Playing at war

Some time around 1988? ’89? Anyway, at the tail end of the ’80s during Ronald Reagan’s third term, I and the other kids on my street in the San Antonio suburbs went to war. We formed armies based on existing affiliations and began an agreed upon build up.

My Mexican friends and I two doors down started building a fort because they always had lumber and I had a hammer and saw. This mighty construction effort consisted of stacking the lumber, halfway sawing through some pieces before getting tired, and hammering a few nails in because, hey, we had a hammer.

The girls, being wise, built bows and arrows out of sticks and shiny metallic elastic that never quite worked as advertised. As they practiced, they more threw the arrows throw a hoop more than knocked and let fly.

The white boys, however, already had all they needed and combined their mighty stockpiles of Rambo-themed camouflage and toy guns. I don’t remember if the war was their idea, but they had certainly prepared for it their entire young lives, parading around with their weapons since time immemorial.

After so many days or weeks of buildup, the white boys launched their attack on our fort. I wound up on top of our “ramparts” as my next door neighbor swung his heavy wooden and metal rifle at my legs.

It’s important to note that, unlike today’s brightly-colored plastic Nerf guns, toy guns back then were heavy, made of wood and metal, with only a plastic orange cap at the end to distinguish them from the real thing.

So, with no weapon of my own, I kicked him in the face.

All guns dropped. All whoops and ululations ceased as kids evaluated just how much trouble they were in based on proximity to the crying kid in a headband. And then they all scattered, leaving their bawling MIA to slowly cry his way home.

I don’t remember how severely my parents punished me, but I know I took a lot of heat for it. So it goes, though.

Your Week in Seriously Times: Dec. 16 – 22, 2012

“I’m a shameful reminder of your 1960s prenatal substance abuse!”
“I’m a shameful reminder of your 1960s prenatal substance abuse!”

Reality, Rudolph, microlives, guns, spider puppets, and Space Rangers — none of those will give you a power-up, but they are this past week’s topics on SeriouslyGuys. Here’s the recap:

  • If our world is, indeed, a computer simulation, then some user totally just watched you pick your nose. (Yes, I saw it, too.) (Dec. 17, 2012)
  • Why Rudolph’s Nose is Red, or How the Writers of Mad Men Could Never Come Up with a Better Name for a Drunk Mom Than “Mitzi Donner.” (Dec. 18, 2012)
  • In the time it took you to read this, you gained two microlives, but then lost four for not sharing this post with your friends. (Dec. 19, 2012)
  • Take it from Snee … took a break this week so that we could bring you the Rick Snee Antidisestablishmentarian Militia’s response to yet another shooting tragedy. If this keeps up, RAM isn’t sure how we’ll keep up. (Dec. 19, 2012)
  • Spiders weren’t content with being the world’s second most hated thing behind Jeff Dunham. (Dec. 20, 2012)
  • NASA solved their budget woes by marketing for Disney. (Dec. 21, 2012)

RAM: Where the NRA Dares Not Tread

Guys, as you probably noticed on Facebook, I don’t have time to write a column this week. That’s because I’m too busy working on the latest issue of the Rick Snee Antidisestablishmentarian Militia Quarterly.

And, let me tell you, this has not been an easy one to put together. People seem to be really on our case after Friday’s tragic shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. As you’ve noticed, we and the NRA have been quiet this week, and for good reason: we don’t have to say a word. Our members will do it for us. It’s called viral marketing, and they have caught Second Amendment Fever!

Just, you know, not "school shooting" deadly. (Special thanks to Bill for loaning RAM his living room for the afternoon!)
Just, you know, not “school shooting” deadly. (Special thanks to Bill for loaning RAM his living room for the afternoon!)

So, as the nation mourns (again), RAM has nothing to say except that this was a terrible tragedy, and words cannot express how pained we are. Nor can we offer any insight into the actions on that terrible day … but here’s what some ordinary, normal folks (*wink*) have said for us on Facebook and Twitter.

If only the teachers had been armed …

We hate to blame the victims here, but teachers and gun-free schools: you really dropped the ball here. And worse? We told you so.

A gun — and a Bible, because God can’t enter a building thanks to zero tolerance policies — in every classroom could have averted this entire tragedy. And now that’s another case where an armed citizen failed to stop a spree shooting, making the rest of us look bad.

No new, (and don’t) fix old gun laws!

Laws also share some responsibility for Friday’s tragedy. Even though a zero tolerance policy was in place for guns, the killer clearly found his way into the school with three of them. The fact that he was able to shoot over 100 rounds in the time it took a first responder to arrive makes it clear that no law could have limited the capacity of his magazines.

And it’s not just gun laws. Despite all of the laws we have for safely operating motor vehicles, people still die in auto accidents. Sure, they’re mostly through driver negligence, but don’t you remember the good old days when cars killed people with shoddy engineering and a lack of rigorous safety testing? Now we just look stupid every time a teen dies on prom night.

Or what about laws against theft? We have so many laws that make it clear that theft will not be tolerated, and yet somebody will probably steal the arguments out of this post.

There’s only one law that works, and that’s when the framers drafted the Second Amendment. Other laws, though? Wastes of paper.

Movies, video games, and music glorify violence.

I’m not sure when we started letting liberal Hollywood off the hook here, but they probably have as much blood on their hands as anybody. Just look at them, playing down the premiers of Jack Reacher and Django Unchained, both of which are marketed to adults for adults as escapist entertainment.

Nope, you can’t beat the old excuses: movies create murderers, but not smokers, alcoholics, sexists or racists.

Mental health is the real problem here.

There are a lot of fingers to point around here, which is hard for me because I’m doing it while holding a gun, but let’s not forget crazy people. I mean, what normal person would use a gun to shoot people, especially children?

We have to remember that all of these shootings, be it in Colorado, Arizona, Colorado again and Connecticut are each the deranged work of five sick, evil individuals. Just like the other 11,493 homicides with firearms in 2010 — all the work of a few sick, evil individual psychos who we can’t stop.

So, good thing we won’t try to, right? Because unless we stop all crazy people from committing homicides, then what’s the point? (Until we finally bag one with our guns — now that’s mental health treatment!)

This post originally appeared on SeriouslyGuys and HumorOutcasts.

Your Week in Seriously Times: Apr. 8 – 14, 2012

More rogue kids, nail polish, killer bees, and guns … They’re not tools in an experimental self-defense class, but the topics of this week’s SeriouslyGuys posts. Here’s the recap:

  • Maybe it was a mistake to start up an all-kids police force, but, dammit … those out-of-control dynamos get action-packed results. (Apr. 10, 2012)
  • Take it from Snee: It’s part two, The Empire Strikes Back of my trilogy to explain the U.S. branches of government to foreigners and children. This week: the legislature strikes back! (Apr. 11, 2012)
  • Time travel is bad. But, killer bees are also bad. Are you a bad enough dude to time travel back to 1957 and cold-cock Warwick Kerr? (Apr. 12, 2012)
  • Movies I’ve Sneen: Chugs was out this week, presumably in rehab to overcome his nail polish addiction. (He is weak to need help with his illness, but so strong for admitting it.) So, I filled in with my review of Disney’s John Carter. (Apr. 12, 2012)