My wife and I were invited to a wedding in the “Good Ole USA.” “Fantastic,” I enthused, “a great get-away to miss some of the lingering, even in early May, ravaging Canadian winter. ”When we arrived at our destination, a day before the celebration, we were greeted by an almost forgotten luxury: warmth, luscious green lawns and a myriad of summer colours.The next day, before the ceremony, my wife went to a nearby shopping centre to have her hair and nails done (natch). The dutiful husband that I am, I tagged along. Right there started an odyssey that I first found amusing, and then moments later, most disturbing. But before setting out to kill some time at the shopping centre, my first stop was the loo.
I was familiar with the toilet manufacturer’s name and it puzzed me…do the baby food peoplethey also make toilets? But here’s where my story becomes dark. I wandered out into the mall and was greeted by none other than “Uncle Sam,” the well known symbol of “The Land Of The Free.”
And where was “dear old Uncle Sam” standing?
Right in front of a gun shop! An interesting emporium I thought, having never been into such an establishment. So I wandered in for a look-see. Greeting me as I entered the store were two for-sale ads: A 9mm pistol, perfect for concealed protection (ya never know when you need to wound or kill someone), and ……a hunting, or better, a sniper rifle (ya never know when you’ll need pick somebody off from a rooftop). A real bargain!
Venturing further into the store, I was tempted by cross-bows with telescopic sights, used rifles by the dozen, assorted hand guns and automatic assault rifles.
Hey, step right up to get your Uzzis. Is the US being invaded by foreign or alien attack forces! It must be so because instruction manuals on gorilla warfare, hand to hand combat and even how to set up and use an an automatic rifle capable of firing 600-700 rounds per minute are right there for sale! How many rounds does it take to bring down a moose? And dig this, the automatic rifle instruction manual is, in small type, “approved for public release! ”Wow, now we can not only defend ourselves but have instruction manuals on how to go about it.
THE QUESTION BEGS: WHERE’S THE ENEMY?
ANSWER: THE KILLING FIELDS; GRADE-SCHOOLS, HIGH SCHOOLS, UNIVERSITIES, SHOPPING CENTRES, SYNAGOGUES, MOSQUES, CHURCHES AND THE STREETS OF MOST AMERICAN TOWNS OR CITIES! A FUCKING PITY
I CAN VIVIDLY IMAGINE THIS SCENARIO: AS WE PUT OUR KIDDIES ON THE ARMORED HUMMER SCHOOL BUS OR WHEN WE SEND OUR YOUNG ADULTS OFF TO HIGH SCHOOL OR UNIVERSITY, WE MAKE SURE THEY ARE WEARING THEIR KEVLAR FLACK-JACKETS, BULLET-PROOF VESTS AND HELMETS. BEHOLD, THE NEW CLOTHING PARADIGM FOR ALL LEVELS OF EDUCATION AND AND THE AMERICAN LIFE! A FUCKING PITY.
Back at the store …I wandered over to a floor display of assorted rifles. I asked the sales lady, “are these BB guns?” She retorted as if to say, ‘what an idiotic question!’ Then proceeded to admonish ME, and I quote: “Of course these aren’t BB guns, they’re illegal. These are children’s toys.” OMG, I should have stayed in the men’s room with the Gerber food toilet. Now in an agitated and appalled state, I thought it best to get the hell out of the store. But what confronted me, right outside the store?
Delightful, beautiful and innocent all-American children selling GIRL SCOUT COOKIES!
And where in the USA was I? In the great state of New Jersey, just across the George Washington Bridge and 30 minutes from New York City!
GET ME BACK TO CANADA! (Shamefully we’ve got our gun problems too.)
Words and images copyright Larry Frank, 2014