I live in the South, where the Summer heat is the stuff of which legends are made. To put it bluntly, the heat, y’all, is a bitch. A five-star, gold-plated, ask-no-quarter-and-give-none BE-yatch. You can take your frostbite up in Yankee-Land and shove it where the Sun don’t shine. Frostbite is Romper-Room class stuff, compared to heatstroke. How do I loathe it? Let me count the ways:
- First you sweat. A lot.
- Then you stop sweating. This is your first warning sign. (If you’re lucky, you’ll get more)
- Sometimes you faint. Sometimes you don’t.
- Sometimes you get slurred speech, loss of muscle control, equilibrium, that sort of thing.
- Sometimes you get disoriented and hallucinate.
- Then your BP drops dangerously low, and your organs start shutting down like the banks will do, once all the Treasury’s Monopoly money gets a hi-colonic and starts flowing through the financial pipeline.
- And then you die.
I’ve seen all but the last two steps, up close and personal. We hired a crew of off-duty firemen (who should have known better) to move us out of one home and into another, one hot August day in Old East Dallas. This was a 20-something guy, with pecs the size of a drivers seat in an 18-wheeler, and biceps the size of mountain ranges. The guy was ripped, in tip-top physical condition. And from the looks he was getting from my now-ex-wife, it was a unanimous observation. And yet, he was a heatstroke victim that day, and damned lucky his buddies saved his life. Now consider what kind of odds you’d have of surviving that heat if you’re, say elderly. Or malnourished. Or all of the above. Yep. The Southern Summer heat is a cruel mistress, and an unforgiving judge, jury, and sometimes executioner, that strikes anyone without the scratch to run an AC unit, a fan, or some kind of device that can keep the environment cool.
The authorities will tell you to run fans if you don’t have A/C. And to open windows to get air to circulate if you don’t have fans. Do something – anything – to keep the air moving, so you don’t parboil in the afternoon heat. Yep, the odds are stacked against you if you’re poor and can’t afford air conditioning or a fan. But they are exponentially worse, if you live in a part of town where it’s just too dangerous to open a window. Then you might as well stick a fork in yourself, cause you’re done. Usually to a turn.
Now of course, nobody dies of heatstroke on purpose. But if you are sans cool air and afraid for your life and property to open a couple of windows or a door, (remember, the heat makes people do crazy things, and things get pretty crazy in the ‘hood, heat or not), you may have just signed your own death warrant. Damned if you do/damned if you don’t is no way to live. But for thousands of low-income citizens, that’s the choice they get to make, because gun laws won’t allow them to arm themselves to protect their own lives and property.
If you were some gang-banger, looking to raise Hell and perhaps score a couple of bucks for his drug habit, you’d probably look at gun laws like a coyote would look at legislation outlawing sheepdogs, and an area like the Projects like a field full of sheep. Or sheeple, just waiting to be fleeced. Or to get, um, flocked-over by said coyote. Conversely, if a city allows any upstanding citizen to own a handgun, you’d probably think twice before staging a little home invasion, for fear that the residents might decide to air-condition your body, with a few well placed ventilations.
And that, campers, is why gun laws are inherently racist and unfairly disadvantage the poor and downtrodden. If you’re rich, famous, well-connected, or more than one of the above, you can always find a way around gun laws. Leona Helmsley had it right, when she said “taxes are for the little people,” if you just substitute the word “gun laws” for “taxes.” You’ll note that New Yorks’ Mayor McCheezy has a coterie of Cro-Magnons around, all with telltale bulges under their off-the-rack blazers. Name a Hollywood type that comes out against guns, and I’ll show you a hypocrite that either carries, or has a bodyguard do it for them. But while those with the words “discretionary income” can apply for a dance card, those sans income are not as lucky. This is not a new phenomenon. Gun laws were originally conceived as a part of so-called Jim Crow laws, meant by the white ruling class to keep those uppity freed slaves in their place. Sadly, the current laws on the books haven’t changed that too terribly much. They still hurt poor minorities more than any other demographic group.
Now you’d think that, given the poor and disadvantaged are the ones getting screwed by gun laws, that the self-proclaimed leaders of those groups – the Reverends Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, Rep. Charlie Rangel, et cetera, would all be clamoring for changes to the law, in order to let their constituents armor-up. And you’d be wrong. Those that claim to speak for minorities have consistently lead the fight for more gun laws, tougher gun laws, and fewer guns in their communities. I’d like to know why. It’s high time everybody in America be able to exercise their constitutional rights to self-defense. And that’s a hot idea who’s time has come.