pile of gunsSometimes this stuff just writes itself. We hear a lot about gun ownership and ‘how it’s supposed to be’ from pro-gun goofballs. It’s getting so that we can almost quote them their rules: Hands off the trigger, don’t point your gun at anything you don’t intend to destroy, a gun is always loaded especially when you think it isn’t. This is talismanic, superstition-y stuff. This is some shit you ward off evil spirits and bad mojo with. People don’t make up scary, reality defying rules like “it is most loaded when you think it is least loaded” when they’re talking about toilet paper or the French press, but we say it with guns. Why?

Like any superstition, it revolves around things that have power of life and death, things that feel out of our control. Cavemen have lightning and volcanoes. We have dad’s nine-mil. Given the general insanity of living in a society full of people toting around their favorite mother-of-all-slingshots, we’re bound to get a little weird about them.

There are people who lovingly care for and display their firearms like art-pieces. (It’s one thing when it’s the Mosin-Nagant M1938 your dad traded a Russian veteran for at the end of World War 2, it’s another when it’s the Walmart-purchased Mossberg you’ve been lusting after ever since you discovered varmint-huntin’ was legal in your state). When I go to a home and see that there’s no dust on the family photos, I see someone who cares about their family. When I see a shotgun prominently fixed on the wall, I don’t assume they care about their family, I know they want to tell me something about themselves… and they have.

In a culture like ours, where people imagine themselves as the last man standing in a world gone mad, you’re going to occasionally have hero-moments where someone decides to take one for the team and ensure that entire celestial bodies don’t threaten our American Way of Life™. 

Cameron Read, 39, was arrested on June 6 and admitted to smoking marijuana before trying to shoot the moon. […] Prescott Valley police said they needed to use force to get Read into custody. He was booked into the Yavapai County Jail for two counts of disorderly conduct, two counts of endangerment, one count of resisting arrest, one count of criminal damage and one count of unlawful discharge of a firearm.

Obviously some of the charges are going to be dropped, because that’s how our system works in order to force plea bargains, but let’s imagine for a second that our local Responsible Gun Owner Cameron Read were actually convicted of all those charges. He’d be looking at a handful of minor felony counts and several class 1 misdemeanors, according to the Arizona statute system. I went ahead and did the math for you, just in case you were curious: Read is looking at more than five years of jail time, another five in probation, and $300,000 in fines if they decide to maximally sentence (which they won’t because he’s white and practicing our national religion). I’m glad we have an Amendment to guarantee all that.