Defending the indefensible
While you were watching Kirk Cousins misfire in Green Bay, the real heroes were in Bismarck on Sunday. That’s where a politically-ambitious, preening Rep. Rick Becker headlined a Rally For Tone Deafness. Becker never met a mirror he didn’t like, and if the universe were just, he’d own Peacock Alley.
The Sept. 15 rally was to defend gun ownership oppression in North Dakota, which ranks a pathetic ninth in America at 48%. On the other hand, we may lead the nation in Pavlovian reactionaries. All you need is one floundering presidential candidate like Beto O’Rourke to declare he’s going to buy back your Kalashnikov, panic ensues, and shootists in large jacked-up pickups with tiny steering wheels storm the Capitol grounds, which kinda, sorta, maybe, hilariously, might be a gun-free zone. Monster trucks remain legal.
Also speaking to the well-organized Small Hands Militia was Cody Schuh, a gun shop owner, which is a lot like Oscar Mayer defending your right to eat hot dogs.
Raheem Williams, who I mentioned last week, spoke, too. I get a free beer every time I mention Raheem’s name. I’m not sure if that makes me a socialist or a capitalist. Anyway, Raheem says bikes and swimming pools kill more schoolchildren than guns, so just relax, folks.
Even the president said he’d rush headlong into an active shooter situation, bone spurs and all, to rescue kids, but after every massacre, these guys rush in to save the AR-15s. When Parkland shooting survivors spoke in Bismarck last year, Mayor Steve Bakken attended the inaugural Tone Deafness Rally for gun rights outside. Total. Dipstick. Move.
And even if you think a monthly pile of corpses is the acceptable price of freedom, let’s consider collateral damage. Rob Port (another beer) recently wrote a column entitled “Who Is Really Afraid to Shop, Worship, or Go to School?”
Well, I’m no psychologist, but returning to the good old days of duck-and-cover drills can’t be conducive to a preschooler’s mental health. A false alarm goes off, and Billy thinks there’s a killer on the loose. A loud noise down the hall has Molly cowering in the janitorial closet. And you don’t think folks worry about that twitchy kid whose meth-addled, heavily-armed parents are never home?
This state of affairs isn’t normal and we should stop pretending it is, and that nothing can be done about it. It’s tough to pursue your constitutional right to happiness when you’re being pursued by a gunman blasting 45 rounds a minute. Even if it’s only in your nightmares.
My grandfather used to pay me 5 cents a gopher tail, but if I used the single-shot .22, he deducted 2 cents a shell, a lesson in common sense and economics. Real sportsmen don’t need 100-round magazines. Mass murderers do.
The theory that Second Amendment protections are absolute has as many holes in it as a Las Vegas concert venue, however, manipulative politicians who try to scare you into believing someone’s going to confiscate all your guns don’t much respect your intellect. But if you believe it, well, baaaaa, baaaaa.
The reality is we’re approaching critical mass (casualties), and some Republicans support Red Flag laws and stringent background checks because they understand that compromise now will avoid an overreaction later. You ought to listen, Rambo.
Tony Bender writes an exclusive weekly column for Forum News Service.