Monday, February 13, 2006

I shot a man in Reno, just to watch him die

Not much more to say that Jane and Reddhedd, as well as others, haven't already covered. I mostly just wanted to use that song lyric. As a side note, the lyric is actually one of those subtle disconnects: Cash sings the line at Folsom Prison to applause and laughter, as even he giggles slightly. Pretty wierd laugh line, about killing someone.

Cheney's stunt, and the follow up in the press, is a bit similar. Some are laughing, some are spinning, some are shoveling manure over the incident, yet a man who, sadly, was foolish enough to befriend and hunt with the VP is at last report still in the ICU. As someone who has spent time in ICU with sick and dying relatives, that ain't where they put you with an ingrown toenail.

I'm going out on a limb here, and we'll see what happens, because my position will be held to un-Amurican, but I hate guns.

There, I've said it. So sue me, NRA members, "sportsmen," cop wanna be's, and all others who worship at the alter of the firearm. As a side note, someone who shoots caged birds with a shotgun, hell, even Bwana who shoots the man-eating tiger with his 30-06, can hardly be called sportsmen. Sporting is when the critter has a chance to eat you as well, like football, or Tyson-style boxing.

I really don't understand the allure of the gun. Let's face it, guns were not designed for hunter/gatherers to increase their food supply. Spears, arrows, and atl-atl's were, as were other thrown weapons. But as soon as gunpowder was invented, it was used as a weapon, not as an improved food collection tool. And that is the context that is always on my mind when I see or even hear about guns.

I know plenty of lovely, liberal, sensible people who also enjoy hunting or target shooting, and that's fine. I just don't. For me, however, it's not simply that some people enjoy Metallica or Dave Matthews while I don't. Those likes are pretty benign, although I'm pretty sure Dave Matthews can be used as an implement of torture. I just can't rid myself of the thought that this device exists primarily as a tool of human death.

In a long exchange on one of my pro audio email lists some time ago, some liberal as well as right wing folks tried to convince me to be appreciative of the engineering aspects of firearms. I suppose so. I could also study the engineering genius behind the rack, iron maiden, or guillotine. But I don't. I have no interest in studying ways to kill people. Frankly I got over that about the time I stopped burning ants with a magnifying glass. Having said that, I also appreciate that people who study firearms for a living, and not as a fetish, can and do follow careers into law enforcement and the military, since our country does still need defenders.

And please, not the old tired canard "Guns don't kill people..." No one who ever aimed a rubber band or spitball at someone in anger ever caused another's death. Guns may need people to pick them up, but without the gun, a pointed finger isn't lethal.

Cheney's stunt will likely result in not one damn thing, even his own introspection. For him it's just an inconvenience, and while he may actually like Whittington, he still likes guns, A lot.