The International Writers Magazine: Reality Check Feedback
Readers Responses to James Campion on Guns
I am forever entertained by the notion of whether or not this country will ever consider gun violence to be an epidemic. Your piece on this idea was not only a masterpiece in satire, but it said all the things I wish to say, and more. Guns & The American Experiment James Campion
Every second the American Experiment remains in motion human nature is on trial. This is what we have unleashed upon civilization. Ours, this mostly unfettered, stumbling mish-mosh of haphazard choices, is the playground for what price there is for freedom
And it all begs the question: Why is that a single man, out of the millions of airplane travelers, can make an aborted attempt to board a plane with an explosive device in his shoe -- a one in a billion shot -- and for the rest of eternity every human flying out of this nation anywhere has to take his/her shoes off at airport security, but nearly a thousand people have been murdered by guns since the Newtown Massacre (and you are right, it is not so much a tragedy as a massacre, let's quit pussyfooting around and call it what it is) and we're not allowed to even discuss guns?
The quote you used for the open of your column this week was stunning. (Excerpt from Memo PPS23 "Review of Current Trends, U.S. Foreign Policy" by George Kennan, Head of the U.S. State Department Policy Planning Staff. Written February 28, 1948, Declassified June 17, 1974) To think, a man with that kind of intel in the highest reaches of the U.S. government could so precisely predict the way that the American government would and should conduct its business for decades after World War II is just, well I cannot think of another word but stunning!
How this translates to our right to bear arms, especially against a type of government that had no problem during the Viet Nam War bugging, harassing, and in some cases as in Kent State, murdering its citizens is beyond me. Not sure if you are joking when you say that gun violence is a cultural aspect of how the government or the environment of the fifties might have effected our nation going forward, or even going back to the frontier days, but I'm still not sure it translates to the rights granted us by the Second Amendment.
I think it's interesting reading, and you are a fine writer, but it is stretching the credibility of the argument. Period.
The paranoia in this column reeks of Howard Zinn's The People's History of the United States. I would be shocked to learn that Mr. Campion would have not read it. In fact, on a weekly basis there are many parallels to Mr. Zinn's work and Mr. Campion's sentiments, both ideologically and psychologically. I'm not saying he is merely regurgitating Zinn's philosophies on how the nation has progressed during the post-World War II era, but the similarities are eerie. I think all people should read Zinn's work. It is well researched and reasoned. Mr. Campion has a more cynical and aloof style and I doubt highly he believes half of what is written here weekly, but it still has an echo of Zinn's approach.
I will say that it is not a popular viewpoint, so it isn't as if Mr. Campion is gaining any style points or urging any readership from this type of radical thinking. But it is radical and it is at points paranoid and there is always a place for that in the sensationalism of editorials.
Oh, I never supported the Patriot Act, it may have looked like it but I was more "beat Al Qaeda's ass at every opportunity". No sir, in fact I was detained in Orlando Airport for speaking German to the TSA agent and when he stated he didn't speak German, I advised him that weren't all Nazi's German. Boom, it's on and now I am surrounded and getting fucked with. When I told them they were fucking with a Ranger Qualified veteran of the 101st Airborne Division, they stated in no uncertain terms they didn't give a flying fuck and proceeded to try to make an example of me. I had a crying wife and 2 scared little kids. As I was "released", I turned around and looked at him and told him "Sir, rest assured, when the revolution comes, people will remember this". I thought I was going to get arrested but for some reason I was able to walk.
It's getting bad out here, brother. More and more, I tend to agree with you on the erosion of freedoms.
I agree that guns are in our DNA. The question is can we ever get it out?
What are we saying here, Campion? (Tobacco, Booze & Firearms - An American Love Story)
We're all at fault? Or none of us are at fault? We have guns, we love guns, our history is riddled with guns and gun violence, that we all profit from murder and mayhem and now we whine like bitches because our children are murdered in our kindergartens or that in some precise way you are turning this whole story on its head and removing the moral quotient but slyly admitting that all of this has been going on for centuries and our foundation, the founding fathers, the revolution, the Civil War, the fight in the streets in the Wild West, the eradication of the Native American population, The Alamo, everything is tied together in some bizarre synchronicity? This is bullshit Carl Jung gobblygook. It is beyond your understanding. This is shit psychoanalyzing. If I want to have a gun, it does not put me in the long line of killing. I have not killed and I don't intend on killing, but I have this right and I won't allow bits and pieces of it to be taken away by the sentimentality of liberal thought that will strip us of our God-given right to survive the attack of evil.
Sometimes your words ring hollow. This is one of those times, friend.
Love the concept of the "Holy Trinity": Tobacco, Booze, and Firearms. Never heard it or read it put quite that way. There is a fist-like quality to this type of slant, a no holes barred thing that is intriguing for no other reason but it is so wrong in the face of these terrible tragedies we endure almost on an hourly basis in this country, a country born and expanded and perpetuated by the type of violence you depict in you column. It makes me sad to know we have come to this and that there is no way back. But it is good to know someone is telling it straight, being honest to the point of painful. I just wish it didn't have to be written and I didn't have to read it.
Your last line ("Not sure what this tell us, beyond the notion that industry, economy, and tradition trump human life. It is a high price some of us pay to live in a land that's vital resource is the worship of the Holy Trinity.") is on the money (no pun intended).
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© James Campion Feb 15th 2013
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