A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
The illusion of the people who think they are a well regulated militia will be maintained by a vast supplier-consumer-industrial complex that provides guns of massive caliber and large magazine size on sale on Veterans Day.
Once there was a female runner who carries a gun. On a few early morning runs, there has been a particular car, a particular man, who slows down, says something, propositions her crudely.
She shouts, “No!” at the man, the car.
Then he drives slowly away.
One morning, when she hears the car coming up from behind, slowing down, she stops.
The car stops. The man gets out, and says, “Hey, baby. Is this my lucky day?”
She says, “No.” She pulls out her gun, and it says “Blam! Blam! Blam!” And she says, “No means no.”
She collects the casings, turns the hazard lights on the car, finishes her run, and goes home. She throws the casings in the trash, puts her clothes in the laundry, takes a shower, and then drives her kids to school. She goes to work.
At work, her friend says, “Detective Smith, we got another homicide. Victim looks like a jerk.”
She says, “Oh no. Another one?”
The next morning, she goes on her run, carrying her gun, just in case. But no one bothers her.
A Run in the Country
When Nelson was running, he never bore Arms. That would just slow him down. He usually ran in the city, but when he went deer hunting, once a year on his dad’s property in Parsons, Kansas, he ran in the country. He tried to run sometime between the morning and evening hunt.
One time, he went for his mid-morning run, and there were two people with rifles shooting into the creek. Their backs were toward him. He thought, “It could be a father-son or a husband-wife. Most likely they were just out for some target practice. But accidents happen, people can be startled. And scared people with guns are dangerous.”
It made him think, “What should I do?” Should he turn around? But the asphalt road was past them. That’s where he wanted to go.
Instead of turning around, he slowed down a bit, scuffed his shoes on the dirt road, and shouted out “Hello!” in a friendly manner.
They turned to face him, rifles pointed at the ground. Everyone waved and smiled.
On the other hand, if Nelson had come across two people bearing Arms in downtown LA, Kansas City, or New York, he would not have hesitated. He would have turned around and run the other way.
In the here-now, I watch Ky practicing TKD: one kid held a yellow, rubber gun at his back; Ky put his hands in the air, spun around, knocked the gun away with one arm, and brought his open palm up and into the kid’s chin, then finished him with a knee to the stomach. All so easy.
That will never work.
Nelson is not a godless communist, but he is a communist. Communism, according to google, is a political theory derived from Karl Marx, advocating… a society in which all property is publicly owned and each person works and is paid according to their abilities and needs.
I know. It begs the question…
How far does $15 per hour go toward
satisfying anyone’s needs?
Nelson did not advocate class war; that’s why he struck it from the definition with an ellipsis. But he was afraid we were headed there. He would love it if everyone had enough to eat, decent housing, and competent healthcare. The latter would cost a bundle, especially how the United States was running it.
On top of those basic needs, he believed everyone needs a decent education, which would cost another bundle, since some people are especially difficult to teach. And there should be no artificial barriers to obtaining full-employment and getting a fair wage. It sounded like something out of a fairy-tale, like something out of Isaiah.
For some people, full-employment might look like playing fantasy football and baseball and discussing it with their friends. As long as those people watched the commercials, bought stuff, and stayed out of trouble, that was ok with Nelson. Heck, he worked with some of those people.
As best he could remember it from Western Civ at the University of Kansas, Nelson thought the Communist Manifesto went something like this:
From each according to their ability, to each according to their needs.
Workers of the world unite!
You have nothing to lose but your chains!
He thought the Old Testament went like this:
Do justice. Love Mercy. Walk humbly with God.
He thought the New Testament went like this:
Jesus said, “Go. Sell all that you have. Give to the poor. Then, come and follow me.”
And it was interesting to him that Trump asked Black and Hispanic Americans what they had to lose.
Trump said, “The Democrats have failed completely in the inner cities. For those hurting the most who have been failed and failed by their politician — year after year, failure after failure, worse numbers after worse numbers. Poverty. Rejection. Horrible education. No housing, no homes, no ownership. Crime at levels that nobody has seen. You can go to war zones in countries that we are fighting and it’s safer than living in some of our inner cities that are run by the Democrats. [Nelson thought, “Except Aleppo.”] And I ask you this, I ask you this — crime, all of the problems — to the African Americans, who I employ so many, so many people, to the Hispanics, tremendous people: What the hell do you have to lose? Give me a chance. I’ll straighten it out. I’ll straighten it out. What do you have to lose?”
What does Trump think? We’re stupid?
He’s appealing to his base.
I forgot to take him seriously,
We have only our chains. We have only your chains to lose.
And the clothes off our backs.
And the gains in voting rights and fair housing laws.
When you have nothing, you have nothing left to lose.
And although Trump left out food and health care, and he added crime; Trump’s vision of utopia is pretty much Nelson’s, too. Eliminate poverty, improve education, provide housing, reduce crime.
Trump was just making some observations;
he wasn’t making any promises.
He wasn’t defining any policies.
He’s a smart guy.
He’s wily, distracting, fascinating, news-worthy.
Trump just says, “I’ll straighten it out.” He’s like that voice from Isaiah 40:3, In the rubble of the inner city, prepare the way for YHWH. Make straight in the dessert a highway for our God.
On the other wing, the left wing, Nelson agreed with Bernie Sanders who said, the city “needs jobs, jobs, and jobs. Period. Full stop.” People need things to do. And Lord-knows there is plenty to do. There’s just no one to organize it, and not enough money to pay for it.
