“This is my rifle. This is my gun. This is for killing, and this is for fun.!“
So goes the Marine Corps ditty designed to guarantee, to all the world, that each and every US Marine both knows and understands the difference between his rifle, and his … ummm … his Dick? Penis? Can I say that here? Maybe we can call it his ‘Speaker of the House’? His Boner? Yeah. Hmmm. Nah, better don’t. Tricky linguistic world, this one. Oh well. Onward.
Guns. I googled the word: gun. The top two links that showed up were this and this, and now, here I stand, embarrassed to be alive, to be classified as being an American. Or ‘human’ even. I mean, really, IS THIS WHAT I AM? IS THIS ALL I AM? IS THIS ALL WE ARE???
I suppose a review of human history could rather quickly provide a one word answer to that, and it wouldn’t be an answer that would ever proclaim our species to have attained any significant level of any kind (including even elevating us above rocks and stones in the context of “useful” stuff) on this or any other sphere anywhere in the universe. And if we are, indeed, as we like to proclaim ourselves to be, created by god in god’s image, then let me state the obvious: God ain’t worth much. Neither.
The Second Amendment (hot topic in recent days) reads thus:
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
Ok, so here’s the thing: we all “know” that we need guns to save us from everything nasty, plus to hunt, i.e. to kill stuff for food to feed ourselves and the family, etc. And the Constitution says that guns are cool and that NOBODY can stand in MY way if/when I decide I WANT or NEED a gun.
I think the operative word here is BULL-COOKIES (trying to be polite. It ain’t always easy). Emily Dickinson said it as well as anyone ever has in a poem wherein the ‘voice’ is that of a loaded gun. Her most compelling lines read:
None stir the second time —
On whom I lay a Yellow Eye —
[ . . . ]
For I have but the power to kill,
Without — the power to die —
The power to kill — that’s the sole purpose of every gun ever made, period. THE POWER TO KILL! And, courtesy of the second amendment, most all Americans presume that owning the “power to kill” grants them implicit permission to kill ANYTHING, at ANY time; it’s a basic human right, after all, one that the nation’s founders understood and granted to each and all of us. The Power to Kill is thus enshrined and made beautiful by its presence in our founding document.
That seems to me to be an incredibly STUPID PREMISE! And grossly incorrect as well. Maybe if gun ownership was restricted to those who were members of “a well regulated militia” it would make more sense . . . or maybe it would have made at least SOME sense, even way back in the late 18th century when the document was first penned. Emphasize the word ‘maybe.’
Let me pause here for just a moment and be upfront: I HATE guns. Alladem. And no, I really do NOT feel the need to keep one around to protect myself. I mean, I wasn’t raised in either a lead mine or a ghetto, but still somehow I KNOW that WAY too often something goes wrong in that peculiar scenario. I also KNOW that it’s not worth my messing with. Period. And no, I’m NOT a hunter. I know, yea verily, that I’m hypocritical because yes, I do eat and enjoy meat; the flesh of certain dead animals (some more than others, of course) defines me, sort of; and while it does bother me to know that a critter is dead in order for me to have a nice lunch or dinner, well, the vast majority of animal life persists simply because it eats someone/something else. Life’s like that.
But . . . I can PURCHASE my meat at the local market, and save a PILE of money in the process; hunting for one’s meat is NOT economical, not by any stretch. Unless you’re like, say, Sarah Palin and live there on the edge of the wild where food walks by your porch day in and day out and all you gotta do is kill it, cut it up, and eat it. Yeah. OK. Uh huh.
I.O.W.: there is, no longer, even a single legitimate reason for a gun to exist. Period. And the fact that there are apparently several hundred million guns out there that really do “exist” in this country alone is mute testimony to human insufficiency (trying to be kind here, it ain’t easy). Guns are madness. Period. MADNESS.
Fifty years ago last fall, when I first enrolled as an undergrad at Arizona State University in Tempe, I met a fellow in a Herpetology class. We became friends, and remain such to this day. He was from Santa Barbara CA, the son of a dentist who was, himself, a big time ‘global’ big game hunter and trophy person. And yes, so was my friend, my classmate, a hunter. Still is. Except today, he hunts with a camera, not a gun. He loves the world ‘out there’ more than anyone I’ve ever known, but will not KILL anything to satisfy that “love.”
Below are a few photos — selected from the literally thousands he’s taken in just the last year, his captures of ‘out there’ — posted here on his behalf, and with his permission. Photos of natural Beauty, taken by one who no longer hunts to kill, but by one who has learned how to celebrate life, and Beauty. Denny Green, Tempe Arizona; one who knows, who cares for that which is “out there” far more than he cares about those things that are stacked in gun cabinets elsewhere.
Guns. No. Confiscate every last goddamn one of them, and never let them ‘out’ again. Period.
Meanwhile, enjoy photos of that other world — by Denny Green — of critters that neither he nor I could ever, ever, kill. Plus a brief poem (by me, circa 1978).
Seize the moment. Hope springs eternal.
My thoughts, circa 1978:
How sad that eyes so seldom see
Earth’s beauties, which abound,
For beauty known turns wisdom free
In measures that astound.
And if ’tis fact that beauty be
As truth, except in name,
What, then, is served but perfidy
When bird or beast is slain?
Yet minds of men seem safely free
Of senses which perceive;
Not truth nor beauty can they see –
For them must wisdom grieve.
The message, to me, in all of that is a simple one: BAN ALL GUNS! And maybe (?) then, after the dust settles, we could celebrate, instead, Beauty? And that which Beauty portends?
I died for Beauty — but was scarce
Adjusted in the Tomb
When One who died for Truth, was lain
In an adjoining room —
He questioned softly “Why I failed”?
“For Beauty”, I replied —
“And I — for Truth — Themself are One —
We Brethren, are”, He said —
So wrote Emily Dickinson, circa 1862. And still, WE don’t get it. How sad is that?
Open thread . . . what’s on your mind? Speak it! I just did, feels good!