Thursday, June 18, 2015

One Bit from My New Drug War Follies Column for Skunk Magazine

So here's one bit from my new Drug War Follies column for Skunk magazine. It's off topic, which is generally, well, drug war idiocy, but then the good folk at Skunk have always allowed me to run off the rails a bit.
Here it is:

In the “Freaking Unbelievable But True” category, this note: In June Texas’ Governor Greg Abbott signed into law two bills that will enhance the good citizens of Texas’ Second Amendment rights. Those rights refer to the second amendment of the U.S. Constitution that calls for a “well regulated Militia” which has the right to bear arms and notes that that right cannot be infringed upon. Over the years that’s come to mean that any flipping nut can walk into a gun shop in Texas and purchase as many guns as they want, up to and including .50 calibre rifles so long as they don’t have outstanding warrants or a criminal history that prohibits them from having a gun. For those people we have what’s called the “Gun Show Loophole”. The gun show loophole allows any private seller to bring his or her guns, including semi-automatics, to a gun show and sell them to anyone without even that cursory phone call to see if they’ve got a criminal history. Just pony up the cash and buy your weapons.
    In all, we’ve got more than 300 million guns here in the U.S., and Texas had a huge percentage of them.
    But Texans don’t like restrictions and regulations. And up till now—at least for the last 20 years or so— one restriction people in Texas hated was that they couldn’t walk around with their six gun in the open. Yes, they could walk around with AR15s on their shoulders, or 30.06 rifles hanging around their neck in public, but not handguns. So in June, the good governor of Texas got rid of that bit of fluff, signing into law a bill that now allows people to wear their holsters proudly in any and all public places. Kids soccer games, city parks and so forth.
   That still wasn’t enough for the gun loving nuts. So Gov. Abbott also signed into law a bill that will allow people to carry their hand guns visibly on all public college campuses—formerly places where guns were prohibited altogether, even licensed concealed weapons.
   Now I’m all for protecting yourself from the bad guys, but that’s rarely how it works. If the bad guy has his gun on you, well, you’re not gonna have time to draw before he kills you. And since your now-visible gun is gonna make that bad guy nervous, I’m picturing a lot more people carrying their weapons proudly will get blown away by bad guys. Or at the very least, have their guns taken by the bad guys.
   And a lot of college professors are going to be very nervous about handing out “F’s” to people. Who wants to give an “F” to a student with such low self-esteem that he/she needs to carry a visible weapon? “Hey professor! You gave me an F in Classic Literature? F yourself!” Boom!
    Unfortunately, those things are not the worst of these new laws. The worst part of these laws is that in reality they will only apply to white people. You get six black 18-year-olds walking into Walmart carrying guns—even water pistols—and you’re gonna get six dead black kids being carried out. The U.S. and particularly Texas, is very frightened of black men. They get killed with amazing frequency just for being black. Now imagine they’re standing on a known drug corner, just shooting the shit while waving a semi-automatic rifle around or practicing their quick-draw? It is not a pretty picture. It’s a freaking pool of blood with the kid asking “What about my second amendment rights?” as he lays dying, dropped by half-a-dozen cops.
    It’s going to get messy.
    Still, Gov. Abbott felt so good about expanding that second amendment that he went target shooting immediately after signing those bills into law.

It would all be funny if people weren’t dying and the prisons weren’t full.

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