I will never forget the morning after President Obama was initially elected in 2008. The aura of gloom and doom down here in Texas was off the charts. You would have thought our entire society had experienced a death in the family. Chicken Little’s concern with the falling sky was miniscule in comparison to the paranoia of Texas Conservatives (damn near everyone) in November of 2008.
I recall one incident in particular. It involved a man with whom I had been friends for years. He was going around the room forcing conversations with anyone and everyone regarding how serious our social decline would be now that “the Muslim” had been elected President. When he got to me, I made a mistake. Though my response was carefully planned, I was not prepared for what ensued.
When he got to me and started his moaning and groaning, I cleared my throat, and cautiously said “Well, not everyone in the room is upset that President Obama got elected last night”.
For a split second you could have heard a pin drop. Then, my friend got right up in my face and yelled at the top of his lungs “I GUARANTEE YOU THIS: NO ONE IS TAKING MY GUNS AWAY FROM ME!!!”. When I agreed, he only became even more angry. It was a “no win” situation.
I think of that friend of mine quite often these days. He passed away quite suddenly of a heart attack about two years ago. Fortunately, when he went to the great Gun Shop in the sky, President Obama had not taken a single one of his guns away. Not one. Whether that thought gave my friend peace as he passed I will never know, but I do know this: He spent the last 5 years of his life in a state of paranoia over his guns being taken away by “Obama”.
My friend was also a regular church going man, in fact he was quite active in his church. One would think that church would be a place that might calm the fears of a paranoid person like my late friend, but anyone who would think so has clearly not been to church in Texas in a while.
You see when I was a kid growing up in Texas, I was taught in church about the Golden Rule and the Good Samaritan. I have not been to church in a while, so I cannot “testify” (no pun intended) as to what is taught in Texas churches and bible classes these days. But I can tell you what Christians in Texas talk about these days when they are not in church:
They talk about guns.
And they don’t just talk about guns. They talk about assault guns. They talk about guns with cool descriptions. You know, the ones that start with the letters AR and then have numbers behind the AR. When I hear church ladies and Christian men talk about their AR whatevers, all I hear is bla bla bla bla.. bla.
I am told that I am a fool. I was told that recently by a Christian (I know the Bible says not to do that, but he was a gun advocate, so that makes it okay). The reason he called me a fool is that I told him that I have never owned a gun, and that I never will. I told him that I raised three kids in a home where there was never a gun present. He called me a fool, and though he stopped short of it, he implied that I was an irresponsible parent.
I live in a state of paranoia. That is, I live in Texas.
And this I say to my fellow Texans, the armed and the paranoid:
You show me your gun, and I will show you my peace sign.
If someone dies in a gun battle with me, I will be the one who dies. But at least I will die knowing that I did not maim or murder another person.
I can live with that. And I can die with that.
Peace to all right wing conservatives, and joy to the world.