This is a quick essay I wrote some time ago. With current events I think it is worth sharing.
Recently several adults thought it a good idea to place a loaded Uzi in the hands of an eight year old boy and allow him to fire it. The Uzi, for those lacking subscriptions to Soldier of Fortune, is a fully automatic snub-nosed assault weapon capable of firing thousands of rounds per minute. It is very popular among the South American drug cartel elite. Due to its rather poor design, it has a powerful recoil and is famously difficult, even for an adult marksman to control. Sadly, the little boy in question was not able to control the gun and shot himself in the head. All of this happened under adult supervision at a gun show. Adult supervision. I am tempted to make some snide comment about adults with intellects poorer than the children they are meant to supervise, but I find myself in entirely the wrong mood for that.
In case you aren't familiar with the great American tradition of gun shows, they are events held in auditoriums and stadiums at which convicted felons and the mentally ill can purchase untraceable weapons for cash. The NRA, in its perfect wisdom, has fought to keep this foundational tradition legal. Thanks to the good work of the NRA thousands of Americans can continue to die by violent misadventure or malicious intent each annum. I hope my opprobrium doesn’t drip too much sarcasm on the carpet. I wouldn’t want to mar the blood stains there.
No one schooled in either history or anthropology could deny that we live in a violent culture. Many rail against the bloodlust of movies, video games and music. They need to blame entertainment or literature for the blood on our hands. And our hands are bloody. It is worth mentioning that the three nations with the most legal executions each year are China, Saudi Arabia and the United States. That doesn’t take into account the high murder rate we boast; higher per capita than any European or Asian country. Those preaching against harmless entertainments rarely have an ill word to say about handguns and assault weapons (devices designed for the singular purpose of murder). They have confused the mirror with reality. These people refuse to believe that guns are dangerous, and yet they think that Stephen King and Grand Theft Auto are killers.
I by no stretch mean to suggest that the NRA has been alone in making the world a more dangerous place. Not at all. Rather, they have been abetted by the obvious illiterates on the Supreme Court. George W. Bush has tilted the court by adding mental defectives Roberts and Alito to that august body. It is tragic that these men are unable to understand the second amendment to our constitution. Anyone with a reading comprehension level beyond the third grade can see that the founders were ensuring the right of each state to maintain a militia and yet, Messer’s. Alito and Roberts, along with Scalia (who apparently believes that only white male landowners should have the franchise) and their milquetoast compatriots have vouchsafed the rights of home invaders to have the best weapons available.
Perhaps our court needs some adult supervision.
And when we started, just a few paragraphs ago, I was talking about an eight year old boy who will never be nine because his adult guardians saw no harm in allowing him to play with what was, in their minds, a wondrous toy. It is, after all, perfectly normal to be excited (even aroused) by the machinery of death. Hell, in certain environs it is absolutely required. In some neighborhoods a pick-up with a gun rack and a confederate flag are the only possible proof of normalcy, of citizenship. Of course, one eight year old boy has been added to the ever expanding ranks of those who pay the price for our normalcy; our right to keep and bear arms.
I wonder if it will ever bother Justices Scalia, Alito and Roberts to know that they have stained the constitution with yet another child’s blood. As they drift to sleep do they ever marvel at the collateral damage in their culture war?