Jul 032015
 
post consumer man

Jerome Grapel

by Jerome Grapel…….

Columbine, Aurora, Newtown, amongst many others, as well as the death toll taken on a daily basis within the confines of the world’s most advanced nation (as they tell us here in the good ‘ol US of A) —

Guns. We’re talking a lot about guns lately. Perhaps it is a stain on our national legacy to say we’ve finally begun to think seriously about this insane proliferation of firearms only after 20 little children had to succumb to it, snuffed out, gone, dead, in a matter of seconds, beautiful children, perhaps the most telling example of why we are here on this planet; of why we exist. The usual daily carnage of gun violence was not enough to move us. Maybe we should be more ashamed than outraged for this latest outburst of psychotic behavior.

The “gun people” have a lot of assembly line rhetoric for the attitudes they represent. One such piece of excrement is that the rest of us don’t understand them or the use of firearms. They say we just don’t get it. In my case there is some truth to that. I’ve never so much as touched a real firearm. Growing up, there were no such things in our homes or any of our relative’s homes. We lived free from the paranoia of not being lethally armed. It was not a factor in our lives. Guns were for TV.

But I get it!

I’m not a parent. Although I could never plumb the depths of horror a parent in this situation might feel, I can have some understanding of the despair without borders or time limits a parent losing a young child can feel. I don’t have to be a parent to understand that. Perhaps the most heroic political act I’ve ever seen is being carried out by those grieving Connecticut parents and siblings who refuse to go away. They are like “the ghosts of Christmas past” embedding themselves in the conscience of America. Every time I see them on TV my eyes well up in a liquid haze. Imagine having gone through such a cataclysmic disaster without sitting around feeling sorry for yourself, something none of us would have blamed them for. By now I feel less sorrow than immense admiration for them. If you don’t understand that, you can be Wayne LaPierre or Senator Cruz of Texas.

It is almost embarrassing to think we Americans are debating the propriety of weapons with the ability to reel off endless rounds off bullets in seconds in the possession of anyone who might want them. Do we let anyone drive a car or an airplane? Do we let a 3 year old cross a busy street unattended? I consider our gun debate to be no more complicated than the latter question. Anyone not in agreement with that — is mentally ill.

I recently got a ticket for not using my seat belt. When I was leaving the courthouse after paying the fine, I had a lucid moment when I realized that, in this state, my not wearing a seat belt was considered a greater threat to society than a person possessing the kind of weaponry we might see in the Afghan war. So the next time you don’t buckle up, just remember what a menace to society you are. Bring your Glock or AK47, but don’t forget to fasten your seat belt unless you want the full force of the law to come crashing down on you.

Another entry into the medley of rhetoric from the “gun people” goes like this: no matter what you do to legislate gun control, people with sinister designs will always find a way to do harm.

This statement is not only true, it is so stupid it brings its sincerity into question (the sincerity of those speaking for the “gun people” will soon be raised in this essay). It is something like saying why wear helmets in a football game because people will get injured anyway. Or why give people speeding tickets because there will always be people speeding. Or why send people to prison because there will always be crime. Or, or, or — such a list would be infinite. Or how about this one: why have policemen when we can all have guns. Why have laws at all, or governments, when we can all have guns. (Cue the Beatles) All you need is guns —

One of the most prolific genres in the pantheon of the motion picture industry is the “western” — Gary Cooper westerns, John Wayne westerns, spaghetti westerns, Lee Van Cleef and Eli Wallach, Gunsmoke, Maverick and tomahawk hair cuts. The western has left no one on the planet unfamiliar with the American “wild west”. We all remember law west of the Pecos, meaning the lack thereof. Long before the advent of MLB or NBA, of FIFA or the NFL, the “wild west” already had its favorite sport — the gun fight. We’re talking about athletes here, playing a sport with very high stakes. Winner take all. There was always some young buck coming along to challenge the fastest draw in the west with guns in holsters worn as naturally as a baseball glove, standard equipment for every man in town. The “wild west”.

Nobody living in the 19th century ever saw a western. This widespread form of entertainment is reserved for those of us privy to the technology of the 20th century and beyond. Certainly, one of the fundamental assumptions for those of us who have watched westerns is that we don’t live like that anymore. We’ve moved beyond that, are more civilized. We now have police, judges and the rule of law. Indeed, a theme running through many westerns is to subdue this vigilante gun justice and turn these virgin places into communities we could marry and raise our children in. The fact that we don’t live in the “wild west” anymore is looked upon as a sign of emotional progress by all of us.

