Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The Coming American OK Corral?

"Politicians shooting off more than their mouths?"

Got an email this evening from a old friend who keeps a pretty good daily watch on the news, especially the really bizarre and extreme news stories about America in 2011. The article he forwarded had this headline . . .

California politicians demand right to carry arms
Sacramento state assembly members have introduced a bill that would entitle them to carry concealed weapons

The whole idea of elected representatives wanting to make a law to let them pack a gun because they felt threatened by negative e-mails and mean phone calls triggered a top of the head response to my friend, Harry, who sent me the news article ...

Harry, old friend, it occurs that by arming every person capable of loading a gun and letting them carry it in their belts, holsters or wherever, we actually would create a non-nuclear version of MAD, Mutually Assured Destruction . . . sort of. It would be more mutual for some folks than others.

Problem is, that a couple of hours on a shooting range and a pat on the back is not going to really make a scared politician packing heat any safer from an enraged, focused person intent upon blowing him away.

Harper's Magazine had a cover article last year on how this all really shakes out when someone decides to have a gun on him, or her, at all times. One's thinking changes completely and the really remote chance that someone is going to do you harm becomes an obsession.

So, a simple advance, for a completely innocent reason, by someone toward this legally ready-to-shoot-gun-toting person's "territorial imperative" space around him, could result in murderous gunfire.

Like the guy wearing a hood, or the turban-wearing tourist, or whoever you do not recognize and feel threatened by. So some poor soul fumbling for a piece of paper with an address on it in his pocket, who was just trying ask you where the city museum is located goes to boot hill. But you had a permit!

The whole mindset that life today is like a cowboy movie reduces humanity and common sense to a perceived primal battle where everyone goes around with a semi automatic bludgeon at the ready. Kill or be killed. What happy folks.

Had the federal judge in Arizona, Congresswoman Giffords, and her aides all been armed, what would have been the purpose of a sincere meeting with constituents in a supermarket parking lot?                            
The nutcase young shooter would have still had the drop on all of them because he did not come there to talk about good government with Ms. Giffords. He came there to shoot her in the head, and all the folks around her for good measure.

Maybe someone in the crowd armed with their concealed weapon would have shot back at him, and maybe that scared shitless shooter blasting away wildly at the nutcase shooter would have killed lots of other folks as well.

What the hell happened to the American dream, Harry, and folks getting together to take part in it? Do we all want to be potential killers if we think someone is lurking out there with a shootin' iron to kill us? Are we all walking out of that 1950's Saturday double feature Western where the white hats always shoot and kill the black hats … has that become a movie in an endless loop in our scared collective psyche?

Ain't like the craziness of the early 60's at UT in Austin is it, Harry? What is really scary is that voters actually elected these whacko folks to represent them . . .  and this is out in California, not Texas where the pride of Austin, Governor Goodhair, already legally packs a gun and shoots coyotes who get too close!

Peace and love, etc.