Monday, June 09, 2014

Here's what I'm kind of bothered by right now.

On the bright side, look
how svelte I'm getting!
Before I state my concern, let me give you a little background. When I was in the military, I served in combat support units as a vehicle operator. That means I was never in a unit whose primary function was to go fight in battle. However, every member of the armed services is trained with the expectation that not only does shit happen, shit probably WILL happen and at some point, EVERYBODY could be called on to participate in combat. Therefor, every member of the armed services is taught to fight. Cooks, clerks, medics, truck drivers. Everyone is issued a weapon, everyone is taught how to use it and everyone fully understands why it's important. At my two duty stations (Ft. Campbell in Kentucky and with the 3rd Armored Division in Frankfurt, Germany), I requested to be issued an M-203. An M-203 is an M-16 assault rifle with an additional component that launches grenades. That's right; my weapon could do everything a regular M-16 could do plus this...

As a non-combat unit, we only had a few of these in our stockpile and it meant extra time spent on the practice range but I always wanted to be one of the troops to whom they were issued. If things went south, I wanted a weapon that could not only shoot out a whole bunch of bullets but could also blow shit up real good. Had a highly-flammable version with knives all over it that dispensed potentially dangerous prescription medicine been available, I would have wanted one of those. That's because I was in the army when the Soviet Union still existed and there was a wall between East and West Germany and my job as a heavy equipment operator was to retrieve broken tanks. Had we actually gone to war, that would have meant going to the places where Soviet troops had broken the tanks and pulling them out of there so they could be repaired and sent back into battle. The Soviets, being as proud of their handiwork as one might expect, would probably take offense to any attempts to fix the tanks they had worked so hard to break. I'm pretty sure they would have expressed their displeasure by trying to prevent me from doing my job in the most effective way possible: killing me with bullets and stuff. I take no offense to this because if the roles were reversed, I'm sure I'd feel the same way, and when you take all the circumstances into consideration, it's a fairly reasonable response on their part. But that doesn't mean I would accept this response willingly and without objections of my own. Hence, my desire to carry the most shooting-est and blow-shit-up-real-good-est piece of hardware our unit had on hand.
I mention all this only to illustrate I'm not someone who doesn't recognize the value of a weapon for the sake of personal defense in the face of a real, possibly imminent threat to one's well-being.

Now here's my concern...

I am not afraid of you Gun People, and you know who you are if you're a member of the Gun People (notice I didn't use the term "Nuts"; I'm trying to be polite and respectful here). You, who value the Second Amendment to the Constitution, a document drafted when an assault rifle was, well, a rifle (defined as a rifle-like object with which you assault someone), seemingly more than human life itself. I don't doubt you when you tell me that you're safe, reasonable people who are responsible handlers of firearms. Okay, fine. I have no reason to think you'd lie to me. Benefit of a doubt and all that. Again, polite and respectful.
I am afraid of this guy, however, and guys like him who I have to believe exist (because, you know, they do) by the hundreds (thousands?). Spare me the mentally ill thing. He doesn't seem mentally deficient in any way. To the contrary, he's well-spoken and apparently educated, indicating an at-least average level of intelligence. He's shown here telling me and anybody else who saw this on The Colbert Report that he's a safe, responsible person who is a responsible handler of firearms, while also stating that he employs his geriatric and addled parents (who turn their backs to him while he shoots in their direction) as "lookouts" and that he simply doesn't care that innocent bystanders may be within his line of fire.
See where I'm going with this? That's who I'm afraid of. Oh, plus these people...

And these...
Because, you know, "Ha ha ha ha ha!", as the soundtrack to so many of these clips says.

Just so you know where I'm at on this stuff that happens and keeps happening and that we never, ever actually do anything about, even to the exclusion of sitting down and having a responsible, adult conversation about the possibility that a problem even exists, choosing to sling fault and blame and insults around instead.
I find that troubling. That's all.

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