(First of all, it’s so nice to have my online access back! Our Internet was down after a windstorm last week, but now I’m up and running again!)

There’s a douchebag I blogged about over a year ago, and I couldn’t help but be reminded of him now. The douchebag in question paraded near a middle school here in the Portland suburbs with a rifle, in order to make a statement about his Second Amendment rights. This was not long after the Sandy Hook massacre, so naturally there were frantic parents who were calling the police, thinking that there was a threat to their children’s safety. The police stated that they couldn’t arrest the guy, as he wasn’t doing anything illegal, but a couple of the schools in the neighborhood did go into lockdown mode. It seems that Mr. Douchenozzle purposely picked his location to make a point. You can see why I have low regard for this individual.

And in light of everything that’s happened recently, I have to wonder, what would have happened if Mr. Nozzle had been of a darker complexion?

Because the way this situation resolved itself is that “officers talked to the man and determined he wasn’t doing anything illegal.” Sounds like it was a nice, calm conversation. Let’s be blunt here. If he had been black, would that polite conversation have happened? Would he have been allowed to strut up and down the street with a gun strapped to his back? Or would the cops have instantly shouted at him to drop his weapon, and pointed their guns at him? I wonder how that would have potentially escalated things, and how the Second Amendment defender would have reacted.

Or…would the police even have given him that much time to react? Would they simply have started shooting? After all, the only thing a black man needs to get killed these days is a toy gun or fake gun in his hands.

But nah, there’s no double standard here. And it’s definitely not about race. In fact, I’m the race-baiter for bringing it up. My apologies….

Ironically, right after I posted my gun conspiracy blog, we had our very own local school shooting here in the Portland metro area.  A high school freshman who was armed to the teeth entered Reynolds High School in Troutdale, OR, killed a fellow student and wounded a teacher and then, once he realized police were entering the school, shot himself.

What scared me just as much as the event itself was my reaction to it.  I held my breath in horror as I listened to the breaking news coming in on my radio at work.  But then, as I learned the extent of the shooting, I breathed a sigh of relief.  “Oh good.  Only two people dead.”  I caught my own reaction and was horrified all over again.  This is how used I’ve become to a world of spectacular acts of violence.  I expect to hear of 20, 30 dead–otherwise it’s not as big of a deal.  These are two individuals gone, one because of a random attack, the other seemingly because of mental illness.  Their families are grieving, the teenage boys won’t get a future, but hey, this was only a “small” shooting.

I can’t say that I really have good answers to any of the questions here.  Guns are a part of the problem, but only one part.  Clearly something inside of the kids leads them to feel that taking multiple lives is an acceptable response to the situation they’re in.  Something is broken there, but I don’t know how it can be fixed.  But regardless of what we think the solution is, the one thing I do know is that we cannot allow ourselves to get used to these shootings.  We can’t let them become a normal part of our daily life–although perhaps we already have.

“I think they should tread lightly…because North Idaho will become North Ireland if they take it too far” — attendant of Coeur D’Alene, Idaho Second Amendment rally, speaking about imagined government gun grabs.

Let’s start with the fact that the Second Amendment isn’t going anywhere.  Sometimes I wish it was, but it isn’t.  It’s in the Constitution, and it’s there for a reason–for the population to defend itself from a tyrannical government.  There are varying interpretations of this–were these meant to be armed individuals?  Militias?–but the essence of it remains.

It’s times like these, though, that make me wonder if the Founders had thought of the possible unintended consequences of this idea.  The day’s news is filled with stories of misguided murderous individuals who were not seeking to revolt against anything, except perhaps their own depressing lives.  And then there is the other problem–the people who are talking about armed revolt these days aren’t thinking of a monarch or a totalitarian dictator.  Their fantasies are of overturning a government and a President which were democratically elected, but which they happen not to like.  This would be the exact opposite of the populace rebelling against an oppressive elite–it would be a group of extremists depriving the majority of the vote they had lawfully cast. 

What can we do to stop this from happening?  Well, really, nothing.  Again, our citizens arming themselves is legal and constitutional.  Within the next few years, we may find out if that constitutional right was actually a good idea.

I work for a health insurance company.  The week that the Affordable Care Act was passed, our CEO sent us an e-mail telling us what a great development this was for our company, since it would bring us lots of new business.  This was the reaction to the supposed Commie takeover of health care–a health care plan which, in reality, would benefit private corporations quite a bit.

There are interesting suggestions popping up (here and here) that the President’s gun control reform may follow the same pattern.  Specifically, the prediction is that Walmart is excited about participating in the deal with President Obama because closing the gun show loophole on background checks will drive customers away from buying guns at gun shows and will lead them to do their discount weapon shopping at Walmart.

So for all the end of the world panicking from our friendly Second Amendment militias, some gun sellers are likely to get an advantage from future gun laws.  They have all been doing very well so far–gun sales have been brisk since Obama’s re-election, and prices for assault weapons have gone up, even as much as doubled, since the Newtown shooting.

Yep, the Newtown massacre has only improved things for those who make a profit from selling guns.  And while this worries me, since it calls into question my belief in karma or any other type of spiritual justice actually being at work in this universe, it sounds like the weapon merchants themselves don’t have that much to worry about.