Almost all.

One listening to the assembly line rhetoric of the “gun people” could easily conclude they see less gun proliferation as a sign of decay; as an emotional jump backwards; as a retro-step towards barbarism. Their party line ga-ga could lead us to believe the environment of the “wild west” is the highest form of civilization we have ever developed. Perhaps they watch a western with a teary eyed nostalgia for the “good ‘ol days”, when everyone walked around with a holster strapped to their hip containing the erect penus of their manhood for all to see — yeah man, that’s civilization!

Regardless of the assembly line rhetoric of the “gun people”, nobody wants to live in the “wild west” anymore. And that brings me to Wayne LaPierre, the mouthpiece for the “gun people”.

Perhaps some of you are wondering why I have not mentioned the National Rifle Association in this essay. Why have I chosen to say the “gun people”?

The NRA and its membership are not the real protagonists in this struggle. The NRA and its membership are not the ones most responsible for the push back against the civility of no-brainer gun laws. The NRA has now become a front organization for those who sell guns. Wayne LaPierre, in spite of his position as president of the NRA, does not really work for the NRA. He works for those who profit selling guns. He works for financial interests, not gun owners. To continue using the NRA as the boogeyman here deflects blame away from those truly responsible for this idiocy.

Can anything be said in defense of a man like Wayne LaPierre? Aren’t there lots of people lobbying for narrow financial interests that do not coincide with the “common good”? Is Wayne LaPierre no different than the person shilling for Goldman-Sachs?

Put yourself in the place of Wayne LaPierre. Think of all the assembly line rhetoric he regurgitates so naturally just to protect the profits of a mega-industry — the 2nd amendment, good guys with guns killing bad guys with guns, arming teachers, opposing the government (guns must be better than votes), ad nauseum. He does not say these things because he religiously believes in the 2nd amendment, or because a housewife with a 30 bullet clip can kill a burglar. No. He says it so an industry can go on making billions of dollars. It’s for the money!

But, you might say, lots of people do it “for the money” in the society we live in. True, but Wayne LaPierre does it for the money made over the dead bodies of little children. This is more than just power lunch greed and board room shenanigans. This is something that flirts with the word “evil”.

Could you do what Wayne LaPierre does?

To order you copy of “Because You Never Asked” by Jerome Grapel click here.

Because You Never Asked

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Jerome Grapel

Jerome Grapel was born in Brooklyn, NY in 1945 and raised in the New York City area in what could be called a vintage middle class upbringing. He attended Temple University in Philadelphia where he played baseball and graduated with a B.A. in history in 1967. With a “noticeable lack of vocation for anything, and not knowing what else to do,” he continued at Temple Law School, graduating in 1970.

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More articles by Post Consumer Man prior to November, 2014.


 July 3, 2015  Posted by at 12:34 am Essays from Post Consumer Man, Issue #121  Add comments

  36 Responses to “GUNS”

  1. Jerome,

    Welcome back. You’ve been missed. We tried to hold the fort down while you were gone. I’m so glad you have returned.

    I respect the argument that you present. We were brought up in a similar part of the country were firearms were ‘novelty items’ that were only viewed on TV and in the movies. God forbid that you touch, hold or fire a weapon of any type. I believe the strict gun-control laws (Sullivan Laws) of NYC would make us ‘felons’ if we were to have engaged in any such behavior.

    I admire your honesty, as you allude to your unfamiliarity with many aspects of firearm ownership; as well as not according them any value in our contemporary society. It’s refreshing to feel the integrity and clarity that you bring into this touchy subject.

    Upon leaving NYC, my experiences exposed me to a lot of life around the world, along with every state in the contiguous United States. I broadened my understanding and deepened my perspectives towards firearms.

    I have a different understanding and belief, as to the importance of the 2nd Amendment in our Bill of Rights.

    I value, appreciate and hold dear your beliefs regarding this issue.

    Blessings & Respect…

    • John, I want to make something clear: people like me are not advocating the elimination of firearms amongst the general public. We are simply asking for some background checks before a lethal weapon is sold to someone. In addition, certain forms of firearms are simply not suited for civilian use, and there should be some restrictions as to what can be sold to civilians, just as we don’t allow minors to smoke or drink alcohol or, for that matter, go to war. Good to hear from you again, PCM

      • You miss the entire point. Background checks don’t prevent the crimes themselves.

        Look at Chicago…Plenty of gun restrictions there, yet every weekend 10 or 20 people are killed by firearms.

