ASSORTED DECLARATIONS BY STAFF WRITER TOM GRAHAM
Guns ‘n’ Proses
I am very certain that if any of the founding fathers were to rise from the earth and feast their eyes on what we consider to be “arms” in today’s world, they would soil their britches in horror. That being said, a coalition of conservative groups, gun sellers and shooting range owners has banded together to designate Saturday, Jan. 19 as National Gun Appreciation Day. Is there going to be a parade or rally? Nope. The organization’s website urges gun owners to head on over to their local gun range or gun show on that Saturday with a copy of their Constitution, waving their American flags and holding clever signs in support of the right to bear arms in order to send a loud and clear message to Congress and President Obama. From my cold, dead hands, right?
While the great big gun debate is boiling over, I turned to music, as I usually do, to try to understand a little bit more about our world. These are the songs that have been on my mind.
“Happiness Is a Warm Gun” — The Beatles
The song title came from the cover of a gun magazine. John Lennon “thought it was a fantastic, insane thing to say. A warm gun means you just shot something.” Years later, Lennon would be shot down by a mentally ill Mark David Chapman.
“Janie’s Got a Gun” — Aerosmith
A happy little rock number about a girl named Janie who kills her father after being sexually abused by him. It is on the same album as “Love in an Elevator”. (She had to take him down easy/and put a bullet in his brain.)
“Cleaning My Gun” — Mark Knopfler
A military veteran sits and cleans his gun, almost waiting for the time when he will have to use it again. (I’m not complaining, it’s the world we live in/Hidden below the radar/They want to spoil our fun/In the meantime / I’m cleaning my gun.)
“Go Bring Me My Shotgun” — Lightnin’ Hopkins and “Hey Joe” — Jimi Hendrix
The moral of both of these songs is if you cheat on your man, he may shoot you in his rage.
“Roland The Headless Thompson Gunner” — Warren Zevon
Roland earned the reputation as the greatest Thompson gunner. Betrayed and murdered by a fellow mercenary, Roland becomes the phantom “headless Thompson gunner” and eventually has his revenge. Afterward, he continues wandering through the night. It’s essentially the story of the Headless Horseman with a submachine gun.
“Don’t take your guns to town” — Johnny Cash
The song tells the story of a young cowboy who ignores the wise words of his mother. He dies in a gunfight in a bar and should have listened to his mom.
“I Shot the Sheriff” — Bob Marley
The song is told by the narrator who admits to having killed the sheriff in self-defense, but claims to be falsely accused of having killed the deputy sheriff.
But the one song I’ve been thinking about the most these days contains these words: Imagine all the people living life in peace/You, you may say/I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one / I hope someday you’ll join us / And the world will be as one.
Here’s what’s in my headphones this week: The Police Live! (A&M) 1995
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