Wednesday, December 18, 2013


I avoided writing anything on the anniversary of the Sandy Hook massacre mainly because I anticipated another media circus surrounding the anniversary.

I've written before about guns and gun safety. I don't think I need to repeat myself. I would like to point out that there are other countries out there that have almost as many guns per capita as the US of A, but manage not to kill their babies with them.

The 2nd amendment is under no danger of disappearing. Americans who own guns should - despite all of their public pant-shitting and whining - not worry that their guns will be confiscated. Guns are here to stay. Which means idiots with guns are here to stay. (And really, this whole "assault on our freedoms" horseshit is just a lament that white people don't get to do whatever they want anymore).

Yeah, I know the statistics that more people drown in pools than die from firearms. That only suggests to me that people who are completely irresponsible with something as relatively benign as a swimming pool probably are not going to do well with a firearm. Or so I can hope.

I do hope that firearm deaths go up. I do hope more children shoot themselves with loaded and unsecured firearms left casually about the house. I do hope that hunting accidents go up; that homeowners mistake their loved ones for intruders, that more ricochets take out eyes; and pierce skulls, and maim limbs from nonchalant target shooters plinking at the wrong kind of targets. Because, as far as I can see, the threshold of twenty children being slaughtered - children that most people would agree are at the cutest stage of life - apparently isn't enough for gun safety to be taken seriously by Americans.

So, I'll just close this with a story. Honestly at this stage, I can't tell you if this is the way events went down. But it's the way I remember it. My role in it all of it might sound like bragging, but I wasn't purposely trying to do what I did. I was just reacting to the situation. I asked my brother about the incident, and he remembers it the way I do, so, I'll just tell the story.

About thirty years ago, a bunch of us went out to target shooting, which we did regularly. We used a friend's relative's land to go shooting in. The property is situated in what is called the Valparaiso moraine, a line south of Lake Michigan where a glacier had bulldozed Canada into a set of rolling hills and deep valleys. The property had deep cut creeks running through the accumulated clay and sand, thickly grown over with oak, elm and maple. The steep clay banks made for perfect backdrops to shoot into.

This being Indiana, practically every creek bed had abandoned hillbilly trash in it: old trucks, cars, washing machines, sofas, cupboards, stoves, you name it. Plenty of targets to shoot at.

So, we are out for a pleasant afternoon of shooting, when, to the east we hear shots, and then then the sound of buckshot flying through the leaves above our heads. Bird hunters.

We shout out that there's people over this way. But we are all relatively safe, seeing as they are shooting up into the trees and we are down in a creek bed. Unfortunately, our friend's brother is with us, and he is not only a hothead, but an idiot.

I should tell you, this guy has always had a short fuse, was always kind of weaselly shrimp with a chip on his shoulder, had just recently been discharged from the Army, which did it's best to fuck his head up even more than what it was. (This is not to disparage the Army. I merely note that their methods seem to exaggerate qualities already inherent in their charges, and in this case they exaggerated the guy into a full-blown asshole).

Now, you can rightly say that WE were the idiots for letting him go shooting with us. And, sigh, you'd be justified in that statement.

In any case, the hothead goes charging off east with shotgun in hand. The rest of us look stupidly at each for a moment, and then all at the same time realize that this motherfucker is going to confront the birdhunters. "Oh, shit" we all say, and go charging off after the hothead. One of us, not me, had the presence of mind to order us to leave our weapons behind. Which we did.

So, we run, and after not too far a distance, I come over a ridge to find two hunters standing terrified as this fuckhead - our fuckhead - has his shotgun pointed at them screaming incoherent shit about private property. With my appearance over the ridge, one of the hunters starts to bring up his rifle in reaction.

I throw up my hands, and shout "Whoa! Whoa!" Fuckhead is still screaming at these guys, and without thinking about it, I get my unarmed body in between the fuckhead and the hunters with my hands still up. I guess it was not very smart to do that, but I saw an instant wave of relief from the hunter's when I interposed myself. Still, not fucking smart at all, and way beyond faith that the idiot doesn't send a shotgun blast into my back.

It was this point that the fuckhead's brother and the rest of crew show up, and someone, not me, says "Get that shotgun out of that fucker's hands, will you?"

So, crisis averted. The brother and I apologize profusely, which doesn't help because now the hunters are angry at the harrowing encounter they've just been through. They want to bitch and berate us, and I say "Don't make things worse. Just turn around and go". And you're welcome.

That's the way I remember it. Like I say, I was not thinking, and things could have just have easily gone much, much worse as they did.

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