Sunday, October 11, 2015

Guns 'n' Poses

While most of the media oxygen regarding gun violence tends to get sucked out on whatever mass-shooting horror of the week is getting visited upon [pick one:  students/shoppers/family members/neighbors/friends/random bystanders] this time, we shouldn't ignore the incidents of toxic stupidity with firearms that may not even kill anyone, but should at least make folks think about some of the maroons that are allowed to pack heat.

The latest and greatest is this dumb cow in Michigan who shot up a Home Depot parking lot trying to "help" HD security chase down a shoplifter. For some reason the dumb cow has not yet been identified in any of the media reports I've seen, so we'll just keep referring to her as "dumb cow" or "DC." Now, it seems that DC may not even be charged with any crime or infraction. This seems preposterous, yet completely predictable in our gun-culture climate.

Fortunately for DC, she did not hurt anyone. Lucky break for her; I doubt if I'm alone in saying that had my family or I been hit by her stray stupidity while walking across the parking lot, I'd have sued every loose dime out of her. And if she didn't have a pot to piss in or a window to throw it out of, I'd make sure she at least couldn't afford a gun.

Sometimes the worst punishment is to have to explain one's stupidity. DC's punishment should be to have to come forward and tell the class what the hell she was thinking. Part of the problem with our entertainment culture of revenge porn and violent retribution is that it encourages this weird fantasy life where you end up with all these would be Walter Mittys and their projectile-spewing metal penises, always getting the Bad Guy, always Saving The Day. It's unusual for women to fall for this Everyman Action Hero nonsense, but there are female morons too.

And this particular femoron should have to answer some fairly obvious questions:

  • Why, when confronted with a fleeing shoplifter in a place where you are just another customer, is your first instinct to pull your gun and shoot up a parking lot?
  • Why do you think this was an appropriate response to some random dumbass stealing a cordless power drill?
  • What if you had hit an innocent bystander, or someone's vehicle?
  • Hell, what if you had hit the shoplifter?
  • Did we mention that in no civilized country do we inflict deadly force and potential permanent harm on petty thieves?
  • Were you dropped on your fucking head as a child, or recently for that matter?

And as you can see from additional links within the linked article, there are many other instances of completely inexcusable stupidity with guns, frequently in the guise of parents either leaving their guns lying around for their kids to find and use, or giving them these dangerous toys as gifts for small children.

On the one hand, one assumes that the parents of the five-year-old boy who shot his two-year-old sister (and again, note that only the victim and her uncle and grandmother who spoke to the writer are identified by name) will be haunted by this tragedy for the rest of their lives. Which is some measure of punishment.

On the other hand, fuck these people, right in the fucking neck. That kid gets to spend his entire life growing up with the knowledge that he killed his little sister, for no earthly goddamned reason than because his parents couldn't be bothered to secure a loaded weapon from him when he was far too young to know better. And while we're at it, fuck that grandmother too. This was no "accident," lady. This was entirely 100% preventable. If this was some divine plan, I'd hate to be a follower of the deranged deity who concocted it.

(Seriously, what sort of benevolent god, in wanting to "call home" yet another one of its countless billions of precious souls, would decide that the best way to do it would be in such a way that the rest of the family is forever fucked up? I mean, I get that these rubes are just spouting whatever feel-good catch-phrases the local snake-handler has drummed into their low foreheads, but have any of them thought through how their half-baked logic plays out? That's not the plan of a divine force that loves us all, it's the scheme of a half-mad Lovecraftian demi-urge.)

The crazy thing is when there are no consequences for these sorts of occurrences. The dumb cow in the Home Depot parking lot should be charged with a crime, otherwise we can all just tote guns and fire them off at random whenever someone looks a little hinky. The parents of this little psychopath need to be charged with leaving a loaded shotgun where their precious darling could grab it any old time the girl he was bullying at school didn't do what he told her to. These things are not accidents, and it's high time we stopped portraying them as such.

I stand by my earlier rationales that, just as we don't ban cars because of drunk drivers, we shouldn't ban guns because of morons and deranged assholes. But we do punish drunk drivers; we take away their licenses, their vehicles, if they kill someone in an "accident" they will probably do some time. It's not about forbidding the deadly devices outright, it's about holding individuals fully accountable for their careless disregard and misuse of those devices.

Because the economy now only really works for the handful of transnational merchant princes who control it and the government, things like race and guns -- even if never quite explicitly stated as such -- are going to be defining issues heading into the real election season to come. The teabagger movement has turned this into the decade of the empowered yahoo so far, and that shows no sign of abating.

One way liberal candidates can beat the gun nuts at their own game is to completely avoid even the notional argument of gun control, and simply encourage consequences across the board for irresponsible use. If we lock up gang-bangers for the innocents killed by their drive-bys and heat-packing shorties, then we need to do the same for the Cletus types who leave a fucking 12-gauge shotgun loaded in an unlocked closet for their dipshit kid to grab when he's having a bad day, or shoot up a parking lot playing out some pre-menopausal Dirty Harriet fantasy.

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