Border Cantos is a timely, new and free exhibit now on view at Crystal Bridges.
"Abe Lincoln may have freed all men, but Sam Colt made them equal.” - post-Civil War slogan
A sort of Whitman’s Sampler for you, which is by no means meant to include everything.
May: a shooting and killing at The Greens apartments; a man was climbing in the window of the wrong apartment at the complex he lived in.
May: shooting at an apartment complex. No one was injured.
June: A citizen was able to use a gun to fend off a knife-wielding robber at a gold/silver exchange business.
July: two men drove to a house on Clower Avenue and shot at people standing in the yard.
November: an intruder was killed during a home invasion on Olive Street.
May 30: a shooting took place at Curtis and Fairlane.
June 4: shots were fired on West End Avenue.
June 14: multiple shots were fired on North Boxley.
August 5: a woman died after being shot in the head, execution-style, in front on her home.
August 12: the latest shooting, off Deane Street near Garland Avenue, just blocks from the University of Arkansas.
Well, I suppose it’s time we caught up with the rest of the nation.
Like “Ancient Astronaut Theorists,” many Second Amendment advocates will often provide “evidence” that shooting incidents like the above are “isolated incidents,” and that we should, perhaps, be covering the more positive aspects of gun ownership, as in when gangs of marauders are held off by gun owning citizens, or store owners defend themselves against armed robbers.
And, like the owner of the gold/silver business, there have been establishments whose owners have been able to fend off those who would rob them.
But does that make the many, many victims of the vicious, the diseased, and the just plain mean among us acceptable losses in our eternal, ever vigilant quest for liberty?
The bitter truth, which is lost in all the smoke and mirrors of their protestations, is that the “isolated incidents” are outnumbering the times when innocent people are able to defend themselves.
We could all arm ourselves, I suppose, waiting for the day when it is our turn to be a victim. The truth is, that I would feel much better if Tracy had a gun with her when she goes out-of-town.
After all, if one believes as they did in the Old West, that Colonel Colt truly made men equal with his revolver, shouldn’t we all arm ourselves - just so we can be equal with those who may wish us harm?
I’ll leave the death spiral of that argument to others who care to debate these matters in a graveyard, surrounded by the corpses of the innocent.
But personal weapons are just band-aids, cosmetic approaches to what ails us.
It is sort of like going to a dermatologist when you have a cancer eating you from within; you need to treat the root causes, not the visible scars of the ongoing disease.
While it might be nice that all of the perpetrators have been arrested, we can’t travel back in time and stop them from committing their crimes. And even in the instances where no one lost their lives, in some cases families with children were present.
Nothing like a little trauma to toughen a kid up, is there? Just as the generations of children who have grown up in other cities across the world where violence may flare up at any moment can attest to, toughening a child up can’t come too early.
Perhaps the National Rifle Association has special trauma counselors available for just such times as these?
The police may believe that we are going through a “spike” right now, as one officer was quoted recently as saying, but what if we aren’t? What if the numbers are just going to go up?
People are nervous; you can overhear it on the buses, or in restaurants. And elected officials are sort of quiet about the subject - pretty much all of them - but violence has touched every part of this city.
And people are what cities are all about, when it comes down to it.
I would like to know about the guns involved
I’d like to know about the guns involved in all of these cases. It might be interesting to know if they were all bought legally, or not.
If they were bought illegally, were they bought in Northwest Arkansas?
Why I’ll miss Gore Vidal
Gore Vidal has died.
In addition to being to author of well-known novels (including the magnificent Burr in 1973) and essays, he was also a constant fixture on television talk shows. In fact, he once famously remarked, “I never miss a chance to have sex or appear on television.”
But Gore Vidal also taught us something; he taught us the importance of wit, something of which there is precious little in the world today.
I spend way, way too much of my time online, and it has been my experience on Facebook and on various websites that wit is something that lots of folks wouldn’t know if it came up and confused them with an amusing remark.
In fact, it might just annoy them.
The Internet (and I’m talking about liberals as well as conservatives) seems full of people whose idea of an answer to a persuasive argument or a question is either an insult, or pomposity.
They have no use for wit, and indeed, have little to no understanding of it. I used to say that Dorothy Parker could reduce most of these people to tears, but the awful truth is that most of her clever jibes would go right over their heads.
I’ll miss Gore Vidal. It’s painful to watch, our devolution from Homo Sapiens to intellectual Neanderthals.
DC’s Joe Kubert takes his place with Easy Company
Joe Kubert died this week. This name won’t mean much to those who are too cool to admit that they ever enjoyed reading comics, but he brought us Sgt. Rock and Easy Company, and revitalized the Hawkman comic.
I was never much of a Hawkman kind of guy, but I always enjoyed Sgt. Rock, no matter my political beliefs. And Sgt. Rock and Easy Company could clean the clocks of Nick Fury and his Howling Commandos, any day of the week.
I do have to admit this, though. I always sort of scratched my head whenever Sgt. Rock would appear in The Brave and the Bold back in the 70s, and he and Batman would reminisce about missions they had conducted behind enemy lines together in World War II.
Whatever. I could go with that.
Not sure I can imagine Joe and Gore at the same dinner table, but they both livened up a lot of my reading over meals. And I thank them both for that.
Quote of the Day
"America did not invent human rights. In a very real sense, human rights invented America." - former President Jimmy Carter