A winding circus tour through the ever-popular gun issue. Logic, polemic, non-sequiturs, popcorn, and burning-ass syndrome. If you can’t have guns, you can have mind control. Who is the ‘we’ in ‘we have to stop killing each other’
“After a shooting spree, they always want to take the guns away from the people who didn’t do it. I sure as hell wouldn’t want to live in a society where the only people allowed guns are the police and the military.” (William Burroughs, Grand Street no. 37, 1992)
Let me state, for the record, that I’m not in favor of selling guns at 7-Elevens or from street vending machines. There are, however, a few nagging questions about gun ownership I want to scratch, claw, and flagellate, so follow along as I try to take apart a weird, wacky, and wonderful subject.
We’ve all heard this one: if a politician wants to disarm the public, he should give up his own security protection. See how he likes it.
What is it about politicians that gives them a special right to have armed professionals stalk their perimeter and mumble into their collars?
I can think of two reasons. One, pols are important. We need them. We need them more than we need, say, electricians or plumbers or pizza delivery boys or dentists.
I fail to admire the class distinction. And that’s putting it generously. In the overwhelming number of cases, the wounding or killing of a politician would result in another pol, very much like him, moving in to take his place. The new entry would vote along party lines, at the instruction of his superiors. He would commit the same unconscionable actions. He would display the same level of incompetence. Or, if you believe politicians are honorable and even insightful, then surely a pol who is taken out of action could be replaced by another who is endowed with the same admirable qualities.
The second reason: top-tier politicians are very visible. They’re widely known. They’re celebrities. As such, they attract crazies. Therefore, they need security.
Ah, but wait. It starts to get tricky here. What about famous actors and athletes? They, too, have many fans, a small percentage of whom are nuts. These private-sector celebs hire their own guards. They can afford to.
But…many politicians don’t have that kind of money. Therefore, they need government to pay for the hired guns, who are other government employees.
So follow this…if money, no-money is the only distinction here, then rich politicians should certainly pay for their own private guards.
In which case, government regulations should be issued that spell out the level of wealth, the demarcation line. A politician who has at least X assets to his name must hire his own protection. Anything below that and he can avail himself of government help. That makes sense, or am I missing something?
I’d like to see John Heinz Kerry sweep into town with his own private muscle. You know, guys with heavy auto-weapons held across their black undershirts. Maybe a band, too, blasting a Springsteen cover. Just for show. Hillary, on the other hand, could go with an all-girl phalanx of Amazons packing sawed offs. With a few drones overhead. I suspect the President has enough cash stashed away by now to afford his own security. He could go straight Sinaloa, or maybe he’d do a mix of cartel soldiers and Syrian “moderate rebels.”
Of course, there’s always the argument that politicians are under extraordinary threat from foreign enemies, and that’s why they require the kind of government protection plain citizens don’t need. As a counter to that, I would simply offer the gun-violence statistics of America. For some esoteric reason, it turns out that people no one has ever heard of are most likely to become shooting victims.
In any case, no one is supposed to protect himself. That’s for sure. It would be vile, ugly. We expect criminals to shoot people. We’re ready for that. But if a law-biding citizen suddenly fires a weapon, in order, for example, to stay alive, it’s an offense to our sensibilities. It looks bad. He could have been shooting bullets for the wrong reason, and even though he wasn’t, the mere suggestion of it is enough to disturb us. We’ve been “triggered,” psychologically. We are the victims. And we must demand justice.
Sidebar: Maybe celebrity actors should have Secret Service protection. Turn the tables. Just for fun, award the actor with the highest grossing film of the year Secret Service minders. Throw in a few Seals and Deltas for good measure. Army Rangers live in a house next to his house. Marines do double shifts at the local Whole Foods. A bad review of his next movie, and a CIA media specialist places a call to the newspaper’s publisher.
Here’s something that would highlight a point. Choose one of the adamant reporters or columnists who want to disarm all private citizens everywhere, and set him up in a small apartment in a high-crime area. Let him test the response time of the local police. Just a random idea.
Sidebar: How about this? The President and his cabinet, armed to the teeth, guard LeBron James night and day.
I know I’m wandering off-subject a bit, but possibilities are blooming. For example, instead of an actual (phony) Presidency, make the Office into a blockbuster movie, and in the movie the commander-in-chief has a bevy of film tough guys at his beck and call. Jason Statham, Stallone, The Arnold. Now you can have assassination attempts, attacks on the White House, bombs exploding, and car chases. Show some serious action. It’s what the people want.
Or in real life, just go straight for the throat. Declare a national state of emergency, forbid anyone from going outside after 6pm, require all Americans, at the age of 18, to serve seven years in militarized police forces across the land. Do ongoing house to house searches, remove all guns. Close gun shops. Shut down weapons manufacturers. Only the cops and the military have guns. Well, the criminals do, too, but we need them to justify the existence of the expanded national police.
So at the age of ten, all boys and girls take a special exam, and those who qualify are shunted into a government school to train as future thieves and killers. That works.
Keep the borders open. It maintains a roiling pot.
The White House? Transfer it to a one-bedroom apartment on the South Side of Chicago. No security.
I’m feeling my way along here, but I believe I’m starting to sketch in a reasonable picture of the next phase of America.
We have to get rid of our abstract ideals. We need to give more people real experience on the ground.