        The entire point of the 2nd amendment was to prevent mass democide by future governments. While mass shootings are for certain a tragedy, they are hardly anything in comparison to the amount of people murdered by their own governments in just the 20th century alone.

        -Mike Kane
        Chair – LP Florida Keys

  2. So glad you’re back! It continues to baffle me why the gun culture sufferers from a dearth of common sense. The second amendment was not ordained by God, was written in a time well before 30 round magazines and AK-47s and is an AMENDMENT. Registration and proof of insurance is a perfectly rational approach to the potentially lethal automobile, but the Church of the Second Amendment folks just can’t deal when it comes to guns.

    a·mend·ment (ə-mĕnd′mənt)
    n.
    1. The act of changing for the better; improvement: “Society may sometimes show signs of repentance and amendment” (George G. Coulton).
    2. A correction or alteration, as in a manuscript.
    3.
    a. The process of formally altering or adding to a document or record.
    b. A statement of such an alteration or addition.
    c. Amendment One of the provisions in the US Constitution protecting individual rights.
    4. A material, such as organic matter or sand, mixed into soil to improve growing conditions.

  3. but but but jerry who will be left to protect the 1st without the 2nd?

    self protection of and by the 2nd amendment is what the 2nd is about….that’s self protection from a runaway government is why it was in the bill of rights not only a lone crazed idiot killer and surely not for ‘hunting purposes’.
    a well armed population in my ‘world view’ is quite healthy and wholly acceptable and one of the reasons I choose to live in florida and not the bastion of culture via collectivism called nyc or even its sister nj or conn etcs where ‘gun control’ runs insanely rampant and needs be called ‘people control’ instead.

    all of your touchy feely warm and fuzzy push buttons of arguendo used ad infinitum by gun restricting zealots cannot void the fact that the gun is a tool and in the hands of an idiot killer its still just a tool and all that any ‘gun control’ measure does is keep that tool out of the hands of law abiding citizens and not out of the hands of the damn idiot killer.
    lets not throw the baby out with the bath water as you seem to wish to do.

    if police depts. have 30 round mags then so also the public. period.

    all the scheming in the world by anti-gunners comes to naught in the face of the simple act of self defense.

    • Wankjam, I am greatly offended by your “warm and fuzzy” comment. I find nothing warm and fuzzy about 20 5 and 6 year old children being gunned down by weaponry suited for a war torn battlefield. You should examine yourself as a human being in the shadow of such a comment.

      • ok then I stand corrected and will edit my comment to fuzzy and warm instead! I sure don’t wish to ‘offend’ since there is so much of that stuff going around these days. like refusing to decorate a confederate battle flag on a cake because its offensive but the isis decorated one was no problem. see i can do misdirection too so I think i’ll be offended also. [sark]
        such is leftist propaganda methodology when tied to every cause including ‘saving’ little children. go figure!

        however to the point dear jerry you seem to completely miss the one I was making. perhaps the 2 offensive words got in the way?

        would it have made any difference if it was a 9mm ruger pistol holding 15 rounds instead of an ar15 rifle holding 30?
        with the handgun it takes not but 2 seconds and it becomes a 30 round weapon also.
        or is it just the look of the ar that is so ‘military’ so to speak and belongs on the battlefield?
        inquiring minds and all that stuff!

        as for self examination of conscience and thought and philosophy we all need to be aware of ourselves within.
        I am are you jerry? aware of yourself that is?
        if so how can you conflate the death of children with the amount of bullets a magazine holds?
        but then again you did say you never even ‘touched a real firearm’ so perhaps the fear of one and its mechanics is ingrained in your psyche.

        nevertheless I do appreciate your writings and your personhood even though I disagree with your politics. i wish for you the best of cheer.

