Being cool is different to different people. To the very wealthy it’s how they can dispose of their excess wealth by being the first to buy a piece of modern art that cost more than many people’s job income each year, as Morley Safer showed us in a segment on last Sunday”s “60 Minutes”. For other’s, being cool is all about peeing in your pants. Here in Texas, never wanting to be outdone by anyone else, we have a combination of the wealthy arrogance and Billy Madison immaturity to convey what’s cool.
Nationwide, more than 22,000 [gun] noise suppressors were sold this year — 9 percent more than last year — and the most were sold in Texas for at least the third year in a row…
“People just want them,” Glen Furtardo said, … manager at the Winchester Gallery gun store in east Fort Worth. “It’s like tattoos. … They have come out of the closet. Now everyone gets them.”
DeWayne Irwin, who owns the Cheaper Than Dirt gun store in north Fort Worth, said he has steadily seen sales of silencers rise, along with ammunition and guns, over the past two years. “Ninety percent of the people who buy them just think they are so cool,” Irwin said. “This is Texas.” SOURCE
For many of us who were born and raised in the Lone Star State we have slowly watched too many people in it devolve into a dysfunctional, undereducated caveman-like society. Texas has a progressive legacy with such people as Sam Houston, John Nance Garner, Sam Rayburn, Miriam A. “Ma” Ferguson, Molly Ivins and Ann Richards.
The state can lay claim to some of the music greats like Buddy Holly, Willy Nelson and Stevie Ray Vaughn. Military heroes ranged from John Coker in Texas’ fight for independence to Audie Murphy’s Medal of honor action in WWII and carried through with today’s highly decorated William Harry McRaven, who currently serves as ninth Commander, U.S. Special Operations Command and who’s credited with organizing and executing the special ops raid that led to the death of Osama bin Laden.
There was a certain pride Texans had that was the envy of many in the other 49 states. We still project to many around the world an enduring mystique of the American cowboy that symbolizes the rugged west of an earlier time. But over the last few decades Texas is becoming the butt of many jokes and is being represented by some of the most notable mental midgets of our time. The disease that has festered was perhaps sparked by the infamous Texan who killed President Kennedy back in 1963, Lee Harvey Oswald. Since then the state has gradually edged toward the ideological red of the political spectrum that now divides us as a people.
The rest of the world now sees buffoonery coming out of Texas either in the personal images of George W. Bush, his “turd blossom”, Karl Rove, or the current self-serving, coiffed governor, Rick Perry. It’s the state that wants to secede from the union, built an expensive, ineffective wall along the Rio Grande to keep their cheap labor force out, engaged in revisionist history in school text books affecting the rest of the nation’s school systems and along with several other red states, implemented a law requiring an intrusive vaginal sonogram for any woman contemplating an abortion.
We have the highest number of people without health insurance coverage and rank near the bottom in the important educational categories of science and math. And even with the third-most millionaires of any state, with 381,165, Texas is still only #25 in Median Household Income, reflecting the low wage base for most working families.
So it wasn’t surprising, after watching Bill Maher’s “New Rules” segment last Friday to discover that Texas, along with several other states now allows you to buy silencers for both handguns and hunting rifles. Evidently the law has been around for a few years and as a Texan who owns no gun(s) I was unaware of this law. Maher’s revelation in his “New Rules” segment sent me googling for information on this subject which brought me to Anna Tinsley’s story in the Ft. Worth Star telegram published back in December 2010
Its’ a good story. It doesn’t bash gun owners and even slips a comment in from a Dallas volunteer for the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence to question why a citizen who arms themselves for security reason needs a silencer. Recent events in Sanford, Florida might provide a clue for this. Texas too has a “stand your ground” law that allows you to shoot people who you suspect pose a threat to you anywhere away from your home. A noisy handgun or rifle going off might disturb the neighbors watching the current episode of “Survivor”.
We may be dumbing down in Texas but we are considerate about disturbing our neighbors as suggested by Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson “if you’re getting rid of squirrels in your back yard”. Patterson, a former state senator who shepherded conceal-carry legislation in 1995, hunts wild hogs by attracting a herd of them to a feeder and picks them off as they’re eating. The silencer serves “a practical use if you want to shoot one without scaring others off”, he says.
What I found especially amusing in Tinsley’s story were those gun owners who might use silencers on them as they fire off rounds with other like minded people.
Some people take their silencers to shooting ranges. Others might take them to “machine gun shoots,” where gun lovers gather to fire at targets.
An un-cool person might purchase ear protection headsets where many are reasonably priced for around $50. But only the cool Texan would spend between $199 to $6,000 for a gun silencer.
Those of us who have to suffer these troglodytes can only shake our heads and wonder how much further this state will recede into the shallow-minded abyss that thinks being cool entails using a weapon solely intended to kill and then shows concern that it’s use will exceed normal decibel levels.