Saturday, December 22, 2012


OK, here we go. Thriller Guy thinks that regular citizens who own assault rifles are idiots. Morons. Dangerous cretins. What? Wait! What’s that noise?! That’s the sound of half of TG’s steady readers cancelling their blog subscription. TG is glad to see them go: don’t let the door hit you on your stupid ass on the way out! TG’s wife (TGW) asked a question this morning at breakfast, “Why do these people want assault rifles anyway?” TG is not going to go into it in any depth here, but the basic reasons are fairly simple and revolve around several or all of the following: lack of self image, lack of power in a modern world that whizzes by them as if they don’t exist, a nostalgia for a time they think is better than the present but really isn’t, a need for something exciting in their colorless, anti-intellectual lives, and a deep disappointment in their penis size. TG could extrapolate on these and other reasons, but maybe he’ll just tell a little story instead.

TG used to hang around with a wonderful old guy named Sam who could do almost anything. After a long career working in the field for the gas company, he could fix anything, build anything and grow anything. He would cheerfully come help you out anytime of the day or night. TG and Sam shared a day or two every week: Sam would repair TG’s furnace, TG would take Sam to places he’d never been and show him things he’d never seen. Sam was one of those guys, and they are in the norm in TGs neighborhood, who live twenty miles from the capital of the United States and yet had never been to a museum on the mall and never visited any of the other fabulous buildings and institutions in the District of Columbia. It was a joy over the years to take Sam into town and see him experience new things and watch him change from a man of narrow political and social views to someone whose eyes were opened to a world other than the one his peers listened to on the radio and saw on television. TG loved this man and it was a hard time when Sam died.

Anyway, for many many years, Sam, who owned guns and had a mild interest in hunting, would go to a cabin far up in the hills of West Virginia with a group of his buddies every year around Thanksgiving to go hunting. Mostly these fellows would sit around the cabin and get horribly drunk and bitch about the government and their wives in the time honored way of many hunting cabins. Most of them would get around to the deer hunting, eventually, and most years they would bring home a deer or two. Around the time TG started hanging around with Sam, Sam was still going to the cabin, but, he said, some of them began bringing assault rifles. These were automatics, God knows where they were getting them. Most hunters would agree that you don’t need or even want an assault rifle to hunt game, but these guys liked to shoot their big guns. I asked him why. He said, “Well, I’ve never seen it, but the guys say that when you shoot a deer with one of those rifles the animals just explode. They said it’s funny to see.” A few more years of this, and Sam stopped going to the hunting cabin. TG is not saying Sam stopped going because TG told him how stupid he thought this was. Nor is TG saying Sam was ever convinced that there were good shows on NPR, but the man grew intellectually and spiritually. Not because TG was a good teacher or example, but because growth comes from experiencing the world beyond one’s own narrow perspective. Sam grew, but there are so many who never will. Their narrowness gives them comfort.

But the image has always remained with TG…”The deer just explode.”

Unfortunately, so do the people. 


  1. This is one of the better summations on the issue that I've read. I'm fairly liberal about most things, and I'm also the owner of multiple guns, so I sort of have a foot in both worlds. Your take on those who seem to be obsessed with guns is spot on. I'll add this: those who posit the argument that their guns are necessary in case they have to oppose a government gone rogue have a point. It's not a point I agree with, and I think it's kind of silly and flawed, but I get it. Their "2nd amendment solutions" are the final option in case everything falls apart. My question is, why are their stances on other issues so askew? For example, before getting so up in arms (pardon the pun) about gun control, why are so many on that side of the fence either ok with (or silent about) the governments indefiniteindefinite detainment of people -- without trial, habeous corpus, etc. -- at places like Guantanamo? Why aren't they speaking out about warrantless wire taps? These are issues that need to be addressed so that we never get to that "2nd amendment solution" point, but they don't seem to get that. The truth is, I don't think people who are on the extreme right on guns really think it through. (Ted Nugent never had an introspective moment in his life.) They're really just (mostly) man-children indulging in their apocalyptic fantasies.

    Now excuse me while I return to the cleaning of my Glock 27 after yesterdays session at the range.
    (Puzzled reader scratches head, as I plant my aforementioned feet firmly in both worlds.)

  2. Allen, Mike Luckovich from the Atlanta Journal (of all newspapers!) did this great cartoon about using assault weapons for hunting. Sorry but Blogger won't allow me to make the link live, but it's worth the copy and paste.

  3. Marcia, it's a great cartoon and a great illustration for this blog entry. I can't get it to copy and paste, perhaps someone else can? At any rate, I urge readers to click on it.