Columbine High:
Wag the Dog Part Deux
By DeAnne
It amazes me that intelligent people will watch the news with the slack-jawed amazement of Arkansas yokels seeing a horseless carriage; slurping down the smoothly modulated drivel like it's gospel. The latest of our media bread and circuses involved the death of some popular kids in a picturesque small mountain town. Gosh, is it sweeps week already? Wait, kids wearing black committed the crime? Did they happen to like Marilyn Manson? Whoo-Hoo! Get the camera and makeup crews on the plane! Televise the memorial service! Someone get me theme music. Is Elton John available?
Did anyone else notice that while we were watching the show on center stage, the magicians on the other stage managed to slide 10 billion dollars and 33,000 ground troops towards our non-war in the Balkans? That's billion, with a B. Remember the budget surplus? It's gone. We're using it to fight Serbia and Iraq. Remember Iraq? It was all the rage during the election. We're still there. Remember the Japanese internment camps of WWII? They're building new ones all over the country. Theoretically to hold Serbian refugees. Your tax dollars at work.
Now, if this were a movie, the plot would end there. Distracting the country with dead teenagers so you can play soldier is quite the PR stunt. Once we have troops on the ground, it's easy to convince the public to pull out their yellow ribbons. I mean, they've been used so often in the last decade that people keep them in the kitchen junk drawer, so as to have them close at hand. Once the yellow ribbons are out, patriotism is worn like a badge; government has much more leeway and big brother's wallet opens for new toys that go boom in the night. It worked for Reagan, Bush, and Clinton. Poor Nixon, if only he'd known the power of the Yellow Ribbon. We might have won Vietnam if we'd used Mattel's PR engine instead of their M16's.
However, I propose that the plot is more Machiavellian than a poorly disguised excuse to distract the public while the military budget gets pumped again. Armed teens on a rampage is the best of all possible situations for the gun control lobby. What's that? The President has a new gun control policy already written and ready for Congress? How convenient. I guess the 17 laws the rampaging teenagers broke were not enough. Surely, if they knew they were going to break 20 laws, the plot would have been foiled.
Now, you know that I'm not a voice for the NRA, but by the same token, I don't trust our government enough to let them have all the guns. But all it will take to disarm Americans is a few public incidents involving kids in this era of child idolatry. You can hear the cry going up around the country even now, "Won't somebody please think about the children. Sob, sniff ". Hysterical soccer moms who forgot to teach their children right from wrong are waving tear dampened hankies, demanding that the government fix their mistakes.
So I'm paranoid am I? Seeing conspiracies where there are none? Ah then, what are the odds that suddenly a bunch of baby unabomber/mad gunner Trenchcoat mafias would suddenly appear everywhere at once? Last evening, while half listening to the local news, my attention was caught by the arrest of some local kids that school officials thought "might be dangerous" because of clothing, reading and music habits. There was no other evidence to suggest that these kids were dangerous. Since it was the second story about kids getting arrested, I did a little checking around to see just how many areas were suddenly having problems with the black-wearing set. Since I'm basically a slacker, and didn't feel like going through the newspaper stacks at the library, I checked via the web. Granted, not a statistically sound sampling, but a sampling none the less.
I started at and went randomly down the list of news broadcasting stations where I could see the broadcast and where there were printed archives of the stories. I stopped after 7 stations because if I'd waded through the saccharin speech patterns of one more bleached blonde my brain would have exploded. 5 of the 7 stations had local stories about guns in school.
WHAS-TV - ABC 11 - Louisville, KY. Death threats at Salem Middle School Notes that threatened the lives of four students surfaced at the school on Friday. Parents are suggesting everything from locking down the school during the day, to metal detectors, to book bag searches.
WABC-TV - ABC 7 - New York, NY. Student Brings Father's Gun To Middle School Two sixth grade students at the Turn of River Middle School in Stamford, Connecticut have been suspended after one of the boys brought an unloaded gun to school. The other student was suspended for allowing the gun to be stored in his locker.
KENS 5 Eyewitness News - San Antonio, TX. Teens Held in School Bomb Plot While the town of Littleton, Colorado continues to bury its dead and deal with tragedy, closer to home things are slowly getting back to normal in the hill country community of Wimberley.
KXTV-10 - Sacramento/Stockton/Modesto, CA. A Lodi student arrested for making a bomb threat to his school reportedly admired Unabomber Ted Kaczynski.
News Channel 5, WTVF - Nashville, TN. 9th Grader Arrested Tennessee isn't immune to what happened in Littleton, Colorado. Metro Police took a 9th grader into custody today at a bus stop in South Nashville after an officer spotted him with a little bag of gunpowder. They charged him with possession of an explosive component.
Hmm, that seemed a little odd. So I checked newspapers with online search engines. Again, came up with large instances of this activity showing up all over the place in the last two weeks, usually in smaller towns. Towns where the NRA is likely to have a large membership base. (Note that the time frame was 2 weeks, so not all of the incidents could be tied to or assumed to be "copycat" crimes.)
So, let's think about this for a minute. Take one weird war out of nowhere. Add thousands of refugees being brought to the US. Mix into internment camps going up all over the country. After all, that is why those camps are being built, right? Separate local reserve forces from their states and send them to Europe. Move the "real" army into now empty reserve bases. Blend in a dash of Oklahoma City, a pinch of Waco and a cup of Columbine. Whip into frothy peaks of nationalism and pathos. Sprinkle liberally with fear of people who are different or "undesirable". Anyone else hear the shades of Nuremberg in that recipe?
So, here we are; facing a paternalistic government with relocation camps and armies in our backyards. But let's all remember; guns are the enemy. It's the loners and the people wearing black we have to beware. Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain. Shouldn't you be looking for your yellow ribbons anyway?