Anyone see the movie Firestarter? The feds walk up to Irv Manders’ (Art Carney) porch to take a child with telekinetic powers. “We don’t need a warrant,” the lead agent tells “Charlie’s” family. “You do unless I woke up in Russia this morning,” Manders replies, aiming a scoped rifle at the government agents. The reason I mention this: reading anti-gun agitprop, I sometime get the feeling that yes, I did wake up in Russia this morning. Take the newsday.com post I’m a responsible gun owner, so I destroyed my gun . . .
The title alone tells you that there’s some serious Soviet-style, Orwellian word twisting going on. Comrades! The only responsible gun owner is one who destroys his gun! Anyone who doesn’t destroy his gun is responsible for gun violence, will be tried for his crimes and sent to gulag. Listen to your comrade Steve Elliott!
Although I’d like to believe I’m not party to the gun violence that stains the United States, I can’t. My grandmother shot and killed herself with a gun, and a few years ago my father shot and didn’t quite kill himself with one. A family friend lost a teenage son in an accidental shooting while he and his friends were playing with a gun. My stepbrother died in a murder-suicide with a gun, and the husband of one of my sister’s co-workers was killed in a mass shooting by a guy carrying three of them.
None of that happened with my gun, of course, but after every new mass shooting, I’m reminded that I, as a responsible gun owner, bear a portion of the responsibility for our nation’s gun violence.
And now it’s time for responsible gun owners to help end it.
‘Tis true! Time for you to save glorious United States of America from horrible gun violence! You are responsible! You want show trial? Bring me moose and squirrel!
After the recent shooting at Umpqua Community College in Oregon – after every mass shooting on a college campus, at a movie theater, in an elementary school or wherever – someone from the National Rifle Association or some other gun-rights group, or someone in Congress or running for president, goes on television and says we can’t fund federal studies on gun violence or have universal background checks of gun buyers or do anything that even hints of gun control because it infringes on the rights of responsible gun owners.
My gun is being used to argue against doing anything to even try to reduce gun violence in the nation. That’s what being a responsible gun owner means now – I’m responsible.
That is some major league f’ed-up you-know-what. But wait! There’s more! To exorcise (and exercise) his shame, Elliott decided to destroy his gun and convince others to do the same.
The Monday after the shootings, I disassembled my Ruger, clamped the pieces in a vise and cut them in half with an angle grinder. I sent the proper paperwork in to the state to report it destroyed. And then I wrote about it on Facebook, and included a hashtag: #ONELESSGUN . . .
Maybe cutting up a perfectly good gun is just a symbolic – some say stupid – gesture that will accomplish nothing. Maybe. But at the very least, there is #ONELESSGUN.
As is the way of such things, Mr. Elliott’s Facebook page contains no comments other than attaboys. And not even that, now.
Elliott wrote up this confession – presuming it wasn’t beaten-out of him by the ATF – and submitted it to the Washington Post. Who put his anti-pistol polemic on its newswire for papers like the New York Post that are ready, willing and able to dutifully disseminate anti-gun agitprop.
Why wouldn’t they? As Lenin said, “A newspaper is not only a collective propagandist and a collective agitator, it is also a collective organizer.” You have been warned. A lot.