Thursday, September 19, 2013

Blind Love

Calhoun's Cannons for Sept 19, 2013

 The US seems a country hell-bent on its own failure
                                      Clive Crook

Did you know that in Iowa, the very heartland of America, a legally blind man can go into a gun store and buy any kind of weapon he wants?  It's true.  And it's delicious to think about.  The white cane.  The guide dog.  The AR-15.  It's the perfect symbol for what America has become.

It's perfect because it's absurd, its potential for pointless, bloody death is extremely high, and nobody with a lick of sense seems to think that this was not a good idea.  That's because, in America, guns trump public safety, trump common sense, trump everything.  And the public's appetite for pointless, bloody death is still not slaked. Far from it.  Our blood lust seems limitless.

Twenty-two little slaughtered kids didn't do the trick.  Now, 12 more killings at the Washington Navy Yard hardly caused a ripple, except for the usual media hand-wringing: A few days of, Oh, Dear, sigh, well, nothing to be done, our hearts go out to the families, time for closure, let's move on. And we got a few days of the usual questions -- How did a deranged man get his hands on weapons without even a background check? The answers  remain buried in the back pages, but I'll give you a hint: With the NRA's help, all sensible gun laws have carefully crafted loopholes built in to them to make the laws basically moot -- mere window dressing to shut up the noisy grieving parents and heart-broken, outraged communities.

That's because, in a country that finds nothing absurd in selling guns to blind people, gun ownership trumps everything. After all, it's a "right," and "rights" can always be demagogued even into absurdity -- one town's mandatory own/carry law that forces even blind fools into being gun-toting vigilantes. What can possibly go wrong with that?

And so we plod on, the body count growing, day by day.  And that's clearly O.K. with us.  That's how much we love our guns.  More than our children, more than our fellow citizens.  So we pretend to write gun laws that are more sieve than shield, then shift the blame for the mayhem to video games and mental health and poverty and poor schools, all of which can be ignored utterly since doing something about those interlocked and complicated things will require higher taxes and a heavy-lift commitment to create (and pay for) a decent society.  So, that's off the table. Who wants a decent society when we can have a society that sells guns to blind people?

So America turns itself into one big "Jackass" movie.  Absurd, idiotic, with a high potential for pointless, bloody, sophomoric mayhem.  Which is why I now find myself turning the page and changing channels when news of another slaughter appears.  It's not "compassion fatigue," really.  More like "rerun fatigue."  It's all become annoying background noise, like a loud lawnmower motor on a quiet Sunday morning;  You know you can't do anything about it since your neighbor has a "right" to mow his lawn anytime he wants to, and his "right" to mow his lawn trumps your "right" to peace and quiet.  So you block the sound from your mind since nothing will be done to change the situation.  

It's a hell of a way to live, especially since We the People have the tools and the capacity to create a different country, but choose not to.  And so we end up with a country that sees no problem in selling guns even to blind people. And then keeps wondering why things keep going so terribly wrong.



Sandra Gore said...

There are some that say better ten guilty men go free than one innocent man is convicted. Guess we could apply same logic here. Better 100 people die than one man denied his right to own a gun.

Billy Dunne said...

My reaction when I read they are granting gun permits to blind people in Iowa? “Oh well. God bless America.”

And when the mass shooting took place at the Washington Navy Yard? “Ho hum. God bless America. You get what you ask for.”

Sure it’s cynical. But the comically predictable routine we have grown to expect in the wake of these shootings has become tiresome. The media orgasm; the hand wringing; the interviews with dead people’s relatives; the homespun stories about acts of heroism in the face of tragedy; the portrait of the shooter as a crazed lunatic who was hearing voices; the questions how such a person could buy a gun; the inevitable NRA company line BS; the burials; flags at half mast; moments of silence; a distracted public forgetting the whole thing a week later; lather; rinse; repeat.

If 20 dead kids did nothing to convince an American public that their fascination with guns needs a serious intervention, nothing will. Over 24,000 people have been killed by guns since Newtown. This year alone there have been 17 mass shootings. (A mass shooting defined as one that kills 4 or more people.)

“Monday's mass shooting at Washington's Navy Yard has revived the gun-control debate in the halls of Congress, but don't expect a vote on legislation, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said Tuesday.
"We're going to move this up as quickly as we can, but we've got to have the votes first," Reid told reporters after a closed-door lunch with the Democratic caucus. "We don't have the votes. I hope we get them, but we don't have them now."”

(psssttt Harry. Over here. I have a little secret for you: You’re NEVER going to get them. Ever.)

So wring your hands America. Cry at your memorials. Lower your flags. Remember your dead. Shake your fists.

Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

Churadogs said...

You know what's so funny about this: The constitution links bearing arms to a well regulated militia. O.K. Fine. Let's get our militias well regulated. If you're a citizen, you're in the militia and we're going to organize you. That includes registering your "arms" so we'll know who has what when we have to call you out for muster to defend the free state, as in, a reverse Amber call saying, You AR-15's, go to Fifth and Main St. All you Glock-9s, head for the Armory. Mr. Smith, bring your bazooka to the drainage ditch on Hwy 16 and meet Mr. jones who's bringing the bazooka shells. Then, of course, to be well regulated, we'll require training so when we call you out for muster we know you know how to use your "arms." (Can't have a well regulated militia if nobody knows how to load their "arms" or even shoot straight.) If you're a drunk, crazy, can't shoot straight, we'll boot you out of the militia since this is a well regulated militia and you can't have armed thugs running loose in the streets. That's one thing a well regulated militia is designed to guard against, i.e. the preservation of a free state. I mean, a state isn't "free" if it's filled with dangerous, armed,unregulated crazy people running around shooting its citizens. So, you can have all kinds of guns so long as you're in the well regulated militia. Get booted out of the militia for cause, no guns for you.

There, done. All nicely constitutional.

Yes, i know. NEVER gonna happen. We love the blood too much. Addicted to the stuff.