Some Thoughts on Guns and Green Day (posted 7/1/22)

Last week I wrote about SCOTUS overturning NY’s law against carrying a gun, and I mentioned Breyer’s dissent.  Rather than talking about legal cases and precedents and the constitution, he spent a lot of time on how many guns and gun crimes there are in America.

After reading that, I concluded that he is smart, but detached from everyday life in a way that I think is pretty common among the elite left.  

I’ve heard an old cliché to the effect that “that’s an idea so dumb only a PhD would believe it.”  There’s a little bit of old fashioned anti-intellectual bias in that saying, but there’s more than a little truth, too.  (Cliches don’t get to be cliches unless there is some truth to them.)

In my years of experience with blue collar guys, I can’t think of any who thought that Marxism can work, or that giving the government more control of our lives and economy will end well, or that a man can become a woman, for example.  

But as a liberal arts professor, I know many, many profs who believe the first two, and at least pretend to believe the third.    

Breyer sounds like many academics I know, when he cites the 400 million guns in America, and how many gun crimes are committed, and suggests that the solution is to ban or restrict gun ownership.

This man has 83 years of life experience.  He has degrees from Oxford, Stanford and Harvard, and he’s been a judge for many decades.  But he’s rich, and he’s been living in very safe neighborhoods, surrounded by armed guards for a very long time.  And there are gaping holes in his argument which most of my blue collar friends could spot from a mile away. 

Alito points out one of them: the amount of guns that criminals have and use in crimes are huge reasons why law abiding people want guns to defend themselves! 

I looked through some crime stories for just one week before the ruling came out.  Some of them have happy endings and some are tragic, but all contain obvious lessons that I’m sure Breyer doesn’t understand.

For example, in Austin a juvenile offender and robbery suspect named Jaylyn Reed was released from jail on May 27th with an ankle monitor on. 

Elitist leftist legal experts thought that the ankle monitor would deter Reed from committing crimes.  Regular people thought that the robber who was let out was going to rob more people.

Within two weeks, Reed cut off the ankle monitor and went on a robbery spree with some thug buddies, committing at least 9 robberies in 5 days.  Until he robbed a couple walking to their car.  The male pulled out his own gun and shot Reed in the leg, and the cops soon caught up to the robbers and arrested them. 

Everyone involved was black, so Al Sharpton kept his trap shut, and I’m sure Justice Breyer never heard about it. 

Meanwhile, while the four armed robbers in Texas were robbing people, a scumbag criminal in Queens, NY called Subhan Zaib was going on a spree of his own.  His crimes became increasingly more violent over a 12-day period, starting with extortion and threats, then property damage, then pulling a knife on a man and threatening him with it. 

Two days later he punched, choked and threatened a woman with a knife in a hotel room.  Three days after that, he forced his way into a church bathroom and tried to rape a woman, and then threatened a man who intervened.

Three days after that, he stabbed someone on the subway.  Then he took two weeks off, threatened an ex over the phone, and went to Baltimore and raped a woman at knifepoint.

The total carnage: over an 8-day period, he was arrested and released without bail 5 times, before he finally raped the woman in Baltimore, and was arrested and held.

Elitist leftist legal experts support non-cash bail, and see him as an unfortunate case who slipped through the cracks.  Regular people think he should have been tried and sentenced to a lot of time in jail after the first incident, and that someone definitely should have shot him before he stabbed and raped those two women.   

In Chicago, leftist Mayor Lori Lightfoot (surrounded by armed guards, and possessor of a face like a river carp which would scare many offenders away even if she was otherwise unprotected) is all for a new policy that forbids cops from chasing suspects who run from them in many circumstances.

Regular people got their hopes up, thinking that when suspects flee, maybe now the cops can adopt a relaxed shooting stance and fire a warning shot between their shoulder blades. 

But no, the cops are not chasing because they’re giving up; they’re letting the criminals escape.  Elitist leftist legal experts are heartened, since they believe that foot chases can be risky, and the cops are probably only chasing in the first place because they’re bigoted racial profilers.

Expect even more crime in Chicago.

In Philly, by contrast, citizens have recently been allowed to get permits to concealed carry.  The highest number of annual permits requested between 2017 and 2020 was 11,814.  As crime continued to rise, the number of permits requested skyrocketed to almost 71,000; many of the permits were requested by women. 

Elitist leftist legal experts thought that criminals would soon be using those guns against law-abiding citizens, and wanted those citizens disarmed.  Regular people thought that that iron was about to get a lot of criminal scumbags’ minds right.