  4. Good Readers, First off, I’d like to say it is a pleasure to be writing again for this fine publication and for the excellent people who read it. As always, I sincerely appreciate all those who’ve read the material and have taken the time to comment, regardless of the opinion expressed.
    For those people who reject gun control, there always seems to be that party line, I-got-the-memo cliche of an idea about how guns in possession of private citizens is that last resort fire wall against the tyranny of an unjust government. I’d find this idea laughable if not for the grief and sorrow it has caused in our country.
    I remind the reader we live in a modern nation state governed by the “rule of law”. The whole idea of the “rule of law” is to provide governmental-political mechanisms for change without us ever having to resort to violence. In order to protect the rule of law from exterior threats, the government (us), thru taxation, provides a formal, well armed, well trained military apparatus. In order to protect it from internal threats, it provides a formal, well armed, well trained police apparatus. Anyone who takes up arms against this “rule of law” outside of this framework, is breaking the law. It is treason, a criminal act, punishable under the “rule of law”.
    Now, I agree, there are times when a government can be so heinous and unresponsive to its citizens’ needs, that the idea of an extra-legal uprising can be a righteous idea. This is called a “revolution”, and no such rebellion has ever triumphed because of private weapons in the hands of private citizens. I repeat, NEVER-EVER! Whenever such a revolution triumphs, it can be for a number of reasons: 1) That formal military-policing apparatus either shows little zeal in defending the government or comes over to the other side. 2) The “rebels” are able to receive substantial amounts of arms and financing from exterior forces. 3) There are even rare instances when public disaffection is so unanimous that the state apparatus cannot function anymore and must abandon ship. None of this has anything to do with private citizens and their private weapons. NOTHING!
    I’ll finish by mentioning Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin because certain things they said 5 million years ago seem to have become a repetitive part of the memo all gun advocates have gotten. Both these men were, for their era in history, leftist intellectuals. I’d bet both of them., if they lived today, would be strong advocates for common sense gun control.

    • “This is called a “revolution”, and no such rebellion has ever triumphed because of private weapons in the hands of private citizens. I repeat, NEVER-EVER!”

      for one try the ‘battle of Athens 1946’ case closed.

    • ps:

      “Both these men were, for their era in history, leftist intellectuals. I’d bet both of them., if they lived today, would be strong advocates for common sense gun control.”

      known as liberals which in their day were akin to libertarianism a far cry from leftist marxism and if they were to visit today I’m afraid they would rush back to their graves shaking their heads in pain as to how the constitution was so ignored for the shredder.

  5. Wankjam, What happened in Greece in the years immediately following the war was a civil war, with neither side having any true military establishment. If the people of Athens you speak of had weapons, it was because of their proliferation during the world war … partisans and such. I know of no European country during peace time where the general public has weapons as a general policy. The second comment about Marxists and such is akin to a baby having a woosy fit. Do you consider me a Marxist?

    • “I know of no European country during peace time where the general public has weapons as a general policy.”

      SWITZERLAND

    • jerry did you see the date i posted 1946? google it up too for more info then the below. it happened in Athens Tennessee in 1946.

      http://www.constitution.org/mil/tn/batathen.htm

      • Wankjam, Cool. but if this is all you’ve got in rebuttiung my statement then I’d say “case closed”. That’s all you got? In response to some of the other comments, as for the Soviet Union, it didn’t last too long, did it, and it disappeared without a shot being fired. As for Switzerland, how predictable, I was expecting that one.

        • Spoken like a true believer of the lie, Mr. Grapel. Someone presents you with facts which are antithesis to what you posit, and you quickly dismiss it.

          Why would you presume that anyone should take your advice regarding a subject that you know nothing about? If you want to have a say in gun control, may I first suggest you get yourself acquainted with firing a weapon. Go to the range, take a safety class, become proficient in the use of a firearm. Until then…….I’ll just let you imagine the remainder of my thought.

    • oops ps: as for Marxist akin to socialist or leftist or progressive or communist or fascist but as for your leanings only you know for sure not I so scrub Marxist and insert any above or any you wish not even listed above or none at all.
      now as for me to clear any ambiguity I identify with free libertarian. 🙂

      • Wankjam. I’d hate to describe my socio-political leanings within the confines of one, narrow, noose of an idea. If you want to put that noose around your neck, so be it. I think the world is far more complicated to define oneself in such a constricted way.

        • my goodness no constriction nor noose nor confining jerry…. just a philosophical underpinning the opposite of collectivism or diametrically opposed one could say!

          i’ll stake my claim to individualism and its rights rather then the alternate.

          • Wankjam, You share in the collective aspects of our organized society everyday (minute?), or maybe you don’t use Roosevelt Blvd or Bayview Park or the White St Pier or public schools or, or, or, so many other things.

    • sorry Mr. Grapel…

      there is significant private gun ownership in Europe. off the top of my head, France, Germany, Sweden, Finland, Norway, Switzerland, the Czech Republic, Russia, Serbia, and I’m sure more all allow gun ownership. It’s probably the rule rather that the exception.

      • Keysbum, I never said there was not ownership of private guns in Europe, but it is not the free for all that exists here. Also, with regard to many comments about gun laws existing in Chicago or other places, I say, yes, but there are so many ways around them they are rendered useless. As for the Soviet Union and all that jazz, whatever happened in the Soviet Union thru the course of its short history had nothing to do with gun ownership, but with the miriade of factors produced by that time in history.

