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“Terrorist” Is Too Kind



I think Burneko is on to something here:

The American political lexicon has an appropriate word for the armed men conspicuously loitering in part of Oregon’s Malheur National Wildlife Refuge instead of going home. It is not terrorist or militia or occupation or revolution or movement or front or army or resistance. The word is jamoke. “Get a load of these sad jamokes!” is the thing you say about them.

Maybe when they are done annexing this remote administrative office’s supply of free park maps and permit application forms, they will liberate rural Oregon’s port-a-johns next. Some of the port-a-johns are heavily fortified with locking doors and hand sanitizer pumps. Surely this will call for siege weaponry.

Imagine the grade of sad, stunted halfwit who decks himself out in paramilitary regalia and lethal weaponry to stage a sit-in at what is for all intents and purposes a remote wildlife park’s visitor’s center. Okay, men, when I kick in the door, you three move on the 74-year-old v0lunteer who shows the birdwatching slideshow to elementary-school field trip groups; if she makes a move, be ready to take her down with force. The rest of us will establish a defensive position behind the cardboard beaver. If bigger goobers than these exist on our planet, you identify them by the bruises from where they poked themselves in the eye while trying to pick their noses.


A tragicomic thing happens, though, when a handful of slow-witted white dorks in their best Sunday camo decide to take their guns and their entitled, useless, cosmically unserious day-to-day dull-eyed skulking to a minor government shack and pretend it’s some sort of insurrection against tyranny. Liberal internet users’ latent frustration at the disproportionality and unfairness of the way American law enforcement and media treat different kinds of people tips over into a mild derangement that has us likening these shit-for-brains dinguses to friggin’ ISIS. This is understandable! We’re just about a week from an Ohio grand jury deciding that summary execution is a fair consequence for 12-year-old kids who play with toys outdoors; by that standard, the entire state of Oregon should be a radioactive desert right now. This seems a fair thing to point out.


Here is the thing. These men are not frightening. They are jamokes. They are exactly jamokes. Their guns, on the other hand, are very frightening—for precisely and entirely the same reason and to absolutely the same degree that those same guns would be frightening in the hands of toddlers. Not because the people holding those guns are serious, but because the people holding those guns are not serious.

This, my good buddies, is the entire American pro-gun argument made (embarrassing, oh my God so fucking embarrassing) flesh. A big scary gun lends a degree of real power even to the variety of sad, corny-ass loser who invades and occupies what is essentially a fancy birdhouse in the name of ending tyranny. That is the whole reason to have a big scary gun. Not as a safeguard against home invaders or the totalitarian state, but as a safeguard against a clear-eyed reckoning with plain reality. A gun is—or at least these jamokes hope it is—a Get Out Of Getting Laughed At Free card. When you call these horse’s asses “terrorists,” you are not only dignifying their ridiculous, impotent actions, you are doing them the biggest favor for which they can hope.

And one perennial aspect of this kind of jamokery is, of course, “government benefits for me but not for thee.” The fact that Roscoe Filburn has become a posthumous libertarian hero is entirely appropriate, even if the people lionizing him aren’t in on the joke.

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