Friday, December 21, 2012

Nurse the Hate: More Gun Talk

I was very excited to see the NRA make a public statement about the school shootings last week.  You knew their answer to the problem would be “more guns”, because that is always the answer to any question you ask the NRA.  “What should I get for the office Christmas party gift exchange?”  Did you consider a gun?   “I can’t decide on the decoration at the top of the tree… Should it be a star or an angel?”  How about a gun?  "I got Dad a gun for his birthday last year.  What should I get him this year?"  How about another gun?

Those guys really, really, really like their guns.

Surprisingly, the NRA is recommending we arm more people in schools.  This was, of course, the only answer they could come up with and a possible way to get a bunch of government money spent with gun manufacturers.  Bravo gentlemen. If I was in your shoes, I’d do the same thing.  At no time can you back off of the basic idea that guns, any guns, could possibly be part of the problem.  You’ve gone too far.  You are all in.  You have to get the public bought in on the idea of outgunning the “bad guys” (whoever they are).  It’s the best argument you’ve got if you want to be able to keep making, selling, and blowing shit up with those cool assault rifles.  The guys in the corner office at the NRA thought this one out for the last week.  Lots of phone calls.  Lots of meetings.  Lots of role playing press conferences.  This is The Plan.

In an unexpected turn, I was very excited to see the NRA blaming the media for the violence. "In a race to the bottom, media conglomerates compete with one another to shock, violate and offend every standard of civilized society by bringing an ever-more-toxic mix of reckless behavior and criminal cruelty into our homes—every minute of every day of every month of every year.”  How Marilyn Manson or Ozzy didn’t get tossed into this thing, I’ll never know.  Those guys are awesome scapegoats and incapable of fighting back.  They've been getting smacked around for years.  You know Marilyn Manson has been holed up in his condo since this incident thinking “Fuuuuck.  When are the out of touch press corps coming to blame me?  I haven’t released anything that got kids worked up in a decade, but it’s still Marilyn Manson and Ozzy, Ozzy and Marilyn Manson…  How come no one ever blames Slayer?”

I think this shot across the bow of Big Media was a big mistake on the part of the NRA.  If you start fucking with media conglomerates, they will start fucking with you.  The last thing you want is ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC, CNN, etc. in your shorts.  I know the NRA would love to shift the argument on who holds the bag on societal violence, but that’s a risky move.   You can’t pin the blame on the guys that control who gets to speak in the argument.  It’s like being in the audience at a comedy club and trying to heckle the comedian.  That guy on stage gets paid for a living to make you look bad AND he has the microphone.  Don’t fuck with him.

Now I agree with the idea that first person shooter video games are part of the problem.  Those are such good simulations for violence that the armed services use them for training.  I remember playing those games often enough that when I would walk into a room, I would unconsciously case it out to see where the best defensive position is located, where I could maintain the best line of fire, and escape routes.  I'm just a somewhat well adjusted asshole suburban dude signing stupid songs and that's how my mind started working.  Give me some good old fashioned mental illness and an assault rifle, and I’m ready to rock n’ roll.  Can you imagine if I got back into metal?  

There is so much money in video games now, good luck in trying to get them outlawed.  It's like trying to outlaw movies.  The NRA is picking a tough argument.  It’s almost impossible to prove why someone goes nuts and shoots up people in a rampage.  You sure can prove what they used to kill everyone though.  Get rid of the coffee maker, you get rid of the coffee.  Get rid of the assault weapons, get rid of the massacres.  It’s a heck of an easier argument to win than cause/effect on mental illness.  I’m not saying it’s the right argument, but it is the one that I’d use if I had a stake in it.

So the NRA wants to have armed guards at every school.  Let’s just forget about the fact that this really seems like about the most stupid idea ever.  Since we are on the “fiscal cliff”, my first thought is “Who the fuck is paying for that?”.  In Cleveland, our schools can’t pay for things like “books” and “desks”.  Now you are going to have some guy with a machine gun walking around every school in the district?  What’s that cost?  We, as a country, can’t pay for the shit we already bought.  How are we going to pay for that?  From a cost/benefit standpoint, wouldn’t it make more sense to just get rid of the military style guns?  Nobody really needs them.  They’re just fun as hell if you like blowing shit up.

Dangerous Ideas For Dangerous Times:  Here’s my proposal…  What if everyone with an assault weapon is required to do volunteer charity work in security as decided by voters.  If you live in a community that thinks it’s a good idea to have your kids in school with a guy with a weapon, than so be it.  I wouldn’t vote for it, but this is a democracy.  We vote in all kinds of bad ideas.  So let's say that your community is down with this NRA plan.

If you want to keep your assault weapon, you have to be available to do charity security work.  Each person that wants to keep their assault weapon gets checked out like anyone else applying for that kind of job.  You would make a couple of other people be references for anyone that wants in on this program.  You would also make anyone that vouches for you be on the hook if you go crazy, like if you co-signed for a mortgage.  The shit has to be serious.  Mental health screenings, training, and consistent interaction with other responsible professionals are part of the protocol.  The cost gets picked up by gun manufacturers (who will make out like bandits).  This plan would give the gun enthusiasts an actual reason to have these guns that they want so badly.  They would be providing a social benefit while we as a society can weed out some kooks with firepower.  You get to keep your crazy gun you don't really need, but you have to do a little work for it.  You know how excited guys would be to walk around with badass guns waiting to get in a shootout?  If you gave them a cool looking uniform, I think they’d be all in!  Make a uniform with a snake or some scary shit like that on it.

How about that?  Is that crazy?        


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