This Ruthless World

Adventures in absurdity

Stupidity And Guns: A Winning Combo

One of Josef Lada's illustrations to Jaroslav Hasek's novel "The Good Soldier Svejk"Recent news:Hero sniper Chris Kyle and friend murdered at a firing range.

Oh, crap.

You know? This NEVER would have happened if Chris Kyle and his friend had their own … No, wait. Let me start again. This NEVER would have happened if other people at that range had g… Oh. Right. Okay, I guess I need a few minutes to think of ways to blame this disaster on librul gun control and there being not enough guns to stop the bad guy. Hmm. I got one, I got one, I got one! Do you REALLY think the murderer wouldn’t have been able to murder Chris Kyle and that other guy had he been armed with a spoon instead of a gun? Where there is a will, there is obviously a way, and when there is a will, it doesn’t matter if it’s executed with a rifle or a breadstick. This murder could just as easily have occurred at an Olive Garden.

Honest, I am not gloating. I’m not that horrible. To be frank, Chris Kyle never looked to me like the kind of person with whom I’d enjoy sitting down to dinner, but he had a family, and this is obviously very tragic for them. The other murder victim seemed like a swell guy, and he likewise left behind a widow and children. Plus, they died while, apparently, trying to help out a friend, albeit in a really half-assed way. It’s awful, and I wish it hadn’t happened. But those sad circumstances don’t change the fact that Chris Kyle is a stellar candidate for a Darwin Award. You see, Kyle and his friend took the perpetrator, a former Marine, to the firing range in order to help him “work through” his PTSD. Erath County Sheriff referred to what Kyle was doing as “therapy”. Take a moment to let that sink in: gun therapy.

So here are my thoughts on this matter. In this past ten years, we as a culture came to idealize soldiers to a ridiculous degree. If you don’t subscribe to the notion that the sun shines out of the asses of men and women in uniform, why then, you are an un-American traitor who doesn’t support the troops, a fringe commie, and you should be burned at the stake. The media — the same “liberal” media decried by Kyle’s fans — portrays them as having profound special knowledge of literally everything, that civilians mere mortals could never possibly understand. Add to that the growing conservative sentiment that treats guns the same way that certain liberals view pot — that firearms are magic, have no downsides and can cure all ills and illnesses — and you’ve got yourself a situation where some knucklehead is going to “treat” a man’s mental illness (one characterized by rage, anxiety and violent flashbacks) by handing him a deadly weapon and encouraging him to shoot at stuff.

Did Kyle have any sort of expertise in treating mental disorders? I think not. From what I gather, he studied agriculture for two years at one of those “less selective” colleges, but ultimately dropped out. He wrote a crappy bestseller that became a hit with right-wing chicken-hawks, but even most of the book’s fans were forced to admit it was less like a shining example of literary art and more like drinking hole banter put into print. The man was good at his job, which was shooting people, but he clearly wasn’t academically gifted, a deep thinker or someone even remotely qualified to treat mental illness.

But it didn’t matter, of course, to anyone who isn’t so stuck up as to think you need college to understand mental pathology: Kyle was a SEAL, he was a devout Christian, and he believed in the power of guns — in other words, he was a paragon of today’s conservative virtue. Doubtless he considered himself, and was considered by others around him, as better equipped to understand PTSD than some lily-livered, edumacated, librul, book-lovin’, I’d-rather-sit-here-’n-study-stuff-than-serve-my-country stinkin’ psychiatrist. And who in their right mind would question him? Are you really going to sit there in your cushy arm-chair and dispute something that a hero says? Are you really going to insult him by second-guessing anything he’s doing? And in any event, people whose heads are unclouded by liberal bullshit understand that in order to, say, help out someone who can’t resist beating people up, you give him a doll to pummel on a regular basis to “get it out of his system” without losing any of his righteous machismo. Because training a person to vent his rage by hitting is a perfectly reasonable way to get him to stop venting his rage by hitting people. I mean, a child of five would understand this. And naturally, if someone is suffering from PTSD brought on by warfare, the perfect “therapy” is to recreate that experience, complete with live ammunition. What could possibly go wrong?

This is almost as good as rescuing someone from a tree by throwing him a rope and then pulling down on it.

But what do I know? I’m just a liberal, and I’ve never seen war, therefore I’m not allowed by law to opine on anything even tangentially related to matters military. I can’t wait for people with superior knowledge to explain to me how the proper solution to PTSD is more guns and shooting “therapy”.

Which, I am sure, will follow shortly.

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15 thoughts on “Stupidity And Guns: A Winning Combo

  1. It’s sad, but true. The answer is not more guns, but fewer guns. I don’t understand the mentality of those who feel the need to kill things for sport. Killing to eat – the way nature works. Killing for fun – human perversion.

    Do we seriously believe that an arms race in our schools is the answer? Who the hell goes hunting with an assault rifle with thirty rounds in the clip? Oh, yeah, we know. Their names are the names of the shooters at Newtown, Aurora, and Columbine.

    • We need less mentally unstable people operating guns, not less guns in general.

      • Barbara Backer-Gray on said:

        No, we really just need less guns. Everyone is mentally unstable at some point(s) in their lives. And at those times, it helps if they can’t reach for their firearm.

  2. Well as another Liberal but also as one who served (however we were spit on and called ‘baby killers’ so the ‘sun didn’t shine out of our asses’), while I would normally commend someone for attempthing to improve others lives via ‘therapy’, PTSD and guns is a combination I’d leave to the most knowledgable – not someone with ‘good intentions’.
    While their deaths are sad, he also wrote a book re: his ‘fame’ in shooting and perhaps fell victum to believing his own press over common sense.
    It’s time in this Country to stop watching reruns of Rambo and cheering and start asking ourselves what do we do for the ‘Rambos’ after the shooting is done and for the Nation that is still fighting somewhere between the Revolutionary War and the Wild Wid West.

    • I’ve always wondered if controlled readings of Kurt Vonnegut could help soldiers with PTSD. Specifically Slaughterhouse Five. Theres no cure besides amnesia but I always found his take on life and death to be very comforting. I feel like it could help.

  3. I only learned about this individual yesterday and was still stunned by the fact that he felt no humility about other humans’ deaths at his hands. Regardless of the circumstances and the necessity, it was his very public attitude of machismo and bravado that was disturbing and that put into motion a rather karmic death. The whole thing is very sad.

  4. Ok, I haven’t been in a foreign war zone, either. But those who have been, and who tell us, “You couldn’t understand, you haven’t been there…” are only setting up a circular argument.
    How about if we all agree to read Noam Chomsky, wouldn’t that level the field a bit?

  5. I have just nominated you for the ‘Very Inspiring Blogger Award’.

  6. Pingback: Stupidity And Guns: A Winning Combo | pesona8081

  7. I have just nominated you for the ‘Very Inspiring Blogger Award’.

  8. Definitely, hands down: “Kyle & Littlefield Share 2014 Darwin Award For Driving a Heavily Armed Mentally Disturbed Veteran for a Day of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy at the Shooting Range.” Makes perfect sense to me.

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