An observer writes: Here’s another instance of Second Amendment lunacy. In Brunswick Stew, one of America’s less dynamic states, a high court approved bearing weapons in establishments least likely to require their use. Rationally arrived at as the decision seems upon laymen’s ears, it simply further burdens law enforcement by heaping more unnecessary risk on the public.

In case any violence threatened, citizens of Brunswick Stew may now flash arms and quell incipient menaces in churches, children’s nursery schools, and of course libraries.

Churches, nursery schools and libraries. Man, that is one tough neighborhood.

Regarding the last facility, it was just the sort of measure which might make librarians careful about shushing loud patrons or any readers whose page turning disturbs others. Beyond that …

To the above Brunswick Stew voting booths are now added. Isn’t most of any electoral contention exchanged during the campaigns? By the Election Day hasn’t all the screaming ended?

Who would tote his or her iron inside a polling place, and why? The purpose would be? To intimidate or repulse intimidation? Statues already sit in the books outlawing the practice and poll watchers await to thwart it.

In fact didn’t the country have a huge manifestation about that very matter in 1964? Isn’t 2014 the 50th commemorative of that bill’s enactment? How soon Americans forget.

The observer supposed Brunswick Stew printers brace themselves for another crush of rush placard orders. After the state legislature approved bills allowing weapons, even concealed gats, inside bars, restaurants, stores, schools and hospitals, a rightfully alarmed populace deluged printers with every possible variant of No Guns Allowed! signs.

Brunswick Stew’s governor, a genial, harmless man in the Ronald Reagan mold, therefore a boob thoroughly happy with his current office, gauged his constituents well. They voiced their fears. They voiced having fear. Of what? Who knew? But having whatever frightened them was enough to act rashly. Owing to short attention spans and needing instant gratification, the frightening preponderance of weapons, one of many societal “existential threats,” quickly ceded urgency to the latest funny animal video.

Nonetheless the law has been enacted. Brainless as it is, those who exploit every opportunity to foist their weapons on anyone anywhere and everywhere wasted zero time doing exactly that.

The burrito is fine. But it’s even better eaten in the discomforting proximity of a .38.

Common sense alone should dictate the prohibition of guns in bars. Polls generally reflect this. Bar patrons overwhelming support this. However, the nation’s armaments and ordnance lobby so powerful that if guns & ammo demanded Christ stripped from Christmas, the paymaster would still retain evangelical support.

It would’ve taken backbone to veto that bill along with the determination to convince the public to fight the gun lobby’s mad insistence. Not even his most ardent supporters would attribute Brunswick Stew’s current governor of being a profile in courage.

Guns in bars. Heavily circulated rhetorical question to that revolting development – What could possibly go wrong?

Permittees didn’t bother with any wait and see. Overnight what bars and taverns and honky-tonks didn’t prominently display “leave ‘em outside” signs near front doors? Usually right beside No Shoes, No Shirts, No Service and We Reserve the Right to Refuse Serving Patrons notices.

Gentlemen’s clubs added them to their If nudity offends you, stay out! admonitions. Imagine that. Hanging light in a jiggle joint.

In the beginning, discrimination complaints mounted. Apparently in Brunswick Stew property rights do supersede personal rights.

These were laughable objections because without fail those protesting never would’ve empathized with anyone who’d suffered meaningful exclusion. The newly put-upon considered themselves good and decent people. The kind clearer-sighted observers correctly regard as narrow-minded and rigid.

Yet when it comes to weapons and common sense too many Americans find them incompatible. Especially now with the first “non-traditional” president helming the country.

Basically conservative and aloof, this president’s being rankles the hidebound and their fellow travelers, the inherently ignorant. As if something mars the usual picture. His “otherness” only exists in their blinkered eyes.
The cat’s a throwback. An old-school president, the kind before the office and its occupants lent themselves to “humanized accessibility”; the leader as “buddy.” “The First Buddy.” How did the United States ever advance with just competent and distant leaders?

