I am angry because it is corrupting the world, this gun culture of the United States.
Tim Fischer, former Deputy Prime Minister of the Commonwealth of Australia
That was one of the kinder things Mr. Fischer had to say in his response to the murder of his countryman, Christopher Lane in Duncan, Oklahoma. NBC also quoted him as saying, "The U.S. has chosen the path of illogical policy with regard to guns." He went on to claim most of the illegal guns used during crimes in both Australia and Mexico were obtained here in the states. Then, probably anticipating the livid responses he'd get from incensed American gun fetishists, he said, "They cannot expect not to have any criticism of it (U.S. gun policy) world wide."
Well actually some of our less diplomatic citizens can, but then a lot of Americans find any foreign criticism of the nation tantamount to war. A quick sampling of the comments on the NBC news story carrying Fischer's remarks provides us with these bon mots:
"Good. Stay away. Don't need your opinion, or want it."
"Well let them stay home. I could care less what others think of this country."
"They don't like us. I'm crushed. Does that mean they don't want us protecting their sorry arses any more?"
"They didn't have a problem with our culture when we were saving their asses from the Japanese."
Finally, my personal favorite, "We need guns to protect us from those who think killing white people will cure boredom. This ain't Australia dude, so please go back to your home and leave us alone. We can't protect ourselves using stone age weapons."
Every time I hear people like these I flash back to a line in the movie, "Casablanca." Captain Renault is introducing the Nazi, Major Heinrich Strasser to Rick and he says something like, "Rick, Major Strasser is one of the reasons the Third Reich enjoys the reputation it has in the world today."
Meanwhile, Army Staff Sergeant Robert Bales apologized for his actions during his fourth tour of Afghanistan. The Sergeant went off his nut one night and killed 16 unarmed Afghan civilians in their homes. Most of them were women and children. Because he copped a plea the military jury will now decide whether he gets life without parole, or life with the possibility of parole in 20 years.
In addition, NBC has just reported that Major Nidal Hasan has been found guilty of 13 counts of murder and 32 counts of attempted murder. Hasan, born in Virginia, claims he went on a murderous rampage at Ft Hood, TX, because he had switched sides in "the U.S. war against Islam." Because Hasan was a medical officer, a psychiatrist in fact, he wasn't well versed in the use of firearms. Prosecutors introduced evidence he had sought out and received advice from the friendly and experienced sales staff at the Guns Galore store, located near the base before choosing which high tech pistol to buy. He also spent time practicing with it at a local gun range while employing a laser sight, because, after all, if you're going to do something you should do it well.
Yes, there is nothing quite like an American and his guns, both here and abroad.
Let's face it, Mr. Tim Fischer has a point and not liking it, or him doesn't make what he is saying invalid. In reality he was understating the situation. Our gun policy isn't illogical. It is down right psychotic.
The terrible truth is we're fucking nuts. We will sell, give, or other wise make sure anyone who lives here can lay their hands on a machine that has no other purpose but to kill human beings. And after the body is carted off we'll insist that what amounts to aiding and abetting a homicide is a constitutional right.
I guess, in the end, Kris Kristofferson nailed it. Freedom's just another word for nothin' left to lose.
I'll have that beer now, bar keep.
Mr. Sulu, you have the con.
(note: shortly after this post was entered, Staff Sergeant Robert Bales was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole)
sic vita est