One of our gimlet-eyed friends has asked for anonymity to report from the firing line. He calls himself Ammoboy. I’ll give you his name when you pry it from my cold, dead lips. We are happy to protect his identity with a nod to our beloved humor columnist and grateful for the opportunity to put forward his modest proposal. He writes:
I shoot a lot. Three times a week minimum, sometimes four, and if I’m lucky and time permits, five. So my shooting range/gun shop is what sociologists would call my Third Place. It’s not home, where I’m a spouse on duty from noon till one minute past noon, it’s not work since I am 10 years beyond the horrors of office life; it’s the place where I’m me without any effort. The talk is always banter, jibe and jest, all bonding courtesy of a sense of being a besieged community, and a general enthusiasm for the gizmos themselves. Needless to say, it’s as non-racist, non-classist, non-misogynist as any place in America.
But today it wasn’t my place. It was a damn mess.
People, people, people! Everybody is buying guns. It happens every time apocalypse fever fills the air, animated by crazed dreams of civil breakdown, too many viewings of Mad Max, food shortage, the whimsy of life and death, and anyone’s aching need to protect children, spouse and self. This time it’s COVID-19, but it could be any dodgy possibility as sustained and amplified by the willfully ignorant.
So as I sat there in the crowd, waiting for my turn to get to the firing line, I wondered: Who ARE they?
They’re not conservatives. Conservatives already have their guns, many of them of the so-helpful AR and AK variant, and many boxes—and crates and pallets—of ammo. That’s because apocalyptic thinking is never far from the conservative mind, with its realthink about the evil that men do and how quickly they can do it. It wasn’t a liberal who said, “When seconds count, the police are only minutes away.”
Some are certainly the low-informed indifferent, bludgeoned into fear by the media blackjack. Some are the occasional shooter discovering himself low on ammo. But certainly, some—maybe even most—are liberals.
This makes me sick. You would think them at least capable of some honor on these issues. They desire a certain world, one without the righteous force of self-protection, which they consider vulgar and immoral. (Hard to tell which looms larger in their imagination!) So here is an opportunity for them to live in that world and they say, No thanks. Not me. Him or her, but not me. Which way to the .45 automatics?
These are people who would deny us any living creature’s fundamental right to self-defense. These are a tribe that wants the police to look in our bed stand for the pistol with the light aboard. These are the snots whose ignorance is hot bliss when it comes to the things themselves, as if knowledge of the difference between a .308 and a .30-06 disqualifies one from the human race. These are the dweebs who want gun-owners listed in a public registry, like child molesters, of whom they consider gun-owners the moral and ontological equal. These are the sanctimonious pointy-heads who wish to use the economic bayonet of boycott and lawsuit to gut our culture.
I have a modest proposal for this annoying situation. The gun industry, especially at the retail level, should boycott THEM. It is for their own good. I wish to spare them the danger of an accident, the trauma of shooting fellow sentient beings or even their own foot, the hypocrisy of not practicing what they preach. I feel those burdens are simply too heavy for their turbulent emotional state.
Thus, I believe gun stores should be encouraged to sell only to select groups of those who can be trusted with the power of life and death. That would be NRA members or members of any other of the many pro-gun rights outfits. Another group would be those who already have state issued gun-possession permits. Another would be known customers, those who’ve supported the place for years, not only with cash but with comradeship. Of course, active-duty police and armed forces, or retirees, would be included as would sons and daughters of all the above.
As for the liberals, what do they do when s hits f, and bad dudes are smashing down the door to get at the food that was meant for Jimmy and Little Sally? Why, they can call the police.
What do you mean, there’s no answer?