We seem to be in a time of guns again. Since February 2009, just after the inauguration of President Obama, people have been clutching, fondling, and fantasizing about their guns. Before March could march in, people were marching as well as they could in their re-enactor costumes and Rascal scooters to protest the "tax increases" of Obama -- who had not even submitted a budget, much less raised a tax -- and to swear to "take our country back." Gun sales soared.
Over the summer of 2009 and 2010, we were treated to "town hall" protests with people asserting "second amendment rights" to go to see elected officials with loaded pistols and assault weapons. Apparently, part of having a militia is now intimidating the choice of the popular majority. Part of answering the call of the government to defense of the nation is to menace the duly elected officials of the government.
Anyway, the shooting of Gabrielle Giffords must not be tied to any of this, we're told. I agree, even, that the shooter is unconnected, more or less. He's a paranoid, and paranoids are not programmed by anyone.
The people with this talk are unhealthy. They are all sick. They are, in fact, petting the gun but not shooting the bullets. They are displaying, threatening, muttering, growling, and hating as hard as they can, but they're not releasing anything, doing anything, or achieving anything.
William Blake's "A Poison Tree" is a bit of a high school cliche, I'm afraid. It talks about the power of anger to breed, to amplify, and finally to overwhelm. It begins by saying that expressing one's anger ends the anger and contrasts that with a hidden anger that ends in murder. Perhaps it's a good poem for the politics of the day. However, I was thinking that there is a change that I would make to the poem. Instead of the foe being dead in the garden, I think the poet/speaker would be dead.
Unspoken anger is an interesting beast. If your horrible girlfriend dumps you -- for no damn reason -- and is off at dinner with some guy -- a complete jerk, of course -- and faithless, with no concern for all that you've done, then you will, naturally, be stung by the injustice of her wicked character. You will spend that night writhing in hate. You won't sleep. Every time you calm yourself down, your brain will remember the day, and even a thought like, "I'm glad I'm not still upset" will lead to remembering it again. Your blood pressure will go up, cortisol levels will soar, muscles will ache, concentration will wane, digestion be ruined, and sleep flee. Meanwhile, that unspeakable cow at dinner will not notice a thing, will not feel the ugly thoughts, will not be pierced by the sharp comments. She will enjoy the dinner and the company, and she might even spend the night with the company, and, if she does, her experience of the night will be unaffected by your experiences.
The misery you have will make more misery for you, but it simply does nothing at all to the one you hate.
And so, if you think that coming up with an Obama joke or reverting to 1960's racist talk will "show them," it won't. I know that it won't. I spent eight years, and it seems like a lot longer, in protest at an administration that violated US law, international law, and divine law. In comparison to that, people showing off guns because they don't like the income tax are pikers.
Oh, go ahead, folks. Say it.
Don't shout about "Taxed Enough Already." Say, "I refuse to accept democracy! It's not fair that my side lost!"
Don't say, "We want America back." Say, "Black people can't be president."
The longer you bottle it up, the worse it will get. I know it hurts that you lost. I know that you're in pain, even though you don't actually have anything to disagree with about the president's policies (just the who, not the what (unless by "what" we mean "race")). Don't forget, swearing helps relieve pain.
Next time, you can vote Yosemite Sam or Phyllis Schlaffey.