Since this president’s elevation, all sorts of crazy theories have gained solidity overnight. None are true in the least. Nonetheless the more persuasive the refutation, the stronger the belief. Hearing them, casual listeners might believe the United States in the thrall of … well, one really can’t isolate the threat. Contentions seemingly change weekly.

Rational people understand the problem: hysterics who’ve lost control of their hearing, sight and interpretive powers. Or about 46% of the population verges on loose bowels. Nor does it help they’re susceptible to the most outlandish rumors. They’ll unquestioningly accept hearsay and dismiss verifiable truth in a heartbeat.

Hence, the even bigger mania for weaponry in America. These days, from aliens in Grover’s Mill to Spanish galleons off the coast of New Jersey, nothing sputtered seems too farfetched to be received as the new Gospel.

Were these Americans superstitious peasants or long secluded aboriginals, the modern mind could understand. But the crowds circulating such fallacies are fully franchised 21st century beings. Ones whose new shamans promote bugaboos across the most technologically advanced means available. Instead, modern minds reel while some torrid place below Joseph Goebbels leers.

It’s a strange divergence. While the country has never been safer, calls for more stringent security grow. A lack of danger creates urgencies for heavier firepower.

If real hell ever breaks loose, the country will need to be renamed Pandemonium.

Most of this fear predominates away from the country’s cosmopolitan regions. Should readers live in an area whose residents seldom confuse entertainment for culture, the following dispatches emanate from an alien America. Oh, like Brunswick Stew.

From here on this post’s straw man will be named Buford. Some reading this will say he’s a caricature. The only response to that is pay attention to the news. “Buford” is a constant presence anytime guns and sanity collide. He’s a willing receptacle to every fast-twitch government conspiracy, any One World/Tri-Lateral/tinfoil hat theory making the rounds.

Buford owns guns. He openly carries. A most fervid gun adherent, he never fails bristling his weapons are for “personal protection.” No, armored car personnel carry guns for personal protection. For strapped civilians it’s more akin to a baby’s binky. Although these are nooks only the truly desperate should ever want to suck.

His uniform consists of these exurban threads: faded creased-bill baseball cap worn low on his brow and casual camo. It’s unlikely he hunts. Or he’s a lousy hunter. Seldom are hunters Bufords. Stalking and patience aren’t part of his makeup. True hunters also prize conservation. They know denuded terrain means less game.

To Buford “climate change” is a “liberal commie plot.” Why, yes, he is a right-winger. One who verges on bitching about yielding “our precious bodily fluids.” He says that without ever having seen the movie from which the phrase derives.

While crime decreases, those Bufords who constantly display side arms on their wide hips or slung across their sloped shoulders increase. No concealment for this bunch. They demand all to know then behave accordingly. If Buford hopes for reverence, eye-rolling usually the tribute paid.

Through the pontifications of a few, okay, several, all right, way too many, one may imagine the Bufords have the Second Amendment tattooed on their inner eyelids. Well, the second half of it. Somehow these fervid adherents always lop off the preceding clauses. The two emphasizing a well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State …

Amazing how so brief a declaration can be so utterly ignored.

It’s not outlandish stating these extremists fetishize their weapons. Uh, beyond the oiling and stroking.
Given any opening, a chance to buttonhole the unwary, the unlucky, the slow, Buford will launch into a deep disquisition about one of his death-dealing tools. Why, Americans need semi-automatic weapons. Easy to imagine Buford wiling away quiet hours lubricating and stroking the unresponsive objects of his affection and affectation. His words unfailingly swaddle recoil while tone cuddles these cruel calibers.

What else can be expected in a country with gunfire ring tones?

Ever notice mass murderers and gun lovers don’t have collections, but armories?

Personal protection as claimed, who will be too off the mark having seen all Buford’s iron in preparation for an invasion? Perhaps one propelled against a neighbor. Likely the conscientious sort who ridiculed some reactionary barking head befouling the country’s airwaves. Or into Czechoslovakia. Or Poland.

Alone such itchy-trigger Bufords may be seen as eccentrics. But America contains tens of millions of them. How many are Bufords with even slighter grasps on reality?

