Saturday, April 11, 2015

Guns, Gas and Guys

Tuesday night before hearing Stevie Wonder, we had dinner at a new Nashville eatery whose outdoor dining space happened to face the Music City Center.

There I sat eating my taco while reading the huge banners for the NRA convention. The one that got my attention read: "9 acres of guns and gear."

Nine acres of guns and gear.

I shouldn't be surprised. Tennessee's legislators have been eaten up with gun bills over these last few years. (Growing up in the country, 'eaten up with' something meant usually chiggers or ticks. I don't think I've ever used that phrase but it seems appropo here.)

In the 2010 election, TN voters even got in on the act thank to smooth maneuvering by the pro-gun side. The right to hunt wasn't threatened yet an amendment voters voted on made it sound like hunters were about to loose their guns. The campaign was so slick I had some non-hunting, non-packing friends that voted "yes" because they feared hunters were truly about to loose their guns.

Money and manipulation (that stirred fear) got that bill passed.

At present legislators have passed a bill allowing guns in parks. This bill will pass unless Governor Haslam has the courage and wisdom to veto it. We've guns everywhere except the legislative building of course. (I find that a bit odd. Are they afraid a tree hugging, pacifist is gonna bring in a gun and suddenly turn violent? They're probably more afraid of one of their constituents come to think of it.) 

Amidst all the goings on with guns, I was reminded of another possibly country phrase related to guns in my childhood.  Often when a male member in the family had gas, the phrase was used, “He shot his gun.” I don’t recall that phrase being associated with the females, but of course being a female I may have blocked that out.  And I don’t know the origin of this phrase just that it was periodically used.

This prompted me to wonder if somewhere around adolescence this shooting of the bodily gun gets shut down and traded for a need by many men (and now women) to shoot a literal gun.

Think about it.  Some folks laugh when a two or three year old 'shoots his gun.'  It's less socially acceptable at least outside the home when these noises come from an adolescent.

Thus I'm proposing one root of the gun issue is connected to a man having to disown his insides and in turn stifle his bodily experience resulting in the disconnection from his body and a sense of true potency.

Think about it.  Food goes in and gas comes out. Similarly Fear goes in and the guns are brought out.  Guns are brought out because men, the traditional protectors of family, feel unsafe and vulnerable.  Unfortunately still in our society, a man’s labeled feminine when he owns his vulnerability and wants to talk things out. 

Contrary to what you may think, I am not anti-guns or anti-hunting.  My intent is not to oversimplify things or make light of serious matters. 

I’m concerned about the twisting of truth, epidemic these days as powerful corporations and their lobbying arms try to turn descent gun-carrying, meat-eating folks against descent animal-loving, vegetarian folks.     

Lobbyists and politicians who benefit from this manipulation measure their potency in terms of the billions of dollars they reap by stirring fear.  They’re strategically using these times to their benefit while trying to convince the common man that it’s for his benefit.   It appears they’ve done a good job especially in this time when the American citizenry is blending as never before and white folks especially white men are declining dramatically in proportion to the population.  

Everyone wants to feel safe.  Most folks want to feel potent or good at something from one's contributions at work or caring for one's family.  Many have been convinced they're not safe and that potency lies in guns rather than stepping outside one's stereotypes and comfort zones and getting to know strangers.  

Real potency starts with owning one’s insides.  Until the internal stuff of our insides is as valued as the external of our appearances and looks, we are vulnerable. We will be easily manipulated and made to feel fear until we connect our thoughts, feelings and actions.  

The greater vehicle for increased safety isn't found in a gun.  Increased safety is found in connected body, mind and heart which in turn is willing to relate not retaliate and respond rather than react. 

Even though it would increase harmful greenhouse gases, maybe if men (and women) needing to prove their man/womanhood with guns returned to regularly shooting their bodily guns we’d have less violence in the world. "Shooting ones gun” freely and loudly might be the best start at real self-defense.

In the meantime, I wish we could be eaten up with courage. 
-Dawn, The Good News Muse11 April 2015

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