Friday, January 25, 2013

Falling up somehow*

On Saturday, a 15-year-old boy near Albuquerque, New Mexico, shot his mom dead with a .22-caliber rifle as she slept. He told police his mom had annoyed him, and that he thought of suicide and homicide.

Little brother, sleeping next to mom, didn't believe the boy had shot her, so the boy showed little brother her bloodied face — then shot and killed little brother. Then he shot and killed two young sisters. This is what he told police, the Associated Press reports.

Next he grabbed a semiautomatic assault rifle from his parents' closet, and waited in a downstairs bathroom for his dad, a church pastor and volunteer chaplain at a county jail, to come home from helping at a rescue mission. The boy fired multiple rounds, killing his father as he walked past the bathroom door.

The boy put two guns into a family car and thought of shooting shoppers at a Wal•Mart, but went to his girlfriend's house instead. He also told police he thought of killing his girlfriend's family. Instead he told congregants at his church that he had killed his family.
Oh, well.

When you're upholding our absolute right under the Second Amendment to keep and bear arms, sometimes these things happen. It's too bad, but what are you gonna do? Call it … collateral damage.
Also on Saturday, five people were accidentally shot at gun shows in three states. The Associated Press reported three people were injured in Raleigh, North Carolina, when the owner of a shotgun accidentally fired it as he unzipped the gun from its case at a security checkpoint. A man in Indianapolis, Indiana, shot himself in the hand as he was leaving a show. A gun dealer in Medina, Ohio, accidentally pulled the trigger on a new purchase and injured his friend.
Saturday was Gun Appreciation Day.
What?! They were appreciating their guns!
On Wednesday, two high school students in Albany, California, were shot by assailants apparently interested in taking their basketball shoes.
That's old school, and old news. Happens all the time.

So it goes.

I'm waiting for the gun lobby to accuse gun-control advocates of orchestrating these heinous shootings and exercises in social Darwinism as a misguided effort to demonstrate that guns galore create environments for heinous shootings like these.

In these days of galling lies and stunts and hoaxes from the people we're expected to believe and admire, I wouldn't be surprised …
(Callow and cruel digression: If you owned multiple guns, including assault weapons, and you heard 27 people, most of them small children, had been shot in Newtown, Connecticut, wouldn't you say to yourself, "Hey! I have just such weapons! And I have children! Maybe I should be careful about where I put my Constitutionally guaranteed weapons, and about who can get them?" 

Wouldn't you take steps to make it so? Wouldn't you see the possibility of disquieting parallels?

Wouldn't you?)
People are killed by knives and hammers too, says the gun lobby. Should we ban them too?

I'm going to take a wild guess here, but I think killing with a knife is hard work. A lot of strength is involved, you have to swing or jab many times, you have the inconvenient problem of the victim not wanting to die, fighting back. Same goes for hammers.

Guns are immediate and distant, an instant expenditure of rage. Household with a troubled family member = Anguish and anger and confusion and heartache and impotence and a threat to family resolve. Now dangle a gun.

Ban automobiles! They kill too!

But the primary purpose of automobiles is not to kill people — and those who kill with cars are most often impaired, not intending to kill. Laws are imperfect to limit those deaths, but laws and regulations exist; they are upheld, and they work.

We own guns, the National Rifle Association and advocates say, to prevent tyranny, a noble notion imbedded in the Constitution. Nothing, therefore, can change gun policy. No ground may be given up in debate. No consideration for limiting access to guns. Absolutely, tyrannically, none.

So who decides tyranny? Who determines it's time to raise arms? Who determines the target? Who organizes this well-regulated militia, whatever that is?

It seems many opponents have made a straw tyrant of Barack Obama since he became president, with a talking-point vitriol and Orwellian newspeak I had never heard before in my life.

What of teapot tyrants? Do we start shooting when a town council denies a zoning permit? When animal control tells me to leash my dog? When are assault weapons justified here?

The brother of the New Mexico pastor shot and killed by his son said we shouldn't make the killings a political issue. So, it's just the tragic fate of a troubled family, then.

Just add guns.

*"Marker in the Sand," Pearl Jam, a jabbing satire of Bush administration war policy, which I'm sure not enough people heard.

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