A month before national elections — with enormous implications for gun owners — and three before SHOT Show 2013 — what’s a hack gunwriter to do? The ugliness will be over by the time you read this, but right now, I’d be guessing. So, it’s magic tricks! But first, this story:
Long ago and far away in a tiny remote village, an entertainer, a magician of sorts, rolled in with his bullock-drawn cart, accompanied by an enormous oafish-looking assistant. The local kids were delighted and flocked to greet him — me too! After setting his “stage,” the ancient wizard gracefully draped a crimson scarf over his docile bullock’s massive horns and plopped a little yellow hanky on his assistant’s bushy head. The bullock and the assistant froze stock-still. Stalking dramatically about, peeking and peering, the wizard challenged the kiddies to guess what was under those cloths. What could possibly be hidden there?
The older kids had seen the act before, and laughing, shushed the younger ones, telling them “Watch! Watch!” The wizard leaped up, yanked the scarf off the bullock and recoiled in shock: A bullock! Amazing! The bullock snorted and waved its horns. Then he crept up on his assistant, leaped in the air and plucked off the hanky. Sha-zam! A MAN! The wizard, astonished, fainted dead away as the oaf grinned and did a nimble dust-shuffling dance. The little kids got it and they all shrieked in glee.
His whole act was like that. His “find the pea” trick employed three tiny cups and a baseball-sized “pea,” and he made his cart “disappear” behind an open rainbow-hued umbrella. The kiddies howled. What the old guy lacked in prestidigitation he made up in style and slapstick. No “magic;” he just artfully revealed the blindingly obvious. Let me give that a try, okay?
Bullock Under The Scarf
With sincere sympathy for the victims of the Aurora theater massacre, I must ask if anyone else noted this: Dozens of unsuspecting people gathered at midnight to see theatrically-costumed fictional characters portray intense gratuitous violence and imminent slaughter. They were then subjected to intense gratuitous violence and slaughter by a theatrically-costumed self-fictionalized character.
Could anyone have predicted this? Not with any certainty, no. But on the other hand, who would be shocked if, at the midnight debut of a new Friday the 13th movie, a hockey-masked psycho brandishing meathooks leaped from behind the curtains and clawed his way through the crowd? Anybody want to attend an L.A. midnight resurrection showing of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre in a “Gun-Free Zone” theater?
John Lott, author of “More Guns, Less Crime” notes seven theaters within 20 minutes’ drive of killer James Holmes’s apartment were showing The Dark Knight Rises the night of July 20th. Did Holmes pick the closest theater, the furthest, or the one with the largest audience? Nope. He selected the only one prohibiting guns, including licensed concealed carry. Coincidence? Duhh … Wait! You mean that big sign banning guns didn’t stop Holmes? Shocking!
Now consider this: After the massacre, the management of one of those theaters changed its policy and is now a posted “gun-free zone.” Some people really can’t see the bullock under the scarf.
The Oaf’s Hanky
On September 11th, a date with a certain significance in American history, violent anti-American riots “spontaneously” broke out in numerous centers of “peace and tolerance” around the world. In Benghazi, our ambassador and three other Americans were murdered in a virtually unopposed terrorist attack. We were told the Benghazi attack was just another “spontaneous” reaction to a video trailer — which virtually no one had seen — for a nonexistent movie said to be “disrespectful” to a certain “revered personage.” Now we know that just prior to the Benghazi attack, American security forces were apparently withdrawn.
Wow, triple-shock! Attacks on a day celebrated by terrorists, marked by numerous past attempts and completed terrorist acts on the same day could not possibly have been foreseen! Duh, could they? And another shocker! The suspected organizer of the Benghazi attack was Sufyan Ben Qumu, an al-Qaida terror attack planner. He had been transferred from Gitmo to Libyan custody on condition he be locked up forever-and-a-day. He was released? Astonishing! Yup; just like Abdel Baset al-Megrahi, the Lockerbie bomber, who was also supposed to be under lock and key forever. And Ben Qumu returned to terrorism? You mean, like so many other released Gitmo Charm School alumni have? Hooda thunkitt? Quick, more scarves and hankies!
I know this is gonna sound crazy, but first, I think smart people might want to avoid places which have been proven to be magnets for mass murderers, especially when events there may be additionally attractive to whacko sociopaths. Second, I suspect if certain people and groups have murdered thousands of your peers, promise to kill as many more as possible — including you — and swear eternal war against you, well, gee … they might mean it. Third, I’m afraid this will sound completely nuts, but — I think if you remove security from a tempting target, then bad guys — if there’s such a thing as bad guys — they might, umm … make mischief. They might even do it on anniversaries of days they’ve killed lots of you. Even if we say we wanta play nice.
I’d like to take my own bullock-cart magic act on the road, but my village only has one idiot, so I have to stay here. Connor OUT.
By John Connor