guns popcorn sarcasm and justifiable self-defense

Es­ti­mated reading time is 3 min­utes.

THIS IS A REAL TRUE STORY, rather than a Hol­ly­wood true story. You know, the ones that say “Based on a true story” or “This story is based on ac­tual events.” And 90% of the story is com­plete fab­ri­ca­tion. Well, this here’s an honest-to-god real true story! Back on Jan­uary 16, 2014, the Daily Kos ran a brief piece on their Face­book page: 

“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.”

A Janet Linde was the first reader to post a re­sponse. A person after my own heart, she said (ap­pro­pri­ately con­de­scending and mildly sarcastic):

“Yeah, well, we can’t do that here. You know, the Framers and all that blah, blah, blah. We need 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 reply to her 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, I con­fess that it is not com­pletely 100% true:

• I had a gun pulled on me four times. 1
• I had pop­corn to de­fend my­self once. 2
• I had to talk my way out of the other three. 3


Gun cartoon BillDay

Car­toon by Bill Day.





1   Twice the guy pointed his gun at my belly, once the guy suavely opened his Ar­mani sports jacket and showed me the Smith & Wesson .38 snub-nose in a shoulder-holster. That was much scarier than having the gun in my guts be­cause this was a made guy.

2   I threw it in his face and ran. 

3   I was Dirty Harry-like cool until the sit­u­a­tion was over. I mean, I never flinched, batted an eye­lash, or stam­mered a word. When it was over and I was safe in my apart­ment, I got drunk re­ally fast. And for­tu­nately, I’m much better at em­bell­ishing a story than at wielding pop­corn de­fen­sively, oth­er­wise, I might not be here to tell you this real true story . . .



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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.