Civilians who take handgun training in Texas shoot at human outlines. The practice fits the tool to its purpose, which is felling humans. The shooter aims for center body mass — a generous sweet spot housing vital organs. Fifty rounds inside number “8” of the concentric circles scores perfect.
As a bombardier trainee in WWII, my dad learned to take apart and assemble a .50-calibre machine gun while blindfolded. “It has 70 pieces,” he wrote home.
In his adolescence he had been shot in the abdomen by a law officer. It was accidental. The officer, a friend, had been demonstrating a quick-draw maneuver to my dad.
In my youth there were a rifle and shotgun in the house, but no handguns. “Too easy to wave around and shoot someone,” my dad decreed.
Living in a pistol-packing culture in 2021 triggered those memories, and a reflection. My country gives each girl and boy their war: granddad WWI; dad WWII; his cousins Korea; my cohort Vietnam; my son, a Navy nurse, the ongoing Bush wars; and so on.
Always shun lapse of recollection of the sacred massacre. What rallies to the cry dressed in flags doesn’t look like civic virtue; more like a cherished grudge stalking a human shape to settle scores with.
(c) 2021 JMN