I could ask him what her name was. I know he knows it, my dad, because It was his first really big case. Memory is so strange as you get older. You can never tell a young person that. Some things seem a thousand years ago: a happy memory, vacations, the first time you make love, the first time you kiss a girl. I remember that one.
Her name was Judy Carrico. She lived four houses down from our house. I wanted her to be my girlfriend. I remember walking to school with her and carrying her books. She had two red barrettes in her honey-colored hair, and she was the cutest girl in the world. It was sometime just after Mom’s birthday in June, 1975.
Old man Smitty was the street grouch, who was always drinking Falls City beer and screaming at us kids to get off his lawn. That day all the kids were playing hide-and-seek, and Judy and I were hiding under the two big hedges in Smitty’s front yard. I had five pieces of Bazooka Joe bubble gum and while we sat behind the bush, I gave her one; and then it happened. She kissed me. The moon and stars parted for a few moments and Angels might as well have been singing the Ode to Joy.
I remember it was murderously hot that summer. I know we had an apple tree in the back yard with a huge bees nest in it and that I went to great lengths to avoid it.
I remember wanting to see Judy the next day, and I remember running out back to see what Dad and Harley were doing. Harley was a bald-headed tattooed biker who was scary to look at, but he played kick ball with me so I liked him.
I saw Dad and Harley cleaning a strange green car. It was the day I heard a word I had never heard before–murder.
Dad is a lawyer and if you know the breed, they are quite, shall we say…”clinical” about certain things. Dad is brilliant; he has a genius IQ and a memory like the movie, Rain Man. I hear myself making excuses. Dad had a client who had murdered someone. I didn’t know what “murder” meant. He said, “Well, son, he was going across the Second Street bridge and took a 12 gauge shotgun and blew her head off.” Dad was never one to pussyfoot around.
I could smell Dad’s cologne before I saw what he and Harley were doing. I thought they were just washing the car but what they were doing was washing out the car. I used to have nightmares about it. The smell of liquefying flesh in the June sun is something you never forget. It was a new car, worth a lot of money, and it was my dad’s payment for representing the murderer. The damn thing should have been burned.
“Give us a hand, boy.”
I remember watching Pulp Fiction the first time and seeing the scene where Vincent Vega shoots Marvin in the back of the car. The long-gone nightmares of my youth had come back. The car we had cleaned out was exactly like that one–only worse because it was real.
Blood and horror have never been an abstract idea for me. I learned it scraping some woman’s brains out of the back of a car. I am acutely and intimately familiar with it. To this day, the smell of English Leather makes me nauseous. I hate it.
Yesterday, I watched while the two attorneys for the mass murderers in California as they began to suggest that Sandy Hook was a false flag operation and I thought to myself, ‘I bet they wouldn’t say that shit if they had to look at the bodies with congealed blood forming stalactites and stalagmites made out of blood and brain matter.’ That kind of paranoia plays well, at least to their audience.
Cowardice, like stupidity, has seeped into the national swamp where cold-blooded lying malefactors with slime coursing through their veins feast on the blood of the innocents. Children have been slaughtered as these cowardly whores–I refuse to call them men because they aren’t–sent thoughts and prayers and took blood money from the National Rifle Association.
None of those sorry sons of bitches had the balls to go to Newtown and meet the families of the murdered children. The NRA spent $38 million last election and they got everything they wanted and then some. Every single Republican in Congress and four Democrats, including Bishop Harry Reid, took the money and sent prayers. They never have to bury any of their own.
When their colleague Gabby Gifford was shot in the head, they sent thoughts and prayers. When Charleston happened, more thoughts and prayers. When Colorado Springs happened, more thoughts and prayers. Roseburg, thoughts and prayers. Chattanooga, thoughts and prayers. Isla Vista, thoughts and prayers. Washington DC, thoughts and prayers. Do we send thoughts and prayers when a house is on fire? Do we send thoughts and prayers when someone is having a heart attack?
For astute legal observers, there was a Supreme Court case in 2007 called District of Columbia vs. Heller. Conservatives always cite ‘judicial activism’ when they lose a case they think they should win. However, Heller was decided 5-4 with Scalia writing the majority decision. The Court voted to extend the right to bear arms, clearly limited by the Constitution to a standing militia, to any citizen. Those “judicially inactive” conservatives abrogated two hundred years of Constitutional Law, written by previous Justices. I imagine Wayne LaPierre strangling hookers in a DC hotel from the glee of buying his minions on a Supreme Court that does his bidding.
