Jimmy Lee Dykes may be the poster boy for the National Rifle Association, Gayle Trotter and pot-bellied men making love to assault rifles everywhere. He is the quintessential angry man, consumed with fear and distrust and driven to extraordinary lengths to make his point about the evils of government.
65-year old Dykes, a Vietnam-era Navy veteran shot and killed 66-year old school bus driver Charles Albert Poland, Jr as Poland attempted to protect his young charges. Dykes then kidnapped a 5-yr old autistic boy and has been holed up in an underground bunker for the last 6 days.
Gayle Trotter, a Conservative spokesdouche appearing before a Congressional committee argued last week that women need AR-15 style assault rifles to protect their homes and their families. To illustrate her point, Trotter trotted out anecdotal evidence of an Oklahoma woman who killed an intruder and drove off his partner in crime with a shotgun. Ms. Trotter’s point is well taken. Ms. Trotter’s point is well taken. A shotgun is a much more efficient and useful weapon for home invasions than an assault rifle. Reliable polls report the vast majority of women favor renewing the ban on assault rifles, however they are defined.
The common thread amongst assault weapon proponents seems to be an abiding mistrust of our democratically elected government and the feeling that a collection of automatic weapons is all that stands between them and dictatorship. “One if by land, two if by drone”.
The question then is what, exactly are these survivalists going to do when someone proposes a value-added tax? Are they going to storm the Capitol? Take on the National Guard, a once-marginal, para-military organization, now battle-hardened in counter-insurgency in Iraq and Afghanistan? Or will they simply try to elude NATO 7.62 ammo raining down on them from Navy SEAL snipers? Had they paid more attention in Civics, they would know that the best weapon against our government is the voting booth. Assuming, of course there’s anyone left to vote after the great GOP disfranchisement of the 21st Century.
Paranoia is, by definition irrational and it is not self-mitigating. It simmers, it grows and then it explodes. People like Jimmy Lee Dykes are emblematic of that disease. Charles Albert Poland, Jr and 5-year old Evan are victims of what we once called a “bunker mentality”. Does anyone really think it’s a good idea for the Jimmy Lee Dykes of the world to have unlimited access to massive firepower and the ability to decide when it’s time to overthrow our government?
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