When moralizers complain about American permissiveness, they always thunder against pleasure. Often intimate desires shared by consenting adults. Conduct engaged in privately between couples or among the many like-minded. The kind which only becomes public knowledge when neighborliness becomes nosy.

Only in America’s more repressive precincts is engaging in heavenly delight sinful. Inadvertently shooting someone? Not so bad. Or maybe Americans are less amenable to tenderness, expression and discovery. All take maturity and verbal dexterity and this remains a young country uncomfortable with disclosure. Other than the shameless, garish, commoditizing, self-promoting kinds.

Buford finds it far easier to praise guns. Weapons are uncomplicated. They don’t compel reflection and contemplation. Through them many retain simpler teenage perspectives. Life before living became truly demanding. Unlike lovers, the arousals and confrontations from guns provoke less anxiety.

How soon until America’s next spasm of senseless violence? Buford’s prepared. He’s ready to put down the menace. He’s made vigilance his mantra. Better to call it vigilance than paranoia.

Renowned in the United States, unfathomable violence can erupt inside the most harmless locations. Are the days few until another mindless explosion of muzzle flashes and cordite clouds disrupts and distorts the nation’s sense of being?

Must it require an “Only in America” scenario to shake the thrall of unencumbered weaponry? To magnify the horror necessary, the carnage would need unfolding where everyday stresses can be escaped. Say, a movie theater.

Which is good. Apart from the convenience of streaming and DVDs at home, Buford prefers taking his vicarious entertainments among similarly disposed people. What show doesn’t engross more when amid an audience?

No rom-coms for Buford. And last week he laughed through the latest juvenile comedy. So time for an action bang-bang. One whose plot depends on blowing up a lot of shit and the expenditure of infinite rounds for its testosterone spiking resolution.

Except at this showing reel life veers off script. There’s some sort of disturbance in the rows. One viewer’s “shut the fuck up!” leads to another’s ire. The pair doesn’t square off as much as sight one another across a darkened hall. The flickering screen transforms the space into a strange strobe. Speaker amplification also muddies hearing.

One of the belligerents produces a gun. Or what resembles a gun. Difficult to be sure given the situation’s grave sketchiness. What’s certain is the other party flashes the genuine article. And fires. A quick moment passes before the unarmed distinguish real life from celluloid. They duck and cover between rows.

However, more than one moviegoer has brought “personal protection” to the Bijou. This being Brunswick Stew, a deadly good number have followed suit. Perhaps just for moments such as this. Include Buford among them.

In all the excitement, lost is who fired the shot. The ignored movie clutters senses and reason. The nebulous defenders stand, becoming mushrooms displaying their iron. Each performs his or her respective targeting sweep, unsure of who represents danger.

Then it happens.

The second shot loosens a multi-directional fusillade. Reverberations further frighten and deafen those huddled upon the floor. Suddenly as it began the barrage ceases. Exploiting the lull, those below the firing line scuttle, crawl, escape from the hall. Only after finding release into the lobby do they panic.

House lights blaze when the police arrive. Tin star emergency response teams have converged en masse loaded for proverbial bear. Yet all the shouting, as well as the shooting, is over. A good number of people, Buford among them, are dead. Let’s hope his corpse is artfully draped among the blood and gore splattered aisles.
Maybe Buford might’ve contributed something worthwhile towards an explanation. Could be. As always, the dead know best.

None of the victims were “heroes.” However, this is America. An emotive relative or know-nothing gawker besieged by a camera and the microphone of an insistent reporter will without fail fall back on platitudes. And in this country “hero” is one of the words equivalent to porn’s money shot.

One of the responding officers, no, a polished police department spokesperson, will state “the scene looked like something out of a movie.”

What might America draw from such carnage? Oh, the usual goddamn nothing. No lessons, certainly. The eventual stepped-on police report will be vague and inconclusive. Worse, it’s full of cop jargon. But a new phrase should enter American pop culture lexicon: a cascade of involuntary discharges.

Guns. Not from A-to-Z, but from wet dreams to nightmares.

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