I was recently surprised to learn that Ben Trovato (of Whipping Boy fame) had not only found my blog and actually read some of it, but proceeded to write a satirical piece about it. Well, it was not so much a piece about the blog as it were a commentary about an article written by Lynette Oxley I published some months ago. Never the less, by some mysterious machinations Mister Trovato had located and locked-on to my relatively obscure publication, and proceeded to fire across the bow.
Considering that Ben Trovato does not usually occupy himself with meaningless issues and points-to-ponder, I find myself flattered. And experiencing a creeping sense of trepidation and dread, although that may be due to an episode of post-provisional-tax-return anxiety.
Bracing myself for what I, being a regular reader of his columns, know to expect, I proceeded to peruse the article Annie Got Her Gun, a title likely derived from the 1950s musical Annie Get Your Gun. Not being big on musicals myself (I regularly confuse my Rodgers and Hammerstein with my Andrew Lloyd Webber, “the hills are alive with the sound of mewing” or some such) I may be mistaken. In any event I find that Mister Trovato has indeed thrown down the gauntlet, or rather the golf glove, since nobody civilised wears gauntlets outside a Renaissance re-enactment (or BDSM club) any longer.
Not being a seasoned veteran of witty riposting and verbal swashbuckling, I find myself at a distinct disadvantage. It would, however, be exceedingly unsporting to not pick up the golf glove and prepare a worthy retort, so once more unto the breach, dear friends!
At the very start I encounter the only thing that I find rather offensive, and that is Mr. Trovato’s unflattering reference to Lynette’s dog, Rafiki (yes, like the thing from the Lion King). He happens to be an exceptionally loving Rottweiler, and does not remotely resemble the face-chewing persuasion that is alluded to.
Regarding the assertion that Truth and Weapon are a bad combination (in a sentence, at least), it is indeed so in the literal sense: the truth is not a particularly good weapon at all unless you intend on making your quarry cry, in which case it works well enough. I have not heard of anyone being stabbed by the truth, nor of any banks being held up by robbers armed with the truth. Although a certain Mister Snowden may be persuaded to attempt something of such description with the US Federal Reserve.
Mister Trovato mentions over 20 people a day being shot and killed in South Africa. According to our national crime statistics for 2014/2015*, approximately 49 South Africans are murdered every day. These include justifiable homicides, as performed by members of the SAPS and citizens whilst fighting off attacks by criminals, so the numbers themselves obfuscate many of the details. Depending on which statistics Mister Trovato references, it would infer that between 25 and 41 people are killed by use of sharp objects every day. Where we should fit in the other 20 who are shot, and still leave space for those killed by use of blunt objects and other nefarious methods mystifies me. Personally I blame our public education system for this frankly undesirable state of affairs. The bad math I mean, not the murder rate (although I may be on to something here).
The piece then talks about men being twice the size of women, or rather that they are not. Without intending to open the can of worms that is biological differences between the sexes (goodness knows someone will send me an angry email because I didn’t refer to women as womxn), I find it necessary to point out that a man being twice the size of a woman does not necessarily mean her height, as argued (tongue-in-cheek I presume) by Mister Trovato. Being married to a rather petite human female weighing-in at around the late-40-ish to early-50-ish kilogram mark, a man weighing between 90 to 100 kilos would indeed be twice her mass. These creatures are quite plentiful, as a brief visit to one’s nearest Virgin Active to see them screaming at the mirror like deranged, muscular parakeets can confirm.
Under such circumstances it would indeed serve a woman better to be armed and competent with a firearm in lieu of only her bare hands or a pointy stick. Although hurling a protein shake at your attacker and screaming “Beast mode engaged!” may distract him long enough for you to make a quick escape. Or to kneecap them. Hmmm.
Of course carrying a firearm is indeed a potentially uncomfortable and onerous affair. Ben (may I call you Ben?) rightly observes that one does indeed not carry your firearm with you in a safe. I have been assured by several highly qualified medical professionals (one being my wife) that human physiology is not conducive to having a SABS certified safe rawl-bolted to it. I have thus far not attempted to do so, but I am in the process of drafting an indemnity document in the event of volunteers making themselves available for experimentation in my garage. Interested parties must please ensure they have an up to date tetanus vaccination.
Thankfully the law does make provision for us gun-folk to strap our “pieces” to us by use of a belt and holster (for the old-school fogies), or any number of acceptable and new-fangled alternatives (usually abbreviated in ways that confuses even myself). This is really quite wonderful, since criminals have this beastly and discourteous habit of failing to make an appointment before they arrive to rob/rape/murder people. Such ill-mannered conduct from their part does not allow for much time to retrieve one’s firearm from your safe in order to give them the welcome they truly deserve, which is most vexing. It should be against the law, frankly!
Considering that very recently a cyclist from Durbs fought off two ghastly robbers with a pocket knife, there is clearly a benefit to be had from trained and competent armed citizens (I won’t trade my Glock in for a Victorinox just yet). Shooting people probably won’t end crime, but if criminals know that there are people out there who can and will shoot them should they target them, perhaps there will be a little less crime altogether?
Lastly, I unfortunately found myself unable to identify with Ben’s description of a wild house party, as it has been some time since I was invited to one. I most definitely have never been thrown into a pool, although I have been thrown out of a house. After accidentally insulting the hostess’s dog. But that is a story for another day entirely.
I believe Ben Trovato has been a good sport, so I want to extend an invitation to him to join me for a day at the shooting range should he feel up to it. I solemnly swear that he won’t be used for target practice, and that I will provide actual moving targets for him (made from cardboard, of course) if he so desires. Consider this my thrown golf glove.
For now, au revoir Monsieur Trovato. I will read your next article in due course.
*The recent release of the national crime statistics pertaining to the 2015/2016 period occurred just as this piece was completed, I therefore apologise for not revising with the latest data despite it being almost entirely similar regarding the proportions discussed.