Shooting up

As if we didn’t have it bad enough, what with permanent war, the soured economy, secret trials being conducted on American soil, and John Ashcroft swearing he didn’t go through my library books, now we have a new threat. I mean I’m already terrified to take the elevator at work every day, I’m opening my mail with salad tongs*, and now I have to worry about my family and me being shot at as we go about our daily lives.

Yes, the 270 shooter is on the loose. And I thought making my cute 670 T-shirt would be the highway news of the year. I think it will turn out to be some local yahoo, nobody important, some skinny white boy. If he has any flair for the dramatic, he’ll move down to I-275 for a day or two and try his luck there. Nothing like a roving, statewide shooting spree. To get better press, this shooter wouldn’t even have to kill anyone (else).

On Saturday, the story had already made Washington, D.C., local news, and is now a national event. I don’t tell you the news here, so I’m not going to talk about the details. I want to make a couple of points.

First of all, I couldn’t have asked for a better situation than this one to highlight the impact of the Statehouse Republicans’ push for Ohio residents to get the right to carry concealed weapons. If you didn’t know, certain House members have been pushing a bill for months to allow most anyone who can get a permit to be able to carry a gun in a pocket or a purse, and countless patriotic Americans have openly paraded their weapons around the Statehouse and the governor’s mansion to show the folly of the current law. And I fully agree with them. By passing this new bill and putting more guns on the street, we will definitely reduce gun crimes. After all, if criminals don’t know who has a gun, then they don’t know whom they can safely attack. And if the drivers of those 11 motor vehicles had been driving around with loaded guns, they would have been able to roll down their windows, steer and aim at 70mph, shoot back at that sniper, and kill him dead. And poor Gail Knisley would be alive today.

Secondly, a co-worker of mine told me today that Wal-Mart has stopped selling a violent video game in response to this string of shootings. I looked it up and it’s true — out of respect for the dead, the good old Wal-Mart on US 23 (25 miles away) has pulled Grand Theft Auto: Vice City from its shelves. I guess this is the least they could do since the game features simulated shootings and carjackings. Still for sale at Wal-Marts nationwide: guns.

* I stole this line from a Tina Fey interview in the New Yorker.  :)

Updated in 2016: There was a 2013 news article updating this story. Moreover, Wal-Mart is back to selling Grand Theft Auto.

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