Monday, April 23, 2007

The Joy of Going Bang-Bang

About 20 years ago I sold my last rifle. It’s taken me since then to says this out loud, but I think it’s time to strike our Second Amendment: our precious Right to Bear Arms.

Just to lay some ground-work, I love America and all that she stands for. I’m no lame, left-wing, lip-stick liberal. I’m a Barry Goldwater-Jack Kemp-Ronald Reagan Republican. I’m not as far right as Charlton Heston, Jerry Falwell or Pat Robertson, so rest at ease.

Let me also tell you: I never met a trigger I didn’t like. By age four I had my own BB gun. As I grew, so did several sizes of bullets; then came a lot of buckshot—and I threw some grenades, too. I love the sweet mixed aromas of smoking gun powder and gun oil (if only it was chocolate). I have killed several birds and animals with one kind of gun or another. I ate most of them; that is, we had them for supper. I love tromping through the desert or woods or fields flushing out rabbits, quail, pheasant and whistling doves. Deer and javelina (wild pigs) are fun to drop with a 30-odd-6.

But times change, and needs change, too. And surely after 230 years, we the people have no further need to “bear arms.” You know why Virginia Tech happened? Why Columbine? Why Austin? Why disgruntled postal employees went postal? Because the killers exercised their right to buy and bear arms. Isn’t that silly?

We the people no longer spontaneously gather to defend our country or our ranches. That changed when our military—some of it in outer space now—flexed it muscles in Europe and Japan. The West was finally settled about 100 years ago. We don’t have to saddle up and ride out to shoot our dinner meat anymore. Thank the Lord for refrigeration—and drive-thru windows.

So… Still want to hunt? Great. Hunting is a wonderful way to “get away from it all and make some noise.” First get training and certification. Remember that the Vice President of the United States couldn’t tell the difference between his best friend and one of those cute little quail. When you’re qualified, go to a hunting lease, rent a rifle (only one) and fire away till you shoot something, preferably not another person. Clean up your litter when you’re done.

By the way, while you’re hunting, your vehicle will get a boot till you’ve returned your weapon and accounted for all your ammunition. They’ll let you have your driver’s license back, too.

Just want to shoot for the fun of it? Fine. Go to a shooting range, rent a rifle or pistol (only one) and blast holes in all the targets you can find. Or skeet-shooting is a fun way to spend a quiet afternoon. Flying clay pigeons fly every which way when you hit them. It’s cool. Again, a small rental fee applies.

And while you’re blasting away, your vehicle will get a boot till you’ve returned your weapon and accounted for all your ammunition. They’ll let you have your driver’s license back, too.

Wanna shoot somebody? Join the army then. You’ll get well trained and within a few months to a few years, you’ll get to “bang-bang” all day long—and you don’t have to rent your weapon. They give a monthly salary and all-expense paid trips around the world. And you get to take your gun! I suppose you know that bad guys will “bang-bang” back at you. If things work out just so, your parents or your spouse may get a free flag.

Wanna collect firearms and display them? Ever count how many people shot themselves while they cleaned their “unloaded” guns? A lot! So take a trip to the Smithsonian and ogle till you’ve had your fill. Try collecting butterflies, instead. Catching one of them is more challenging than getting a gun, and you still get to go outside.

Defend your home? That’s important, yes it is. Try big barking dogs. One outside, one inside. That usually keeps those pesky burglars over on another street. 9-1-1 is another option. Oh, lock your doors and windows.

Only outlaws will have guns? We need stricter gun laws? Those are lies from the pit. We the people are creative people, intuitive people, entrepreneurial people. We can improve our lot, we can protect ourselves—without guns and without fear.

Look: our children are shooting each other in every county of the country. It’s their right. Tough young hoods are driving by and killing away just because they can bear arms. Gangsters—young and old—squelch their competition with guns, the quickest way to do that. Certified maniacs run rampant in schools and universities. Addicts shoot 7-11 clerks for the low, low price of just $19.00. Husbands and wives murder each other with pistols they keep in their own bedroom. Four-year-olds accidentally kill their brothers/sisters/playmates because their parents left their “right” laying around in the den. Boyfriends and girlfriends break up with bullets.

Several delightful American people will die tonight because we have this antiquated right to own and use a killing machine. Meanwhile, authorities of every stripe sit with their thumbs up their asses wondering how to stop this carnage. Duh! Take away the guns.

Times have changed. And I think it’s time to change The Second Amendment. I'm sorry.

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