Thursday, August 22, 2013

The Barrel

Spoiler alert and my apologies: this isn't about fatness, fashion, or foreign countries. This is about America. I can see the eyes rolling now, and I don't blame you if this is a blog you opt out on. But I'm going to hop up on my soapbox for this blog's duration because I think this is important.

Firstly, I sincerely hope all my readers know about what recently went down in Oklahoma. I hope you at least have ears enough to have heard the news reports or eyes enough to have seen the Facebook posts about the three teens who murdered an Australian baseballer in cold blood because they "were bored." Normally, I would take this opportunity to rip on the south, but this is really too tragic and is clearly part of a much deeper issue.

There are some who will argue that these young men are sociopaths, or at least suffer from obvious psychological damage in order to find murder a cure for boredom; and I would agree. But this argument is a Band-Aid argument that cloaks this horrific act under the guise of psychosis when the real problem is American gun violence.

As a country, we have almost eagerly (and certainly with a heaping hint of martyrdom) dubbed ourselves the world's police, and this title has won us a revered spot at the top of the food chain. However, we are akin to the drunken businessmen who hides his flask and his misery under a mountain of papers and rests comfortably knowing that, even if someone were to notice, they wouldn't say anything. But it's really time for an intervention.

I just watched The Purge and, as you might assume, really enjoyed the dystopic themes and the subtle even with one iota of a thought that maybe purging works. The demographic ramifications are really too vast to go into in this particular blog, and suffice to say I don't truly think that an annual 12 hours of government-sanctioned violence is a good idea, but it still begs the question: What the fuck do we do?
jabs at the worsening state of our world. Here's the most horrifying thing about that move: believing

America may not be the highest-ranking country in regards to gun related violence (that privilege belongs to the Honduras, El Salvador, and Jamaica), but we do own the highest percentage per capita of the world's guns (with 88.8/100 people claiming to be gun owners according to a report by The Guardian) and have among the most liberal gun laws in the world. And while I fully understand that there are responsible gun owners, there is an undeniable problem. No, no. Wait. There are undeniable problems. And one of those problems is that some loud, opinionated "responsible" gun owners feel so personally affronted by the idea of amendments and regulations regarding gun control that they are willing to continue to allow violent assaults to happen. Despite the fact that no one is coming to seize their guns. Or tell them they can't have guns anymore. You'd think someone threatened to castrate them! So, in pursuit of keeping their fingers on their triggers, gun laws stalemate in the House and the Senate, and meanwhile, innocent internationals wrongfully stare down the barrel because three teenagers have nothing better to do.

I bet you've got myriad things better to do, but I strongly encourage you to email your representative or wave a big old flag or stand at the corner of Main Street with a humongous sign or put a bumper sticker on your car demanding gun reform. I realize that these acts seem small and insignificant, but we have become an apathetic nation of American'ts, happily sucking the government lollipop after it shoots us in the foot or stabs us in the back (more likely). As the Onceler says in The Lorax, "Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not."

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