Archive for the ‘Guns’ Category

Thoughts, prayers and tacos

November 5, 2017

Field Marshal Turkish von Turkenstein (commander, 1st Feline Home Defense Force), proposes that all serious cats bring more than thoughts and prayers to a gunfight, or even a taco truck.

Our “leaders” are sending thoughts and prayers around and about once more, this time to a small Baptist church outside San Antone.

I often think about tacos. (“Man, a taco sure sounds good right about now.”) I have even been known to pray for tacos. (“Jesus, let there be a taco stand around here somewhere!”)

None of this has ever gotten me a single fucking taco.

The American nightmare

October 2, 2017

Mandalay Bay, pictured from the walkway into the neighboring Luxor.

If Charlie Manson checked into the Safari tomorrow morning, nobody would hassle him as long as he tipped big.Hunter S. Thompson, “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: A Savage Journey to the Heart of the American Dream”

If we learned anything at all from the good doctor, it’s that anyone can bring anything at any time into a Vegas hotel room.

I’ve been doing it for years. Big black rolling suitcase with a big black messenger bag strapped to its handle, a camera bag, a 25-liter backpack, even a cooler. I always thought if anything drew a floorwalker’s eye, it would be the cooler.

“Sir, you’ll need to return that to your vehicle. We have beverages for sale in the resort.”

But nope. Not a peep. Not at the Luxor, anyway. And I’m gonna go way out on a limb here and speculate that Mandalay Bay doesn’t hassle Charlie either.

Regulars here know I own firearms, but nevertheless believe the Second Amendment was in dire need of a copy editor. And I’ll leave it to another Charlie, the invaluable Mr. Pierce, to bring the heat regarding our national acceptance of blood sacrifice on the constitutional altar.

But I will note that while eyes pop at massacres like the one in Vegas, their lids droop at the day-to-day body count in places like Albuquerque, where we are on pace to exceed last year’s 61 homicides, up from 56 the previous year and the highest number in two decades.

So I’ll encourage you to pester your legislators to consider both the cascade of blood and the steady drip, drip, drip. Urge them to do more than send thoughts and prayers, which have proven remarkably ineffective against the gun lobby. Remember that elections matter (we have one here tomorrow).

And cling to hope while remembering another quote from Thompson, a man with his own firearms fetish:

This may be the year when we finally come face to face with ourselves; finally just lay back and say it — that we are really just a nation of 220 million used car salesmen with all the money we need to buy guns, and no qualms at all about killing anybody else in the world who tries to make us uncomfortable.

Trump card

August 10, 2016

The 2016 pestilential election is turning into one of the less-than-hilarious Monty Python sketches.

“You’ve got a nice representative democracy here, citizen.”

“Yes.”

“We wouldn’t want anything to happen to it. …”

“What?”

Even the dumbest casino guy knows a Smith & Wesson beats four aces.

Even the dumbest casino guy knows a Smith & Wesson beats four aces.

What indeed. Ronald McDonald McTrump has clearly let the fat in his fast-food diet go straight to his head, where a .25-caliber brain struggles to govern a .50-caliber mouth.

I wonder what his Secret Service detail thinks about his quip about a Second Amendment solution to a president’s constitutionally derived authority (Article 2, Section 2) to nominate judges, given that their colleagues protect the other candidate for the job.

The candidate whose back Der Trumpenführer just decorated with a red-white-and-blue bullseye.

Peace through inferior firepower

December 7, 2015
The Ruger Mini-Thirty next to a banner displaying the character for "peace."

The Ruger Mini-Thirty next to a banner displaying the character for “peace.”

The prez made his statement last night, and good for him. I made mine on Thursday, when I turned over my Ruger Mini-Thirty to the Albuquerque Police Department crime lab.

My intention was to have the weapon destroyed, after deciding that an untrained civilian really doesn’t need a 7.62x39mm semiautomatic rifle lying around the crib. But the weapons wizards at the Metropolitan Forensic Science Center said they didn’t have a Mini-Thirty in their collection — which includes the worst machine gun in the world — and asked if they could keep it for use in their work.

I could’ve sold it on consignment at one of the local dealers, I suppose. Made a little money. But after Bibleburg and San Bernardino I decided I wanted to take this one out of circulation. One less gun.

It’s not much of a statement — “One less gun” — but I was sick and tired of writing about the issue and it felt right to actually do something for a change, however feeble the gesture might be.

Black Friday redux

December 2, 2015
Happiness is a warm gun.

Happiness is a warm gun.

From our Hey, Look, There’s a Fire Over There, Let’s Pour a Record Amount of Gasoline On It Department. Boy, do I ever hate being right.

• Late update: Oh, good. The national barbecue continues unabated.

Business as usual

November 28, 2015
Robert Lewis Dear, held in the Bibleburg shootings. Photo: CSPD

Robert Lewis Dear, held in the Bibleburg shootings. Photo: CSPD

Yesterday’s terrorism in Bibleburg is getting the usual reaction across the Innertubez — shock, horror, dismay, etc., plus the usual elbows being thrown in pursuit of sociopolitical points. Seems everyone has a dog in the fight, including Your Humble Narrator.

