Friday, September 20, 2013

Aaron Alexis Didn't Use an AR-15

Some major media outlets had reported that the Navy Yard shooter did use this particular gun.  They were wrong on that, and it seems as if this has some great importance beyond some fact-checkers getting their paychecks docked.   Apparently this mistake delegitimatizes calls for gun control in ways so obvious to Real Americans that they feel no need to make any effort in explaining how.  My best guess is that they take this as yet another sign that the coastal media are a bunch of wimps and therefore have no right to hold either gun culture or the lack of laws regarding it to the slightest hint of scrutiny.  Gun-rights absolutists are within the Real American tribe after all and are endowed with all the privileges that come with that.  It is their prerogative to declare that familiarity with guns is either a basic universal norm in American culture; or a sign of rarefied courage and wisdom exclusive to themselves; or both of these things; depending on what suits their needs for the moment. 

To this I can only say that I'm a western boy myself; bastard son of a farmer and truck stop waitress and step-son of a truck driver.  I fired guns with some regularity in my childhood and I dare say that I do share that special knowledge of what they really and what they are really about.  What they really are is dead machines; no more intrinsically evil than intrinsically good for that I suppose, and what they are really about is nothing.  A firearm carries no magic powers of manly heroism or invulnerability from threat.  And it is superstition beneath contempt to believe that private gun ownership is the only true guarantor against potential tyranny.  There is no such thing as that. The only, best and imperfect insurance against tyranny is a mind that rejects dogma and is unimpressed by both the actual authority of politicians and the imaginary authority of husbands and fathers.  Gun nuts who fancy themselves as defenders of a non-existent true American way wouldn't know either freedom or tyranny if it bit them in the ass. 

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