Being a product of the era of my birth I have fond and sometimes not so fond memories of my childhood. I can remember watching Superman jump out of a window to search for bad guys. I can remember watching first aired episodes of such shows as “Dragnet,” “Gunsmoke,” “Rawhide,” “Bonanza,” and a plethora of other television that is now called Classic, Vintage, or perhaps just old. I remember comic books and Robbie the Robot.
And I remember the comic strips from the Sunday paper.
I read Pogo and never knew what it was about until I attained adulthood. Beetle Bailey probably aided in my decision to join the U.S. Army. Certainly Peanuts was definitely on the list, especially the football gig that Charlie never learned about before Mr. Schulz passed on. Doonesbury came along when I was old enough to discern truth from rhetoric in matters of politics.
But my all-time favorite comic strip was Dick Tracy. Dick knew exactly what was right and what was wrong. He chased villains and caught bad guys and did it in the seven Primary colors of the spectrum. As did the live action movie made of his adventures. He had a strong chiseled square jaw. A hot girlfriend and an out of this world watch that had a two way radio in it. (Apple should really be paying royalties to the guy that invented Dick Tracy)
Merchandising was alive and well in 1962 and there came on the market the “Official Dick Tracy Mattel Power-Jet Squad Gun” which was a plastic replica of a pump shotgun and I was convinced that I would die if I did not get it for Christmas. It fired caps and it also shot streams of water at targets. All in all a healthier gift to give a kid then the real thing which is what I currently own for personal protection.
Let’s now use Mister Peabody’s updated and enhanced WABAC machine to modern times. We live in an era that is bereft of reason as to what a toy is and what is not. To wit; assault rifles. Once more there is a mass shooting enthralling us with the incident in Orlando. I refuse to call it a tragedy because this function of our society has become acceptable and no longer will fit the definition of a tragedy. While it does fit all of the words associated with the word tragedy such as disaster, calamity, catastrophe, misfortune, or heartbreak it has gone beyond that. Outrage, fear, anger, unrest, confusion, and disgust also describe the incident. But those words still do not describe what is going on.
What is going on is quite simply business as usual.
Businesses as usual due to the fact that it keeps occurring and our leaders have impotently refused to take action to rectify the situation. Business as usual as long as the NRA has the funds to disperse to political leaders too cowardly and greedy to take action to protect the citizens of this country. Business as usual in that it allows for the exploitation by the news media that is in the for-profit business of reporting to us what will keep our attention and not what we can do about it. All the sorrow and all the pain will not do a damn thing to change anything. Candlelight vigils are just places for television cameras and tears.
And nothing gets done to change a fucking thing.
Already there are those who are blaming Middle Eastern extremists for committing this barbarity while ignoring the fact that it was a citizen of the United States of America who was the perpetrator. Someone who was able to purchase an assault rifle in spite of authorities knowing beyond a shadow of a doubt that this individual was a dangerous supporter of the horrific ideology that champions this kind of behavior!!!!!
The AR-15, as we know it today, is weapon produced to be a civilian counterpart of the M-16A1 issued to ground troops that are charged with the duty of defending our country. It fires a single bullet at a time and is able to fire as much as 60 rounds in a minute. It is easily converted to full automatic with a simple five minute adjustment in the workings which increases the rate to 700-950 rounds per minute. Now that weapon is available to anyone, regardless of actual need who wishes to own one. It is available in many places without requiring identification.
Now that explains how a crazy bastard was able to shoot over a hundred people in a crowded nightclub. Even a semi-automatic version of this weapon and a bunch of folks in a small area is all that is necessary to commit genocide. Oh, is that too much? Does the term genocide not fit? Was it not “the deliberate and systematic extermination of a national, racial, political, or cultural group?” Or did the fact that it happened in a gay bar exclude it from the broader term.
Now it is several days after the occurrence and all the politically correct terminology is being bandied about. All the outrage is being focused with the proper sound bite and meme in order to make better copy. All the defense of the indefensible is being vomited on the Internet by those who wish to defend their rights under the Second Amendment. By those…fucking children who think that if they have a gun just like a soldier that they will be safe and secure. By those fucking idiot children who are two stupid to realize the Second amendment was never meant to allow you own a weapon you have neither the intelligence, nor maturity to use. The Second Amendment does not give you the right to own this type of weapon. It gives you the right to bear arms in defense of your country. You want to fire a gun that holds 30 or 50 bullets and fires hundreds of rounds a minute…join the Armed Forces and defend your country.
I was ready to defend my family with my “Official Dick Tracy Mattel Power-Jet Squad Gun” the minute after I discovered it under the tree that long ago Christmas of 1963. That was the same year that the AR-15 civilian model became available to the public. I proudly defended my family the next day by hitting the family cat in the kisser and he ran his sopping wet ass under the house. When my father came to get it out, it scratched his arms so bad that he had to go to the emergency room. Somehow I was not able to find my device of defense after that. Would that it could be the same for a crazy mass murderer to encounter the same problem when he went looking for his deadly device and it had somehow had become unavailable to him once it became common knowledge that he was a sick son of a bitch. Would that it could be that common sense could prevail when anyone wanted to purchase a gun that has the ability to shoot a hundred people in two minutes.
Would that it could be that our society had the balls to do something that might stop crazy fuckers from doing this again. Would that it could be that our leaders would cease having moments of silence in place of taking action to regulate this insanity.
Would that it could be…