Saturday, August 24, 2013

In The Land Of The Gun

You don’t live around, and in all honesty once belong to the extreme end of the gun culture without having some basic understanding about how things have gotten this bad. There was time when the general public had enough commonsense to understand pulling any sort of weapon out as a threat was a declaration that society had essentially broken down at that moment. 

Without delving into all the facets of Southern society and their various strengths and faults the overall view was that civility was preferable to some sort of recreation of the Old West. Now there were individuals who were exceptions to this viewpoint, but a seemingly casual visit by a reputable law enforcement figure was usually enough to quash any nasty proto-anarchical tendencies forming. However, decent and mostly sane behavior could usually be traced back to how a person was brought up.  

For various reasons my grandparents raised me from the age of eleven until I reached that nebulous stage called young adulthood. During that time I was exposed to, but did not have any access to weapons greater than a BB gun without my grandfather right beside me. One of the few times my grandfather actually felt the need to ever spank me was the day I showed off his antique double barreled shotgun to a few curious buddies. Concerning the BB gun, I once made the mistake of bragging to him about a bird I shot for a thrill, the calm and cool reasoning my grandfather shared with me about how that was monstrous behavior was in its way far worse than the spanking. Needless to say, I never killed another bird again. Squirrels were a different matter; they could be cleaned and cooked and my grandfather’s neighbor loved to serve them up with rice and butter beans.    

Somewhere in the midst of the Ronny Reagan-inspired rebirth of American patriotism the usual reserved approach to even the appearance of weapons in public went the way of the dodo bird. It is hard to stay reasonable in the face of a massive theatrical onslaught where semi-coherent, quasi-actors battle the latest surge in atheistic communism with humorous one-liners and the most advanced and massive assault weapons their steroid soaked arms can hold.

While there is a question which actually came first, shrill politicians panicking over the Soviets conquering the Western world or the Hollywood action hero going out to battle this political Sauron and his legions of AK-47 carrying orcs. Our elected leaders, always willing to sink to the lowest common denominator of base behavior far faster than any daytime talk show host, continued to stoke the communist fears and promote the idea that the way to defeat the red menace was through armed conflict.

You simple cannot carry on like this without the basic underpinnings of society starting to come apart. Never mind that the Soviet Union collapsed under its own ponderous weight, once fear has been instituted as a national characteristic and the belief that all problems can be solved with the use of a weapon with sufficient caliber all bets are off. People start believing that weapons specifically designed not to outright kill, but shred the bodies of soldiers should be owned by all. That there is a right to the unrestricted purchase of all kinds of ammunition even though you cannot buy one package of extra-strength sinus medicine in a drug store without a record being kept. Or that a person should be immune from prosecution if he kills an innocent bystander because he was “standing his ground.”

From "The State" newspaper:

Is shooting a bystander in South Carolina someone else's fault?


Anonymous said...

And unfortunately the NRA (gun manufactures, ammo makers...NOT sports lovers) gets paid a LOT of money to push their "protect yourself from the coming government take over." This fits very nicely into the Kenyan Muslim anti-American Take Away Your Rights and Black Helicopter propaganda spewed by FOX, Drudge, and Limbaugh.

Elect a black president, and all heck breaks loose. Anybody not of a pure white skin color is in their sites. They've got 3 years now to push women back into the kitchen, out of the boardrooms, keep 'em pregnant, muzzle their opinions and votes.....what sort of weapon do you think they recommend to keep them from voting a women into office???

Pixel Peeper said...

I always say that I don't mind responsible, law-abiding citizens to have guns...but then I always wonder how they can tell the bad guys from the good guys. If trained police officers have shot the wrong person by mistake, how can a lay person under duress handle a stressful situation like that? Retreating, calling for help, and carefully monitoring the situation seems much more appropriate that to "shoot first, ask questions later."

This really could set a scary precedent...should we wear bulletproof clothing while going for a walk?

Sarge said...

I won't lie - I am sitting right next to a gun cabinet with a little over two grand worth of guns in it. But, I hunt and the cabinet stays locked until fall.
I don't see a need to pack a handgun - I think if you feel unsafe enough to have to do so then it is time to change your playgrounds and playmates.
Indianapolis became to violent so I moved back home to a way smaller city and I carefully chose my new playgrounds and playmates.
I don't go out at night - well, that is due to my eyes - depth perception at night sucks...

