I went to a conference in Dallas last week, and as I was driving to my hotel, I passed a billboard for the convention center, which was breathlessly promoting the upcoming GUN AND KNIFE SHOW.
This couldn’t have made me prouder, of course, since I’m all for killing things for no better reason than the thrill of it, or for the feeling of complete and utter control over the life of another living being.
That’s just good fun.
But as a longtime aficionado of the standard GUN SHOW, where one can purchase enough firepower and ammo to blow up a BET convention or the parking lot of a Home Depot – often without the inconvenience of either a license or a waiting period – I had to nonetheless congratulate the sensitive, self-aware individual whose idea was it to add knives to the mix.
I mean, it only makes sense. We live in a crazy world where technology is splintering our connections with others. We text rather than talk, email instead of visit, and “check in” at glamorous locales for no other reason than to make others jealous.
These are not real connections. Clearly, people are longing for a true sense of community and oneness. What better way to re-establish a sense of actual, physical connection than by killing things in an up close and personal way? And what accomplishes this better than a blunt knife?
Sure, some might argue that Texas is a state where the mascot is a bullet wound. And that the only reason they’ve added knives to the gun show is because once you own a rifle, a shotgun, a semi-automatic pistol and an AK-47, you go looking for a new high.
But I believe that this is about the all-too-human need to connect with someone or something else; to see the terror in the eyes of the person or animal you’re offing. Shooting something from a secure location a hundred yards away does not give one the sense of attachment and kinship that plunging a hunting knife into its jugular does.
And in support of this mission to bring souls closer, I encourage the creators of the GUN AND KNIFE SHOW to go one step further, and add even simpler items to their line-up of murder weapons – things we all have lying around the house. Things that will make it a snap to just up and kill and thus, commune.
I would suggest ice tongs.
Or a garden rake.
Or maybe some pinking shears.
Items like these would not only invoke that simpler, more connected time, they would insure the necessity of real hand-to-hand combat, mere inches apart, often for impossibly long and uncomfortable and messy periods of time.
Which would provide you, the compassionate and deeply connected human being, the opportunity to come away from this event a changed person; made just a little bit better by having to kill that deer, or that guy who cut you off, or that neighbor who plays the drums at 2 a.m. by ripping open their intestines, painstakingly and personally, with a plaque scraper.
It is, quite simply, a killing that says, “I care.”