It’s all over the place now, what happened in Colorado last night.
A young guy guns down at least several dozen people watching a movie in a theater and, once again, the world focuses it’s attention on our gun’d-up nation.
In the wake of yet another unspeakable unimaginable, yet very real tragedy, every voice out there in the cyber-wilderness howls their opinion up into the wild wind. It’s only natural, I guess. I mean, what else can we do? We need each other at times like these more than ever. We need to listen to other human beings, and we need them to listen to us.
Processing events like the one in the suburban Denver town of Aurora is tough, that much is certain. But in the days and weeks to come, as the more radical off-the-cuff voices fades away and people turn to the more thought-out viewpoints and debates that will no doubt be everywhere we turn, there is one thing that I hope comes up again and again.
And that’s guns.
Because we’ve got ‘em here in America.
And more and more, we’re using them to get our little warped points across.
I’m a dad.
I’ve got a three-year-old daughter and a one-year-old son. They’re great kids and anyone who knows me or reads me or even passes me in the mall probably recognizes that they are my everything.
I’m also a husband. I’m madly in love with my wife and even though we have our moments and struggles like a lot of other couples, I’d head out into the garage and jig-saw out a kidney or some bone marrow, or even my heart, if it ever came down to her needing one of those things in this lifetime.
I’m an American. I’ve put in 40 years now of upstanding citizenry, never causing any fuss for the local cops, never latching on to government teat for stuff I didn’t really need, never bitching about paying my fair share of taxes come that time of year. I’ve delivered newspapers and auto parts and cleaned the divut dirt off of rich people’s golf clubs and laid tile and painted walls and mowed long yards and played my guitar and written stories down through the years just so I could make an honest dollar and keep my nose a half-inch above the rising waters of everyday living.
What I’m trying to say is that I just am like so many of you, my neighbors and friends and strangers who I’ll never even meet, who might be reading this.
And I am so @$^&!*% confused today about this whole gun thing.
I should also tell you that I am a gun owner too. I have a couple of shotguns of my own that I use to hunt wild turkeys because I like to do that in the spring of the year when the leaves are just starting to bud on the trees and the mountain sides that rise up all around my home are a place where I can go to to walk amongst new wild flowers and baby deer and listen close for the distant sound of a tom turkey gobbling across some hollow. I rarely shoot my gun, I’m sort of ashamed to admit. My skills as a woodsman seem to be sort of lacking, I guess.
But, I’d turn them over tomorrow, man. My guns, I mean. Watching this thing unfold today, hearing yet another tale of children being rushed to emergency rooms and seeing people on the news describing the carnage they just had to witness, it’s all too much for me anymore. I could hunt a turkey with a bow and arrow if I really wanted to. But, you’d be hard-pressed to get far with one if it’s all you had in your possession when you headed out into the night for a human killing spree.
I don’t trust a lot of these voices who keep harping on the 2nd Amendment anymore. I don’t trust the people who tell us that guns don’t kill people, that people kill people. That seems like a cop-out to me, a cutesy slogan you can march out any old time that blows the head off of a child or their mom or dad. They are ancient voices, these ‘patriots’ are. They’re just echoes from a by-gone era. I try and see clearly what they mean when they say we have to have our guns, but there is never any brighter future in their words that I can make out.
Who are they fighting for?
Exactly what are they fighting for?
Don’t tell me that it’s our God-given right to arm ourselves to the teeth in case some kind of Red Dawn thing goes down, because frankly, that’s just bullshit dipped in bullshit.
We are a nation whose military is mightier and more adept at protecting our own shores than any other country in this world or in the next one. And if the day ever comes when somebody figures out a way to blow past all that, I got news for you: a foe that tricky won’t be kneeling down in surrender as a bunch of unorganized local yokels march down Main Street with their semi-automatic rapid fire people destroyers.
Those days are over, ya’ll.
It won’t be a bunch of red-coats coming down the midnight pike on horses next time. Mankind has seen to that. It’ll be a cloud of something nastier and meaner than anything you could ever dream. It will be a long slivering snake in the sky and it would be a cold day in hell when you or me could hope to pop a bullet hole in it.
You know it and I know it.
And if you deny that truth, then you are a damn liar.
So, why do we need all these guns that we say we need? Or don’t we really need them at all? Could it be that we just like having them for our own selfish reasons, so that we can get together with a couple of buddies and shoot up some paper targets or some water balloons and stand in our own acrid smoke with our hearts beating fast?
I don’t get it anymore. I don’t see people in Nebraska or Washington or Florida on the news, standing over the body of a terrorist who they shot red-handed as he prepared to fly a plane into a building. It just doesn’t happen. All of these millions and millions of guns: take a good hard look at them, man. Certain people swear that they make us safer, that they protect us from the forces of evil, but I’m not seeing it like that anymore.
Hell, truth is, they aren’t stopping much bad from happening at all.
But they sure are destroying the lives of a lot of people.
They sure are creating a landscape littered with the ghosts of decent American people who just wanted to go to school or watch a movie, who just wanted to live.
You can also find Serge on his personal blog, Thunder Pie.
Keep up with Babble.com on Facebook.
More from Serge: