Absurd, of course. But Rep. Gohmert’s mutterings shouldn’t actually bother us. He’s just the crazy old uncle we keep up in the attic.
What should bother us is that the crowds are massing in village squares to voice their displeasure with America’s firearms owners. The first sign came Friday morning with media reaction to a National Rifle Association Tweet likely scheduled hours before the shooting rampage:
“Good morning, shooters. Happy Friday! Weekend plans?” went the Tweet.
Taking on its self-appointed role of Miss Manners, the media immediately noted the crassness of the greeting.
I know my intellectual shortcomings forced me do a couple stints in summer school, but since when are “Good Morning” greetings bad manners? OK, it wasn’t the greeting itself. It was the identity of those receiving the greeting.
“Shooters” – which is no different than referring to basketball players as “ballers,” prize fighters as “boxers” or to members of AC/DC as “rockers.”
It is what they are.
Look for the media to make them an unwelcome segment of society in the days ahead.
It’ll be overlooked that “shooters” are just regular folk. They’re the woman who is in front of you in the supermarket line or the man at the bank who writes up your car loan.
They are the everyday people I encounter on weekends at the state-run Turcotte shooting range on Highway 43 up near Canton.
The place has given me hours of joy since I discovered it earlier this year. From the repeat visitors I see on Saturdays and Sundays, I’m not alone in that.
“Thanks for coming,” says Reno the range-master when I go to check in, never failing to extend a hand in greeting. He says the same as I check out a few hours later.
The “shooters” are the most considerate folks I’ve encountered in Mississippi. We’re all our brother’s keepers when we step onto the range.
To me, nothing engages my senses and puts me in “the now” like sighting in my target, taking the rifle off safety and pulling the trigger. I’ve come to think of it as my Happy Hour (s), especially if I’m hitting my targets.
I own a semi-automatic variant of the Kalashnikov, or AK-47.
It’s a dog-ugly rifle (see photo) that you never saw John Wayne use.
But I have come to love mine dearly. I hope to grow old with it.
President Obama made note of the despair we all felt after Friday’s tragedy: “Such violence, such evil is senseless.”
Well said, Mr. President.
We can hope – but probably to no avail – that the media listened: An evildoer did the violence. Not the “shooters” at Turcotte or the ones who received the good morning greeting.