Friday, April 20, 2007

Angry people get angrier when they're told they're too angry

This morning, the Virginia Tech shootings finally got to me. I'm not sure what it was. All of a sudden, there were tears. Last night, I was laughing while watching Bowling for Columbine, and this morning, I was crying for a crazy young man and what I can only assume was a kind of desperation that led him to wantonly destroy other human beings.

Luther and I have talked about it all a few times. I roll my eyes at the simultaneously consoling and alarming messages about grief and security from my school, Southern Poly, and Luther's, Macon State. Life for these Georgia students is no different today than it was yesterday, but school administrators seem to delight in insisting that everything has changed. A crazy person with a couple of guns could shoot you at your work as easily as at your school, and it's not a new thing. I was standing at a gas pump a half hour ago remembering that somebody with a gun can shoot me from where he is hiding in the trunk of his car much more easily than he could shoot me in a classroom on a college campus. The fact is that it is all easy. Practically everybody has access to a gun, and when you're not worried about getting out alive, you can take a lot of people with you when you die.

It might be the gun arguments that are getting to me most of all. I don't really believe that guns are a necessary part of life. We have them. We rarely even think about them, let alone take them out and use them. But the other day I read an article in the National Post that quoted a young woman in Montreal, whose school had witnessed a shooting last fall, and in response to Virginia Tech, her question was, How can people be allowed to own a gun like that? And I laughed. It was the kind of question I can't imagine hearing from an American, even now.

And then I read in today's junk on, an article by Ted Nugent, who in my limited experience talks like every other "gun nut" in this country. You'd have to be crazy and by the way, dickless to suggest that we shouldn't own guns. He goes on to talk about the examples of gun owners who have saved the day, preventing other gun owners from shooting other people.

You can argue the whole gun thing both ways, but THAT particular argument is what makes this whole thing stink. THAT argument is what makes this country a voilent and selfish and frightening place to live. Because what Ted Nugent is saying is that if we are to be responsible, if we are to do the RIGHT thing, we must counter gun ownership with guns of our own. The more guns there are out there, and the more willing people are to use them, the more guns we ought to have, and the more willing we ought to be to use them.

That's just plain sick.

This kind of violence will only get worse if we maintain and encourage the mentality that the right answer to our fears and the dangers we perceive around us is to arm ourselves. And if this is what Mr. Nugent really believes, then perhaps he would like to step up and take the blame for a young man that conquered his enemies and himself at Virginia Tech the other day. Because I won't blame the gun.

I'll blame the asshole.

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