them that its colonized people they need to distrust. That's one thing that the right wing has some truth about because even a broke down dog has its day. This government cannot be trusted because its the principle threat to the entire planet.
Instead of this bourgeoisie inspired talk of disarming everyday people, as if that will resolve this problem, the actual productive conversation should be how to dismantle the police/military industrial complex. The ideological and political work required to establish a concerted campaign to raise people's consciousness around this effort and the resulting continued de-escalation of support for state sanctioned terrorism. This type of mass organizing effort will provide the cure for the violence because the resources pumped into this militarization (more than 50% of this nation's budget goes to state terrorist organizations) would be redirected to services designed to serve society (socialism). Job preparation and participation. Drug and alcohol treatment, improved educational institutions, etc. This work is proven to reduce social problems. Its not that we don't know how to do these things. Its just that focusing on this approach is not profitable for the entities that run this world today. Even more so, this approach means organized revolution. And, yes, by organized revolution we mean doing all of the above in conjunction with organizing people to take up arms against the state to overthrow it to create all of the above resources for the people. Obviously, the capitalist system will never in a million years advocate anything that suggests the world is better without capitalism in it. And, surprise, they are never going to suggest the masses be armed because that creates an ongoing potential challenge to them.
This is why we have to end this, as we so often end all of our pieces here, by declaring again that the first steps towards a solution are getting people involved in organizational justice work. The importance of this cannot be overstated. People involved seriously in organizational work (by serious we don't mean participating on a 50% level for a few months, etc.), who belong to organizations that have a real political education program, realize quickly that the analysis we all walk around convincing ourselves comes from our own consciousness is actually the talking points of the bourgeoisie who work overtime to program what we think and believe. The concept that taking guns from or further regulating everyday people's access to guns will in itself solve the violence is a reflection of those bourgeoisie beliefs. Organized people with political education training, learn quickly to see directly through these lies. We learn to develop our own revolutionary analysis independent from what the system wants us to think. Since we are in organizations, instead of operating as individuals, we have the capacity to spread that analysis much further and wider. None of this can be logically disputed. Those who attempt to create non scientific arguments to do so are simply being dishonest because their egos just won't permit them to humble themselves enough to submit to working with others without individual and exclusive control over the work they are involved in. They are not fooling us with their claims against collective organization and political education.
The masses of people must increase their capacity to fight back, not limit it. And mass political education - not mass indoctrination as the reactionary and racist right practices - is the lynch pin of any efforts to raise consciousness. Gun control starts with disarming the state because the primary role of the state is to foment violence to repress the population so that the capitalist state can continue its hegemony over the planet. Mass shootings are simply byproducts of this hyper-masculine, patriarchal, profit over people capitalist state. Anyone who cannot see that the mass shooters are acting in conjunction with U.S. imperialist violence abroad and/or white supremacist (capitalist) ideology domestically, are either intentionally not paying attention or they don't have the skills to understand how to pay attention. Claiming the disarming of everyday people as a solution to violence in this society is like believing the best way to protect chickens from foxes is to cut off every chicken's claws (if that's what they are called, you get the analogy). The solutions are all around us. The only thing stopping us from achieving them is our unwillingness to make that commitment to start doing the block by block work necessary to organize everyone. If you are not going to commit to supporting and/or participating in this type of work, just get used to living in fear and continuing to falsely believe bourgeoisie institutions are going to save you.