A friend asked if it was official “that Colorado leads the nation in this sort of violence,” and it’s true that my old home state has generated more than its share of headline-grabbers.

But maybe we should be paying less attention to wholesale bloodshed and more to the steady drip, drip, drip of retail homicide that somehow eludes us.

There’s Chicago, for example. And Baltimore. Body counts that mostly don’t have a damn thing to do with revolutionary politics or a slight to somebody’s imaginary friend.

It’s just too easy for Americans to kill each other. And while we wait to add a bit of insight regarding cause to what we already know about effect, we can be certain of one thing right now: Gun sales will skyrocket, in Bibleburg and elsewhere.

It’s like watching the fire department fighting a five-alarm with a tanker truck full of gasoline.

Black Friday indeed

November 27, 2015
A screen grab from video at the scene of a shooting rampage in Bibleburg.

A screen grab from video at the scene of a shooting rampage in Bibleburg.

“Black Friday” got a whole new meaning in Bibleburg today.

It’s certainly too early to speculate about motive, and probably too late to do anything about the shite job the Founders did on that Second Amendment, though we do have options in that regard.

But I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say that for sure a whole bunch of folks got shot, again, and taking off our shoes at the airport, letting the NSA peek in our digital windows, and keeping Syrian refugees on the other side of the Big Water don’t seem to be keeping Americans safe from terrorism.

I bet a few people within rifle range of that Planned Parenthood center felt terrorized today. That’s one product we don’t need to import from overseas. Not even for Black Friday. We make it right here at home.

• Late update: The Dumbass is strong in this one. From The Gazette: “There was a moment this afternoon when a man walked up to the scene with a handgun strapped to his waist and ammunition vest around his chest. He appeared to be asking police if he could help. Officers told him to leave immediately because appearing at the scene while wearing firearms and that equipment was a bad idea.”

Site gag

October 2, 2015
The Embudo Trail parking lot at the top of Indian School Road.

The Embudo Trail parking lot at the top of Indian School Road.

OK, so last night I actually slept through the night without coughing myself awake a couple dozen times. Our long national nightmare is over, I thought.

And then the Samsung clothes washer croaked in the middle of a load for the fourth time in a year. Naturally, the Samsung warranty expired last week, after one drain pump and two circuit boards. Now we’re at the mercy of the Best Buy Geek Squad, which may be able to see us (wait for it) Tuesday.

So what I wanna know is: Which one of you wisenheimers has a Patrick O’Grady voodoo doll stuck full of pins?*

* Yes, I know, at least it’s not stuck full of bullets, as are many of the residents of Roseburg, Oregon. Don’t expect to see any action on gun control until some sicko shoots a brand new baby iPhone, much less by Tuesday. Until then, if anyone offers to sell you a Samsung clothes washer, you have my permission to shoot them.

The Xmas Boo would like a word

December 13, 2013
The Xmas Boo has a bag full of questions, but answers seem in short supply.

The Xmas Boo has a bag full of questions, but answers seem in short supply.

The Xmas Boo would like to know why folks insist on shooting each other for no good reason.

And anyone who says the solution is more guns is liable to find something unpleasant in his holiday stocking.

No, not coal.

Interbike 2013: Welcome to Watsonville

September 17, 2013
Sunflowers just off a bike path in south Flagstaff.

Sunflowers just off a bike path in south Flagstaff.

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (MDM) — OK, so it’s Flagstaff. But whenever I see sunflowers, I think Graham Watson. So sue me.

I’m at the Hampton Inn & Suites this year. It’s a nice upgrade from the nearby Motel 6, which last year had devolved into some class of a Superfund site for the storage of toxic humans. I have a small kitchen, a living room and two TVs that I have yet to turn on. Fat city.

Still, there are downsides. At breakfast this morning my fellow travelers were all performing sun salutations over their smartphones with their third eyes glued to Al Roker. How fortunate for us all that I no longer travel armed, as I was sorely tempted to chlorinate the gene pool until I got a couple cups of java down me.

Now, the good news: En route I saw a touring cyclist just east of San Fidel on Interstate 40. He was enjoying a brisk tailwind and 75-degree temps as he rolled along this giant ATM for the highway-construction industry. Like the Golden Gate Bridge, I-40 is always being worked on, and the work will never be finished.

And over dinner at Beaver Street Brewery, I read in The Lumberjack, the newspaper of Northern Arizona University, about a student who rode his bike from Canada to Mexico this summer. Sophomore forestry major Matthew Riggens had never cycled more than a couple dozen miles in a day, but he made it all the way to Mexico, and plans to tackle a trip from Washingon state to Maine next year.

So don’t give up hope. Not everyone is trading their eyesight for a giant pair of thumbs. Still, you should probably leave the guns at home when you travel.