In my last post (below Seedy, etc), I compared video gamers to gun cultists. It’s not fair. When not corrupted by flying body parts, gaming demands brains, coordination, and develops transferrable skills. Some offer intellectual challenge, even beauty. I humbly ask such gamers to forgive my hasty comparison of their interest with the empty, useless, life-destroying obsession of gun cults.
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Movies of the 1940s and 50s, gave cigarettes sleek PR. A soldier comforts a wounded comrade: “Have a cigarette, it will make you feel better.” Stars blow smoke at each other. Producers get paid by tobacco companies who hide secret research proving that their product causes cancer. Death is not allowed to interfere with profits.
But smoking fell off when its image changed from Humphrey Bogart to Ozzie Schlemozzle, from Marlene Dietrich to Tilly Schlob. Today’s smokers are helpless addicts who pay 10 bucks a pack to puff forlornly on sidewalks outside office buildings. One feels pity, even sympathy, but not a shred of admiration, Who wants to be like that? The same can happen to gun cultists.
Walter Mitty and Casper Milquetoast, scared of their shadows, imagine themselve to be brave warriors if they buy a Hummer. Gun cultists think they’re Daniel Boone or Annie Oakley if they fire an AR-15 at a target, or unspeakably, at an animal. Their self-serving narrative is pure fiction, and, to put it plainly, horse shit.
But fiction can harden into myth, and myth is powerful, so I have little hope that the atrocity in Newtown, CT, will much reduce gun violence, even if laws are passed. But one thing will, destruction of their false self-glorifying image.
Recent polling shows that 78% of NRA members favor gun control, but the NRA, paid off by manufacturers, fights every effort to regulate. It may be immoral and dangerous to sell AR-15s to the general public, but hey! they’re going like hotcakes.
Powerful and wise people, Michael Bloomberg, for one, are publicly committed to reducing gun deaths. I hope it includes de-glamorizing. We need a campaign to show that gun nuts are as glamorous as child abusers, as mindless as drive-by shootings, as manly as stuffed body bags.
Start with a truer-to-life Rambo poster, killer bees and jungle bugs covering his bare torso, ammunition belt around his knees, gun discharging like the seed of Onan, into the ground. Then there’s drama; how about a gun cult in a small Connecticut town that makes life miserable for everyone, defies the chief of police, and pays off the Town Council? Tommy Lee Jones can play the chief, and he really gets 'em!