Getting Shot in Texas
I was surprised, just now, to learn that Texas is not the worst state in America when it comes to gun killings, at least we weren’t in past statistics. This weekend’s massacre in Allen and the Uvalde bloodfest will surely boost the state in the next polling. I suppose that all Texans are wondering today, just as I am, will I die by gun violence in the near future?
After all, I am known somewhat as a union spokesperson. Every week on FM radio, I espouse progressive causes. When crazy reactionaries call in, I can nearly always lead them in discussion until they reveal how ridiculous they are. On the air, I often joke about MAGA extremists and denounce American foreign policy. Does that make me a target for the crazies?
Even now, I’m extra cautious when I drive up to the KNON studio parking lot on Saturdays. I look to see if there are any white men sitting in cars or pickup trucks. Usually, it’s only African Americans waiting for their appointments at the barber shop in the building. They’re OK. Hardly any Black people have carried out massacres.
For a while, I considered packing heat. It’s legal in Texas even without a license nor any training. I was raised in the country, so I’m not the worst shot in the world and could probably hold my own, I hope, in a gunfight. So I considered putting a pistol in my car. I thought better of it, partly because I might not fare so well in a gunfight against several assailants, and partly because I don’t think I could ever feel good about it, even if I won.
So I made a plan. If I see any white men waiting in the parking lot, I put my phone on “Facebook Live” before I get out of the car. A few gunmen, I suppose, might think that they can kill me and get away with it; consequently, they might be deterred once they see that I’m broadcasting on Facebook. If they see that they won’t get away with it, my reasoning goes, maybe they won’t do it. Maybe they will settle for a few threats and insults, but let me live another day. And if they murder me, at least I’ll be their last victim because Facebook will provide witnesses and pressure on the police to arrest the perpetrators.
It was the best plan I could come up with. I’m a little scared to live in Texas today. I imagine that everybody is.
I’m on knon.org’s “Workers Beat” program every Saturday at 9AM Central Time. They post my weekly blogs “Workers Beat Extra” to soundcloud.com. If you are curious about what I really think, you might look at my personal web site