Man With A Gun

There is a horror implicit in the stick-figure, “Man with a Gun,” from the hobo alphabet.  Its triangle with outstretched arms hints at a fleeing figure and encourages the viewer to do the same.  Hobos were shot at, shot in earnest, and had a very real and rational fear of firearms.  More than one of them admitted it kept them from committing serious crimes.

One hundred and fifty years ago we were the most well-armed country on the planet.  We still are. Firearms were part of our contract with the idea of freedom and sadly, they still are.  If one defies the government in any meaningful way, eventually they send men with guns.

If we are honest with ourselves, we know that we’d not have a Republic without guns. As much as I hate your hardcore gun nuts (you know the ones–the psychotics who need to own five automatic weapons for “home defense”), I have to agree with them about the preservation of the Second Amendment.  Some  years ago, our own Mayor Daley defied the Constitution and banned the ownership of handguns in the city of Chicago.  Like every well-meaning big city mayor plagued by gun violence, he tried to apply the baby-sized band-aid to the gaping wound.

The Latin Kings still had guns.
The Gangster Disciples still had guns.
The 2-6 nation still had guns.

And you can bet your monkey-ass I still had one.  Far be it from me to be the only unarmed fucker in the room.  There is no percentage in bringing a knife to a gunfight.  What Daley did was to make the average citizen less safe.  The idea was that the police would protect us.

Yeah.

Fuck, the police are the ones I’m afraid of in this city.  And the politicians who tell me who should be strapped and who shouldn’t.

Every dictator, tyrant, despot and opressor throughout human history has disarmed the populace as a first step toward bankrupting those cultures of their inherent freedoms.  Dissent becomes non-existent.

I, too, was horrified when that asshole bought a loaded gun to our president’s speech a couple of years ago.  It sent a message the responsible firearms owners should have been appalled by.  I don’t hold with the crowd that wants a “concealed-carry” proviso in the law.  I do believe one should have the right to own a firearm for his home or, in some cases, his automobile.

The most responsible gun-owners are people who have a healthy revulsion for just what it is that guns do.

As long as there are humans, there will be gun violence and the toothpaste is out of the tube.  The best one can do in a society this well-armed is to protect oneself.  I would like to be able to do it with kind words.  I would like to do it with witty repartee.  I would like to be able to do it with logic.  But I can’t and neither can you.  When the asshole breaks onto your home?  Introduce him to Jesus.  The word gets around the asshole community pretty quick:  Break into my home. . .get dead fast.  When kindness fails, a nine millimeter holds 16 rounds of persuasion.

If this seems like a less-than-nuanced argument, look around.  The economy is in the shitter.  There is less opportunity and more hunger and desperation.  In Chicago’s tony Lincoln Park, there were jump-out crews working out of a van, robbing couples (and for good measure) beating the fuck out of them with bats.   Three years ago, this didn’t happen. . .and now it does.

Liberals cream their jeans for gun laws.  They love the fuckers, even though those laws do not make them one bit safer.

A great percentage of gun violence is an outgrowth of the drug trade; 15-year olds blasting away with firearms they can barely lift.  Our ongoing tragedy known as the “War on Drugs” has armed every kid in the city.  The “War” is not on drugs.  It is on the poor.  The more law enforcement dollars, the more profit margin for dealers  in drugs. . .and guns.  It is a zero-sum gain and a self-fulfilling prophesy of despair.  The minute you legalize drugs, the profit goes out of the black market.  It seems nobody remembers that we never heard the term, “bootlegger” again after the end of Prohibition.

This is what worries me about the government and the question of guns: A culture where only the government is allowed to have firearms?  This is an invitation to tyranny.  Think about everything the G is in charge of now.  That is all working out swimmingly, isn’t it?

As much as I hate to side with the gun nuts–and they are nuts–part of why to have a gun is to protect you from THEM.  I have to admit the deluded, deficient yo-yos happen to be right.  But I also have a sign.  It’s on the door.  It says, “Don’t Worry About The Dog. Beware of Me, Mother-fucker.”

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Published in: on May 5, 2011 at 1:15 am  Comments (2)  
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  1. Got ya. I act weird around guns so I guess I am one of those libs creaming my jeans for laws. When my friends in Indiana took out there rifles I was drunk on Jim, Jack and George (drank half of each bottle) and for fun stuck one in my mouth not caring whether it was loaded or not. That was 22 years ago and thanks to the people of the firehouse at North and Division and N. Clark St in Rogers Park I haven’t had to take a drink for 17 years. The ones I know (out here in the wild west) who are armed to the teeth are New Mexico District Attorney’s: one is a neo-Marxist with an arsenal of 30 and the other still won’t sell his stash even though his alimony is breaking his back (they’re at the wives house where she has a restraining order anyway). Use to aim the laser scope of his Magnum to play with his cat. Of course when I looked at it I aimed the barrel at me. I ain’t been mugged but we all got to look down the barrel of a gun I figured. God ain’t done with me yet. By the way his dad was a psychologist at Parchman Farm prison and his mom lectures on Civil Rights and wrote a book on Emmett Till (subject of Bob Dylan’s first song). So not all lefties hate guns…. and to this day I never seen an Indian with a gun. (Cross bows maybe- but for elk hunting) Last thing: read the new Earle book: I couldn’t decide if Doc will be played by Billy Bob Thornton or Nick Nolte….

  2. This is the most sane and rationale thesis with regard to guns in America, that I’ve read in a long time. I used to be one of those that favored strict gun laws. In some respects, I still do – this country would be a much safer one if we could ensure that deranged psychos like the creep that shot Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and many others in Tucson last year, could be prevented from purchasing firearms.

    Admittedly, it could only work if there was also a robust help network in place for those tortured souls. Unfortunately, the politicians don’t place a high priority on citizens getting access to health care – and the stigma surrounding mental illness in our culture keeps disturbed individuals from seeking the help they need, even if they can get it.

    With respect to gun restriction, I now feel that we should ALL have a level playing field. I should be able to protect my home and myself from anyone that seeks to cause me harm. I’m not enthusiastic about a conceal / carry law in Illinois. I don’t think it’s a great idea that any asshole can carry a hidden gun. But if such a law is passed, then I WANT to be able to carry a hidden firearm also – just in case I run into that asshole, and he wants trouble.

    Your comments on the miserably-failed “War on Drugs” are also right on target. Too bad our politicians can’t grow a spine and openly proclaim its failure. I’m sure a lot of them have privately come to the same conclusion. Even Felipe Calderon has hinted at marijuana legalization as a possible solution. Hell, he’d know better than anyone that laws and police enforcement aren’t working – Mexico has a REAL War on Drugs, with their Army brought in to fight it, but the narcos seem to be holding their own.

    Anyway, thanks for a well-reasoned, thought-provoking argument.


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