The only big news I heard while in Puerto Rico over the weekend concerned the Colorado extreme sports event held at midnight in the suburban movie theater. At the time, not much was known beyond the body count.
The next day, relaxing at the bar after business, I had the good fortune to bump into a guy from Texas who identified himself as Dustin Wax, proud member of the NRA since getting his very first gun at age 10.
“Very sad affair,” he told me, shaking his head. “I hate it when shit like this happens.”
Seems like it happens a lot, too. Nothing to do with guns, though.
“Well sir I respectfully disagree. It has everything to do with guns, and frankly I’m surprised something like this would happen in Colorado, where the lessons from the Columbine incident should have been learned first and best.”
Let me guess — that lesson isn’t anything radical like taking weapons designed for warfare off the streets or out of the hands of maniacs, is it?
“’Course not. It ain’t the weapons’ fault. Do you take cell phones away from drivers because it distracts ‘em? Naw, the problem this time is the same one as last time — in a state where they’re sensible enough and freedom-minded to encourage Americans to take responsibility for themselves, not enough folks are carrying arms at all times. Even though it’s smart and legal as it should be.”
I get it. If some of those folks in the audience had their guns on ‘em, they might have stopped the slaughter a lot sooner, if not completely.
“Exactly. That’s what the 2nd Amendment’s ‘well-armed militia’ is all about — an armed citizenry to protect itself. You know that if I’m in that audience, I’m packing, and as soon as I see trouble like this I’m on the floor finding my target and firing away.”
Wow. Imagine half a dozen or more shooters taking action like that — with all those bullets flying through the smoke in the dark from every direction, no question there would be fewer injuries.
“Damn betcha. But that’s not what happened this time anyway, so as a result we have all those innocent trusting people to bury this week. Tell ya what,” he sets his jaw. “When I get home I’m gonna see what I can do to get the NRA to redouble its efforts in that state. What the hell good is it to make it easy for every damn citizen to have as many weapons of any kind in the world he wants to have if they don’t take advantage? Ya think freedom comes for free? Citizens have responsibilities, too!”
He slams down his drink and thrusts out his hand, which I shake firmly. “Pleasure speaking to a clear-thinking gentleman like yourself,” he says, and shoves off.
I remain for a few more minutes and a few more drinks — apparently my thinking has been too clear.