Sunday, September 23, 2018

Battle Zone

It's the part of the story that continues to befuddle anyone who reads it: "Motive unknown." It is the refrain for numerous articles about shootings here in the gun capital of the world. We, as a nation, own a lot of guns. For every hundred people, there are one hundred twenty guns. This is more than twice the ratio for Yemen, a country currently experiencing a civil war. In Yemen, with all those bullets whizzing about, ten thousand civilians have died. In the United States, with all those bullets whizzing about, ninety-six people a day die from gun violence.
Last time I checked, the United States was not currently experiencing a period of civil war.
Or are we?
Maybe that would explain all this "lack of motive."
Last week, an employee at a Wisconsin software company went to his office with a pistol and extra ammunition and began firing on his colleagues, seriously injuring several. He was eventually shot by police responding to the scene. If we were to understand that this was an alt-right or an anti-fa individual, then the lines would be clearly drawn. Unfortunately, these kind of incidents tend to be pretty one-sided when it comes to who is holding the bullets and who ends up being the repository for those bullets. In Yemen there tends to be armed factions showing up on both sides of the argument and they shoot at each other. When they aren't shooting innocent bystanders. 
Still, wouldn't there be some comfort in the idea that there were certain areas to avoid, like churches and theaters and schools? They seem to attract a lot of gunfire presently, and until we can declare some sort of demilitarized zone, it's probably best to steer clear of those free-fire spaces. 
Or maybe there are just too many guns. I know, this is crazy talk, and a land of free and brave citizens such as our own deserves to be armed to the teeth because that is certainly what the framers of the Constitution had in mind when they wrote that bit about militia and bearing arms. Except they had no concept of rapid fire or high capacity magazines or guns that could be generated on a 3D printer. 
Owning a gun doesn't make a person bad, by the way. It is a culture that makes killing with guns nonchalant. That's bad. 
Almost worth starting a war. 

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