Back when computers were clumsy and computer games were still fairly pixilated and cartoon-like due to limited colors, I occasionally played a game called “Doom.” “Doom” was a popular game, built on the even more popular game engine, “Castle Wolfenstein.” Both were first person shooters. You would see your weapon or hands in the lower portion of the screen with the world out in front of you. In both games, you maneuvered though a building, basically a maze, looking for bad guys to destroy. In both games, along the way you would find new weapons that you could pick up and use.
In “Castle Wolfenstein” you were fighting Nazis. The weapons you could find and use were very standard, handguns, Lugers, rifles, shotguns, grenades, machine guns. In “Doom” you were fighting living dead aliens. The weapons you could find ranged from handguns and laser pistols to a host of way-out zappers. However, in “Doom” what you really wanted to find was a gun called the BFG. The BFG was an almost unstoppable weapon.
If you haven’t figured it out, BFG stands for Big Fucking Gun. So, why have I brought this up? Give me a moment.
I was just watching President Obama’s and President Karzai’s joint news conference, detailing the US draw down in Afghanistan and the Afghani step up to defend themselves. Let’s not mince words. Karzai is not one of our best allies. He is an alley, but his concerns are solely his own and he is known to play both sides of the game. I guess that is the nature of all politics and governments, but some are more willing to be real friends rather than pretend friends. Karzai is very much a pretend friend.
As I was listening to Karzai address the issues that he and President Obama have come to agreement on, I began to think of the BFG and our own gun control issues. I know that seems a bit disparate, but bear with me for a moment.
Listening to Karzai talk about how he would move toward peace and the improvement of the lives of all of his citizens, men and women alike, I began to wonder how real those sentiments were. He is socialized in a male dominated culture in which women, and presumably other minority types, are not treated well. But he is in negotiations with the United States. The U.S. holds the bigger BFG, either in terms of military, money, or pressure.
But within his own country, Karzai holds the BFG. He does not fear too many reprisals within his country. Whoever holds the BFG can afford to not be as concerned about the concerns of others. The BFG holder does not believe they will be killed or dethroned so easily, because he can kill his enemies. The BFG holder does not have the same concern for life as a medic or doctor, school teacher or nurse, or a host of others that place life over power.
This is what made me think about our home country gun issues. Those most opposed to gun control are the ones that hold the BFGs, the gun owners. It is easy for them to say they will not budge. Easy for them to not yield, because they hold the guns. Their concern for the lives of others is, in my opinion, lower than those who won’t touch the weapon at all because it is a killing device.
How can gun control advocates ever convince gun owners that in the interest of life they need to let go of their love for their BFGs?