Erika Eleniak: “I hate guns.”
Steven Segal: (cradling a machine gun) “So do I. So do I.”
You could tell Steve was lying to get in Erika’s pants. Look at the scene. Look at the way Steve holds the machine gun. That’s love, man.
I kinda love guns, too.
Most men, at the very least, kinda love guns. How can you own a pair of hairy-balls and not appreciate the destructive power of a firearm? BAM! Melons burst in an explosion of fruity guts. POW! KA–BLAM! BANG!
I just used some of the finest words in the English dictionary.
Every boy who has watched a cowboy movie has grown to become a man, squirming in a church pew, imagining armed terrorist super-ninjas breaking through the stained glass. The women are screaming. The reverend is stammering. The elderly are clutching the chests. And you coolly withdraw your .45. Peace be with you, assholes.
Unlike most of my Southern brethren, I didn’t grow up with guns. In the South, a gun cabinet is as common a piece of furniture as a porch fridge or a deer-antler coat rack. In many Southern communities, a boy is handed his first .22 when he’s about eight years old. He is taught to load it, handle it, fire it, and respect it.
People hunt in the South. Most hunters take it very seriously, observing game limits and making it a point to eat their kills. Entire families ascend on their deer camps. Small school districts close during the first week of deer season. At that time in my school, it felt like the only kids in class were me, my brother, and the Jehovah’s Witnesses.
Mine was not a hunting family, though my grandfather on my mother’s side was a small game hunter. It was from him that I gained a rudimentary introduction to rifles. Grandpa would take my brother and me to an open field, set up some cans at a safe distance, and invite us to pluck them down with his .22 rifle. Later, we graduated to larger calibers, even a pistol once.
And I liked it.
I liked watching the metal cans twist apart as though wrenched with powerful, invisible teeth. I liked the kick of the rifle butt against my shoulder, as though I were containing an atomic explosion against my body. I liked seeing my careful aim rewarded with the sound of thunder and the effects of lightening. What, I ask you, is not to like?
Recently, the Obama administration approved a measure that would allow people with concealed gun permits to bring their firearms into national parks. All right. There’s bear in them there national parks. So, you know, okay. I guess I get it.
In Tennessee, a measure is on the docket, House Bill 962, to extend those same privileges to bars and restaurants. The bill allows the state’s estimated 222,000 permit holders to bring loaded handguns into restaurants selling alcohol as well as bars and night clubs provided they do not drink. It also allows establishments to post signs banning handguns, which are to be obeyed.
Absorb that for a second.
In my brilliant but sparsely-read post, The Separation of Church, Guns and a Rational State of Mind, I noted that the requirements for carrying a concealed weapon aren’t exactly on par with getting a MENSA card. But gun advocates will say that a person with a concealed gun permit has undergone the rigorous scrutiny of federal background checks, weapons training, and testing. I call bullshit on the grounds that all those measures are rendered moot the moment the first alcoholic beverage is consumed.
Of course, Tennessee House Bill 962, if passed, only allows people to carry concealed weapons provided that they do not drink. Why in the hell are you walking into a bar if you don’t intend to drink? I don’t care if you’re Abe Lincoln, bro. If you’re packing and drinking anything stronger than an O’Doul’s you’re dangerous. A threat. And if I’m Chuck Norris, I’m taking you down, Chief.
I’m not Chuck Norris, so I guess I have to settle for getting shot.
A Facebook user discussing the topic described the situation as thus: “After nearly six years dating a bartender, I can tell you that the idea of people having guns in bars is terrifying. I can imagine any number of stupid situations I’ve seen unfold that would have gone from stupid to tragic if any party involved had been in possession of a gun.”
I kinda love guns. But I kinda hate morons. And in these arena, the two are clashing.