By the time this hits the press, Louisville will be in full recovery mode from a weekend spent with the National Rifle Association. Gun lovers will have guffawed frothy-mouthed over the latest weaponry, and choked on their right-wing psychobabble about guns and God. They will have danced scornfully about the name and image of our president, worried about their survivalist bunkers and ability to horde high-powered machine guns. Oh, America, your feeble infantile men and their Supercuts-mom-haired partners will beg their brethren who have moved into the modern age to come back and live in fear alongside them. They will devise legislation and strategize ways to create their desired Motherland filled with Jesus, guns and grits.
Before I go further, I must admit something: In case you can’t guess, I am intolerant, and I’m not ashamed. This brand of intolerance doesn’t ask people to stop being human.
The NRA convention, and all it represents, raises my level of lefty intolerance to a new high. I have no tolerance for ignorant chest puffing. I have less tolerance for racists, homophobes and sexists getting together to diddle each other with ammunition. It’s just gross. I’m wholly unsympathetic to the fear that is espoused in these events, creating situations that put more people in danger than it prevents. I love my city. Its diversity and openness are treasures, and to have this porcine-idiot convention drop in makes me uneasy.
Here’s the thing, I’m not opposed to guns. I think hunting is fine. Sport shooting is just fine. I learned to shoot as a child. I liked it. What I don’t like is guns in the name of righteousness. The culture of guns that operates like a tribe of frightened children, who rest their bravery on the trigger of a weapon, is a liability, and it is the reason gun control is an absolute fucking necessity.
The right to bear arms is a somber privilege given by the founders of this country to provide a chance for Americans of all stripes to protect themselves from tyranny, the same tyranny that wants to build a wall to hide behind, arrest women for tending their sexual health and ostracize people who just need to pee. It is the same tyranny that seeks to humanize corporations, and demonize the workers. It is this same entity that uses God as a salve, while keeping its greatest worshipers trapped in episodes of TLC shows about a sex addict, his self-abusing wife and their 27 children, including one that is a pederast.
The Republican Party, and its conservative brand, has been perverted into something frightening and something that is killing too many people in this country, and not just with guns.
Alas, what is the remedy?
Of course, we need to start at the polls. If we want to end the endless proliferation of arms and ugly in our supposedly modern society, we need to elect people who will stand up against gun lobbyists and their political sycophants, letting them know that gun control isn’t about destroying the Second Amendment: It is absolutely about protecting American people in very direct and measurable ways.
So after the parade of clowns, in which the governors of both Kentucky and Indiana will gleefully join, leaves our city, what do we do to remove the stench of fascist reactionary garbage? How will I, personally, reconcile my ability to love most people with my inability to feel compassion for the vitriolic insanity that will have been laid upon my city?
I’ll vent on the page, and then burn some sage. I’ll do something secular and compassionate, and then I will continue to point fingers, laugh and expose the sickness that comes with the buy-in to the NRA and its current ethos.
I understand the economic impact these conventions have for the city. I feel that, for a while the city will be drenched in blood money, and it is kind of icky, but I realize that eventually Louisville will return to its compassionate self, take that financial boost and do something that puts our city back in a positive light.
I will get over the fact that this cavalcade of white supremacy traipsing through the convention has been given legitimacy again in a time when America should be looking away from the past.
Finally, I will talk myself off a ledge of meanness by just understanding that, at the root, my intolerance and the crazy that drives these types of conventions are similar. We’re both scared.