Saturday, August 30, 2008

Stop Trying To Be Batman

Stop Trying To Be Batman

Pictured: not you.

When I read the news that teachers at the K-12 school in Harrold, Texas would be allowed to come to school carrying guns this year I have to admit, my heart sank.

"The naysayers think (a shooting) won't happen here. If something were to happen here, I'd much rather be calling a parent to tell them that their child is OK because we were able to protect them," Thweatt said.

"The naysayers think (a kissin') don't make a girl pregnant, but we went ahead and made diving helmets mandatory dress code for the prom on account of carefulness."

I don't care about gun rights or school shootings or any of the big important issues surrounding the Second Amendment.

If some dude wants to shove an RPG-7 under his bed to protect his family from radioactive tarantulas that's fine with me. If somebody wants guns banned in their city because celebratory gunfire makes it hard to hear the Logo channel, well, that's fine with me too.

I'm just really tired of Batman.

Tactical shotguns are great for home defense and lousy for for Quiznos line defense.

Not the real Batman. He's fine really cool. I dig the films, I'm a comic nerd. Of course I like Batman. Even though I always get the "You look like Clark Kent" compliment, I always wanted to be Batman. But not like these fools. I'm talking the fake Batmans. The vigilante wannabes that walk around packing a .45 on their utility belt like Hans Gruber is going to take over Nakatomi Arby's. Open and concealed carry laws have been spreading across the United States for the past decade or so. In the states where the laws pass a tide of potato-shaped guys in polo shirts carrying guns in quick-draw holsters has followed.

They're everywhere, even if they aren't wearing the polo shirts. Earlier this summer I made the mistake of attending a Renaissance festival to appease a friend who is interested in historical recreations of medieval cleavage. The festival was packed into a costume bodice and overflowing with realism, but the event was marred by an incident at the ticket area.

The festival was being held in Texas and we had the great misfortune to be in line behind one of the state's many Batman imposters. His costume looked like Robin Hood, complete with bow and arrows, but this particular Batman had a Sig Sauer in a quick draw holster on his belt. The anachronism caused a direct conflict with ye olde king's posted "NO GUNS OR ALCOHOL" policy.

A loud argument followed over the big issues like personal liberty and self-defense. This meant me and my friend waiting in line until bike cops arrived to settle the dispute.

Their agreement: he could carry the gun into the Renfest because it was on public property. Unbelievable! Robin Hood and his 10mm get to traipse around the mud fight like King of America, while me and my buddy get mocked by the jester as wizards if we forget to set our cell phone to vibrate.


I have since determined that there are two types of people who carry guns around in public: people who use guns in their jobs and people who are stupid or crazy and should not be carrying guns around in public. I'm willing to be pretty forgiving on the former point. Guns are fine for any sort of law enforcement agents, firemen, private security guards, bail bondsmen, trick shooters, time traveling cowboys, and anyone else who actually uses a gun on the job. It's perfectly reasonably to arm yourself for all of those professions.

If, for example, you work at a data center monitoring server racks, you should not be carrying a gun. If you update a blog and surf the web for porn, you shouldn't be carrying a gun. Watching Penn & Teller's Bullshit! and reading Perez Hilton is not a good enough excuse to arm yourself for trips to the comic book store.

You look ridiculous and everyone knows the only reason you're packing heat is because of some juvenile tac-ops fantasy you have. You know the one. You're eating a bear claw and an illegal Mexican immigrant holds up the Dunkin' Donuts where that cute Indian girl works. You head shot the robber, just like in your vague recollection of Boogie Nights, and the cute Indian girl tosses out that arranged marriage to run away with you.

Guys, I know it hurts to hear, but you're not Batman.

The day isn't waiting to be saved by you and your empowerment totem. The beautiful women are actually repelled by you carrying around a Desert Eagle at Best Buy like some sort of insecure Mossad agent.

This isn't Dungeons & Dragons. You don't always have to carry around everything written down on your character sheet. There are places, most places in fact, 99.99% of places, where you can let your guard down and not try to be Batman.

Frag that squirrel and then show her your wallscrolls and you're on easy street with this babe. Also known as blowjob street. Heh.

When I read about Harrold, Texas allowing teachers to carry guns my first reaction had nothing to do with shooting. Odds are good that tiny Harrold, Texas will go 1,000 years without a school shooting with or without the new law. Trying to avoid a school shooting there seems about as prudent as trying to avoid meteors or Terminators.

One of those teachers at the school is going to turn out to be a sadistic bully who is going to treat the new allowance like permission to walk around with his fly down and his dick out. He's going to jam a .357 prosthetic into his belt and scare the shit out of eighth graders every chance he gets. Nothing quite sooths nerves like an egotistical asshole bullying your kids every day with a hand-cannon strapped to his leg.

Worry about defending your house from drug-crazed Mexican home invasion rapists, or Janet Reno, or whoever sends a tingle up your leg. Leave the shootouts at Starbucks to the real Batmans. If you have to carry a gun around then be polite, keep it out of sight.

If I see one more of you jerks I am going on a shooting spree.

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