Good post...
Hey and as far as I am concerned - we need a ban on assault weapons and, I will even say, handguns NOT designed for hunting...


Rose L said...

Nobody needs a gun that can blow an elephant apart. I definitely believe in laws to limit the kind of weapons people can own.
People who hunt (as long as not hunting humans) can have guns,but none that would leave nothing of the game to eat.

Beach Bum said...

Jabberwock: Good question, but I have noticed right-wing nutjobs are desperate to dredge up any old Hillary and Bill scandal they can think of in an attempt to derail her before 2016.

Pixel: That is pretty much my whole point, if we start living my the creed of shoot first and ask questions later this country is well down the road to becoming that libertarian paradise Somalia.

Sarge: I own a .45 auto and the civilian version of that old USAF pilot survival rifle, the AR-7. Relatively speaking they are laughable compared to the high capacity semi-auto handguns favored by the paranoid and the shredding power of an AR-15.

This post was FAR less about banning weapons than the examination that our society is devolving into free fire zone where the average person can be killed by simply minding their own business.

Although since the Newtown school shootings I am for the outright banning of civilian ownership of all assault rifles and the restriction on ammo sales along with excessive taxation. Hand gun ownership should require a lengthy waiting period, mandatory safety and training programs, and what sends the gun nuts into orbit federal registration.

Rose: I agree, which touches on one of the insane aspect of gun nuts. They want the assault weapons because they believe they will have to hunt humans at some point.

Jerry E Beuterbaugh said...

"The Life and Times of a Carolina Parrothead" has been included the A Sunday Drive for this week. Be assured that I hope this helps to point even more new visitors in your direction.

Gwendolyn H. Barry said...

well the more things change, the more they stay the same. Incredible that an incident like Sandy Hook would not melt the hate and low level of thought away that concludes guns are good for puppies and people. It sux. bad. good post BB.

Akelamalu said...

I know it's your right to bear arms in the US, I'm just glad we don't have that right in the UK. It scares the shit out of me. :(

Randal Graves said...

C'mon, BB, you know you're just dying to stroll down the avenue in broad daylight, six pack in one hand, M-16 in the other.

Life As I Know It Now said...

I'm glad you don't shoot any more birds. Your grandfather was a smart man.

Yeah, in Indiana people can walk into the library with their guns and there isn't crap we can do about it if they have a permit to carry on them.

Ranch Chimp said...

Mornin Guy ... I understand your point's of thought Bum on the gun's issue, right now it's one of them fad thing's I reckon, you got all the fruitcake's for various reason's coming out of the woodwork too, wanting either to kill because of their mental issue's, hatred, or just too sensitive and got their pamties in a bind over senseless thing's. Again, America has a very strong gun culture rooted in it and we DO have some problemo's cause of alot of these folk's (a bmall percentage of freak's basically), which will push/ lead for/ to more changes in time as far as right's to bear, standing ground's, etc, etc. At the same time, we will be also encouraging those who are die hard gun hobbyist's (and fanatic's) to buy more and they also see it as good business, trying to eliminate gun's though in America ... well ... will be a challenge and a half ... too much access on too many avenue's, I mean ... frankly, I can find/ buy illegal gun's/ ammo all day long as well, the black market is saturated with them. I am kind of pro- gun outspoken as well, and have even strongly supported militia's, I just feel it's an importante part of our democracy to protect from tyranny (of course 19th and 21st century America are NOTHING alike looking at societies), you know ... the old school, 2nd amendment stuff, but I DO realize we have some serious problem's too, and something will have to be done. I had gun's since I was a kid of course (along with archery and throwing knives), so I'm kind of comfortable around them, done alot of hunting when I was young, etc (one of my grandson's just asked me to take him hunting sometime, and I havent in year's, but of course will if he insist's)

**** True Story: Once, back about 30 year's ago, a neighbour who was one of them low- rider car show guyz was interested in buying a small .22 cal. pistol I had laying around and no use for (I dont think he knew shit about gun's either), but he wanted to try it to see if it worked ( ... okay? ... of course the damn thing worx ... but ... ) anywayz to cut it short, he seen a stray cat and shot it right there on the street in broad daylight ... I actually got upset with him and said something like "WTF is wrong with you dude ... geeezz!" and he just look's at me with this confusing look on his face saying he just wanted to test it ... geeeezz!

Later Bum, Thanx for the read ....