In fact, reality TV shows are in order. 24/7 video tracking. 18 fully armed libertarians move to Detroit. 18 devoted liberals without weapons move to Ferguson. 18 gang members from South Central move to Chevy Chase. Mix and match. Dream up new combinations. 200 federally backed ISIS members take up residence in Atlanta. Maybe 50 Crips members go to work for the NRA. As we know, it’s the separation of different groups that’s destroying America. Take a thousand college students who are screeching about Privilege and move them from their lovely privileged campuses to buildings on the mean streets of Baltimore. After six months, gather them all in a hall and leave one gun on the podium and see what happens. Might be interesting.
Now we come to the cure for all gun violence: psychiatry. The nation’s chief expert on the subject, Barack Obama, decided in the wake of Sandy Hook he would command the creation of a string of mental-health clinics across the land. Catch the lunatics early and treat them before they open fire on innocent citizens. This is its own reality show, because, you see, the very drugs often prescribed to patients (SSRI antidepressants like Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft) push some of them into committing violence (suicide, homicide). More drugs equal more shootings—and no one knows where and when the next patient will go off. It’s a Powerball lottery. Or you could call it a Trojan Horse. I see it as a Johnny Appleseed operation. Sprinkle the drugs throughout society and watch madness and violence bloom.
Tell me psychiatry as a cure for gun violence is any less bizarre than Crips going to work for the NRA or sending college students to live in a high-crime area.
The most bizarre thing of all is trying to ban law-biding citizens from defending themselves.
When you actually think about it.
“Sir, we realize you aren’t going to go out and shoot someone. Yes. We know you’ll only fire your weapon if someone tries to harm you. Right. But you see, not all people are like you. And those people ruin things for everybody. It’s like the classroom where two or three bad apples talk out of turn and disrupt learning. Sometimes the teacher has to say, ‘The next student who interrupts me, and I’ll make the whole class stay after school.’ Well, that’s what’s happening with guns. Now, if you don’t give us yours, you have symptoms of Oppositional Defiance Disorder and ADHD, you’re mentally ill, and mentally ill people can’t own guns. It’s logical.”
Speaking of logical and bizarre, try this one on for size:
“I’m well aware that this [guns] is a hot political subject. And again, I will speak out no matter what role I find myself in. [Ahem, a role like President, or President, or possibly even President.] But I believe that we need a more thoughtful conversation. We cannot let a minority of people – and it’s, that’s what it is, it is a minority of people – hold a viewpoint that terrorizes the majority of people.” (Hillary Clinton, CNN town hall meeting, June 17, 2014)
Who knew that gun ownership was more than just an ordinary crime? It’s also a “viewpoint crime.” It’s a form of terrorism. People speaking out in favor of private citizens owning guns are their own ISIS. What a revelation.
Hmm. Let me think about this for a minute.
I wasn’t going to vote for Hillary…but dammit. Suddenly…
She’s innovative. She’s cutting edge. She can see that exercising 1st Amendment rights impairs a proper understanding of the 2nd Amendment. She’s a dot connector.
Hell, as our next President…
Yes, I can see she should probably have all the protection she needs. Secret Service, NSA, the Armed Forces, the CIA, the FBI, and so on. Of course, she wants, in turn, to protect all women (her sisters). What better way than by disarming them, so when men break into their houses, they don’t confuse their pretty little heads and fire a weapon and hit themselves in the leg.
Politicians are special people, after all. They aren’t like the rest of us.
They need big-time security. I knew if I kept writing long enough, I’d get to the truth.
—Sidebar: we’re dealing with a case of national schizophrenia. There are people out there who are very comfortable with the police and the military having all the guns. These same people criticize the government for spying on everybody, for going to war at the drop of a hat, for launching drone strikes on a regular basis, for torturing untried terror suspects, for arranging elaborate stings that trap low-level criminals and turn them into terrorists, for weaponizing police forces with military equipment beyond any reasonable need, for cooking and corrupting evidence in criminal prosecutions, for enabling mega-corporations who pillage and plunder in foreign lands, for making numerous false arrests, for killing innocent suspects.
But this kind of government should have all the guns. That would be fine. There is no hint of contradiction here. All would be well. As the years and the decades pass, government would certainly not trample (further) on the freedom of its own citizens. To imagine such a thing would be a gross symptom of paranoia.
Don’t worry, be happy. Somebody just won the billion-dollar Powerball.
As George Carlin wrote about fairy tales, “Religion has actually convinced people that there’s an invisible man — living in the sky — who watches everything you do, every minute of every day. And the invisible man has a special list of ten things he does not want you to do. And if you do any of these ten things, he has a special place, full of fire and smoke and burning and torture and anguish, where he will send you to live and suffer and burn and choke and scream and cry forever and ever ’til the end of time! But He loves you. He loves you, and He needs money!”
If you see any parallel between that formulation and government, you’re ill. You’re misguided. You need to enroll in the special schizophrenia curriculum, where you’ll learn how to compartmentalize. “The government performs the following terrible actions. But the government loves you. Therefore, let it take all the guns.”
No unfortunate consequence could possibly come to pass.
(To read about Jon’s mega-collection, Power Outside The Matrix, click here.)
The author of three explosive collections, THE MATRIX REVEALED, EXIT FROM THE MATRIX, and POWER OUTSIDE THE MATRIX, Jon was a candidate for a US Congressional seat in the 29th District of California. He maintains a consulting practice for private clients, the purpose of which is the expansion of personal creative power. Nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, he has worked as an investigative reporter for 30 years, writing articles on politics, medicine, and health for CBS Healthwatch, LA Weekly, Spin Magazine, Stern, and other newspapers and magazines in the US and Europe. Jon has delivered lectures and seminars on global politics, health, logic, and creative power to audiences around the world. You can sign up for his free NoMoreFakeNews emails here or his free OutsideTheRealityMachine emails here.