This morning, I turned on the radio in the little red truck on my way to work and learned that New Zealand has banned all military-style assault weapons as well as semi-automatic handguns that can hold more than five bullets. This happened six days after some asshole killed forty-nine (or fifty – reports vary) people in Christchurch, NZ. The victims were all Muslims and were killed in Mosques. The shooter was an asshole.
Can you imagine what it must be like to live in a country where the government is willing and able to do anything that might, in some tangible way, prevent mass shootings? In under a week? How is that even possible? We have mass shootings everyday. We have mass shootings comparable to the Christchurch event every coupla months. Shit, I could go to the bank, then go to a “sporting goods” store and obtain enough firepower to kill fifty people this afternoon. There is nothing in the way of anybody who wants to kill a boatload of people from doing it, which is why it happens so often. And ain’t nothin’ gonna get done about, not in this US of A. But in fuckin’ New fuckin’ Zealand, where the Kiwis and Hobbits roam, on the bottom of the planet, the government can do anything – anything at all – to prevent mass shootings. What the fuck. They’re a constitutional monarchy, I think, a former colony of Great Britain, that still refers to “Her Majesty”, but has a parliament or a parliament-funkedelic or some shit. Like Canada. They prob’ly have health care. (I kinda wonder about the black spot on my face, under the sideburn, but I can’t have it looked at because I have to eat food and pay rent, so I’m just hoping it’s okay, which is how most Americans handle cancer.) Lucky bastards.
I bursted into work shouting about those down-under fucks with the effective government that has any ability whatsoever to prevent mass murders in houses of worship and one of my co-workers started poo-pooing the whole thing. “People find other ways of killing”, she said. I agreed and I acknowledged that morality can’t be regulated, because I know her – she’s a Christian of the Pentecostal persuasion. A holy roller. Some people call them “charismatic” which is generally a misnomer. But this girl – I’m almost fifty and she’s twenty-two, so I call her a “girl” – is a fine example of Christianity. She works beside atheists and transgenders and that one hippie who collects Magic-the Gathering cards and she gives the impression that she loves all people as Christ would have her love them, which is a fuckuva lot better than I can do. I do not love all people as Christ would have me do. Shit, when I wrote that above about how I could pull off a mass shooting today, I was thinking “ya know, I really could….” and part of my brain started making a list. There’re people whose obituaries I will enjoy reading. Part of my desire to be part of a Christian church comes from the fact that I can see the logic behind loving other people as Christ would have me do – if more of us did that, there are no problems that couldn’t be solved – but I am incapable of doing it. It’ll take a fuckin’ miracle for me to love Magic hippie. Just like it takes a miracle for me to not blow my brains out with vodka, meth and benzos. I been getting that miracle everyday for some few years now, so I have reason to believe that it is possible for God to make it possible for me to love other people. Being a Christian, going to church and reading the Bible is what I do toward making myself ready to receive that. (Lately, I been reading the Psalms – I really like the ones that focus on asking God to smite the living shit outta my oppressors.) Being good and going to church is like deep cleaning the house before the cleaners arrive. Good people don’t need to go to church. I am not good people.
I get her point. Morality cannot be regulated. And I understand that what she wants is for people to understand, in their hearts, that murdering dozens of people is wrong and to not do it for that reason. Yes. Excellent. Me too. But I know that ain’t gonna fuggin’ happen. If people were ever gonna put a little love in the hearts and refrain from murdering, they’da done it a long time ago. Maybe I’m wrong – maybe there’s gonna be a huge Christian revival next year and everybody’ll accept Jesus as their Lord and Personal Savior and that’ll be great and you know who won’t get to enjoy that? All the people who get massacred this year, that’s who. I’m all for teaching people the very simple and perfect Christian way of life. I would love it if my neighbor didn’t murder me because they’re following Christ’s teaching, but I’m satisfied if they don’t murder me because they don’t wanna go to prison. And I’d like to remove their ability to get an AR-15 before they get past the point of caring about the consequences of murdering me and forty-eight or forty-nine other people.
Full disclosure: I own a gun. It’s a Savage .410/.22. I’m kinda hoping I’ll be able to inherit that M-1 carbine my grandfather picked up after WWII. When my dad dies, I’m definitely getting his arsenal, which includes a Revolutionary War-era musket and a handful of Civil War-era pieces, as well as a few that would actually be useful in a fight. Surprisingly enough, my dad doesn’t have anything that would facilitate a mass shooting – or if he does, he ain’t talking about it, which isn’t possible so forget it. My dad got a permit to carry a concealed weapon and then got T-shirts and bumper stickers advertising the fact that he’s carrying concealed, which makes about as much sense as carrying concealed. I’m not anti-gun. I don’t wanna take everybody’s guns away. I’ve never met anybody who wants to take everybody’s guns away. Never saw a unicorn, either.
I can hear people saying “guns don’t kill people”. That is true. Guns don’t kill people. Guns make it a lot easier for people to kill people. My gun would make it a lot easier to kill one person before reloading. If I wanted to kill dozens of people, I’d have to do what I said above – oh wait, I have a credit card. I wouldn’t have to go to the bank. Man, it just got easier. How hard do think it would be to beat fifty people to death with a stick? I think it’d be pretty hard.
“We need guns to protect ourselves from the government.” Right. Google “branch davidians”, dumbass.
Some dipshit started talking about the reasons why New Zealand has a functioning government that can get things done – small, homogeneous population pretty much sums it up – but I was done with the topic by then. I have long since accepted that I live in a country where a lotta people are happy to have other people die because they enjoy having machine guns. I am fully aware that many more thousands of people will be murdered while they attempt to pray or stay awake through math class. I know that Jesus will come back before anything – anyfuckingthing at all – is done to stop the rivers of blood. I get it.
It will take a miracle – an act of God – to stop mass shootings in America. In the meantime, I’m for doing what the hobbits did.