guns, popcorn, sarcasm, and justifiable self-defense

“In 1996, Australia experienced a mass shooting which resulted in 35 dead and more than 20 injured. They quickly enacted new guns laws at the national level in response to the tragedy.

Since that time, there has not been a single mass shooting in Australia, and the gun death rate has been reduced from 2.6 per 100,000 population to less than 1 per 100,000 population. The US gun death rate, by comparison is more than 10 per 100,000 population.”

This was taken from the Daily Kos’ Facebook page and appears to be dated January 16, 2014.


Ms. Janet Linde was the first reader to post a response shortly after the Daily Kos piece was published. A person after me own heart, she said (and I hope that I am not merely inferring when I say that her statement is appropriately condescending and approaches sarcasm):

“Yeah, well, we can’t do that here. You know, the Framers and all that blah, blah, blah. We needs our guns to fight tyranny, and while we’re at it, to protect against guys that throw popcorn.”

She had 64 replies to that remark when I came across the site and the thread. Without reading the other replies, I posted this comment:

“I am 62 years old. I was a bartender and a bouncer for years and I worked some really nice places and some real pits. I have had a gun pointed at me six times in my life, twice in the really nice places. Each time by a stranger, so I was never truly aware at the moment exactly how serious each gunman was—how close to death I might have been.

Fortunately, in all six instances, I had a large box of popcorn with me and was therefore able to stand my ground and defend myself.

What have I learned from these close calls with death? Never have them put butter on your popcorn—it’s too hard to hold onto when you have to grab and throw in a tight situation . . .”

It took Ms. Linde a few minutes to reply to my claim:

“That’s hilarious! Glad to hear you were able to fend off these gunmen SIX TIMES! Must have been some really mean popcorn.”

As I was otherwise occupied, it took me almost two hours to get back to the thread. I read Janet’s remark and responded:

“No, Janet. Just good old American popcorn. I have found that if you prepare your own at home, a dusting of cayenne pepper and parmesan cheese makes it even more effective. (And tastier, too.)”


For those of you who think that my initial response is all cock and bull, it is not: I only had a gun leveled in my particular direction four times but I only had popcorn to defend myself twice. I had to talk my way out of the other two . . .

2 Replies to “guns, popcorn, sarcasm, and justifiable self-defense”

  1. Wow. I didn’t know I was famous. Thanks for pointing me in this direction. And yes, my initial comment was *dripping* with sarcasm. I’m also 62, and although that may be like being born yesterday to some , I have learned a thing or two along the way. I’m fairly certain that no one is safer by having more guns walking around.

  2. MS LINDE Thanks for your remark spurring on my response yadda yadda blah blah. Glad you came on over to my site. I write bout whatever I wanna here; a lot is current events (read “politics”), so you might wanna stay a while and read a few more items. needless to say, I want a growing readership, especially someone like you, who actually takes the time to write remarks to me!!! Sith agus Slainte bah! NEAL

Comments and arguments welcome!