Aftermath 2: A modest proposal for gun patriots

image of a cross at King Soopers Table Mesa by Timothy Tim Roessler

A lot of arguments for and again gun control hit the media after the shootings in Boulder, Colorado. Advocates on both sides repeat the same set of polemics after every big slaughter. 

One caught me off guard, though. It goes like this: The deaths are sad, but that’s the price you pay for liberty. Freedom involves risk. Some people will suffer or die, but our right to bear arms under the Second Amendment of the Constitution justifies that possibility. Victims of mass shootings, therefore, died for our freedoms.

Now, the guys making this argument are obviously still alive. Up until now, they can only laud the dead. You can’t really ask them or their loved ones to make the same sacrifice themselves, now, can you? It’s simply not practical to wander around shopping malls or churches or outside of dance clubs with a sign pinned on your back saying “Shoot Me! I support your Right to Bear Arms!! Kill Me Now!!!

But still, what enthusiasm! What commitment!!

Now I’m sure these guys want to do more. And show how much they really, really care. A donation to the National Rifle Association and a vote for gun rights advocates seems too petty for these patriots. It’s too damned easy, and they know it.

So I propose a program, funded out of gun sales, to help them truly show their commitment. And, because they say the Right to Bear Arms is a life or death issue, they should be eager to join. Put it on the line, I say!

Here’s how it’d work: Second Amendment gun patriots sign up for a lottery to enter the Freedom Cleanser and Comforter Squad (FCCS). This qualifies them for a chance at the glorious duty of caring for the dead and the grieving in the wake of a mass slaughter.

After the shooting, the agency holds a drawing. Then our Gun Patriot receives his summons. He arrives on the scene of the carnage— trailer park, grocery store, business office, dance club, church, plaza, wherever.

Once the forensic professionals have finished, he has the duty to clean up the bodies. Lift the blood and feces-stained corpses into the waiting ambulances.  Scrape the bits of bone and brain from the linoleum or concrete. Wipe the blood from the floor. There will be a lot of blood; the average human holds about five liters. 

A little advertised fact of violent death is that the victim’s bowels release. So our sturdy gun patriot will have to wipe up the shit and the piss as well, and ensure that the steps or the pews or the aisles are properly disinfected.

You might think this would be enough for a dedicated Second Amendment advocate, but I know he’ll want to do even more to help defend our freedom.

So he’ll be eager for the next job: comforting the families of the victims. He’ll go with a professional to help break the news to the mothers, the fathers, the sisters, the brothers, and perhaps the grandmothers and grandfathers. He will watch as they receive news that will shatter their lives and scar them with grief for the the rest of their lives.

Because it’s a little too easy just to bat out some platitudes about freedom and sacrifice on a keyboard. And I bet they know it, somewhere inside, and instead of repeating something about death they heard, they can now be in it, in the very heart of darkness and pain and grief.

It seems like the very least those stalwarts could do.

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