Charlie Pierce referred to it as a Cargo Cult of Weaponry. That’s a good way to look at it.
On Monday, I was working with the FIRST Robotics team on shop and tool safety. General rules to be safer, behavior, dangers, etc. As a fellow mentor said, following every one of those rules will not make you SAFE, but WILL make you SAFER. Power tools are inherently dangerous, and they need to be respected.
And even though our shop is not equipped with the greatest array of tools, it seems like the safety training we provided is still way beyond what is required for Americans to possess and believe they know how to use the most dangerous tool of all, a gun.
At Balloon Juice, a poster said that Americans are led to believe that guns win arguments, when what they do is END an argument. A distinction that is certainly lost on the gun fetishists and murderer’s lobbyists. A gun will not make you safe; in fact, the gun rarely makes a person SAFER. Rules for gun use do, however, have the potential to do so. And national regulations have the potential to make everybody, including grade school children, safer.
And even though we were talking tools at the Robotics meeting, one of the more highly excitable students interjected during the quiz, something about using a gun as part of horseplay in the shop.
I immediately stopped the point I was trying to make, looked directly at the student and said “Thomas, if you or any one of the team ever brings a gun into this activity, we will have failed in EVERYTHING we are trying to help you learn. It should go without saying that a gun is never allowed in the shop, or anywhere near the team. And in fact, I personally will do everything in my power as a 3rd degree black belt to break both of your arms and take the damned thing away from you before you hurt anybody.”
I rarely use my experience as a black belt as a threat, but in this case I was trying to make the point that even joking about gunplay was inappropriate and dangerous.
And, of course, the Clackamas shooting was the next fucking day.
Seriously, America, the zompocalypse will be a step up for you.
Here are examples of the gun fetishist quick draw artistes:
Yeah, having these nimrods walking around armed at all times is going to make everyone safer. These are the guys making the “armed society is polite society” argument. Sheesh.