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Tue Jan 29, 2013, 06:48 PM

The Feral Scholar on Guns, Television and being a Christian Soldier at 60

I've been reading this guy since shortly after 9/11, his viewpoint is often interesting, a career in Special Operations led him to become a fairly extreme leftist. These four paragraphs are an excerpt from a piece called Christian Soldier at 60 on Veterans Day.



The Gun

What can you say about guns, eh? Anyone who has handled a gun knows that the sight of it and the cool touch and the weight of it alters your consciousness with its terrible potential. No matter what juridical and cultural structures do or do not inhibit the use of firearms, the possession of a firearm confers power whether it is welcome or not. People who have a strong aversion to firearms are just as aware of that power as those who are obsessed with and attracted to firearms. Both groups know from firsthand experience that a gun is not representative of power, it is power. It is an instrument with which you can take life, in an instant, with the quarter-inch movement of a single finger.

Guns have come to mean something very special and sought after by boys: recognition, which they easily confuse with power. And not just because most of us in my demographic categories are descended from armed settlers, though that has a good deal to do with this boy-gun thing. I grew up with guns in the house. My father born in 1906, was a very competent hunter; and my mother even had her own bird gun a 16-guage Browning automatic shotgun.

Guns are male icons, however, not merely tools; and we see guns as icons every day on TV.

The Television

Our first television was a circular looking black and white, where I never missed an episode of Gunsmoke, the Lone Ranger, Bonanza, or Wagon Train. Guns became instruments of justice and power in my mind, as I soaked up these powerful moving images of a mythical American frontier masculinity. The one that really got me, though, was a character who was a soldier, a rebel, and a trickster Swamp Fox, a Disney production where Leslie Nielson played the Revolutionary War guerrilla leader, Francis Marion. That was the first impetus that led to my eventual entry into the non-televised world of Special Operations in the army; and it was seeded in my brain a decade before I even graduated from High School.


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