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The Americgun Way

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You might have heard, yesterday, another troubled member of our society, down in Fort Hood, Texas decided to shoot the place up and managed to hit sixteen people, killing four, including himself.

I'm finally coming to terms with what should have been an obvious truth. There is going to be no gun control legislation in the United States. EVER. People are perfectly fine with the occasional massacre by someone who has some personal or mental problems and decides to take it out on a bunch of random people with some sort of rifle, pistol, assault weapon. Mostly, Congress is fine with it. But the population at large seems pretty okay with it as well. That's likely because it's not happening where most people happen to be. Littleton, CO. Newtown, CT. Have you been to Fort Hood? Neither have I, especially since the previous mass shooting there in 2009.

Of course, I live in a place where people are getting shot on a fairly regular basis, just usually not massacre style. So, I'm still pretty concerned.


There's such a zest, an almost religious fervor for the thrill of firing a weapon. Isn't this, in a really perverse way, the opposite of sex? Make life or take life. And isn't that part of the intoxication? The ability to remove someone from the planet... really that could be considered better than sex by some. I'm not being completely frivolous here. There probably is a correlation between pulling the trigger of a gun and a penile orgasm. And isn't that part of the reason why the overwhelming number of shooters are males?

I'm just trying to understand the mentality of it all. How is it we have no movement towards some sort of proper legislation and accountability for guns? But really, if there was no movement when Rep. Gabby Giffords was shot... if there was no movement when President Reagan was shot... if there was no movement when Senator Robert Kennedy was killed... if there was no movement when Dr. Martin Luther King was killed... if there was no movement when President John Fitzgerald Kennedy was assassinated... what would it take to have a movement? If Sandy Hook Elementary School didn't get any traction, what would do it? Does everyone need to lose someone they care about to a senseless shooting before this becomes an issue Americans (and our legislators) would actually address?

But, no! Guns are just one more part of American life, one more thing to negotiate, like fast food and fast cars. We like it fast, like the fast bullets coming out of the nozzle of an AK-47. And there are so many guns. Every conceivable size and shape. And it seems that people are becoming more and more resistant to the concept that maybe we should start setting some rules and regulations, as if the 2nd Amendment was the air that we breathe. You can't put limits on freedom!

Defenders always say, "it's the person, not the gun." Defenders always say, "look at the millions of weapons that didn't get used that way." Defenders always say, "it takes a good person with a gun to stop a bad person with a gun." Defenders always say, "the answer is more guns, not less." Defenders always say, "cars kill more people than guns, should we outlaw cars too?"

But those defenders didn't lose a son, a daughter, a parent, a sibling, a classmate, a friend, the one person that meant the most to them.

I really have to take a moment. I have to take a moment to think.




No. I'm sure. There really won't be any gun control legislation. There couldn't be! If we were going to have any, it surely would have been enacted by now. And the truth is with the NRA lobbyists on Capitol Hill, with the gun hoarders who own arsenals, those people who are so connected to gun culture that it defines who they are, this is a sheer impossibility. There's too much money, there's too much power and people want all of that. Guns are everything. They let you know who's in charge. And if you don't know from looking, the gun will do some talking.

Really, isn't this all an extension of the US Military? Fort Hood is a military instillation, after all. And the United States has an Armed Forces bigger than the next seven countries COMBINED. Surely a country like that is never going to have any gun control! Why would you have that many weapons if you WEREN'T going to use them?

Learn how to properly handle a gun, comes the advice from the National Rifle Association. Get a permit. Be able to defend yourself and your family. But, what if you don't want to learn about guns? What if you don't even want to touch a gun? What if you think your life shouldn't have guns in it at all?

I guess you're SOL, because they're there. Right there in every city and in every town, in every suburb and field. From sea to shining sea, the glint of gun metal sparkles, in the sun, or under a streetlamp. The sound of weaponry, the pop, pop, pop like firecrackers on the 4th of July proclaiming to the world, this is America! This is the Wild West, where everyone can grow up to shoot or be shot, or maybe both.

I had hoped that we, as a nation, were of a higher caliber.

Comments

( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
rafferbee
Apr. 3rd, 2014 02:58 pm (UTC)
What a terrible pun on the last line!

I really wish we had more gun control. We just had a mall shooting in January in my town. So I can't even take my kids to the freaking carousel without worrying that some nut with a gun will start shooting.
penpusher
Apr. 4th, 2014 02:30 am (UTC)
I remember that mall shooting, as if malls didn't have it bad enough.

I mean, I didn't even mention John Lennon, but yeah... Actually there was a gun control group that did a mock New York Times cover with Lennon smiling and the headline read "Madman Attacks Former Beatle With A Stick."
stacymckenna
Apr. 3rd, 2014 05:12 pm (UTC)
Personally, I'd prefer the Swiss take on sidearms. Make it a common, ordinary, everyday fact of life that everyone in the country is trained to use and maintain weapons properly. Demystify them. De-romanticise or de-exoticize them.

But I can't see that happening either.
penpusher
Apr. 4th, 2014 02:35 am (UTC)
Well, the problem is that guns really are romanticized and fetishized and celebrated in film and television... it's pretty rare to find a TV drama that doesn't deal with guns in some way. Even "My So-Called Life" had a gun episode!

Can you imagine if everyone in the USA suddenly were packing heat? I mean, I guess a lot already are, but man... high school suddenly just got even more scary!
low_delta
Apr. 4th, 2014 12:21 am (UTC)
But those defenders didn't lose a son, a daughter...

If they had, they'd be saying, if only I'd been there with a gun, this wouldn't have happened!
penpusher
Apr. 4th, 2014 02:39 am (UTC)
You do have a point.

Ultimately, these people probably see themselves as some sort of movie hero, and they no doubt long for the chance to be in that role. And that's why they want those guns around, those vigilant vigilantes!
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )