Shooters, Shooters Everywhere

Shooter Paul Anthony Ciancia

Airport Shooter Paul Anthony Ciancia

Just as the Christmas shopping season is about to begin, people are newly afraid to go to shopping centers, airports, and other public places because of the growing trend of what the New Jersey police call “Suicide by Cop.” Some unbalanced person gets a cache of firearms with enough bullets to depopulate a mid-sized town and then goes on a shooting spree until he is felled by the police. In the meantime, a number of innocent people who just had the misfortune of being there at the time lie dead or wounded on the ground.

For this trend, we must thank the members of the National Rifle Association (NRA) for their desire to promote the sale of firearms to certifiable loonies and, in general, to deteriorate the quality of life in America. The pudgy-fingered, middle-aged members of the NRA are accessories to murder and mayhem, which they defend by referring to themselves as a militia per the Second Amendment. Since when are militias created to thin the population of innocent men, women, and children? I am sure that Wayne La Pierre and other gun whores have what they consider to be a perfectly legitimate argument. To which I counter thus: There was a time when this sort of thing didn’t happen. You gun fanciers made it possible and, in fact, easy. Therefore you are responsible.

After November 15, I avoid visiting shopping centers and other places where people congregate to buy gifts. I feel sorry for the so-called brick-and-mortar retail establishments because I feel that their influence on American culture will eventually wane. For years now, I have done virtually all my holiday shopping on the Internet. It is just not worth exposing Martine and myself to well-armed fruitcakes in large target-rich public places. And, besides, the parking has always been a major hassle.

So, is it possible that the shooters will put an end to most public manifestations of Christmas? That’s something to think about. After all, the trend is nowhere near dying down. If there’s one thing the United States is richly endowed with, it’s lunatics.

Right Wing Poster Boy Goes Bad

It Didn’t Take Long for Him to Show His True Stripes

It Didn’t Take Long for Him to Show His True Stripes

George Zimmerman has gone over to the Dark Side. Actually, I am of the opinion he was never far from it. His behavior since being acquitted in the “Stand Your Ground” murder of Trayvon Martin shows him to have been guilty—just like O. J. Simpson’s armed robbery in Las Vegas put the skids on any sympathy he may have gotten from his 1990s murder trial.

In the news today is word that the right wing poster boy is in custody after threatening his estranged wife with a gun. Shellie Zimmerman claims that her Georgie Boy was verbally abusive. And the misuse of guns appears to be a chronic problem with him.

I remember an ad that used to run on L.A. television stations years ago for a law enforcement school in which the first benefit listed was that graduates could “arrest offenders.” Or, in other words, carry a gun and feel a surge of power. Perhaps it is people like Zimmerman who should, at all costs, be kept away from firearms.

This is probably not the last we’ll hear of the Floridian neighborhood watch guy with the itchy trigger finger.

A Terrible Mistake

The Temptation to Kill the Wrong Person Can Be Overwhelming

The Temptation to Kill the Wrong Person Can Be Overwhelming

Right off the bat, I don’t know whether Oscar Pistorius is guilty of deliberately murdering his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp (shown above) South African cities are in fact dangerous, and the rates for murder, assault, robbery, rape, and other crimes are so high that many who leave the country do so for that reason. In the weeks to come, we shall see if the runner can convince the courts that a terrible mistake occurred.

A terrible mistake … that is an expression that frequently occurs in gun death cases. One of my former co-workers had a son in high school who found one of his father’s guns and accidentally shot himself to death. I knew the boy and thought it highly unlikely that he entertained any thoughts of suicide. His mother and father are now divorced, and the mother left California to be as far as possible from her ex.

A terrible mistake … It could well be that Oscar Pistorius thought the person in the bathroom was an intruder. In South Africa, the chances of that are fairly high. But, I’m sorry, if I had a gun, I would squirrel it away in an all but inaccessible place and use it only for target shooting. Spur-of-the-moment judgment is too chancy a faculty to use for deciding whether or not to take a life—any life. I think I would rather be killed by an intruder than, for example, to shoot Martine accidentally—an act which would forever darken my life.

A terrible mistake … No, I don’t think one out of a thousand shootings, especially within the home, are anything but a terrible mistake.

Perhaps the biggest cost of having guns ready at hand is the loss of the people we love. I think Reeva Steenkamp was a rare beauty. It’s a pity she won’t be around any more.

What Does It Really Say?

Your Unfriendly Neighborhood Gun Freak

Your Unfriendly Neighborhood Gun Freak

Since we will soon be embroiled in a shouting match with the gun crazies of America, let’s see what the Second Amendment really says. The full text is as follows: “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.”

Let me begin by saying that I literally think this is correct. (Many other quotes the gun lobby uses to support their arguments are notoriously bogus.)

My interpretation of the Second Amendment is simple: The people who have guns should constitute a “well regulated militia,” complete with uniforms and officers. My suggestion for the uniform would consist of neon colors with shooting targets covering the vital organs. Every 4th of July, we should celebrate this amendment by organizing the militia into circular firing squads and having them engage in target practice with live ammunition. For this purpose, they could use assault weapons if they wish.

There should be a special Medal of Honor struck for militia members who fall during this drill with a pink ribbon with a spent shell casing dangling from it.

If you should run into some gun nut, keep trying to pin him down on the whole “well regulated” concept, because I do believe that must NRA fanatics are seriously in need of heavy and binding regulation.

Suburban Inferno

Evil Lurks in the Suburbs of America

Evil Lurks in the Suburbs of America

The motto comes from Walt Kelly’s late cartoon strip: “We have met the enemy and he is us.”

Here I am, a white male, a member of a demographic segment that is causing incredible violence across the United States. We would much rather persecute gays, Muslims, African-Americans, Hispanics—but what about us? Adam Lanza, the Newport shooter, was one of us. Is it time to start profiling white males?

After the Second World War, while the people of Europe and Asia were picking up the pieces of their lives, we went through an unprecedented period of prosperity. We moved from the cities to the suburbs, thinking we could leave all our problems behind us. But that is not what happened: We took the problems with us, in the form of our children.

There we lived in our self-contained ranch houses on cul-de-sacs across the country, hiding the fact that inside our cute little homes were millions of dysfunctional families. When mental health care began to blink into non-existence in the 1980s, we hid our shame as much as we could. That, however, did not work. You can’t suppress the horror. It will out. It did out last Friday in a Connecticut suburb.

That Says It All

That Says It All

What to do about it? We can begin the long, slow road toward gun control. That wouldn’t have helped at Sandy Hook Elementary School because the weapons were legally obtained, and then stolen from the shooter’s mother, herself a victim. We could talk about better mental health care, but mental health in this country is at a strange crossroads, where we are repudiating many old methods and increasingly relying on anti-depressant medications to do all the heavy lifting.

Perhaps we just have to admit our vulnerability. The craziest people in America today are white males. And you are reading this blog post by a white male. Don’t worry about me, however, I not only don’t have any guns; but I never want to own any firearms. I’m all right, but watch out for all the other white males. Some crazy shit out there!

The NRA Is a Terrorist Organization

Logo for America’s Newest Terrorist Organization

Logo for America’s Newest Terrorist Organization

I think it’s time to face the fact that—under the guise of allowing pudgy old white men to play with guns—the real intent of the National Rifle Association (NRA) is to facilitate the slaughter of innocents by confirmed lunatics.

The number of slaughtered innocents just went up today when a “shooter” (such a neutral term for such a hideous type of person) killed more than two dozen kids and teachers at a Connecticut school today.

Still, whatever happens, the Republican party will try to bury any negative response because so many of their supporters are pudgy old white men who like to play with guns. It doesn’t matter whether thousands of little boys and girls die under a hail of bullets, that’s just the price we pay for allowing pudgy old white men who like to play with guns to have a disproportionate say in the political process.

Perhaps what we need here is some computer matching: Camouflage clothing + body armor + assault weapons and, in general, multiple guns + young male + psychological problems + lack of education = possible “shooter.” It would take quite a bit of doing to link all that information together, but there does seem to be a pattern.

It’s a tough pattern to break. We look at ourselves as a nation of Marlboro Cowboys, whereas actually we’re a nation of psychopaths.