Saturday, December 22, 2012


Most of us spent our youths fantasizing about the wild west which was a constant theme on the "silver screen," radio and early TV.  Much of it was overblown.  There was a subculture, especially after the Civil War, centered around crime and banditry and gunslinging, but it was always a minority in the population.  Women and children and the sanctity of the home were generally respected.  In fact, my grandparents who homesteaded in North Dakota shortly after the turn of the century never locked their doors, and neither did my parents until about the nineteen fifties or sixties.  Society was changing even then and not for the best.

Even the gunslingers who dueled with each other were generally a problem only in isolated areas like mining towns and Dodge City and they tended to wipe each other out and disappear as soon as the civilizing process through the introduction of women folk, education and churches began taking effect.  I'm pretty sure that most areas of Deadwood and Tombstone were a lot safer for the average child and adult than some areas of Chicago and new York are today, with so many irresponsible individuals owning or stealing guns and spraying bullets with abandon.

Our ancestors sought for the calming effects of civilization and consciously set out to find and apply them.  They wanted safe neighborhoods where wearing guns would become obsolete.  Tombstone even had a statute against citizens wearing guns in town, and enforcing that law against some lawless elements was one factor that led to the famous shootout at the O K Corral.  That "wild west" attitude is quite a contrast with the current attitude exhibited by Wayne LaPierre.

He actually said, "The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun."

He went on to blame everything from video games and TV shows to a violent culture for the problems we face and called for armed guards in all schools.  He conveniently neglected to suggest ways to pay for such armed protection.  Even if such "protectors" were volunteers, the administration of such a program by school districts, local, state and national government would be astronomical.  I'm sure he doesn't want taxes increased on his corporation or his overpaid self to take care of it.  Probably, he would take the common GOP and tea party approach of cutting more desperately needed safety nets away from desperately needy citizens while he expected the resulting increase in desperation to lead to "law and order."

I don't blame him for not taking questions after such a display of stupidity and ignorance. 

It is impossible to have a civilized society under our present system of letting everyone, regardless of need or qualifications, to be armed to the teeth with military style weaponry and to walk around with impunity any place they choose to do so.  As I pointed out recently: and:, the idea of becoming the member of an etremist militia and "saving America" is pure nonsense and it is an attitude that gave us one civil war a century and a half ago.  Do we really want to precipitate another such paroxism of bloodletting?

As for me, I don't want to see schools transformed into a scene approximating a prison or concentration camp.  I don't want teachers having to strap on holsters filled with loaded guns every morning.  I don't want to walk down the streets of Cottonwood, or anywhere else, and wonder if some deranged individual is going to send either an aimed or ricochet bullet my way or the way of some unsuspecting child merrily skipping rope or tagging along on a shopping trip.

Please, let's see some sanity!

P.S:  P. Z. Meyers has a good statement about this nonsense as well:

And, check out Lawrence O'Donnell:

1 comment:

  1. May I also point out that LaPierre's "good guy with a gun" stupidity takes no account of the invitation to greater tragedies when supposed "good guys" (hastily found among men who like to shoot and hired to legally look for opportunities to do so) who are well-armed take a turn to the insane for a moment and become the problem rather than a hedge against mayhem.