It is rare for any judge to critique a Supreme Court decision because they are often hoping to be appointed to the Court themselves, but not Richard Posner, the prominent Reagan-appointed federal appellate judge:
To grasp the audacity of what Scalia & Co. pulled off, turn to the Second Amendment’s text: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” To find in that wording an individual right to possess a firearm untethered to any militia purpose, the majority performed an epic feat of jurisprudential magic: It made the pesky initial clause about the necessity of a “well regulated Militia” disappear. Poof! Gone. Scalia treated the clause as merely “prefatory” and having no real operative effect — a view at odds with history, the fundamental rules of constitutional interpretation and the settled legal consensus for many decades.”
Supreme Court justices are historically reserved and restrained but what Steven Breyer wrote in the dissenting opinion amounted to judicial fisticuffs:
At a moment in modern America when more than 30,000 lives are lost to gun violence each year and mass shootings are a common occurrence, the majority opinion relied heavily on a guesstimate (and a rotten one at that) of what the Second Amendment meant more than 200 years ago, with no common-sense balancing test taking into account the real-world consequences for today.”
We’re the only nation in the world that suffers this amount of “Megadeath,” unrelated to nuclear holocaust. More people have been killed with guns than have died in every war of the 20th century. I hear too many straw-man arguments like, “Cars kill more people than guns; are we going to outlaw cars?” This year, cars have, just barely, killed more people than guns. But, Explorers are not specifically designed to kill the neighbor’s boy walking through my yard at midnight, and even souped up T’Birds don’t kill 30,000 people a year; guns do. How did we get this far?
As I read that Heller decision, I remembered what Malcom X said nearly 60 years ago, “When a house is built upon a weak foundation composed of lies, it will eventually crumble and fall.” When Supreme Court Justices are lying to do the bidding of the NRA, we don’t have long as a nation before the purging flames of revolution begin to baptize traitors like Wayne LaPierre and the rows of conservative whores on the Supreme Court and in congress.
The only difference between the US and everyone else is the sheer amount of cheap unregulated guns and ammunition. The NRA has appealed to the paranoia and patriotism of their constituents to convince them that bearing arms is what keeps our government from tyranny and our citizens safe, and they beat that drum incessantly.
What would happen if we made gun owners buy insurance that would pay for people like Michael Raymond Wetzel, who was one of 18 people murdered with an AR-15 this week? He had six children who will be growing up without their father. The Justices will no doubt be sending thoughts and prayers. Are thoughts and prayers going to pay for college?
Intransigence has a cost and a deadly one at that. The problem of course is that the entire NRA narrative is but an abstract idea that appeals to fear and it works great. Black Friday was the single largest gun application day on record. Wayne has done well for his gun manufacturer sponsors who profit so egregiously whenever these mass murders happen and panic-stricken people flock to gun stores to buy more weapons.
Fear is the mind killer; it’s an addictive poison that the NRA and Fox News supply in doses just strong enough to get people to forget what this country is all about. In case these flag-waving, gun-totting patriots aren’t aware of it, Fox News, one of the purveyors of all that fear and rage, is owned by an Australian and a Saudi Prince. Fox’s daily menu is a narcotic that permits people to shrug and look away when twenty toddlers are mowed down with an Army gun and to consider Sandy Hook just a false flag operation.
The one incontrovertible truth about those Alex Jones types is that they’ve never seen the autopsy photos. They’re not going to clean up any blood, but they will send those cold-blooded, unethical NRA reprobates back to congress with thoughts and prayers to the families of the victims so long as their right to murder twenty people with $4 worth of ammunition is not impeded in any way.
If history has taught us anything through the ages, it’s this: Introduce a little fear and a country will tear itself apart, which is something Joe McCarthy knew all too well.Ted Cruz and Donald Trump know it too. They only have to feed our fears and we will overreact, predictably and with deadly precision. We will find our scapegoats and load our weapons, and one of those men will ride those fears all the way to the White House if we sit idly by and do nothing.
Late at night, I think about the jubilation I felt when Judy kissed me and how rudely the cruelty of life visited me as boy when I was cleaning up the remnants of a body from a woman I never knew. She had such a profound impact on my life because I could never enjoy seeing it through a prism where blood and brains didn’t matter. Her death was a cruel awakening to the depravity of man and I learned right then and there that no problem is ever solved with a gun. That’s what she taught me and I shed a few tears for her humanity because I’ll never know who she was.