Saturday, June 7, 2014

It's a Grand Old Flag

So I'm heading to work today. I get off the train, and I'm on the escalator from the platform up into Penn Station. On the step in front of me, there is a policeman. At his side is what must be his standard issue gun. I'm not a gun guy, so I couldn't say what kind of model it was, but I've seen this gun carried by all the NYPD cops. The bottom of the handle of the gun has a flat oval-ish surface. With the cop's back to me, I can see the bottom of the gun's handle, and this particular cop has affixed an American flag sticker to the flat bottom surface of his gun.

This police officer was not one of those automatic machine gun toting special forces guys in fatigues that we often see in Penn Station these past fourteen years or so. He was just a regular cop, with an American flag sticker on the bottom of the handle of his gun. It felt very odd to see it, the sticker on the gun, that is. It felt oppressive and it felt wrong.

This cop isn't in the deserts of Afghanistan, fighting for the myth of truth, justice, and the American way. He is just a city cop, and when I think of who that gun might be used against, it angers me to think that a gun so decorated, would be employed against American citizens.

I realize that this cop is likely just an NRA member, toeing the line of that group's message of insanity. Invoking the Second Amendment to justify the endless waves of gun violence in this country, the NRA wraps itself in the flag as it pursues its agenda of guns for all with no common sense regulation to keep guns out of the hands of the mentally unbalanced.

Law and order at the barrel of a gun has no place in a society that claims to cherish freedom and the pursuit of happiness. An American flag sticker on a gun use by law enforcement has an Orwellian creepiness to it. The thought of it lingers with me even now. 

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