Why It Matters 4 by Randy


Why it Matters IV

The cost of doing business

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  As I look into the mirror, shaving a greyed beard from a face lined by time and trouble, I remember a younger face once looking at me from this very glass with similarly sad eyes.  A boy of dirty elbows and skinned knees, and behind that perpetually down-cast sight beat a heart filled with impotent rage.  I knew my life was wrong, it was unfair, and it was a hot mess of a kid staring back from the mirror that reported horrible things filled with quiet unshed rage and denial of every truth that came anywhere near. WIM4 pic 2 At that younger time, I was pure lethality with a gun.  I made a game of being able to spin the cap off a bottle without breaking the bottle by just nicking the side with the bullet, but I enjoyed the explosions of the shattering glass when I missed.  Like many kids, I relished the wanton destruction, the control of continued existence or the end of that bottle.  I felt powerful, skilled, and capable in a world where otherwise I foundered at the whim of forces I felt incapable of withstanding, weak, ineffectual.  

  If you have never held a gun, you know not the thrill of life, nor of death.  For many a gun is the mark of independence, the goal of maturity, the status symbol of greatness.  Instead, a momentary pull of a finger decides an accident of foolishness or the demands of a spurned heart WIM4 pic 3a and the most intimate of actions lets one be alive still and another not so very much.  It is horror and excitement and at no point does the heartbeat slowly for any involved.  It is but for targets, some may say, but what is target practice but the refinement of the skills necessary to kill that which you intend great harm?  Some say it is an act of freedom to hold the means to life and death in your hands, but whose life, whose death?  And why is the ability to take a life a definition for freedom?

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  From the tenor of this post, many would think I am against gun ownership.  To be fair, I couldn’t care less if someone owns a gun.  I similarly don’t care if someone owns a pit bull, a monster truck, or wants to live life as a raging karen. WIM4 pic 5 It is the unmitigated gall, the pretentious and pompous attitude that one’s ownership of a gun shall not be infringed, even in the misuse and mishandling.  Bill upon bill has come before congress, requesting the mere modicum of relief to those of us unwilling to be set upon by others unfettered 2nd amendment rights, only to wither in committee, shot down by the special interests lobby.  How sad a people who have decided money is far more important than the life of a school child.

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I often wonder if Dylan Thomas knew about the lure of guns when he wrote “Do not go gentle into that good night, Old age should burn and rave at the close of the day.”  When imagined and closeted monsters come and seek to take all that we hold precious, when fear and anger burn so bright as to risk all that is dear, WIM4 pic 7do hold tight to that instrument of power, that wand of courage that burns away the dark and sends the monster back into the closet?  But power is fickle, isn’t it?  It isn’t only our own fear, our own rage that dispels in the smoke of a smokeless powder concussion.  Quiet little sparks in Uvalde, in Sandy Hook, splashed out little stars in last moments of terror.  And as those little lives fade, do you wonder if their last thoughts are to be thankful that old men may rage, that young men may rage?  Hold on to your fear, gentlemen, do hold on to your fear if that is all you have left.  

  Don’t be sad, little ones.  It’s just the cost of doing business.  You understand, don’t you?

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