Blaney Pridgen

All writers in Op Ed are here to inform and acknowledge issues of importance to our communities, however these writings represent the views and opinions of the authors and not necessarily of The Advertiser.

When it’s all said and done, a lot will have been said and nothing will be done.  This is clear about gun violence in our nation.  There are several other bits of clarity.  

A fetish is an object worshipped for its supposed magical powers.  The gun, in all of its many forms, is a fetish among many in our nation.  Carrying an automatic pistol of lethal caliber grants the owner a sense of power over his or her alleged enemies.  The pistol, in a rather crude and direct way, allays fear and diminishes the concerns one has with an environment which seems out of control.  Every now and then, the pistol can be handy in dispatching a hell bound assailant. Occasionally, it kills the suicidal soul and the victims of passionate rage and the police.  Most of the time, the pistol is quiet, except at the shooting range, which is a kind of temple where worship is had.  In its quiet state, the pistol is petted, polished, admired, and venerated.  It just feels good in the hand, like a holy book or prayer beads.  

Big guns, especially the so-called long guns, inspire a kind of reverence among gun lovers, which is almost of a caliber of the spirituality of God-fearing, churchgoing folks.  Big guns, like shot guns and hunting rifles, are stored in special furniture and safes.  They are taken out of these repositories for the purposes of either adoration or killing something.  When they are used for target sports, hunting, or vigilance for mayhem and insurrection, their owners often wear special clothing like religious vestments and observe elaborate rituals of safety and effective operation.  They have clubs, shows, magazines, and political organizations that celebrate guns.  By the way, the magazines to which I refer are the paper kind, but they sometimes have gun magazines and clips filled with bullets for any eventuality, even the apocalypse envisioned by conspiracy theorists and zombie attacks.  We are a nation of gun lovers and worshippers.  

Children and youth are influenced by gun loving parents and our gun happy culture.  Consider the rabid proliferation of gun violent video games.  Santa brings them.  Parents and children play together.  Guns are given on birthdays.  In some quarters of our culture, it is acceptable to give a teenager an automatic rifle that has been developed solely for killing people in a war.  “Shoot ‘em up” is both play and sport.  Hasn’t this always been so in our frontier life mythology?  Of course it has.  Perhaps God is not the only word that should be spelled with a capital “G”.

I am not suggesting that anything at all can be effectively done about this.  In this case a majority or at least a super powerful minority rules or at least it seems so.  Anyhow, there are already enough guns, rifles, and shot guns in the American home and workplace and car and truck to fill the hands of every citizen, adult, and child, 8 times over.  We are not going to confiscate them or even seriously license themwithout getting the populous shot up by them.  What I am suggesting is that school shootings, church shootings, road rage shootings, workplace shootings, and other forms of gun mayhem will never ever go away or even moderate as long as we make gun veneration a part of the American way.  We might as well get over it, mop up the blood and move on.  That’s plainly clear, regardless of our “thoughts and prayers”.