“I wonder who was right?” you are not asking, because you already know.  (Unless you are Justice Breyer, Kagan, or Sotomayor.)

The number of justified homicides against criminals “jumped 67 % from 2020 to 2021,” and 2022 is on pace to produce even more dead criminals in Philly.   

Since that kind of story gives our lefty elites the sads, I have a solution.   Philly media outlets need to find out the ages of all the criminals shot by law-abiding women in Philly, convert those ages to trimesters, and start calling them “very late term, ballistics-assisted abortion care.”

Problem solved.   

I’d like to close this column on a different topic, and with a shameful admission: at various times in my life I have enjoyed the music of Green Day. 

I’ve got pretty eclectic musical tastes, and while I can recognize that classical has a lot more substance than most popular music, I’ll always have a soft spot in my heart for good blues, jazz, country and folk music, among others.

And there will always be a place in my collection for some mindless, dirty-guitar, three-chord rock songs.  Hence a passing appreciation for Green Day. 

Most musicians are, not to put too fine a point on it, morons.  They don’t typically knock themselves out in pursuit of learning or wisdom – not many of us do – but in practicing and playing and basking in the attention of a young fan base who is no smarter than they are.

Green Day didn’t write any profound songs.  But their lead singer, Billie Joe Armstrong, could write some catchy hooks.  “When I Come Around” and “Holiday” are decent songs.  “Basket Case” is good too.

The latter song in particular showed the kind of self-deprecating humor about their own shallowness that is welcome in this kind of music: these guys are modest about their brainpower, and they’ve got a lot to be modest about.

The song opens this way: “Do you have the time/To listen to me whine/ About nothing and everything all at once?/ I am one of those/Melodramatic fools/Neurotic to the bone, no doubt about it.”

Sadly, as many successful rock stars do, Billie Joe started to feel like he had something to say about politics.  (Following in the brain-dead footsteps of dimwits like Cher, Babs Streisand, the Dixie Chicks, Springsteen, etc. and etc.) The result was the album American Idiot, released in 2004, and mostly focused on how shallow Americans are, and especially conservative ones, such as the titular character of the Bushie. 

The title song was all over the radio, and it became an ear worm for me; I couldn’t get the initial catchy hook – “Don’t wanna be an American idiot” – out of my mind. 

So I made one small change to the lyrics – “Don’t wanna be an American Democrat!” – and transformed a simple-minded piece of pop fluff into a righteous declaration of political wisdom. 

Plus, it’s given me a nice little tune to whistle to myself as I’ve watched the last couple of years of Brandon’s unraveling.  So you’re welcome, anyone who has also gotten that song stuck in your head.

Anyway, I bring this up because Billie Joe is back in the news again.  He was in London when SCOTUS’ Roe v. Wade decision was announced, and Billie – 50 now, and not aging well — announcing a momentous decision to the crowd from on stage: he’s looking for a political separation from his native land.

As a point of comparison, here’s how Thomas Jefferson expressed a similar thought at the beginning of our founding document:

“When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another… a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.  We hold these truths to be self-evident…” 

I’m sure that you can all complete the next phrases by heart. 

Well, not ALL of you.  (“All men and women created … by the — you know — you know the thing.”)

Here’s Billie’s version, screamed at the top of his lungs: “F*** America!  I’m f***ing renouncing my citizenship!  There’s just too much f***ing stupid in the world to go back to that miserable f***ing excuse for a country.”       

My first thought, as I’m sure it is yours: Okay now, don’t be a wuss – do it! 

I’m sick of this.  Every time something goes wrong for the left, a bunch of coddled celebrities threaten to leave the country… and they NEVER do.  Stop teasing us!

Here’s just a partial list of big-mouths who swore they’d leave if Trump won: mf-ing Samuel L. Jackson, modestly talented exhibitionist Miley Cyrus, insufferable dunce Whoopie Goldberg, alcoholic gadfly Chelsea Handler, pudgy irritants Lena Dunham and Amy Schumer, and botoxed illiterate Cher.  

As of today, they are all, tragically, still here.

I just hope that Billie Joe Armstrong will be a man of his word, and beat it.

By the way, the chorus to “Basket Case,” immediately following the lyrics quoted above, starts like this:  “Sometimes, I give myself the creeps.”

Us too, BJ. 

Us too.

Avenatti/ Billie Joe Armstrong, 2024!

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