Saturday, June 21, 2014

It's a Barney Fife Kind of World

Have you seen news coverage of young men flogging their second amendment rights by bearing arms in public?  Yes, in public!  Really, it’s all a bit embarrassing and distasteful.  Then again, it’s their right to share their youthful eccentricities with all of us.  At least they don’t shoot their arms in public.  However, as we all know all too well, we have a glut of profoundly odd people who do shoot weapons in public and do kill many innocent folks of all ages.  

As innocents continue to be wasted by loons bearing arms we watch.  There’s not much more we can do.  We can’t overcome the gun industry’s public relations program.  I’m not referring to advertising for Guns ‘R Us folks, no, I’m referring to the NRA and it’s  Second Amendment ad campaign.  After all, today’s weapon obsession is less about freedom and liberty and much much more about keeping sales up.

At some future point I assume demographics will kick in.  Sales will decrease just flaten as most of us decline to own guns (it’s those pesky millennials taking over).  The NRA’s pitch will only be heard by whatever our normal quotient of paranoid happens to be.    I’m not sure how many will remain to to sustain industry profits (and pay the shills at the NRA).  Do you ever wonder about the quantity of guns and ammo that one person can buy?  I do.

As the gun crowd declines, profits will dwindle.  As the bottom line shrinks, there will be less spare cash available to goose sales. The NRA will see its finances return to membership dues only levels of long ago.  Then, we’ll see their dreaded specter of gun control, right? 

Nah, the NRA’s pitch has become part of our culture.  It will endure into the future for some unknown time.  We’ll have to wait it out unless there’s a massive guntastrophe.  I imagine if a nut or three shot up a bunch of the the NRA’s current green recipient's as Congress assembles for say a State of Union.  Even if that happened, we might see premature change, but even that may not be sufficient to cause a change today.  For all practical purposes, only time will lead to change unless we come to our senses about the nature of those rights loving gun nuts among us.  

As I follow this most odd bit of singular liberty lust for things that send projectiles hastily through the air, my mind wanders off to Mayberry, U.S.A.  Hell, it’s still on TV in reruns.  I can see it now.  Aunt Bee is trying to explain why Otis is a drunk to Opie.  She’s struggling.  Luckily,  she can pass the parental exercise off to Andy who just happens to walk through the door.  Andy begins to decipher Otis to Opie.  He’s having his own hard time, but is saved by Barney Fife.  Yep Deputy Fife rushes into the room.  Opie will have to wait, since there’s law breaking afoot in Mayberry!

Barney Fife is a well meant, law abiding, nervous kind of guy.  He’s really a good guy.  Hell this good guy even has a gun.  He’d protect us all from bad guys with guns except that Sheriff Andy won’t let him pack any ammo--Andy knows what would happen if Barney’s pistol was primed.  In our hearts, so do we.  Barney thinks he’s John Wayne, Andy knows he’s not.  

Sadly, when I listen to today’s packers, I hear mostly Barney Fife as sadly the NRA’s pursuit of profits relieves any Andy of his ability to keep the ammo out his Deputy’s revolver.  Funny how the Sheriff rarely, if ever, needed to carry or use a firearm to keep the peace in Mayberry.  

I’d prefer to live in a Andy’s world, not his deputy’s.  Come to think of it, we have too much Barney Fife in our public life.   

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