I really didn’t want to make my first post of the New Year a downer. I really didn’t. Then I read about this, and well, I feel compelled to say something. The story isn’t anything new, drive-by’s are a common occurence in just about every American city. The fact that one of the victims was an NFL corner, and by all accounts a good guy, makes it newsworthy. Recently, Real Sports did a story about pro athletes that stay “strapped”, (which means they carry a gun, for those of you unfamiliar with ghetto slang) for fear of just this type of incident. What the gun nuts don’t ever say is that Darrent Williams could have had a loaded 9mm in a shoulder holster, a Walther PPK in his sock, a 357 magnum (six inch barrel, nickel plated) stuffed into his waistband, and an MK 16 SCAR-L tucked away under his driver seat, and he would be just as dead this morning. That’s because a drive by is a cowardly act. I cannot remember a single story in the last, oh, say, 140 years or so where two guys in a beef calmly walked out through the swinging doors of a saloon and faced each other in the street, drew their six shooters and the fastest guy walked away. That, I could almost admire. No, what happens in real life is that two guys, or a group of guys, sling insults from across the room, and the mixture of alcohol and testosterone suddenly makes someone feel that he must defend his honor, his “rep”, by killing the person that vocally bitch-slapped him. Being a coward at heart, he retreats into the parking lot, retrieves whatever weapon he bought from someone who stole it from a “collector’s” house, and waits for the poor victim and his friends to climb into their ride. Then he boldly slinks up in his ride when they are not looking, and blasts away. A young man with a great future dies in a hail of bullets, a coward drives away laughing. Unfortunately, this scenario is repeated nearly every day, in nearly every city and town in the country. The ugly truth is that your precious second amendment rights will not protect you from someone like the asshat that shot and killed Darrent Williams. What might actually protect you is a complete cultural turn-around that results in our love affair with phallic-like weapons ending forever. Now, I’m not anti-gun. I own a few, and they are useful tools when you live in the country. I also own some saws, a drill or two, two trucks, and a gas-powered auger. I just don’t spend my day pre-occupied with the newest models of gas powered augers, because, well, that would make me awful boring to be around. In fact, I had a number of conversations last year, and wrote fifty or sixty blog posts and not once did I mention how powerful my auger is, or how shiny the bit is, or even how much it throbs and rattles when I crank it up. So, it escapes me, this fascination with guns, and I always conclude that those that have it must be compensating for some percieved physical shortcoming. All I know is, there is an entire community grieving because some sniveling jerk had to prove to the world that even dickless cowards have power.