Wednesday, March 11, 2009
The Guys With the Guns
What a great day for the Grim Reaper.
Today we had news of two--count 'em, two--maniacs gunning down innocent people on this battered planet: one in the U.S. and another in Germany for a total of 25 people shot dead.
These mass shootings totals are getting like the sports scores.
And the kicker is that tonight I get an email from the Brady Campaign linking to a video of an address by NRA head case Wayne LaPierre speaking at the Conservative Political Action Conference.
"Our founding fathers understood that the guys with the guns make the rules," LaPierre told the assembled freaks. "Our founding fathers understood that freedom always rides with a firearm by its side."
Oh, Wayne, how right you are. The guys with the guns really are making the rules. Guys like John Wilkes Booth, Lee Harvey Oswald, David Berkowitz, and Mark David Chapman to name a few. And now we have a few more names to add to that list.
In Alabama, a guy with a gun made the rules. He killed 10 people and then committed suicide in a metals plant that had forced him to resign years ago.
Police said the shooter had left behind lists of employers and co-workers he believed had wronged him, including one who reported him for not wearing ear plugs, another who made him clean a meat grinder and a supervisor who didn't like the way he cut pork chops at the sausage factory where he worked.
There's something about this man working at a place where meat products are churned out that makes this story even more gruesome.
The shooting was the deadliest attack by a single gunman in Alabama history and a man who worked with the killer told reporters that "something had to snap." It snapped, all right.
The Brady Campaign says that Alabama has the fifth-highest gun death rate in America, including the third-highest rate of gun homicide.
Then over in Germany,a 17-year-old wielding a Beretta 9 mm pistol really laid down the law as he burst into classrooms at his former high school Wednesday and gunned down students.
"Children were sitting at their tables, with pencils still in their hands, their heads fallen over on the table," a police official told AP. "Most of them had shots in their head — it must have all happened in seconds."
Yes, it doesn't take much time to set those rules. And it seems the lines from these slaughters are always the same.
"I heard two shots and then screaming," one girl in Germany said. "At first I thought it was a joke, but then someone called 'Run, run!' and I saw students jumping out of the windows and took off running."
The kiler was described as "completely unremarkable" and that "there was nothing in his background to suggest this could have happened."
And then there's this from Alabama:
"He had cold eyes. There was nothing. I hollered at him. I said, 'Look, boy, I ain't done nothing to you,'" a witness said.
A former classmate of the Alabama shooter said, "you never saw him out at parties; he never got in trouble."
Shots, screaming, cold eyes--is this some kind of virus that's gripping our world? Is it something you can catch like the flu?
Of course we all know that guns has absolutely nothing to do with all these dead bodies. Guns don't kill people; psychotics with guns kill people.
Here's an email from RNC Chairman/Limbaugh Lackey Michael "You Be Da Man" Steele to his fellow gun lovers.
"The Obama Administration has revealed its intention to reinstate the so-called 'assault' gun ban — Step One of their plan to repeal the 2nd Amendment."
Steele goes on to accuse the Obama team of "using fear tactics to impose bad policy."
Obama is using fear tactics? How about Wayne LaPierre? How about the guys with the guns? Wouldn't you call wholesale slaughter a pretty fearful thing? I sure as hell would.
We sent guys--and women--to Iraq with guns and look how well that worked out. Naturally the people who came up with that brilliant idea didn't actually go over there themselves. It's great to talk tough and let somebody else deal with the other guys with guns.
But gun nuts have nothing to fear. They'll always have their precious weapons and we'll always have these massacres.
We'll have more cold eyes, more unremarkable people becoming murderers, more screaming, more death lists, and plenty of those candlelight vigils we've all grown so accustomed to seeing. Something is going to snap over and over again.
Praise the Lord and pass the Kevlar.