Monday, July 23, 2012

Past Credit Due

After the most recent mass shootings in Aurora, Colorado, I've heard people express the opinion that we should deny killers the notoriety they seek by not using their names, in essence erasing them from collective memory. And so, we should avoid using the name of... what was his name again?

Oh, right. James Eagan Holmes.

My problem with this is these mass murders occur so frequently, that it is hard to even remember the last rampage killing, let alone the victims, let alone the murderer. So, what the last one? Fort Hood, Texas? Tucson, Arizona, where Gabby Giffords was mutilated? What were the names of those guys, the maniacs that shot people up? I couldn't tell you. I don't think most people could.

And all those thirty-some-plus mass killings over just the past ten years, those are just the ones categorized as mass shootings. What about the gang violence? What about homicides? Here in Chicago, as of July 18th, we've had a murder rate worse than the casualty rate in Afghanistan. Worse than a fucking war zone.

How is it going around the nation? Well, the statistics run about 84 people shot to death per day.
Courtesy Kieran Healy @

Now, the typical weasel logic from the John Wayne can-plinkers and wannabe Rambo range-shooters will invoke a red herring fallacy along the lines of "guns are only tools", or "more people die from automobiles than guns". Well, you know, I'm always using my gun to drill holes in wood and open cans of beer, and, if the sole purpose of cars was to put holes in people, then we might possibly be worried about that auto-related death statistic. But clearly, such arguments are fucking bullshit.

Do we even have to cover the horse-shit argument that, if everyone carried, the incidents for gun violence would drop? Because, you know, it was so satisfying to hear that James Holmes was dropped in a hail of return fire from the movie going audience. What? That didn't happen? But surely there were people in the audience that were packing heat, right? What they doing, aside from undergoing some unfortunate bodily accident? Whimpering and crawling towards the exits? Where is George Zimmerman when you need him? Stalking teenage kids who are packing skittles and ice tea?

Anyone care to name the three people - two men and a woman - who tackled the the gunman who shot Gabby Gifford and others? Were they armed? They were not? There was one person lauded by the right-wing gun-licking press who was packing heat, and he was fortunate enough not to draw. Because he would either a) shot the wrong person, or b) been taken down by cops. Of course, to gun owners, these facts are irrelevant. If only someone had been there to return fire, the loss of life would have been less severe.

Oh, fuck you.

Face it, despite all the pant-shitting from the NRA and the gun/toy rights crowd, the 2nd Amendment is not going away. Period. We will always have guns (currently 88.1 guns per 100 people - the highest ownership rate in the world). And, despite efforts to keep guns out of the hands of the deranged, the inept, and the unstable, those guns will be readily available.

Face it gun owners, this is the price you pay to keep and bear arms. And these maniacs are the bill collectors. Ignoring them is not only dishonest, its delusional.

At least have the common decency and honesty to recognize this fact and remember the victims who, regrettably (ah there's another weasel phrase)  are 'watering the roots of the the tree of liberty' with their blood, so that you can keep and bear arms against some ludicrous imaginary threat to your freedoms.

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