There was a gag in a Simpson’s episode where aliens have taken control of Bill Clinton and Bob Dole during an election. When the issue of abortion is brought before Alien Bob Dole, he says “Abortions for none.” and erupts in boos. He then quickly flip flops and says, “abortions for all.” and again erupts in boos. Again he then quickly corrects and says, “Abortions for some, miniature American flags for others,” and the crowd is now happy
I’ve always loved this gag because it has always had such a truthful ring to it. Politicians are spineless and shameless, there is no doubt about that, but the is nothing dumber than the mob. America is a country that exists as a contradiction, a country that embraces a bygone image of the rugged individualist who seems to also be afraid of it’s own shadow.
Where I Come From
The gun control issue in the United States feels like it’s much further away from me than a few hundred feet of water in the direction that I sit right now. I live beside the murder capital of America, Detroit, home to 358 murders this year. The city of Windsor(where I live 15 minutes away from) saw 1 murder this year. Both Detroit and Windsor are post industrial cities which have fallen on hard times. There are bad neighbourhoods in both cities though Windsor has begun a path of Urban renewal in some areas meant to offset the urban decay in other places. Detroit is more on a long road to decay, between politicians picking the bones and people migrating to different parts of Michigan and the United States, Detroit is post Katrina New Orleans without the hurricane.*
Stacking those numbers up, 358 to 1, with all but a river and an imaginary line dividing the two cities, it really is unfathomable. Unless, there is a simple answer? That if people have less access to firearms their ability to kill is less potent? Do you really think there are no gangs in Windsor**? Sure there are gangs, they probably have guns, sure there is organized crime but when there are laws in place that say owning weapons should be highly controlled. This means fewer guns, fewer guns means less escalation of violence. Sure there are lots of other socio-economic factors to this tale of two cities, but to be a little bit reductionist this seems like a glaring obvious solution to this problem.
The Gun Is Mightier Than The Mind
I am a Canadian, I grew up without guns in my home. I know lots people who own guns, and as I’ve grown up, I’ve shot guns, and respect them. With that said, I have no real motivation to own them. I get a kick out of squeezing a few off at a range and I wouldn’t be against hunting with them. I feel as though my relationship with guns is healthy and realistic. I don’t think they are evil, I don’t dislike them, they are amazing pieces of engineering, but never have I lost sight as to the point of their existence.***
Now to the average NRA member I probably sound flippant. I am the white guy who shows up at the Flo Rida**** show who loves all the wrong stuff but really doesn’t embrace what Flo Rida is all about(Whistling right?) But this is where you’re wrong NRA. I think that there is a place for you. I think that you could change, you could champion responsibility, you could save america from itself. You are as mighty as George Taylor, fighting against the evil of Cornelius. Think of me as the Dr. Zaius of the situation, a generally clueless comic foil who does his best to not get too intimately involved.
The point is that like every other major American institution you are about money and you’re corrupt. If less guns are purchase, the less money you receive from gun manufacturers so that you can lobby the government and you can pay yourselves huge sums of money. No American politician has the lack of self preservation to oppose you, you will always exist NRA. So do something that isn’t just fucking evil lording over the bodies of children*****.
Tantric Self Righteousness and Televised Self Affirmation
Yesterday was a tragic day in a few different ways. Children and innocent people were murdered. Politicians, media pundits and lobbyists were all doing public relations parkour around the corpses. And maybe the most tragic of all, my facebook feed.
Not only did I have the television, radio and internet news doing a dance of gruesome bone dance of exploitation. Now I had people, I knew, throwing themselves into this orgiastic dance cyber of outrage.
In the title of this piece I call Americans, “The World’s Greatest Terrorists,” and maybe that was a way to illicit hits on my blog, or negative comments I will enjoy jousting with later on this evening, but I think there is a ring of truth to it.
When something horrible happens in America an orgy starts. The media puts out the chocolate covered strawberries and cheap bubbly, they start talking about everyone’s worst fears and god willing the country starts grief fucking on the red white blue shag carpet. Soon the pundits get into the mix attempting to tell people what positions they should having their grief orgy in. Anne Coulter says, “the poor people should bend over and the rich people should pop a Cialis and look at me.” Rachel Maddow while wiping some stray depilatory cream from her upper lip praises the spirit of the orgy but things everyone is doing this incorrectly but offers no real direction. Wolf Blitzer thinks aloud that, “this is exactly what he grew this moustache for.” The politicians then make vague statements of sorrow but don’t really put their feet down in any sort of a direction, which makes everyone feel like the orgy is being blessed on the merits of the feelings and not on what reality is.
A mentally ill man who had access to fire arms, killed his family. He then went to a school, to which he had access, and took the lives of children and staff. People will blame video games, culture, the lack of mental health safe guards, poor school security, too many guns, too few guns, the internet and anti depressants. We blame, instead of understand. We exorcize the responsibility we have as citizens of this planet by wallowing. We defuse our guilt by posting on our facebook walls. We do everything except understand how complex an event like this is, in its own simplicity. We are the terrorists.
*Or maybe Hurricane Kwame struck the deathblow?
**Windsor gangs do for some reason give me a mental image of a leather jacket clad group of men who look like Frank Stallone singing DoWop around a trash can fire.
***Making white people feel impervious to African Americans?
****For the record, I dislike both FloRida and the state of Florida.
*****I understand that you represent the cumulative fears of every white guy in your nation. But there is a wide world of people who see you are the appendix of American politics and secretly do a dance every time innocent children are killed and you smile that reptilian soulless smile and say “Guns don’t kill people, People do.”