        • yes, true enough, the free-for-all does not exist in other countries to the extent it does here; but does that not lend credence to the notion that is it the culture and not the guns themselves that is the culprit? perhaps we should work on that aspect.

          • Keysbum, I am very much in agreement with this comment. In no way do I believe that gun control alone is the answer to the excessive violence in our culture. Chicago is a perfect example of this. We simply have way too many disfunctional environments in our country to cure this malady with something as one dimensional as gun control. BUT … the “free for all” is a contributing factor, and we are simply throwing gasoline on the fire by not doing something to restrict gun proliferation. Really, it’s a no brainer. Think about it … a teen ager walks into a grade school with an automatic weapon! C’mon.

          • but but but jerry the ar15 was not ‘automatic’ it was standard single shot. please research better but but but it may have also been a false flag too?

  6. http://www.law.harvard.edu/students/orgs/jlpp/Vol30_No2_KatesMauseronline.pdf

    International evidence and comparisons have long been offered
    as proof of the mantra that more guns mean more deaths and that
    fewer guns, therefore, mean fewer deaths.1 Unfortunately, such
    discussions are all too often been afflicted by misconceptions and
    factual error and focus on comparisons that are unrepresentative.
    It may be useful to begin with a few examples. There is a com‐
    pound assertion that (a) guns are uniquely available in the United
    States compared with other modern developed nations, which is
    why (b) the United States has by far the highest murder rate.
    Though these assertions have been endlessly repeated, statement
    (b) is, in fact, false and statement (a) is substantially so.  
    Since at least 1965, the false assertion that the United States has
    the industrialized world’s highest murder rate has been an artifact
    of politically motivated Soviet minimization designed to hide the
    true homicide rates.2 Since well before that date, the Soviet Union
    possessed extremely stringent gun controls3 that were effectuated
    by a police state apparatus providing stringent enforcement.4 So
    successful was that regime that few Russian civilians now have
    firearms and very few murders involve them.5 Yet, manifest suc‐
    cess in keeping its people disarmed did not prevent the Soviet
    Union from having far and away the highest murder rate in the
    developed world.6 In the 1960s and early 1970s, the gun‐less So‐
    viet Union’s murder rates paralleled or generally exceeded those
    of gun‐ridden America. While American rates stabilized and then
    steeply declined, however, Russian murder increased so drasti‐
    cally that by the early 1990s the Russian rate was three times
    higher than that of the United States. Between 1998‐2004 (the lat‐
    est figure available for Russia), Russian murder rates were nearly
    four times higher than American rates. Similar murder rates also
    characterize the Ukraine, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and various
    other now‐independent European nations of the former U.S.S.R.7
    Thus, in the United States and the former Soviet Union transition‐
    ing into current‐day Russia, “homicide results suggest that where
    guns are scarce other weapons are substituted in killings.”8 While
    American gun ownership is quite high, Table 1 shows many other
    developed nations (e.g., Norway, Finland, Germany, France,
    Denmark) with high rates of gun ownership. These countries,
    however, have murder rates as low or lower than many devel‐
    oped nations in which gun ownership is much rarer. For example,
    Luxembourg, where handguns are totally banned and ownership
    of any kind of gun is minimal, had a murder rate nine times
    higher than Germany in 2002.9

    PS…stop spouting your uneducated non-sense.

  7. yes, Mr.Grapel, the grief of the parents is palpable…..

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KkCB2Ee9cqwyes

    welcome back, hope you had a great time.

  8. Good Readers, I just want to make something clear with regard to my responses: there is one habitual contributor here who has disqualified itself with a kind of ethnic bigotry (I am part of that ethnicity but I’d feel the same even if I were not) I find offensive, something that reflects very badly upon its opinions on anything. If I do not respond to this person it is because of that, not because I have no response to its comments.

    • ‘its’ ? ‘its’ is a terrible way of referring to a human being. its not pc ya know! like in my mother had 3 children he she and it. or on the adams family as in cousin it. just not pc! 🙁

    • Yes, Mr. Grapel, this lowly Goy will continue to assert “its” first amendment and Divine right to freedom of speech.

      If you’d like to point out which statements I have made in the past which you feel are false or unjustified, please feel free.

      Speaking the truth about the Chosen Ones has not been deemed illegal in the US, yet…but I’m sure you can hardly wait.

  9. wankjam, I stand corrected, I’m sure it will make the parents of those children feel much better.