61. Back to America (and Donald Trump)
I am leaving Wales tomorrow where gun control is strong and I am returning to a nation defined by guns. Americans are so enamored with guns that some felt the need to flaunt them after the 2012 shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Twenty school children between the ages of six and seven years old were murdered, as well as several teachers and staff. In 2013, a group of mothers advocating gun control met at the Blue Mesa Grill in Arlington, Texas. Learning about this meeting, a group of forty armed men carrying shotguns and assault rifles decided to make an appearance to show their support for gun rights. This was not an isolated incident, but has reoccurred in other States far from Texas. Regretfully, there is no quick and easy way to distinguish between law-abiding gun enthusiast who only want to intimidate people and the insane who are on the verge of mass murder. Plenty of good people in the USA own guns, I daresay the majority, and not all of them will threaten to kill you if you advocate gun control. Wayne LaPierre, the scary spokesman for the National Rifle Association, asserts, “The only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is with a good guy with a gun.” But how do you discern whether a gun-toting guy is good or bad? You have to wait to see where they shoot. They might only be displaying their guns to upset mothers.
Tomorrow, I will be in the land of my birth. I am flying back, yet I don’t want to go. I have a fear of flying. I have evolving views of the USA that cause me to prefer Wales, where I can see the wisdom of gun control. The realization that almost half the population of the USA listens to Trump’s unfinished sentences of implicit racism and violence and can finish those sentences for him, things left unsaid but are understood, is discomforting. But then it is impossible to ignore his explicit remarks that his apologists brush off as insincere hyperbole. I am required to return to my homeland to formally apply for the right to remain in Wales. My solicitor thinks the process might only take two or three weeks. I am anticipating a month. In the thirty-three years we’ve been together, Ms Keogh, a native born British citizen, and I have never been separated for more than two weeks. We are not allowing that to happen now. She is accompanying me. Meanwhile, I have registered to submit an absentee ballot for the USA elections, to be sure my vote is counted.
Selected Suburban Soliloquies, the best of Mr Bentzman's earlier series of Snakeskin essays, is available as a book or as an ebook, from Amazon and elsewhere.