I thought to myself, "I've seen better clothing choices," as I stood behind a guy with a T-shirt that featured a dynamic picture of a gun and the words "America's original homeland security."
I wouldn't have chosen to wear that shirt the day after 13 people were killed at the Washington Navy Yard by a gunman, but perhaps that's just an example of the unknown area that divides people like me from gun nuts.
I say gun nuts and I don't just mean gun owners. There are people who own a gun. Those are gun owners. Gun nuts are the fixated fetishists, who gingerly cradle assault weapons like they were lovers and bark about the Second Amendment as if it were the law that overruled all other laws.
You know who I'm talking about. Guys who wear shirts with the words "America's original homeland security" on it, shamelessly so following horrible shootings.
And I know complaining about it is just more yadda yadda yadda to those people. The shooter had a history of mental illness, had run-ins with the law and yet still had three firearms that he was able to get into a Navy yard. I can't even get into the World Trade Center Memorial construction site with a bottle of water, but this guy can -- apparently legally -- bring instruments of death into a military facility?
Not that that was the only horrible shooting to happen in our country recently, just the most attention-getting, and it unfortunately blocks out another gun-related incident that speaks to an equally ugly part of our society that too many cling to -- racism.
A North Carolina African-American man was in a car accident and went to a house to get help. Actually, correction -- Jonathan A. Ferrell, a human being, a former Florida A&M University football player, was in a car accident and went to a house to get help. A woman in the house was convinced that he wa trying to hurt her somehow -- he is black, after all, and this is North Carolina -- and she calls the cops.
Ironically, this is basically what he wanted when he knocked on the door, just not for the same reasons. Cops show up, he approaches them, and one particularly loathsome monster of a cop shoots Ferrell 10 times. Twelve shots were fired in all. The other cops there, thought of as the reasonable ones, only attempted to taser Ferrell -- equally disgusting, but at least not deadly, and further proof of the statement that "Guns don't kill people -- people with guns kill people, though, and way too often."
So that's 14 innocent victims who lost their lives in two separate incidents. But, wait, there are more victims of the Second Amendment this week, people dying because "America's original homeland security" will not be stifled.
There's the guy in Michigan at the shooting range, who was shot to death, apparently by accident
This fellow in Indiana shot his girlfriend's 3-year-old son to death while playing a game that saw him pointing a gun that he thought was not loaded at the kid. It turns out he wasn't entirely correct about that.
An innocent middle school student in Texas is dead after some jerks pulled up in a car and started shooting while yelling Mexican slurs
There are plenty of others. I don't have to spell it out for you. Just go search for "shooting death" on Google and prepare yourself for some grim reading as you scroll through it all. It's the list that never ends.
A lot of us in America are tired of this. But there is a plus to insensitive people wearing awful T-shirts, and it's that we know who you are. We know who to avoid.
John Seven is the Transcript's arts and entertainment editor. He blogs at blogs.thetranscript.com/arts.