Incidents like the mass killings at Sandy Hook bring out the good, the bad and the most bizarre in some people the most common of which are from gun owners. They circle the wagons and proclaim that 99.9% of them are good, law abiding, church going Americans. The rest of us know that. The talk about how they, as responsible gun enthusiasts are more offended and disgusted than non-gun enthusiasts when some deranged lunatic somehow lays their hands on an assault rifle and does such damage. The rest of us know that too. But then comes the really odd part, the part I just cannot understand. A West Virginia Senator said it on the Morning Joe Show. I see it posted all over the place on MSN.com, Yahoo.com, Twitter and pretty much everywhere else. Here it is, “I’m a proud gun owner.”
A PROUD gun owner? What in the name ofis there to be proud of here? You walked into a Walmart, dropped a few hundred bucks on the counter and walked out with a Glock. Good for you. That’s quite an accomplishment. Let me know when the Nobel Prize people call.
I bought a toaster oven at WalMart. It’s a really good, state-of-the- art toaster oven. To be honest, it’s a lot more than a toaster oven. I can cook almost anything, as long as it’s smaller than a toaster oven, in this toaster oven; grilled cheese, hot dogs, casseroles, certain seafood, cupcakes and even pies, yes… even APPLE PIES!!! It does everything automatically as opposed to certain assault rifles which can only perform up to semi-automatic standards. My toaster oven also has the toaster oven equivalent of an assault clip. I can prepare up to eight slices of toast at the same time.
But don’t worry I am also a very responsible toaster oven owner who always follows the rules and would never use my toaster oven to harm or hurt anyone. I make sure it’s off after the macaroni and cheese is done. I don’t throw it at first grade students, drop it from windows or put kittens in it. I would never let my kids take the toaster oven to school and always teach them safe toaster oven practices.
If the government or anyone else tries to take my toaster oven from me, they’ll have to pry it from my dead cold (actually toaster warm) fingers. Yes, I am a PROUD toaster oven owner. I drove myself to the Walmart. I battled for that last great parking space against two old ladies in a Buick Regal. I boldly went where so many other proud toaster oven owners have gone before… maneuvered my way into housewares and grabbed the box from the shelf. Later, it was ME who carried the box to the cashier, paid for it and brought it home. Like millions of proud toaster oven owners before me, I plugged it in and introduced it to its first four slices of toast. Pumpernickel rye!
As I retrieved the toasted bread from the rack and saw the first few crumbs fall to christen the bright stainless steel base tray, it came to me. I wasn’t just making toast. This wasn’t just some product I bought from a store. This was an expression of freedom, liberty and a symbol representing all those toaster oven enthusiasts who went before me to defend the right to lightly brown or totally char the bread of their choice!
Ridiculous, you bet. Just as ridiculous as ‘taking pride’ in something you can put on layaway at any Dick’s Sporting Goods, Kmart or Walmart. Pride is something you earn based on something you’ve accomplished. Buying a gun is not an accomplishment, it’s a purchase. Move along folks, nothing to be proud of here.
If you teach children in a classroom, be proud. If you fight fires or wear a badge to protect the public, be proud. If you cook the perfect holiday turkey, raise great kids or win a gold medal at the Olympics, be proud. You don’t get to be “proud” by purchasing a four pound hunk of metal. Sorry.
On Friday morning the mother of the man who murdered 26 people including 20 children under the age of seven woke up a ‘proud gun owner.’ The rest of us are wishing she were a proud toaster oven owner instead.