Monday, July 27, 2009

Chitty Chitty Bang-bang

In Baltimore, where the hills are often alive with the crackling sound of gunfire, and veterans lately back from the war-torn mideast feel like they're back in Baghdad from the sound of things, it's hardly a surprise to turn on the news and hear stories that go like this: "A young man was gunned down today at the corner of Martin and Lewis. Police report the victim was shot 23 times about the head and chest, and that dozens of glassine envelopes and a roll of bills totaling $1300 surrounded the body. Police suspect foul play in the death, and hint that narcotics might be involved."

Then, within the next few days, as long as you can keep the multitudinous street killings straight in your mind, you’ll hear that a suspect has been rounded up and brought in for arraignment on the charges. His attorney will address the media outside the great gray courthouse downtown and let us all know that the young man grew up in a tough neighborhood without a great deal of love in his life. Then, a reporter, brandishing computer printouts, will detail the lengthy arrest and conviction record of the young man whose life has taken so many tragic turns.

What’s always missing is the piece in which a representative from the National Rifle Association, great defenders of arms long and short, speaks up and decries the easy availability of handguns on the nation’s streets and highways. Even the most fervent defenders of their right to own a .22 to (choose one) a) protect their family from communists or bears b) plink tin cans or c) go a-huntin’ with Zeke and Big Shirtless Ron have no comment on the death toll brought to bear on the nation by the proliferation of handguns.

Now this from the New York Times, reporting that a measure that would have allowed proud gun owners to strut about from state to state while proudly toting their substitutes ooops I mean guns has failed in the Senate. The outcry will be uproarious! If this were one of those TV talent shows where they put the applause-o-meter on the screen to show who hollers most loudly for whom, the shouting of the spurned would enlittle (opposite of embiggen) the soulful suffering of the shot.

2 comments:

PandorasInk said...

What about a state like New Hampshire, with some of the most liberal gun laws of any state, and the lowest gun related violence rates? I don't see the issue of gun violence so much about the existance of guns, it's the people, the lack of regulation, the availability of illegal hand guns.

Mark said...

It's the very regulation of handguns that the NRA fights at every turn. Even after they had to move their corporate HQ out of DC because staff kept getting held up at gunpoint on the way to their cars, they still refuse to support any sort of regulation. If they had their way, we'd all parade around armed to the hilt. Ask Freud or Jung what primal urge that satisfies....