Do you know what I’ve discovered? I think I need to get a gun. I haven’t talked it over with my husband yet, but I will when he returns. I’m becoming increasingly paranoid about the weirdos that I keep bumping into in my neighborhood, at the doctor’s office, in my church, and at the mall. And then there is the news. The more I read the more paranoid I become. The more I think about the Zimmerman case, the more I think that maybe his defense was right when I review the times I’ve noticed suspicious-looking characters and needed to Stand My Ground to protect me from an imagined threat. The only problem is I’ve never owned a gun, but how hard can it be to get one? Seems to me, given the 2nd Amendment, any idiot can own a gun.
Used by permission: Gun ownership by idiots by Pat Bagley, Salt Lake Tribune
So when my husband, WW, called home from his business trip last week, I decided to run my latest “revelation” (that’s what I call my harebrained schemes) by him, and hoped I’d get his buy-in.
WW: “Hey, Cutie! What have you been up to since I’ve been gone?”
ANNIE-GET-YOUR-GUN: “Oh, a little bit of this, a little bit of that, and. . . I’m thinking of buying a gun.”
WW: “WHAT? No, no, no, no, NO! For Christ’s sake: what brought this on? I’ve only been gone two days.”
ANNIE-GET-YOUR-GUN: “Fear! I’ve become increasingly paranoid about the people I don’t know and maybe even some of the ones I do know—especially those who have become Tea Party advocates and Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity supporters. (Remember how our friends used to be sane?) Well, some of them are not anymore, and they are scaring the shit out of me. Who knows how long it will take before they believe one of Beck’s conspiracies and come after me to take me out?”
WW: “Cutie, first of all, you don’t hang with those people anymore and neither one of us has any intention of renewing our acquaintances with them. Secondly, you don’t know the first thing about guns.”
ANNIE-GET-YOUR-GUN: “I don’t need to know anything about guns—they are part of my God-given constitutional rights. The 2nd Amendment is sacrosanct. Besides, the local Wal-Mart will sell me what I need and tell me where I can go to get myself trained to hit any asshole with my best shot—fire away! I need groceries, anyway, so when you come back, let’s pick up some household staples and a 9×19 mm Walther P99, German semi-automatic pistol. That should fit my needs, although it might be too big to fit in my purse. I’ll have to bring in several of my Coach bags to see which pistol will travel in style.”
Used by permission: Olle Johansson | Sweden
WW: “The bastardization of Pat Benatar’s song notwithstanding: What has gotten into you since I’ve been gone?”
ANNIE-GET-YOUR-GUN: “Well, since you’ve been gone, buddy: FEAR—PURE UNADULTERATED FEAR!” Maybe the NRA is right: If I get a gun, I will be emboldened to tread where I’ve never gone before. Did you see the article in the paper that reported several cases of men coming to the doors of unsuspecting homeowners in our area and pretending they were there from the Public Works Department to check out the home’s water lines?”
WW: “Nooooooo . . . What has this to do with you turning into Django Unchained?”
ANNIE-GET-YOUR-GUN: “It was all a ruse! Once they got in, they stole whatever they could get their hands on while they distracted the homeowner in the basement. Well, don’t you know, a guy stopped by the other day and said he was from the Public Works Department and needed to check my water line.”
WW: “You didn’t let him in, did you?”
ANNIE-GET-YOUR-GUN: “Of course not— I’m nobody’s fool! But then he didn’t ask to come in; he just let me know he was on the property and went to the side of the house to fiddle with the water main. But I could tell it was all a ruse, and he was up to no good because it was just like the newspaper said it would happen, AND he was the spitting image of George Zimmerman—before he gained 130 pounds. Rumor has it that George has been hanging out in our area. I think his parents live over in Maryland somewhere. After giving the “Public Works” guy the evil eye for a while (I stared at him from the window), it was right then and there that I knew I might need to shoot through the window into his ass while he was bending over the water main before he could gain entrance into my castle and steal my shit—or even worse. I mean, I may be old, but men could still try to mess with me—if you know what I mean. In fact, the paper said that a ninety-year-old woman got raped the other day. I mean all systems point to me needing a gun.”
WW: “Uh huh. And did you ever find out who the man was at the door because I know and you know that it couldn’t have possibly been George Zimmerman?”
ANNIE-GET-YOUR-GUN: (barely audible) “Well, he was really a public works man with a legitimate excuse to be on our property. To tell you the truth, I think I scared the shit out of him because he kept looking over his shoulder at me, finished the job in record time, and raced away in his clearly marked public works truck as fast as he could. “He was driving so fast that I could hear the tires screeching as he pulled away from the curb.”
WW: “He probably thought he was going to be shot in the ass by a crazy woman.”
ANNIE-GET-YOUR-GUN: “Whatever! There was another man who came by yesterday trying to talk me into letting him install new windows in the house—new windows, my ass! You will never believe who he looked like?”
WW: “Let me guess: Charles Manson?”
ANNIE-GET-YOUR-GUN: “No . . . the FAT GEORGE ZIMMERMAN—the Zimmerman who has gained 130 pounds!”
WW: “Oh for God’s sake. I’m coming home ASAP. Try not to kill anybody before I return.”
ANNIE-GET-YOUR-GUN: “Humph! WW, I have to protect myself, and you need to know that I may not wait for you to return before I start packing heat. I’m looking up fashionable leather holsters online even as we speak. So don’t use your house key because you might scare the devil out of me and cause me to shoot first and ask questions later. Let’s establish a secret knock so that I know it’s you. Try and get here before it gets dark because I’m especially paranoid after the sun goes down, and start calling my name as soon as you enter the house so that I recognize your voice and don’t mistake you for a mad rapist. Tell the kids not to come home unannounced!”
WW: “Oh, God . . .”
Used by permission: Daryl Cagle CagleCartoons.com
I am discovering that the Stand Your Ground law is just another component of America’s love affair with guns that is immoral and has been birthed out of the manipulated fear towards our fellowman by the National Rifle Association (NRA) and the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), who have pushed this law into existence in twenty-five states. In the last thirty years, guns sales had been plummeting and the gun industry discovered that if they could manipulate Americans with fear that our “castles,” our children, our sidewalks, our parks, our neighbors, our places of worship, our shit were just one confrontation away from being stolen or harmed, then they could make money in perpetuity. The NRA has made us believe that backing away from a public confrontation when it is safe to do so (like staying in your truck as Zimmerman was told to do by the police) and avoiding the murder of another human being is no longer the mark of a godly man or nation, but gunning down one’s neighbor is our constitutional right and one we should be proud to uphold. And, oh yeah, there is a slight detail that bears mentioning: the gun industry’s reward for this strategy—12 billion dollars a year. In other words, my fellow Americans: we’ve been had by a very cynical, greedy, and sick industry! (Remember how the cigarette industry pushed smoking as sexy, cool, non-addictive, and not harmful, when its executives had a gazillion studies in their desk drawers that showed smoking was addictive and caused cancer? Hmmm!)
Used by permission: Stand ground reverse response |Cartoonist: RJ Matson
I am also discovering that the Stand Your Ground law, beyond that of your castle being stormed by zombies, is a license to kill. (IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER: If you break into my home with the intent to rape and murder me and my family, and I can’t get away from you, I will stand my ground and blow your fucking brains out with whatever I can get my hands on. I get that part of the law.) But the part of Stand Your Ground law that needs to be adjusted is born out in the following story:
Last year, John Henry Spooner, 76, of Wisconsin
Shot and killed his 13-year-old neighbor who was returning his family’s garbage can from the curb.
Mr. Spooner shot Darius Simmons, 13, on the sidewalk
While the child’s mother looked on in horror
While the child tried to run away, screaming, “Don’t shoot me, please don’t shoot me,”
While the neighbor shot at him several times,
As Darius Simmons died in his mother’s arms on the sidewalk.
When asked why Spooner shot the African-American teen,
The white man said he thought the boy had stolen his shit (his stash of guns)
No evidence of such a theft was found—only Mr. Spooner’s paranoia.
Irony: the entire murder was captured by Mr. Spooner’s security camera on his house.
When asked if Spooner felt bad about taking the life of a child before he was sentenced to life in prison,
Mr. Spooner’s reply was: “No, not that bad.”
Darius’ mother’s reply was: “Oh my God!”**
Used by Permission: Guns friend or foe: Luojie, China Daily, China
“To him who is in fear everything rustles.”—Sophocles
“There is no passion so contagious as that of fear.”—Michel de Montaigne
“You can’t buy six packs of nasal decongestant but you can buy a .50 calibre sniper’s rifle, just like the US military uses in Afghanistan.”—Patrick Radden Keefe blogged for The New Yorker magazine
“What has happened is the ‘Stand Your Ground’ law has become so over-arching that the definition has been lost. There are a lot of people claiming ‘Stand Your Ground.’”—Bob Buckhorn
“…if you’ve had a terrible day, if you just don’t like the other guy very much or if you want to try out that new handgun you just bought, you can feel free to escalate the level of violence in a physical altercation by shooting him. Even if you kill him, the law has got your back. You’ll be immune not only from criminal prosecution, but also from any potential civil lawsuits.”—Ladd Everitt from Waging Nonviolence*
Used by permission: Guns are Sacred | David Fitzsimmons The Arizona Star
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