In the retail merchandising world, removing barriers to a potential sale is a basic principle. Creating an environment where shoppers didn’t encounter a hindrance to their shopping experience was critical. That meant keeping items priced, organized by size, neat fixtures, and add-on sale possibilities nearby. My work as a visual merchandising consultant involved an understanding of consumer psychology.

A front of store display that featured a table, for example, had to be far enough back so that visitors didn’t perceive a psychological or unwelcoming push away. Would you enter a store with a table blocking the entrance? If you were desperate for that pair of underwear or batteries for your smoke detector, you might try to climb over that table but otherwise you would just not enter, seeking another retail organization for your shopping. Hell, maybe you’d just forget about it for the moment.

This is what gun advocates who oppose measures to CREATE more barriers get wrong. Barriers slow things down which, when it comes to guns, is a good thing. 

Law-abiding citizens who wish to purchase a firearm are not hindered by the creation of barriers. Common-sense things like background checks, or eliminating assault rifles is logical with a weapon. Raising the age for gun purchases to 21 is not a hardship. If someone is in that big of a hurry, that should be an immediate red flag.

The ideas being floated by politicians charged with protecting this country from gun violence (which is now the leading cause of death for children) are not just heartbreaking, they are astounding. I don’t understand how these tone deaf men and women sleep at night.

According to people like Ted Cruz (prize winning hypocrite and general asshole) our schools should feature more locked doors, armed security guards and gun-toting teachers. Metal detectors, bullet proof windows. Are you fucking kidding me? Guns are the instruments used in mass shootings. God forbid we work to make it harder to take care of that particular problem.

Many of the recent mass shootings involved the ‘good guy with a gun’ scenario. Good guys who were shot and killed by the way. So yeah, sure, let’s give teachers guns to do a job they aren’t trained to do.

The United States has more guns than any other developed country but that has not made us any safer.

We have a gun problem. Doors, metal detectors, and armed guards don’t remove guns.

It’s all about money. The NRA funds these officials who spout crap about second amendment rights.

If I placed tables in front of doorways or pushed clothing fixtures tightly together or overstuffed racks so that it was impossible to remove a hanger or left empty shelves when I was a merchandising consultant, I would be fired in an instant.

I would be fired because sales would nose dive. 

We need to fire politicians who are puppets of the NRA.

The NRA opposes background checks because the “NRA opposes expanding firearm background check systems, because background checks don’t stop criminals from getting firearms, because some proposals to do so would deprive individuals of due process of law, and because NRA opposes firearm registration.” If you want to know how messed up the NRA is, you have got to visit this site by the way.

They do have a point, however. Like my example above, if someone really wants a firearm, they’ll find a way to get one. But why should our country make it easy and what if the barriers to do so create some time? What if that time helped us identify the danger in our midst? 

Many of the recent mass shootings in our country were made with guns that were purchased legally, by the way. That doesn’t have to mean we just throw our hands up in the air and welcome more guns in everyone’s hands.

Someone needs to explain to me why requiring a license to carry, tests equivalent to operating a motor vehicle before purchasing a gun, raising the age requirement, waiting periods and banning assault rifles is an infringement on second amendment rights.

Getting a gun is easier than getting a license to drive.

I’ve heard nothing but bullshit. Thoughts and prayers. Yada yada. 

We are told that the real issue is mental health. Well, let’s invest in that too. This isn’t a zero sum issue.

Nineteen children and two teachers were just killed in Texas in an elementary school. Innocent and defenseless human beings getting ready to enjoy the summer. Our country’s leaders are to blame for not taking action to protect them.

If we, as a culture cannot scream at the top of our lungs in rage until something changes, then we are inhuman.

Roxane Gay said in her recent New York Times editorial:

There is a cultural obsession nowadays with civility, with the idea that if everyone is mannered enough, any impasse or difference of opinion can be bridged. But these are desperately uncivil times. And there is nothing more uncivilized than the political establishment’s inurement to the constancy of mass shootings in the United States: 60 deaths in Las Vegas, 49 deaths in Orlando, 26 deaths at Sandy Hook, 13 deaths in Columbine, 10 deaths in Buffalo. Adults, schoolchildren, concertgoers, nightclub revelers, grocery shoppers, teachers.” 

Adding barriers is common sense. Spare me the infringement arguments. 

We owe it to our children to do everything, absolutely everything possible, to create barriers. To protect them from guns. We need to scream in rage until significant changes are made.

Heaven forbid we work together like New Zealand.

I’ve had a hard time knowing how to handle my grief and rage. For now, it’s through writing and a recent donation to advocate for gun safety. Some nonprofits working to effect change that could use donations include Everytown for Gun Safety, Sandy Hook Promise, and Moms Demand Action.