Tuesday, March 04, 2014

"Freedom is not free"

"A person with a gun is a citizen; a person without a gun is a victim."--A Florida legislator, per Rachel Maddow's show

It'll cost you at least a hand and a leg.

No, I'm not kidding.  Peruse a few of the "accidental shooting" reports at Southern Beale, and consider how many truly stupid people are carrying guns.  Consider, too, the observations of Lt. Col. Robert Bateman on gun safety and the NRA; except for the fact my father has never owned a gun and I know of them only from friends who had guns (for hunting, not for "protection"), his experience is mine.

The most recent account Southern Beale has is a man in the dressing room of a Bass Pro Shop with his five year old son.  The man took his cell phone and his Glock out of his pants.  His son played with one, and then the other, and ended up shooting himself and his father.  Neither injury was described as "life-threatening," but I'm not sure a 9mm round through the hand of a five year old is going to do that hand much good.

Why the hell is anyone carrying a handgun to a concert, or into the dressing room of a store?  Are we really that insanely paranoid and jacked up on action movies where everybody is "other" and all those "others" are terrorists and thugs who can only be stopped by our manly resilience and our firearms?

Or is it because we've started buying the casual lie that "Freedom is not free"?

I will not put all my eggs in that basket, but I will put more than a few there.  Yes, the NRA has become a lobbying group for gun manufacturers, and is earning its keep increasing the sales of both firearms and ammunition.  But people are buying both the product and the concept because they cannot seem to otherwise believe that violence is the sure cure for whatever ails you.

Take Ukraine as an example.  I understand that Lindsey Graham is running again in South Carolina, so any excuse to belittle the "manhood" of Barack Obama makes electoral sense to him.  But the same stupidity that says we must "do something" about Vladimir Putin and Russia, also says we should have sent in the world's manliest men to Benghazi, and we only failed to because we don't want to pay the price of freedom (which is not free!).  Nobody wants to acknowledge that the defense secretary refused to authorize air strikes or support which wouldn't arrive for 8 hours because this isn't a movie and the jets aren't all 10 minutes away from any location where the monster/bad guy lingers waiting for the cavalry to fly in and end the movie.  If memory serves, it took George H.W. Bush months, 9 or so, to assemble the ground forces (much less the international consensus to proceed) to drive Saddam Hussein out of Kuwait.  We didn't exactly send in Seal Team Six within 24 hours of Iraqi troops crossing the border, and drive them all out within 90 minutes.

So what the hell are we gonna "do" about Ukraine?  Start a war with Russia, immediately?  Right.  You and what army?  No, literally.....

Violence delayed is retribution denied:  that has become the American way of life, apparently.  And retribution denied is not to be allowed, because freedom isn't free and somebody's gotta pay (preferably some black kids or foreigners).   I don't understand this in some still larger sociological context, but it seems clear we have decided freedom comes from the end of a and freedom is denied if we can't carry that gun no matter how irresponsible we are with it.

This is a recipe for disaster.

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