FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

High Noon in America

by JOHN GRANT

Since gun control is such a hot topic, the elite think tank the Project For a New American Decade (PNAD) has come up with a modest proposal to add to the national conversation. We think it’s worth a try.

First, we do the obvious, most sensible things: we establish universal background checks and dignified mental health services for those who exhibit a need for it. The third leg of the current gun control imbroglio — banning AR-15s — is a bit trickier.

When our beloved founding fathers walked this land, a lunatic with a gun had to dick around for five minutes to re-load his musket in order to shoot more than one six-year-old. Something like an AR-15 with a 30-round magazine would have been science fiction to them. So, I propose we make AR-15 assault rifles and extended ammo magazines illegal and set up an obligatory buy-back of the weapons with certain incentives to sweeten the deal.

As the first incentive, everyone who obeys the law and turns in an AR-15 gets an ounce baggie of the finest, most mellow marijuana known to man and a weekend get-away at selected resorts around the nation. There will be great gourmet food, hands-on sex therapists of one’s gender preference, a little Sandbox 101 emphasizing the need for social cooperation, and continuous showings of the The Big Lebowski.

Of course there will be recalcitrants. This is America and we’re a nation founded on recalcitrance. So for those determined to disobey the new law and not participate in the buy-back, an Option B will be offered. Instead of the soothing ganja, the outlaws get a free bottle of the finest tequila, and instead of a resort get-away, the activities will be brought right to their residences. Instead of The Big Lebowski, they get noise, lots of it.

Giant psy-war sound trucks will pull up in front of their homes and will play the adrenaline-inducing soundtrack of Killer Elite starring Jason Statham and Robert DeNiro, a film about macho male movie stars running around with AR-15s on fully-automatic. There is a senseless plot about hired killers killing members of a British military assassination team for an Arab sheik, but fortunately the stupid story doesn’t get in the way of the actors running around blasting away with their AR-15s and wasting other human beings. The movie’s motto is: “May the best man live.” (Plot spoiler: After all the gun mayhem, Statham and DeNiro live happily ever after. But not together!)

With the Killer Elite soundtrack pumped up loud, all instincts for negotiation should be discouraged, allowing for an apocalyptic firefight in which all the weapons that the choosers of Option B insist on owning can be put to their designated use, the killing of other human beings. To add to the right mood, unmarked black helicopters will circle the house. Videographers will film everything so the fun can be relived later in the comforts of one’s living room via the reality TV show Guns, Guts and Glory.

The point of having an Option A and an Option B is it gives each AR-15 owner a choice about what psychological posture to living and dying he or she wants to take in face of the quite reasonable social need to control lethal military weapons. There’s the life-force route or the death-wish route. Freud and other fancy, boffo shrinks like to call the former Eros and the latter Thanatos, nifty Greek words for the deeply submerged human tendencies toward Life and Death. Which motivates one the most? Or, in terms of pop culture, which film — The Big Lebowski or Killer Elite — speaks to one’s deep-seated inner drives? When stress settles upon you, do you want to abide like The Dude or do you want to kill somebody? Option A involves engagement with others and enjoying life; and when the buzz is over, it’s about getting on with life’s challenges in a cooperative manner. As the cultural icon Rodney King put it: “Why can’t we all just get along?”

Option B is essentially a suicide-by-SWAT-team pact.

The part of the proposal that some may not like is that the government wins with both Option A and Option B. Either way, when the dust settles, the government will be assured a monopoly on the most efficient lethal weaponry — something they have already, of course.

However, Option B does present the potential for such an incredible conflagration of violence between both sides of the machismo axis — gun-fetishist outlaws and SWAT-geared automatons — that, if we’re lucky, both sides might mutually decimate each other enough that it could open up political space in America, which could be filled by all the people who took Option A and chose the enjoyment of life over mutual-assured-destruction.

It’s possible that once all the post-Option B funerals are over, America would be so disgusted with machismo lethal-weapon violence that a sensible alternative based on mutual respect for other humans beings might be possible. Yes, it is a long shot, but it may be worth the gamble. This way, America could get beyond the polarized, hostile stalemate of the current moment. We could call it High Noon in America. The nation would be like Gary Cooper and Grace Kelly riding off into the sunset in a buggy.

But let’s be realistic. We know violence rarely follows anyone’s plan, and there’s the issue of collateral damage to consider. And, sure, there’s the adjunct matter that, despite all the time and deep thought PNAD thinkers have put into this proposal — as was the case with our neo-con friends and the Iraq thing — it’s possible that it’s all half-baked and the violence might unintentionally overflow the banks of our grasp of reality, flooding into ordinary American communities minding their own business and also into those resort get-aways where everybody is blowing the fancy stuff and watching The Big Lebowski. The newly disarmed, peace-loving sybarites enjoying their Option A weekend get-away would not stand a chance.

