Wednesday, December 30, 2015

When I was a kid, I and many of my friends had BB guns; very realistic looking rifles and pistols. Here is a photo of the one I owned which was my favorite. My friends and I wandered the fields in our neighborhood shooting at things. I once accidently shot a friend in the back, which produced a nasty welt. Another kid once intentionally shot at me from a distance and the BB hit my eye. I came very close to losing my vision in that eye. In both of those cases, had they been bullets and not BB's, death or very serious injury would have occurred. 

I can only assume that it was because I was a white kid in a mostly white neighborhood that I could carry my BB gun around and never had any interference from the police. Additionally, that was 40 years ago and guns (and gun violence) had not proliferated into the plague that it is today--causing police to be hyper-vigilant and proactively belligerent in order to avoid being gunshot victims themselves. 

I guess what I'm trying to say is that what Tamir Rice was doing in that playground when he was gunned down by police was no different from what I and my friends did day after day when we were his age. The difference is that he was African-American in an African-American neighborhood and that he had the misfortune of living in a time and place where gun violence and the resulting paranoia is at a fever pitch. We have got to do something about both the institutional racism and the madness of guns in our land.



Blogger Horseman Bree said...

Just occurred to me as I read your post: the rise of the need for guns seems to match the life of the baby boomers. Your idyllic childhood-with-BBguns came near the rise of the baby boomers as a social force - everything was going THEIR way, not like those old fuddy-duddies that used to run things.But their attention span was limited and they went through many versions of themselves, always controlling the market - the "ME" generation of the '80s, the Reagan turnaround of the 90's, the subjugation of the GenXers in the noughties and the attempt to destroy the Millennials in the teens - all were engineered by the need of the Boomers to stay in control. The adults brought us Civil Rights for all, abortion as needed and other social constructs that have been under attack by the Boomers, right down to the vilification of a Black President and the attempt at destroying Congress of the present. Who formed the Tea Party? The Boomers. Who loves D. Trump? the Boomers.

The problem is that the Boomers are still children in many ways, given to tantrums when they don't get their way.

The gun thing is just a symptom: the Boomers need guns, because, basically, they are insecure. They know there are adults around, who are going to "spoil all the fun" So the Boomers have bigger and louder tantrums, while the adults (who have lost control) worry about the poor dears hurting themselves. You can see the whole thing in microcosm in any WalMart: Children running amok because their parents are only interested in shopping

Boomers running amok with guns because they don't want the adults to do anything but start bigger wars and avoid dealing with the environment, both very "adult" topics but not "sexy adult" because they don't actually involve getting it off.

The American Empire will have died on the day that Donald Trump is elected President. And the Boomers will prove the thing about "he who dies with the most toys wins" by actually shooting at anything that moves, just like a kid on his first hunt.

Oh, man! I've got to start NOT thinking about things so much.

3:48 PM  

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