I was perusing a few stories of a few routine gun deaths and commentary in American news this weekend. This first one, from Texas, is tragic and infuriating:
Chris Kyle, a former Navy SEAL who became known as the deadliest U.S. sniper, was one of two men murdered on Saturday afternoon at a gun range in Erath County....Eddie Routh, 25, is in custody in connection with the shootings.
Investigators said Routh, a former Marine and expert marksman who is said to suffer from post-traumatic stress syndrome, is believed to have turned his weapon on Kyle and the second victim, killing them both at point-blank range about 3:30 p.m..... Kyle had been actively helping other military veterans recover from PTSD....This was in Texas. This was on a gun range. Chris Kyle died even though he had 160 confirmed kills as a sniper in Iraq. To state the obvious, why wasn't a bad man with a gun -- or, more precisely, a profoundly troubled man with a gun -- stopped by a good man with a gun? Why is it a "good" idea for a veteran with war-related PTSD to be shooting, even as recreation, and possibly as therapy? Are guns supposed to be like "therapy dogs"? I guess in Texas, if not the rest of the USA, the pro gun NRA would scream "Fuck Yes!"
Any efforts to tighten access to guns by people with mental and emotional problems have been unalterably opposed by the Gun Owners of America, precisely because they targeted PTSD (GOA called the last such law the"Veterans Disarmament Act"), while the NRA supported the most recently law but worked to weaken it. And for all the NRA's post-Newtown talk about mental illness, you can bet your bottom dollar that the NRA will weaken any new bill as well.
Meanwhile, stop me if you've heard this one before, two Rhode Island gun absolutist guys are sitting in a bar in Providence, well actually it's an Italian Restaurant. The The Washington Post profiles the pair: Rob Farago, a prominent gun blogger, and David Kenik, who makes self-defense videos. Part of the Post's reporting takes place over a couple of meals in Providence:
... the two men choose chairs that let them face the entrance.
"Look at the way Robert and I are facing," Kenik says. "Crime happens everywhere. There's no place to feel safe."
"That's your opinion," Farago says, distancing himself a bit.
"It's in the back of my mind," Kenik says.Don't imagine that Farago is much less paranoid than Kenik. Here's Farago on another day, after a sushi lunch:
Exiting the restaurant, he poses a question: What business in this little commercial area would criminals most likely target? The jewelry store, obviously. That's situational awareness.
Standing on the patio at Starbucks, he tells a story. A while back, he was right in this spot when the alarm went off across the street at the Bank of America branch office. Amazingly, people ignored it. They kept walking up to the bank to use the ATM. They didn't seem to register the alarm at all.
Farago reckoned that, if a gunman emerged from the bank, he'd take cover inside the Starbucks, putting a brick wall between himself and the shooter.
"If I have incoming fire, I've got a plan ready to go," he says.
There was no gunman. Just a false alarm.
But what's my point? The point is that Farago is another just another American psycho who has given himself self induced PTSD He lives in his own imaginary very dangerous fantasy world. He is prepared to defend himself, if absolutely necessary, with his Glock. Even though he's never had any reason.The Post gives us Farago's background -- ex-CNN producer and cameraman, ex-car blogger, ex-freelance writer. Neither of the armed gun absolutists in the Post piece ever served in the military. Their clearly dangerous paranoia is truly self induced. Let's give this a name:Self Inflicted Trauma Stress Disorder or SITSD. Now ask your self, the guy who killed Kyle was a Vet with a real PTSD, Farago is suffering from a self induced trauma and is clearly armed and dangerous. This is a contagious mental pestilence. How sick is that?
To put this is context. I am not a physically imposing fellow. I weigh about 141 pounds...don't laugh...I do 80 push ups everyday and obsessive ab crunches...I lived in The Lower East Side of Manhattan for years in the late 70's, the 80's and until 2000. I was a musician and also moved bands with my pick up truck almost every night in the late 70's through the mid 80's. Let me tell you, back then, that was one tough area! It was the kind of place that would have freaked-out most Heartland 'Murkans, if they ended up there when they got lost.
EVERY night was Halloween!
A few clubs I played in hired Hells Angels as security.
But even they never had guns. Or a knife. Just your typical big tatted-up tough looking SOB. Oh, maybe there was a Louisville slugger with arms reach...I worked the streets and walked in the early hours and I never felt the need to have a knife or a gun
And yeah, I got mugged twice. The second time by some kids at 4 am on St. Marks Place in the rain. One kid had a knife, but I had the bands receipts in my pocket and hell if I was going to give them up. The kid with the knife ended up in a garbage can with his buddies howling in laughter! There was some adrenaline induced genius that took over my brain in that case...But, I can move pretty fast when I mustl.....
Did I move out of NY City out of fear? HELL NO! Did I start carrying a gun when I went out? Nope. No knife, either. Did I feel the need to keep a gun in my apartments? No. I did have some chef's knives - for cooking, though, not self-defense.
What I want to know is, why I shouldn't think that the people who feel the need to be armed 24X7, even when they're in line at their local Chik-fil-A, aren't pussies.
I don't mean to use the term "pussy" in any anti feminist derogatory way -- it's just the best word to describe the fear and hate-filled cowards who need a gun wherever they go, and who have mental issues, and probably sexual ones, too.
So I'm asking - why shouldn't I think that gun right wing nuts are Pussies?
This enquiring mind wants to know.