If this unforeseen spillage occurs, the get-away movie will have to be changed to Dr. Strangelove. The point would be to turn that chuckle-headed nightmare into a new midnight cult movement along the lines of The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Grown men could fight over who gets to play the iconic Vulcan General Jack Ripper who stands up like a real man to Washington appeasers by drinking grain alcohol and rainwater to preserve his American exceptionalist bodily fluids.

As Armageddon approaches, those still standing and the wounded still able to carry a tune could take a few more bong hits and close the weekend out with a rousing sing-a-long of the Thanatos theme song:

we’ll meet again


don’t know where


don’t know when


but I know we’ll meet again


some ….. sun-ny ….. day

JOHN GRANT is a founding member of ThisCantBeHappening!, the new independent Project Censored Award-winning online alternative newspaper.

 

JOHN GRANT is a member of ThisCantBeHappening!, the new independent, uncompromised, five-time Project Censored Award-winning online alternative newspaper. 

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

August 29, 2016
Eric Draitser
Hillary and the Clinton Foundation: Exemplars of America’s Political Rot
Patrick Timmons
Dildos on Campus, Gun in the Library: the New York Times and the Texas Gun War
Jack Rasmus
Bernie Sanders ‘OR’ Revolution: a Statement or a Question?
Richard Moser
Strategic Choreography and Inside/Outside Organizers
Nigel Clarke
President Obama’s “Now Watch This Drive” Moment
Robert Fisk
Iraq’s Willing Executioners
Wahid Azal
The Banality of Evil and the Ivory Tower Masterminds of the 1953 Coup d’Etat in Iran
Farzana Versey
Romancing the Activist
Frances Madeson
Meet the Geronimos: Apache Leader’s Descendants Talk About Living With the Legacy
Nauman Sadiq
The War on Terror and the Carter Doctrine
Lawrence Wittner
Does the Democratic Party Have a Progressive Platform–and Does It Matter?
Marjorie Cohn
Death to the Death Penalty in California
Winslow Myers
Asking the Right Questions
Rivera Sun
The Sane Candidate: Which Representatives Will End the Endless Wars?
Linn Washington Jr.
Philadelphia District Attorney Hammered for Hypocrisy
Binoy Kampmark
Banning Burkinis: the Politics of Beachwear
Weekend Edition
August 26, 2016
Friday - Sunday
Louisa Willcox
The Unbearable Killing of Yellowstone’s Grizzlies: 2015 Shatters Records for Bear Deaths
Paul Buhle
In the Shadow of the CIA: Liberalism’s Big Embarrassing Moment
Rob Urie
Crisis and Opportunity
Charles Pierson
Wedding Crashers Who Kill
Richard Moser
What is the Inside/Outside Strategy?
Dirk Bezemer – Michael Hudson
Finance is Not the Economy
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Bernie’s Used Cars
Margaret Kimberley
Hillary and Colin: the War Criminal Charade
Patrick Cockburn
Turkey’s Foray into Syria: a Gamble in a Very Dangerous Game
Ishmael Reed
Birther Tries to Flim Flam Blacks  
Brian Terrell
What Makes a Hate Group?
Andrew Levine
How Donald Trump Can Still be a Hero: Force the Guardians of the Duopoly to Open Up the Debates
Howard Lisnoff
Trouble in Political Paradise
Terry Tempest Williams
Will Our National Parks Survive the Next 100 Years?
Ben Debney
The Swimsuit that Overthrew the State
Ashley Smith
Anti-imperialism and the Syrian Revolution
Andrew Stewart
Did Gore Throw the 2000 Election?
Vincent Navarro
Is the Nation State and Its Welfare State Dead? a Critique of Varoufakis
John Wight
Syria’s Kurds and the Wages of Treachery
Lawrence Davidson
The New Anti-Semitism: the Case of Joy Karega
Mateo Pimentel
The Affordable Care Act: A Litmus Test for American Capitalism?
Roger Annis
In Northern Syria, Turkey Opens New Front in its War Against the Kurds
David Swanson
ABC Shifts Blame from US Wars to Doctors Without Borders
Norman Pollack
American Exceptionalism: A Pernicious Doctrine
Ralph Nader
Readers Think, Thinkers Read
Julia Morris
The Mythologies of the Nauruan Refugee Nation
George Wuerthner
Caving to Ranchers: the Misguided Decision to Kill the Profanity Wolf Pack
Ann Garrison
Unworthy Victims: Houthis and Hutus
Julian Vigo
Britain’s Slavery Legacy
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail