It was seven years ago yesterday that this blog was started on a pretext of unleashing satirical musings on the world at large. My first entry (nearly 700 entries ago) was just a “Hi how are you” introduction without any outrageous one-liners worthy of remembrance. The second blog entry had something to do with a championship race horse making its owners lots of money in stud fees, and my subsequent attempts to convince Kelly, a resident of our household at the time, to become a championship racehorse so he could pursue a similar lucrative career track.
There was on catch: Kelly was a cat, which in itself disqualified him from horse racing. Well, much has changed in the last seven years. The racehorse in question has most likely gone to that great paddock in the sky, and Kelly is also cavorting in fields of catnip (with our other males Sydney and Steven) in a feline hereafter.
And yet we are still here, skewering simpletons, hyperventilating over hypocrisy and hyperbole, and stating nasty things in general about conservatives. Today’s anniversary entry will be no different.
One of big issues on this side of the new year remains gun control, which is always simmering just below our media radar, and which boiled up with the recent massacre in Newtown, CT. The horrific events at Newtown, where 20 children and six adults were gunned down, renewed calls for more rigid gun control laws. The leading gun lobby group, the National Rifle Association, remained silent for nearly a week (which might be a record for them). When NRA head Wayne LaPierre finally did speak, he recommended that new gun bans were not the answer, but rather armed “good guys” in the nation’s schools to take out the “bad guys”. In other words, it was just another day in the NRA's America.
The derision aimed at LaPierre’s remarks was universal and nearly unanimous. The NRA’s offer to train the police for free was a nice gesture, but who wants armed guards where young children are trying to learn all the lessons they need to live a long, productive life? Adults with guns in the school hall ways cannot be good shui. Hey, here’s an idea that’s just as loopy as LaPierre’s: why don’t we just close the schools (we’re always fighting over how to fund them anyway) and just transfer little Johnny and Susie to the state penitentiaries (which aren’t the subject of funding fights at least in Pennsylvania…go figure). There the children will get an education AND be safe from those people who would use guns against them.
How does that suggestion jive with your world view, LaPierre?
Of course, any armed guard in the school would have to do their job out of a sense of love and compassion for their young charges. On the other hand, if they love children too much it can become another problem. Just ask Jerry Sandusky.
LaPierre also blamed the violence in our video games and the movies for desensitizing our morals. So how do we combat this in our quest to squelch gun violence? Have Congress enact mandatory retirement for the likes of Bruce Willis, Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Jean Claude van Damme? Or should we convince them to devote their careers to character roles in the chick films made exclusively for the Hallmark channel. (Hey, now that Ernest Borgnine and Peter Falk are gone, there are some openings for curmudgeonly but adorable elderly character actors.)
And what about video games…oh, wait, we can’t outlaw them because of that pesky old First Amendment. The idea that free speech trumps freedom to possess guns must gnaw on the nerves of gun lovers everywhere. Oh well, chalk up one for the Founding Fathers having common sense!
And who will determine who the good guys and bad guys are in our society? Hey, LaPierre, can you guarantee us that someone who is a good guy today will always be a good guy, and not be swayed to become a bad guy due to events or unseen forces in their lives? We are all born neutral, presumably without a thought of malice or destruction in our minds or DNA. Those thoughts come later as we grow and LIFE HAPPENS!
The fictional cinema series Star Wars presents a perfect example. The character of Anakin Skywalker is identified at an early age as having a spiritual understanding known as “the Force”. The young lad is fast-tracked to become a Jedi Knight, a proud noble army of “good guys” who preserve the peace in the universe. Unfortunately (dum-de-dum-dum), LIFE HAPPENS. Anakin’s mother is kidnapped and tortured to death (I believe her captors force her to watch episodes of Here Comes Honey Boo Boo hours on end until she gives up the ghost), and Anakin does not take this well. He commits mass murder (in this case with a light saber), thus starting his descent into “the Dark Side” where the “bad guys” reside.
This type of transformation is not exclusive to works of fiction; it happens all the time in real life. Sometimes it can be a life altering event, sometimes it is fueled by drugs or alcohol. Regardless of the cause, there is no guarantee in life that all of us will end up being the same people we were when our lives started. There is no guarantee that all of us are destined to be responsible gun owners. Not everyone is suitable for gun ownership, and this certainly includes the mentally ill, who cannot determine right from wrong.
LaPierre prefaced his suggestion for armed guards with the statement, “Call me crazy, but...” Now, how can I, a liberal leaning blogger, turn down such an invitation? Yes, LaPierre, for your naïve suggestion that more guns in schools are the answer, I will pronounce you crazy, also lunatic, insane, and nuts. In short, you are the type of person who should not be allowed to own a gun in this country.
(Thank you for reading. Sylvester Stallone, adorable? Yes, I was kidding!)