4 years, 4 months ago
They say that it’s the first step to healing. But before we get down to that, let’s briefly rehearse the weekend. I dropped by Allen Arms in Greenville, S.C., to pay my next installment on my new Auto Ordnance M1 Carbine (beautiful Walnut stock) with my oldest son, Joshua, and then not three miles down the road, we stopped in at the brand new Sharpshooters Gun Club and Indoor Range to check it out. It was nice. I’ll be visiting there again, and often, and I’ll be buying guns from Wayne.
At least, that’s how I felt until I was upbraided by Bob Costas concerning the death of Jovan Belcher and his girlfriend.
“Our current gun culture,” Whitlock wrote, “ensures that more and more domestic disputes will end in the ultimate tragedy and that more convenience-store confrontations over loud music coming from a car will leave more teenage boys bloodied and dead.”
“Handguns do not enhance our safety. They exacerbate our flaws, tempt us to escalate arguments, and bait us into embracing confrontation rather than avoiding it. In the coming days, Jovan Belcher’s actions, and their possible connection to football will be analyzed. Who knows?”
“But here,” wrote Jason Whitlock, “is what I believe. If Jovan Belcher didn’t possess a gun, he and Kasandra Perkins would both be alive today.”
Actually, I’ve never been that impressed by Costas, and have always dismissed him as a childish, self-important narcissist. But then I rethought his views when I read Caryn Riswold writing at Feminismxianity.
These are the kinds of things I want to hear more men saying about guns and masculinity …
I’m glad Costas said what he said, when he said it, and where he said it. Surely it’s the NFL audience (men men men) who didn’t want to hear it, but they are the ones who perhaps most need to hear it. And really, they need more than 90 seconds.
While reminding us that we shouldn’t forget about Kasandra Perkins, the first victim in this tragedy, Kevin Powell writes over at CNN.com that our constructs of what it means to be a man are part of the culture problem that we have got to solve:
Be tough, men do not cry, man up — these are the things I’ve heard my entire life, and I now cringe when I hear this relayed to boys or younger men by teachers, coaches, fathers, mentors and leaders …
I’ve seen the tragic pattern across our nation of men who, in the heat of rage, have killed their girlfriends, wives or lovers, as if they had no other vocabulary or emotion to deal with the disagreement or the break-up.
More men need to have more honest conversations about guns and interpersonal violence.
So they say that confession is the first step to healing. I am a man, and therefore, according to Ms. Riswold, I condone wanton violence and have no language with which to deal with all sorts of emotions – I know not what they are – and need to get more in touch with my feminine side, or something like that.
But now that there is this new-found freedom and honesty, I have so many unanswered questions. For instance, if guns lead to so much violence, then why doesn’t the data back up this hypothesis? Why do I and all of my gun-carrying friends work so hard to avoid confrontation if we can just win the argument by the pull of a trigger?
Ms. Riswold and I worship a very different god and see things through much different theological eyes. Upon her evolutionary view of human nature, why is it evil to like wanton violence? Isn’t this just an evolutionary adaptation to propel me to the top of the species? Whence cometh this supposition of the heart of darkness in man?
Costas, reading word-for-word Whitlock’s angsty tract to the rapt millions, seemed to think that the world of American gun owners can be reduced to “convenience-store confrontations over loud music coming from a car [leaving] more teenage boys bloodied and dead.”
And if this heart of darkness obtains, then what am I to make of my felt need to defend my family from it? Should I expect my attackers to seek their more feminine side too? How would I cause this to come about, seeing as I had previously believed that:
Crime is a moral decision, value judgment and social and cultural phenomenon. It isn’t related to the existence of guns, and if guns weren’t available, they will use hammers. Gun control laws cannot raise children to believe in values.
Costas then continued his diatribe in a different venue. Costas inveighed, “Why do you need a semiautomatic weapon? What possible use is there for a citizen to have a semiautomatic weapon?” But what about Mr. Stephen Bayezes, who saved his life with a semi-automatic weapon and high capacity magazine, I thought?
Why does Costas drive a car, since automobiles cause four times the number of deaths in America that guns do? After all, we don’t have to listen to Costas wax on about sports, do we? He could just stay home.
But I’m sure that Ms. Riswold’s god can give us the answers if we pose these questions to him (er … excuse me, her). But since I have this new found freedom and boldness, I’ve decided that I’ll only engage Ms. Riswold on this issue if she supports me in my mission to ban assault hammers because of the violence they perpetrate. I expect to hear from Ms. Riswold soon on this, and we can skip to nirvana together.
UPDATE: You see, David, this is exactly the kind of reaction that makes the goddess unhappy.