When it comes to the Second Amendment, the right to keep and bear arms must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of babies.
If you believe that, I'd as soon you said it as filling me with gabble about caliber and automatic versus semi-automatic and guns not killing people.
Blood deserves honesty.
Not that anyone's massacred a bunch of babies; just a bunch of 6- to 10-year-olds, although I'm sure the day is coming when some tortured nut-job will break into a hospital preemie ward and pump a couple dozen rounds into the incubators. That's the way it's trending.
So that's your cost, that's your blood that waters the tree that bears the noble, quotable fruit of the Second Amendment.
And for that price, you get your gun collection. For that price, you get your fantasies of defending your home against drug-crazed invaders. For those shiny, unspent coins of baby lives, you get the right to a bumper sticker reading, "Gun Control Means Using Both Hands." Get the T-shirt, too. Gun control is a big issue, and it deserves a bumper sticker AND a T-shirt.
What more is there in America? What could possibly be so important that it deserves anything more than the sincere, yet roguishly funny bumper sticker/T-shirt combo?
I have no medical facts to support this assertion, but I imagine the blood of children is thinner than the blood of adults, lighter and more freely flowing. At 55, I picture my blood as being sluggish coffee, overloaded with cream and sugar, sliding through my corroded veins like dirty water in a narrow, roadside ditch.
The blood of children, I think, must leap and quicken like champagne running into and then bubbling over the top of a joyously clean glass, as life's celebration begins.
Don't think of the most recent shooting as blood coming out of small, dear bodies. Think of it as the children's blood going out to nourish the right of all Americans to keep and bear not just arms, but a huge profusion of military weapons designed to kill batches of children, whole bouquets of babies, bodies like crushed, tender flowers.
Sometimes I run over a flower with my lawnmower, some small purple or yellow bloom that blew into my yard as a seed and took root, opening into a brave nickel-sized blossom in the spring.
I don't mean to kill the flower. I mean only to mow my little patch of America, my green bit of sea-to-shining-sea, that piece of my property rights that I have every right to defend with anything from a revolver to a machine gun.
When that 20-year-old from your neighborhood steps on an improvised explosive device in some dirty Afghan canyon, you know well what to say. So does the preacher at his funeral and the editorial page of your newspaper.
"He died defending our freedom," is what every voice says, a ringing but well-worn endorsement of purposeless death that can be denied only by the insufficiently patriotic or the overly religious.
So don't think, when you think of a grade school massacre, of a white knee bent unnaturally in death's scatter. Don't think of once quick blood drying in fine, blond hair.
Think of a school full of brave little soldiers, Americans who died to preserve your rights.
Too bad nobody told the children.
They'd have been proud.
In a small way.
To find out more about Marc Munroe Dion and read more features by Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit www.creators.com.