Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Mrs. Moosberger, Pt. #3: Palin and Bullwinkle

The Citadel of Freedom
...To Kill Something Besides A Moose

The NRA finally has a real, honest-to-goodness Vice-Presidential Candidate on their hands. Cheney was just a mean guy who everyone knew had guns up the wazoo, but Sarah Palin can say "NRA" with sex and pizzaz! She's a WOMAN for crissakes! That's a bona fide candidate. And besides, she doesn't sit in some marsh waiting for a dumb bird to appear (and she doesn't shoot her huntin' partner in the face either), she hunts REAL animals! Ya know what I mean? Then she EATS THEM! Now that's goin' back to the wild I tell ya!

O.K., I'll step out of the single-wide and come back to civilization.

So John McCain's running mate likes to kill big animals and eat their meat. What's the big deal?

Here's my take. You've probably heard this one before from me, but it's worth repeating:

Once I was doing a bookstore promotion with a man named Duncan Renaldo. Who? O.K., reach back into the early fifties and very early television. Duncan Renaldo was the "Cisco Kid" and one of my early heroes. He was promoting a book - of poetry (a friend's). Even though he was much older (and much shorter) than I had imagined him, I loved hearing his stories about working for a TV studio and his early days in films.

"You know, I could have made more money, if I endorsed cap pistols with my name on them."
"Why didn't you?"
"Because every time you point a gun at someone, even a toy pistol, it means, 'I want to kill you!' I could never do that. Never."

That little old man's philosophy has stayed with me for thirty years.

Up until late last year, I lived in one of San Francisco's meanest ghettos. By the end of five years, sirens had no meaning and I could differentiate the sounds of an AK-47, a hand gun or an assault rifle - and tell how far away the shots were. I often wondered how a 16-year-old could get hold of weapons like that. Of course it was easier than I thought. Way too easy.

"Guns don't kill people. People kill people." Sure. But guns make it easier. Knives are messier, baseball bats are too conspicuous, and poison takes a certain amount of finesse. And every guy over 21 who owns a gun legally has a powerful lobby to help him keep it.

Now the NRA has a crusader in the front lines of a Presidential campaign. Odd, isn't it: a country that grows and breeds food for everyone and makes it available to everyone even in its far-flung corners feels it must protect the "sport" of killing. I used to fish with my father when I was a young kid. It was a "sport" because the fish had a chance to fight back and get away. Today's high-powered rifles with keens sights make a mockery out of the word "sport." The animals don't really have much of a chance. Neither do the people on the streets.

"But strict gun control would make it hard for people to obtain weapons to defend themselves as it says in the Second Amendment."

Tough. Do as Christ said and "turn the other cheek." Or stay out of places you know of where people have guns. Burglar? If you shot him, he'd only wind up suing you. If you killed him, you'd be in for manslaughter.

Now the NRA has a champion who shoots some of her meat - a champion to uphold their gun rights. Does anyone feel safer now?

Just a thought.

Of course, I like this kind of "gun show":

So shoot me.

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