GUNZ R U.S.
"A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed."
From the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution
I have never in my life wished for another human being to be murdered - and I'm not going to start wishing such a horrible thing at this time. But in the next hour or so, some innocent person somewhere is going to be shot and permanently paralyzed by a stray bullet. Please, fate, why can't that person be Wayne LaPierre instead? Talk about your poetic justice.
Hell, even uber-dingbat Ronald Reagan came out against assault weapons! Of course he took this stand nearly a decade after his final campaign, but "better late than never" as they say.
And the problem doesn't lie (as most problems lie these days) wholly with the Republicans. There are a shitload of Blue Dog Democrats out there who need to be put to sleep - Harry Reid in particular. Reid's state of Nevada is cowboy country apparently. A vote to ban assault weapons would hurt him with the NRA types. The murder of innocent children means a lot less to him than his cushy job in the senate. And the sad fact is that to do the right thing does not necessarily mean the end of his political career. But why take chances? Let the children bleed.
If I were a politician I wouldn't lose a blink of sleep knowing that I would be remembered throughout history as someone who sacrificed his career on the alter of righteousness And anyway, our senators and congressmen have a pretty sweet retirement package.
When the next massacre of innocents happens (and it's gonna happen more-than-once before this year is over) don't count on the Blue Dogs - and every Republican in the House and Senate - to stand up for the victims. This is the way it's going to be from now on. But that's okay. I plan on making oodles of pitchers of juicy lemonade from these nasty-tasting lemons. Carnage produces many things; writer's block is not one of them. I'll be fine 'n' dandy thank you very much.
There are also a few economic advantages that come with mass murder. I imagine that there will be a few funeral homes and crematoriums that will do quite nicely. If your profession involves the sale of cemetery plots there are a few extra bucks in it for you as well. And the gun industry? Forget about it! As the mass paranoia multiplies, more-and-more people will be purchasing guns out of sheer terror. Expect the rate of deaths by firearms to skyrocket in the next decade. The gun industry will be making a killing - pun intended indeed.
Yeah, it will happen again - very soon - and nothing will change. This is primarily a "man problem". Women, for the most part, are a bit more sensible. What is it about the male of the species? Is it merely an unavoidable reality that violence is part of our natural makeup? I refuse to accept that sort of logic. Norwegian males seem to have their act together, as do most European guys. Could it be an "American man problem"? Is it the stupid cowboy culture that we grow up in? Remember that this is a society that made a secular icon out of John Gotti. People used to ask the hideous little thug for his autograph. Could it be the values instilled in us from birth that render us so violent and dysfunctional? That could be the key. Maybe we ought not to concentrate too much on John Wayne. What we guys could use is a mega-dose of Alan Alda.
And then there is the indifference. A lot of us just don't think too much about gun violence because it has no direct bearing on our lives. Take my word for it, people: as guns become more readily available in the next few years, as the body count goes into the stratosphere, that mass-indifference will vanish like an ice cube in a furnace. You've never had a loved one killed by a gun? Brace yourselves. I've had two cousins killed by gunfire (both of them women, murdered by guys who were stalking them). I've also had more acquaintances than I can count who ended their lives because there was a gun close by. Less than a week ago, a guy I grew up across the street from shot himself to death. Maybe these are the reasons I am so vocal on this topic.
Don't you dare be lured by the complacency of your little world and tell yourselves, "It can't happen here". It can. It will. Before your life is over someone you love will be murdered by someone pointing a firearm at them. It might even be you. It might even be me. If things remain as they are, the death rate will only go up. It can't possibly go down. Count on it.
The biggest laugh I get is the argument that only stricter penalties will stem the tide. Since the reinstatement of the death penalty in 1977, the murder rate has risen dramatically. Stricter penalties? You can only execute someone once. The electric chair will not make a person "deader" than a lethal injection. There is not a single punishment on the books that would have stopped Adam Lanza from killing twenty little children and seven women (and himself) on December 14, 2012. Let's put that moronic notion out to pasture here and now, okay?
The only advice I can offer you is to do what I have done. I long ago adjusted to living in a nation in ruins. I strongly suggest that you do the same. It makes the coping a helluva lot easier. Now if y'all will excuse me, I'm goin' out shoppin' fer an AK 47. Mah trigger finger's gettin' mighty itchy, baby!
Things I Overheard While Talking to Myself
by Alan Alda
Alda's observations on life are a good read. A very funny and insightful memoir.