Picking up where I left off yesterday, the existence of the Second Amendment offers a patina of nobility, entitlement and providential sacrosanctity to psychotic behavior. The Second Amendment enables the gun culture and legitimizes an otherwise lunatic fringe lobbyist outfit, the NRA.
Due to this misinterpretted and obsolete line in the Bill of Rights, which, in the modern sense, defends the human right to buy a deadly product from a store, too much of our society looks upon gun hobbyists with resigned deference. Congress and the president are satisfied with "gun control" legislation with titles like "Second Amendment Rights Protection Act." Activists too often concede to the applicability of the Second Amendment when it should be laughed off as a quaint relic of colonial Americana.
Everyone's afraid to appear too "extreme" when discussing gun control legislation. No one wants to offend the gun people. But extremism never stopped the NRA and the utter wackadoodles and firearm fetishists lurking in plain view -- their American flag shirts and ridiculous bumper stickers flaunting their "right" to buy and keep as many guns as they can afford, and to use them in a wide variety of inexcusably psychotic ways.
Over the weekend, the NRA held their annual convention in Houston -- coincidentally the same city where, last week, a man walked up to the security area of an airport terminal with the intention of mowing down travelers with his constitutionally-protected AR-15.
Suffice to say, there were dozens of awful and ridiculous things on display at the convention center, but I'd like to discuss what I believe are the three most disgusting things from the event -- all of which are baked into our gun culture and enabled by the Second Amendment.
Exotic Game Hunting Vendors
There were many of these shady companies in attendance but the most visible vendor, Sporting International, offers vacations to Africa for the purpose of killing exotic animals. The only thing more insane than earning a profit with such an endeavor are the people who are willing to pay upwards of $31,000 to kill these animals for no other reason than to watch them die. This is behavior worthy of institutionalization, as far as I'm concerned. Anyone who pays cash money to journey to Africa to gun down a lion or a giraffe should be locked up because, seriously, these people are somewhere on the serial killer spectrum, and I would wager they're barely containing their desire to hunt people for sport, too.
Hunting for food with so much healthy food readily available is questionable behavior to me, but hunting game for sport isn't sporting at all and anyone who does so not only possesses a twisted hatred and disrespect for nature but a mentally unstable, narcissistic desire to inflict death upon creatures that don't deserve it. Worse yet, many of the animals listed on Sporting International's menu are nearing the endangered category: leopards, lions, elephants -- mythic storybook animals that exist in dwindling ranges.
Yet if Cletus McDinkydick has few thousand dollars, he can go to Uganda and kill a rhino. Or he can go to South Africa and kill a lion. And then, like the psychopath he is, he can have his picture taken with the corpse -- his shit-eating face aglow with orgasmic delight over killing a rare and noble animal (from a safe distance). But instead of keeping an incredulous eye trained on these guys as potential serial killers who, once the thrill of killing animals fails to satisfy their blood lust, will begin to assemble a suit made of human skin in their crawl spaces, we enable this behavior with our deference to the gun culture. Gun owner or not, all of us should be shaming these people. We should be stripping them of their over-inflated sense of masculinity -- and that goes double for escaped mental patient Ted Nugent who exalts in the death porn of exotic game hunting as well.
The Obama Targets
Yes, there were several President Obama shooting targets for sale at the NRA convention. And no, the people who put them on display weren't arrested, nor were the yokels who bought them. One of the targets was paper, but two of them (that I'm aware of) were three-dimensional effigies. Zombie Industries, one of the Obama effigy vendors, removed its Obama target (shown above) from its booth -- and, no, they didn't suffer a brief pang of human decency, they were asked to do it for obvious reasons. Regardless, pretending to shoot the president (any president) should summarily disqualify anyone from owning a firearm, and it should ultimately beg a visit from the Secret Service. But take President Obama's likeness out of the equation and the psychotic behavior remains: pretending to shoot any human being -- a celebrity, another politician or just anybody -- represents behavior that falls within similar territory as killing animals for shits and giggles. Serial killer territory.
This leads us to...
"The Ex" Shooting Target
The same company that made the controversial Obama target also manufactures a target called "the Ex" -- obviously, "ex-girlfriend." The buxom life-size figure retails for $99 and actually bleeds as gunmen fill it with lead. Clearly, this is meant to satisfy an unfulfilled and homicidal hatred for women. Again, our light touch -- our inability to get tough with the gun culture breeds this kind of maniacal, misogynistic behavior. As for the mouth-breathing self-identified badasses who think it's awesome to shoot at a bleeding effigy of a woman, don't screech and poop your camo-pants when they come for your guns, because if there's anyone who should be disarmed and counseled by expert psychologists it's you. And if this behavior is motivated by a need to flaunt your political incorrectness and to piss off "Feminazis" and "libtards," congratulations, you just earned the admiration of other micro-phallic, woman-hating, right-wing dickbags who will never enjoy a healthy relationship with an actual real life self-respecting woman. Nor should you. According to a pair of studies, "Between 30 and 40 percent of women murdered in the US each year are killed by a current or former intimate partner. In over half of these cases, the perpetrator used a gun. Put another way: Of women killed with guns, almost two-thirds are killed by their intimate partners."
The NRA convention is ground zero for the gun culture -- the gun culture mainstream. Certainly the exotic game hunters and effigy-target shooters don't represent all gun owners or even NRA members, but they're rarely discouraged by gun owners with more balanced brain chemistry. Those of us outside the gun culture aren't without guilt either. When we allow gun ownership to enjoy a status far greater than what it deserves, this is the kind of grotesquely entitled and socially retarded behavior it breeds. Gun zealots believe they have a God-given human right to act like this because there's an item about state militias in the Bill of Rights and, over time, it's been extrapolated and bastardized into a slagheap of mentally ill, over-compensatory crapola -- a cloak of invincibility for maniacs, chickenhawks and death pornographers who get off by pretending to shoot humans while, too often, shooting living creatures for no other reason than the adrenaline rush of watching something bleed out.