Saturday , May 18 2024
Hope is in the eye of the beholder.

Shoot First, Proof Later: Florida’s New Gun Law

Finding silver linings in the clouds of most of today’s top news stories sometimes takes a lot of work. Hell, even finding reasons to be optimistic about day-to-day life is tough. But on occasion I’ve been able to come up with some consoling thoughts about things that either scare me or really piss me off.

In an attempt to maybe lighten everyone’s load, I thought I would be generous enough to pass on two such calm-inducing scenarios. Neither offers a quick resolution to either problem, but each gives a glimmer of hope for the future: a straw to clasp as you clutch your head in anguish.

You’re lying in bed on a peaceful summer’s evening, when all of a sudden a low bass vibration begins to rumble up through the floor, inducing momentary fears of earthquakes, until you remember you don’t live in California. Your heart has only a momentary respite for calming, because in the moment that it took to understand that it wasn’t an act of God, the vibration has turned into the sound of an augmented car stereo.

Gritting your teeth, and praying to whatever you believe in that your sternum won’t collapse, you endure until it passes. The massive bass almost achieving brown line status (literally the low end frequency that causes the relaxation of the human bowel: better known as shitting oneself) overwhelms all other noise save for the persistent accompanying rattle of whatever vehicle is striving to contain the sound waves.

I can only think of two groups of individuals who would develop such insidious devices as massive subwoofers and mega bass amplifiers for use in automobiles. Obviously anybody with a stake in an auto body shop is going to love those things. There’s only so much wear and tear any car’s chassis can take. A friend who worked for a local shop told me they would have four or five of those cars in a week needing at least their doors re-hung, because the vibrations had shaken them loose in the hinges sufficiently to prevent them closing properly.

When I’m at my most satirical and humorously twisted, in other words pushed beyond the limits of rational thought, I speculate on the possibility that these devices were invented as a means of revenge for hundreds of years of repression by African Americans. One only needs to notice the predominance of young white males in baseball caps who drive these machines, and this begins to make some sort of insidious sense.

What better way to exact revenge than to create machines that render the users incapable of rational thought and most likely procreation? I can’t begin to imagine what that level of sound and vibration is doing to those young men’s sperm count?

The brilliance of the scheme is in its appeal to male testosterone: bigger and louder is better. Who has more of the hormone to burn than young males living in white suburban repressed society? What more fitting vengeance for cultural appropriation than to be rendered impotent by what you’ve stolen?

My own personal silver lining is tied into the loss of procreative abilities. Every time I hear one go by now, aside from wishing for a bazooka to blow them up on the offbeat, is the realization that they will never breed. Theses people will not reproduce, which given the gene pool most of them sprung from, increase the chances of survival for the rest of us enormously.

I have had thoughts along similar lines when it comes to the newly announced Florida gun laws. The so-called “stand your ground” law, which allows Floridians to use violence as a first choice, not a last resort, in a dispute. Instead of trying to defuse a situation, or attempting to walk away, you can now stand your ground and open fire in a situation you construe as threatening, and still plead self-defence.

This right already existed at home for the people of Florida (woe to the idiot Mormon or Jehovah’s Witness who knocked on anyone’s door) but now it’s been extended to include anywhere they have a right to be. You know, the sidewalk, the road, the supermarket, bars, etc. The only time they are not allowed to meet “force with force” is when confronted by an officer of the law.

I have a vision of the first time somebody cuts another person off in traffic, of an all-out street war ensuing. First it will be the initial participants opening fire, road rage is very threatening, but then drivers coming on the scene will be forced to enter into the fray as the bullets fly and they come under fire. What could be more menacing than being in a fire zone?

As more cars turn up at the scene more people will feel threatened, more weapons will be drawn and a full-scale firefight will ensue. Of course pedestrians will feel the need to stand their ground and will search for strategic places from which to return fire, or offer cover to their loved ones as they attempt to scurry home with their groceries.

Given the state of mind most people are in these days: hair-trigger anger caused by the high cost of fuel, (a shoot-out at a gas station is a lovely scenario to contemplate isn’t it?), paranoia about terrorists, the stress of work, and the fear of being shot on the drive to work, we ought to be seeing at least one of these shoot-outs a day before long.

It’s going to take a while for people to understand how much freedom this new act gives them, but once they understand, no threat will pass unchallenged, no challenge unanswered, and no answer unsupported by covering fire.

Of course this will be a big shot in the arm for various sectors of the economy. The big three will soon be able to add custom options of armour-plating and bullet-proof glass alongside air-conditioning for cars destined for the Florida market. The makers of flak jackets should see the value of their businesses go through the roof, and it will create a whole new category of car and personal insurance.

Aside from the NRA and arms manufacturers, my guess is it’s hard for a lot of people to see a silver lining in these circumstances. Well it’s glaringly obvious to me: hopefully all the gun nuts will move to Florida and end up killing each other. The variety of circumstances in which people will now feel able to pull a weapon out and begin blasting away are as myriad as there are things that you have to do in a day.

Any time two humans come into contact with each other on the street these days the chances of one them feeling threatened are quite high. If in even fifty percent of these circumstances someone draws a gun there is the reality of a fatality being the result. How long could it take before we see an appreciative drop in their numbers?

Remember it only takes one person to begin an incident, and than it should spread like wildfire, ripples of threat permeating through the crowd in the mall until it looks like downtown Beirut at the height of the civil war. If nothing else this law should at least eliminate the Republican plurality in the state, ensuring that in the next presidential election it goes Democrat.

I know the news always seems so dreary and depressing. Every day it gets harder and harder to find positives in a world full of war, drought, pestilence, and famine. But if you look hard enough, and from the right twisted perspective, you can give yourself some faint glimmers of hope. Of course hope, like anything else, is in the eye of the beholder.

About Richard Marcus

Richard Marcus is the author of three books commissioned by Ulysses Press, "What Will Happen In Eragon IV?" (2009) and "The Unofficial Heroes Of Olympus Companion" and "Introduction to Greek Mythology For Kids". Aside from Blogcritics he contributes to and his work has appeared in the German edition of Rolling Stone Magazine and has been translated into numerous languages in multiple publications.

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