Incoming! Another barrage of thoughts and prayers…
Here in Texas, we live under a continuing rain of thoughts and prayers, and what is being broadcast on Fake News? Some stupid hurricane.
Here under the bombardment, it’s hard not to notice that there are considerably more prayers than thoughts.
The whole mass shooting issue can be reduced to two aphorisms, one originating with the National Rifle Association and the other with one of several hippie cartoon characters that dispensed timeless wisdom along with the laughs. These characters are virtually unknown outside those of us who immersed ourselves in sex, drugs, and rock ‘n roll and therefore were doomed to lives outside the American Dream.
We would have no careers; only a series of gigs.
We would have no two story house with a white picket fence; only our corner of a filthy crash pad where we would of necessity have sex in front of other people.
We would have no marriages; only relationships that, at most, qualified as serial monogamy.
We would have no children; when birth control failure coincided with insufficient funds for an abortion, the child would be put off on our parents or on the government.
We would have no guns; when the caravans of brown people surged over our borders and those teeming hordes forced everybody to speak Spanish, we would be unable to defend ourselves or the Queen’s English. Oops, I mean the President’s English — what he has of it.
Such was our doom, the bleak future for people who found wisdom in Gilbert Shelton’s Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers, who taught:
Dope will get you through times of no money better than money will get you through times of no dope.
Texas is not the land of hippies, though. Texas is the land of successful mass shootings, from 1966 to the present. After each mass shooting, the legislature makes it easier to carry guns in more places. We are just about in a situation where a police officer on the beat who responds to an active shooter call will find himself the only person on the scene armed with just one pistol.
Mass murderers think about what they intend and prepare accordingly. Instead of the Freak Brothers, they are more likely to attend to R. Crumb’s Mr. Natural, who taught:
At home or at work, get the right tool for the job.
A deer rifle? Seriously?
OK, let’s forget about the bolt action or lever action that never seemed to slow down serious hunters. Human beings are a different kind of game and they are much more clever.
Full automatic is legal but insanely expensive and if you do it legally the government will have your name on a license. The logical compromise is a semiautomatic. It requires no special license that would call attention to you; the cost is well within the range of a minimum wage worker who lives in his mother’s basement and is willing to save for some months. Most importantly, it will fire as fast as you can pull the trigger.
Now, the issue with a full automatic when hunting two-leggeds is that you run out of bullets too quickly. Even soldiers had that problem in the heat of combat, so now the assault rifles issued to the grunts fire in short bursts.
If you get really rowdy with your semiautomatic rifle, you may cause the same problem…you will find it too soon that you pull the trigger (when really rowdy you don’t squeeze the trigger) and nothing happens. Your magazine is empty.
That’s when you will be proud of your NRA membership card. Every time limiting magazine capacity has come up, NRA lobbyists are able to beat it back. I’m not sure which theory they use.
That the wild game are so wild they intend to return fire?
That the home invasions in your neighborhood come in human waves?
Whichever, the NRA is always able to persuade Congress that you will be in dire straits if you are limited to ten rounds
The last distinction between a deer rifle and an assault rifle, between the proper tool for hunting four-leggeds and the proper tool for hunting two-leggeds, is the fright factor.
A deer rifle is only scary to somebody who is scared of guns generally. An assault rifle is likely to scare anybody who has never been in the military and handled one. By “scare” I mean put in a condition of upset sufficient to interfere with judgment.
A veteran may see an active shooter with an assault rifle and mutter under his or her breath, “Oh, shit.” That only means the challenge got harder — not that the veteran has lost the ability to think clearly.
Of course, you probably don’t have to worry about a veteran being in your face just as you release the empty magazine. When I was a kid, veterans were over half of the male population and a growing percentage of the female population. Now we have wars that last an entire generation carried by about one percent of the population. Ooo-RAH!
Just keep away from military bases and your chances of being confronted by somebody who knows more about your weapon than you do are really slim.
You will eventually be confronted by one or more law enforcement officers, but unless they are SWAT, they’ll be armed with a 9 mm pistol and maybe a shotgun. With one assault rifle of reasonable quality, you will have the cops way out-gunned.
An assault rifle is designed for the purpose of taking as many troops out of the fight as possible as quickly as possible. A really terrible wounding is as good as a killing because it takes out two if one stops to pull the wounded person to safety.
The proper tool for the job you have in mind is the scary one: an assault rifle with lots of spare magazines.
Finally, when you need an expert, consult one. In this case, the font of all wisdom about homicide is the NRA and so it follows they would have the public policy issue nailed. Wasn’t it the NRA that admonished us to always remember
People don’t kill people; guns kill people.
It wasn’t the NRA? My bad. But read the numbers in the link above. I’m sure you’ll be convinced that a craftsman — in this case, a homicidal maniac — -is only as good as his tools.
This post was previously published on Medium and is republished here with permission from the author.
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