The way of the gun is as American as mom’s apple pie. I read with interest the article by Bill the Butcher which compares the shootings in Orlando with the tower shootings in Texas circa 1966. It provoked thought in me for three reasons; one, all of you that read Bill’s writing know him to be a man of reason. His is the way of thought, and one may only emerge victorious from such matches as are found in contests of logic if they possess the preeminent superiority of reason. But a very few of us remember darker times in the Simple Ol’ Boy’s past. A past ruled by the way of the gun.
In those days the way of the gun was eschewed by most, but some contests were not to be won if one was not knowledgeable of that particular dark way. In reading Bills piece, I thought to detect an echo from that time. Secondly, and of greater importance to his readers, Bill made it clear that by his lights, Muslim people are prone to either forcing their ideology, or way of life if you will, on others at the point of a gun, or are instead guilty of indifference to the victims of those who do so. Lastly, by a quirk of fate, mybrother and I were both there at the hour of the shooting at the University of Texas, both of us missing a more fateful appointment by bare minutes. I would like to submit a humbler thought on the comparison made by The Butcher by the addition of two other famous Texas shooters.
The drawing of the three: roughly three years prior to Whitman’s rampage on an infamous day in November 1963 Lee Harvey Oswald fired shots from an upper floor window in the Dallas Book Depository killing one man, our president, beloved of many in this nation, and wounding Governor John Connally, feared by many of the same. His state of mind? Cold, calculating, a true shooter’s state of mind. Twenty-five years after the tower shootings a certifiably mental patient drove his car into the Luby’s Cafeteria in Killeen, Texas, and upon exiting his vehicle shot and killed 23 people. The shooter, George Hennard’s state of mind? Chaotic, fragmented, a shooter who only got his kill count by killing unarmed, helpless sheep (apologies to those who count among the lost one who was dear). In each case, it bears pointing out that the victims were unarmed, and helpless due to an unannounced attack. Kills such as these lack honor, and therein do I find the ONLY similarity. In Oswald’s case the shooter was an assassin, trained for his mission, and part of a larger plan, Oswald was doing a job. I know it, and I know Bill knows. In Whitman’s case, he was a combat seasoned veteran, but one with an awful thing growing in his head; it cannot be said that he knew what he was doing, but Hennard did! I knew his therapist, and believe me, those who knew him best were worried about his fascination withguns, and his erratic behavior
If anyone was responsible for the shooting in Orlando, or Connecticut, or Columbine or, take your pick, it’s the police. Ever since the war on drugs our nation’s police use a template for prevention that resembles the optimism of that person ahead of you in line at the convenience store buying lottery tickets. They’ll continue to explain the logic of it well after you have lost interest. Am I bashing the cops? Well…yeah. I mean just look at the solution most of them have for mass shootings: disarm everybody. Huh? Now, I have walked the way of the gun since before I could vote. I stay hard, and I stay ready. I know that Bills reason is superior to mine, but I also know he keeps a Smith near to hand. I don’t believe the answer is the expulsion of Muslim people, nor the barring of their way to citizenship. I think rather that we should vette them more thoroughly, and watch them more closely. And, I think we should all keep our guns close, just in case.