Saturday, June 14, 2014
The Pilot Newspaper: Opinion
You know what? I give up.
It’s been a terrible week for gun violence in this country, and I don’t see any way it’s ever going to get better. So, unable to beat the firearms aficionados (so much nicer a term that “gun nuts”), I’ve decided to join them.
Check out the butcher’s bill just in the past few days:
June 5: A mentally ill gunman enters a university building at Seattle Pacific University, kills one man and wounds two others before being pepper-sprayed and subdued.
June 6: A 48-year-old man in Forsyth County, Ga., attempts to attack the county courthouse with an assault rifle and grenades, shooting a deputy in the leg before being brought down by police officers.
June 8: A husband-and-wife team of right-wing activists, shouting, “This is the start of a revolution,” shoots and kills a pair of Las Vegas police officers before entering a Walmart and killing a civilian before the female shooter kills her husband, then herself.
June 10: A man with a rifle enters a high school in Troutdale, Ore., kills one person, and wounds a teacher before apparently taking his own life.
If we’d been attacked by brown-skinned Muslims this many times in a week, the whole country would be in lockdown. A few idiots failed to blow up planes with shoes and liquid bombs a few years ago, and now you can’t carry more than three ounces of toothpaste onto a plane, and you have to take off your shoes to get through screening.
But if the killing is being committed by white people with guns, it’s all, “Well, geez, nothing we can do about it,” unless the killers were shouting “Allah akbar” as they opened fire. If the massacre of schoolchildren at Sandy Hook isn’t enough to get even expanded background checks past the U.S. Congress, there’s no hope for any kind of reasonable gun regulation.
We could always deal with the issues of mental illness that drives shooters over the edge. But I don’t see any political will to address any of those issues either, because it’s going to cost money. And we all know who counts every penny of the cost of everything but war.
So I’ve given in to despair. I accept it. You’re right. The only way to stop bad guys with guns is for all the good guys to have guns. I say “all,” because the lone “good guy with a gun” who tried to stop one of the Las Vegas cop shooters got shot in the head by the female member of the duo. Clearly, that would have been prevented if more people in the area had guns.
The only thing left to do is for everyone, and I mean everyone, to arm themselves. The good news is that given the radical expansion of Stand Your Ground laws, it’ll soon be legal to waste people who even look like they’re about to snap.
In a world where there are more and more crazy people with access to guns, a world where there are more and more mass shootings, the standard of a “reasonable belief” that your life is in danger becomes a lower and lower bar to get over. Anyone, anywhere, could be the next mass shooter, so all of us, everywhere, need to watch our butts.
Remember, though, there are also more and more people who could be a threat. The Las Vegas shooters, for example, were far-right anti-government activists. It’s now clear that those people are at least as dangerous and ready to kill Americans as radical Muslims. So people waving those “Don’t Tread On Me” flags (like the one the Las Vegas shooters draped over their victims) need to be careful they don’t make any sudden moves that could be construed as threatening.
Not all conservatives are radical killers, of course, but some of them apparently are. If we’re going to demonize all Muslims because of the action of a few crazies, it’s only fair we keep a close eye on tea partiers, Rand Paul supporters and the like.
There’ll also probably be some unfortunate incidents when open carry advocates get mistaken for mass shooters, but you know how it is. Omelets, eggs, etc.
Oh, and you lonely nerds who complain all the time about how hot girls don’t go for you nice guys? We remember what happened in Santa Barbara. So don’t even look at me narrow-eyed, young man. I mean it.
You win, gun nuts — sorry, Second Amendment Patriots. You’re strapped, I’m strapped, and here we go, over the edge. This is the Wild West world you wanted, this is the world we’ll all have to live in.
But probably not for long.