The problems that we face; poverty, hunger, homelessness, and disease; they are all problems of distribution. Mahatma Gandhi whistled, “There is enough for everyone’s need, but there is not enough for everyone’s greed,” and Nelson’s ears pricked up.
And Nelson was a tree-hugger. He thought people can live and work together without needing to strip-mine the Rockies and pollute the Mississippi. He thought people could get by on the energy from the sun, without having to make huge withdrawals from millions of years of fossilized energy in oil and coal. He thought everyone, the entire world, could live like one big family; as if Familia es todo in Breaking Bad, the Father must provide sun and rain. The people must keep (be responsible for) the land.
Then there is Peter in Acts 4:32:37, organizing the early church. It was a hard time to be a Christian, with Caiaphas still trying to stamp out the early church. The J. B. Phillips version of Acts 4:32-37 put the economics of the believers this way:
Among the large number who had become believers there was complete agreement of heart and soul. Not one of them claimed any of his possessions as his own but everything was common property.
The apostles continued to give their witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus with great force, and a wonderful spirit of generosity pervaded the whole fellowship. Indeed, there was not a single person in need among them. For those who owned land or property would sell them and bring the proceeds of the sales and place them at the apostles’ feet. They would distribute to each one according to his need.
It was at this time that Barnabas (the name, meaning son of comfort, given by the apostles to Joseph, a Levite from Cyprus) sold his farm and put the proceeds at the apostles’ disposal.
Nelson wondered if Barnabas was that rich young ruler from Luke 18:18-30.
All so easy. That will work until you run out of rich donors.
When Nelson taught this scripture in Sunday School, the lesson plan put it like this: “Sharing is caring.” But Nelson saw right through it. And his son, Ky, asked him, on the side, “Were the early disciples communists?” and, on the side, Nelson said, “Yes.” Sharing is not enough. Selling everything you have and giving to the poor (your family, the believers) is caring.
Of course, where are you going to find a community that agrees completely, heart and soul, as one mind? Heck, Nelson was an apostate in his own family, at his lunch table when gathered with friends, in his church pew. That large number of believers is only going to be where there is a coercive, exploitative over-lord. And those days were coming.
The Indigo Girls ask, “Who’s gonna do the planting? Who’s gonna pray for rain? Who’s gonna keep the farmland from the subdivision-man? Nuthin. Nuthin. Nuthin. Nuthin.”
And Nelson asked, “Who’s going to do the planning?” And the echo chamber answered himself, “Here I am.”
And the scriptures ask, “Who will establish justice? Who will keep the covenant?” And they answer, God alone.
Crazy Train to Boston
In the days to come, because of his communist leanings, internet searches, and idle remarks, Nelson was on the watch list. The Research Department of Trump’s Division of Internet People made a mash-up video of him running in a balaclava (which is a ski-mask, a close-fitting garment covering the whole head and neck except for parts of the face, typically made of wool, which he could not keep straight from a baklava, a dessert originating in the Middle East made of phyllo pastry filled with chopped nuts and soaked in honey) along with a video of a Bernie Sanders rally, and voila! Instant communist, terrorist, or wacko. You decide.
The video closed with “Who is this guy?” When his parents saw it, they thought, “Oh my! That is our son!” And they called the authorities right away.
The video also brought Nelson to the attention of Ozzy Osborne. Ozzy was running the Crazy Train, which was moving people from place to place, no questions asked. Mostly people were traveling to the United Sanctuary Cities, one of which was Boston, where Bernie Sanders was mayor and the tiny details of establishing communism as a viable economic and political system were being worked out.
Getting into Boston would not be easy. There was only a small hole in the wall around the city, known as the eye of the needle, through which you could only crawl with nothing but the cloths on your back, almost like being born or reborn. Nothing (except people) comes in and nothing goes out.
You had to really want to get in. And Nelson’s family was not sure they are ready to go.
All aboard!!! Ha! Ha! Ha!
Crazy, but that’s how it goes.
Millions (Billions) of people living as foes (fools).
Maybe, it’s not too late
To learn how to love and forget how to hate.
One evening, while returning to their car after watching Rogue One, Nelson and his family are attacked by robbers. They are wearing bullet-proof burkas; so when the robbers get close, Ky, their youngest son, a TKD black belt, knocked the knives and guns out of their hands and sent them packing.
Still the police arrested them for disturbing the peace, for defending themselves (without any weapons but their bare hands) while wearing burkas.
The police said, “Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Whatever. Tell that to the Detective.”
But Baird, the parkour specialist, ran away, hid, and looked for Ozzy. Ozzy helped him get some friends together. Someone knew a person who had a copy of the keys to the prison. From there it was just a matter of smuggling the family out in laundry carts, like they do in novels.
When they were safely in the truck, leaving the gates of the prison behind, Ozzy himself pulled the sheets out of the laundry bin, reached out to Melanie and said, “Do not fear. I will take hold of your hand and help you.”
They took the Crazy Train to Boston. They settle there, and Melanie helped to design the roads and bridges. She also inspected and maintained the great wheel in the city center, which uses human power to generate electricity.
Nelson ran in the wheel. And on the weekends, he picked up trash and helped do maintenance on the sidewalks. He leveled them, edged them, and replaced sections that were broken. He made the high places low and raised up the low places. He made a straight path for runners of all abilities and walks of life.
The runners who turned the wheel were known as the clockwork angels. The wheel in the city center turns the giant gears that power the city. The main city generator, the mill, the buses all get their power from the city center wheel.
The kids go to school and have successful careers, and everyone lives happily ever after.
We’re going off the rails on a Crazy Train.