The League had a symposium on Guns in America. I had two entries. The second, which if it hadn’t been accepted as a submission was slated to be a Ghostland post over here, involves my friend Walt, whom I have talked about before:
Walt and I were sitting in the bleachers of the football field of my middle school. What we were doing there, I don’t know. I just knew I was so happy to see him. Ecstatic, even. Enough so that I didn’t notice the peculiarities. Why did he have a rifle in his hand? Why were the bleachers on the wrong side of the field? When did he grow that goatee? Not that I cared. I was talking to my best friend that I’d thought… something had happened to. He mocked me for my exuberant reaction to seeing him. But who cared? That I was talking to him again, and that I embraced him, was enough to make me overlook the fact that I was dreaming and he was, in fact, still dead.
The first is more straightly political. A general look at why gun rights defenders can seem so unreasonable. A lot of it breaks down to simple mistrust:
Not that anyone is calling for guns to be entirely removed from the equation. Except for that guy over there, and that woman over there, that’s a strawman. The iconic hunter will never be challenged. Everybody knows this. And, in case there is any doubt, if you suggest otherwise you will be informed in no uncertain terms that this is the case. A lot of other things happen along the way.
Some of those that assure me that private gun ownership will never be banned because of the second amendment will sometimes suggest that the second amendment doesn’t actually – or shouldn’t actually – prevent the government’s ability to keep people from their guns. Or that it’s stupid or archaic. Others will approvingly cite the homicide statistics of countries that limit or regulate gun ownership far above and beyond what I am assured will ever be sought here. Some will express extreme disdain for gun owners and ownership advocates (not you, you’re okay, but the gun owner I imagine in my head as being common or describe as being common is actually something akin to a psychopath…). Contempt for guns, contempt for gun owners, and contempt for segments of the population we associate with gun ownership and the defense thereof. (Arguments about how bad, paranoid, and/or unreasonable those gun people are aren’t just ineffective with me, but genuinely counterproductive.)
I didn’t mention it in the post, but seriously… can the gun control advocates find a worst point-man for their cause than Mayor Bloomberg? I’m not so sure.