Ten Guns and a WheelChair
I overheard three people talking about guns last night where I work.
A woman said her son - who has spinal difida and is and will be in a wheelchair his entire life - was unhappy because she wouldn't buy him another gun.
The guy - a life long batchelor whose mother lives with him - was saying he had just bought three thousand rounds of ammunition.
I knew from past experience that both are Pro McCain.
There was a third guy there who tells me he is a very devout Christian - but who can't seem to find the time to come do the work on my house he agreed to do - even though my wife and I never quibbled about his price.
I didn't know what his political orientation was until he came over to me and I heard one of the other two say "don't say nothing..." because he's one of "them" - meaning an Obama person. He had been friendly to me until that.
The Christian said, "Oh, I'm sorry to hear that," like I had the plague, and turned and left.
I walked over to the other two and asked the woman, "I understand your son is unhappy you won't buy him another gun. How many does he have now?"
She immediately started rattling off the exact names and makes and special charachteristics of a whole bunch of weapons.
I said, "Wow, I lost count. I think it was about eight wasn't it?"
She immediately closed her eyes and silently went through the list again, raising a finger for each weapon until every finger on her hand was raised. "Ten," she said.
"Wow" I said again, wondering what on earth a young fourteen year old - who she has told me before has severe bouts of depression - wants or needs ten guns - and one more for.
Then I asked the man, "I heard you say you just bought 3,000 rounds of ammo. What are you going to do with all that?"
He said a new gun was like a new car. You have to break it in. Besides... "It was on sale."
This is a guy who leaves gun magazines laying around in the break room and whose story about how he worked at a testing range in the Navy where planes came in dropped bombs and what a beautiful sight that is I have had heard many times... often adding to it the quote from Apocolypse Now: "I love the smell of napalm in the morning."
The woman left shortly after that but when another guy came... I asked him how many guns he had. He said he had one hidden in every room in the house... and TWELVE in a gun cabinet.
I couldn't believe it. I said, "Are they all loaded?" meaning the ones hidden.
He assured me they were ready to go.
I asked him if his wife had any and he said she had one little pistol. I asked him this because I'd heard they don't get along very well, and was just wondering what she might have to defend herself against his arsenal... if push came to shove.
Then I said, "But she probably knows where all the hidden ones are around the house, doesn't she?"
He said "No, she'd have to clean the house to know that, and that B**** never cleans the house."
Then he told us how he had once worked for "the feds" in Miami back when carjackings were so bad. He told us they put him and another guy in a car and put a shotgun in his lap and told them to just ride around where there had been carjackings. They told him that if a Son of a B**** stuck his head in the window to blow it right off, and don't ask any questions first.
I asked him if he had done that and said he hadn't had to. Word traveled fast and carjackings went down.
This is a guy who showed me his automatic weapon in the parking lot one time. It was like an AK-47 but that was not it's name.
I think I wrote all this morning because I write for another site as well... and one guy was giving me a hard time saying Alabama is not like I say it is.
And I want to clarify that it does have some good people in it. Like the bank manager I talked with yesterday morning who told me her son is a surgeon at a VA hospital in Memphis, and that he is overwhelmed at the workload and misery he sees there and nobody seems to care and both he and her feel helpless that all they can do is he work long hours and she write letters.
And she said, "No matter who is elected... their first priority should be veterans in VA hospitals.
And I agreed with her.
But after hearing all the talk about guns and weapons and little boys with spinal difida and veterans with no hope of proper care... all it turns out that I can do...
is write this...
And make one more last donation...
To Barack Obama.
The pen is mightier than the pistol.
But first we have to get the pen in the hand of the right man.
November 1, 2008.