Sunday, January 16, 2011


On a thread that asked what can be done about nuts with guns I began”Each person lives in a different world, their version of reality if you will…” when I realized I had the makings of a blog post to express, so here we are.

Thirty years ago I was friends with a group of folks occupying three adjacent houses communally in a South Austin neighborhood. Two marriages, graduations and other things to do split us up until a 25th anniversary gathering brought many of us back together for the first time. I realized then how extreme our different directions actually were despite our copacetic coexistence in the eighties.

I had dropped out of a nine year yuppie track at IBM and most of them, ten to fifteen years younger, were preparing to climb into it. There was only one out of forty among them who even wanted to share a joint. It was the starkest example of subverting individual potential into service of the American dream I’d ever experienced … a veritable who’s who of international nuvo riche…I was a fish out of water.

A year later I was searching for traces of the woman I never quite got over and tried Facebook out of last-ditch desperation. I haven’t found her, but I did find a plethora of people I’d known in the past who friended me when they saw I’d joined. One of them was part of that communal group who it appears has gone yet another route to the American dream. After several months of increasingly volatile Glenn Beck informed posts, my friend, “Codger”, peaked out by making his profile picture a gunsight and defying anyone to show evidence that Palin/Beck/Fox had anything to do with the Tucson massacre way before anyone had, just as Palin herself had removed gunsights from her web site.

By pointing out how inflammatory he was being, his cadre of tea party crones came down on me with personal attacks as incoherent as Loughner’s web postings. I unfriended Dodger this morning and will hopefully remain out of the line of their fire. This confrontation also found saner heads who’d known Codger from childhood and were worried about his sanity … thus the thread this post is an attempt to address.

The only solutions to gun violence is to cease manufacturing them … as clear and impossible as outlawing war in a civilization believing in ownership. Although I detest all reasons for guns with exception of subsistence hunting, I cannot help but share the sentiments of citizens who cannot trust a government who clearly does not trust its people, as demonstrated by the furor over wikileaks exposure of government duplicity.

The best fix I have heard of for gun violence is, like all law enforcement and medicine in western civilization, pathological, not preventative. It is to digitally code every bullet so that the anonymity of the shooter disappears. The effectiveness of such a change is bound to have a preventative aspect for crimes where detection is inevitable.

But if you’re around the bend enough to spray a group of anonymous people with automatic gunfire, getting caught is no consideration … in most cases the nuts have offed themselves … unless, of course, they are in the employ of a crime boss or a warring nation. These aberrations have plenty examples of killing being a justifiable solution to problems, no matter how loose the connection between three office buildings being imploded justifying two national wars of annihilation and being fired from your office job justifying going back to the office and putting everyone out of their miserable jobs with a machine gun.

I can imagine no solution to mass domestic murderers except better friends unafraid to intervene, a partial fix is coded ammo and less available firearm capacity.


Brian Miller said...

i hear you on the gun violence and the solutions...there will always be nuts that find new ways to kill themselves and others though...


I don't really like guns and where I live it's near impossible to get a gun permit but sometimes I'm terrified by the idea that I might be able to avoid a tragedy if I had one.

Beautiful post you wrote on yr story with Mary Gardner, by the way. The metaphor was brilliantly given a new perspective.

The Pagan Temple said...

In defense of crime bosses and their minions, they generally only kill each other and go out of their way to avoid harming civilians. The most dangerous thing about guns is, one, not enough people have them, and two, not enough people that do have them are properly trained in their use. When they and criminals make up a large percentage of gun owners, you have problems.

If someone in that Tucson crowd other than Loughner had been armed that day, at least some lives might have been saved. Or maybe not. But at least there would have been that chance. Then again, there wasn't even any of the great sheriff Dupnik's deputies present that day, which is strange in and of itself, seeing as how they had to know about the event, and knew about Loughner's problems, yet also didn't seem to care to know where he was at the time. Makes you wonder.

Yodood said...

By carrying a gun I insure only one thing: everything that happens will involve a gun.
I prefer being shot unexpectedly than living in fear of it. We make laws to limit the rare aberrations, thereby limiting everyone to only what the most dangerous are allowed to do — nice profiling, herding and shearing of an entire nation. Oh yeah, for our own good. Snort.