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#242 :: Dummy Round

October 7, 2004

Eager in the way of the gun, we have built this nation on a foundation of weaponry and a steady diet of blood. It’s arguable that this aboriginal tribes did not have to be slaughtered, that the first wave of white Anglo immigrants could have coexisted peacefully with the Naragansett, the Mohicans, the Seminole, had they but tried. But powder and musket ball felt just, and the trigger like God’s own sword – the right tools for taming a lush land populated only by wild heathens. So we loaded, cocked and fired. We quarreled and warred amongst ourselves in the 1860s over the right to own human beings. We loaded, cocked and fired – and killed ourselves by the hundred-thousands. And we’ve spent much of the past 50 years picking gunfights with enemies real and manufactured. This is the way of it, and we continue today (a fact protested most gorgeously in this video), unabated, unabashed, too many of us unashamed. Our local army-surplus store sold me this: it has a green resin tip, air in the chromed shell casing where the powder should be, and no firing pin. A practice round, maybe for loading or cleaning, or otherwise loving your rifle. A blank. An empty promise not to harm.

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