mr. grant’s rant: where’s my machine gun?

What sort of mess exactly were the schools in when I attended? We never got to even hold a gun on field trips let alone discharge one. What’s more insulting, I attended a private Catholic school, where surely no shortage of wealthy, God fearing, gun-wielding parishioners funded that fiendish little cabal….”



Mr. Grant is feeling a little pissed off right now because of a bunch of grade school kids.

Let me preface this by pointing out that Oregon is a loony place sometimes. On one hand the state is known it’s for it’s progressive thinking, care for an enduring environmental legacy and a governor who wears jeans and a cowboy buckle-belt to the office.  On the other Oregon has been home to the likes of amateur Olympic figure skater turned home porn goddess Tanya Harding and her goonish crime syndicate, the lavender clad Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh and his night-of-the-living-dead disciples, and the entire squads of 1997- 2000 Portland Trailblazers. While always proud to identify as a Native Oregonian, I’ll be the first to admit that this state has more than its share of crackpots, misanthropes and evildoers.

In light of the recent circumstances and the National climate of hysteria folks around here have grabbed the bull by proverbial horns, and in their own fashion, marched forward to prove their pedigrees as actual down to earth 100% real goddamned Americans.

Heard on the news the other evening of a Southern Oregon teacher whose restless grade school students got the afternoon off to go on a school sanctioned field trip to the local shooting range. There, in broad daylight and in front of television cameras the youngsters were allowed the unique, but cathartic experience of patriotically squeezing bursts of machine gun fire into pictures of the big Kahuna of evildoers, Osama Bin Laden himself.  Damn! This just chaps my ass. When I was in school we felt lucky if we got a field trip to the local nuclear power facility.  And these bloodthirsty twerps are unloading carbine cartridges into giant images of evil, turban-wrapped Satans, while we were playing with plastic tootsie roll replicas of nuclear fission rods.  Hello! I’m feeling cheated here.

What sort of mess exactly were the schools in in the 1970’s? We never got to even hold a gun on field trips let alone discharge one. What’s more insulting, I attended a private Catholic institution, where surely no shortage of wealthy, God fearing, gun-wielding parishioners funded that fiendish little cabal. But there were no field trips to rifle ranges, armories or even a decent gun show for our little uninformed student body. What gives? We all referred to out 7th grade teacher as “Sarge.”  I’ll wager she could have found her way around a artillery cannon. And can just imagine her, Sister Margaret of Malice, boxing my ears for forgetting to properly load an M-16 ammo clip. “Look sharp Grant! (Sound of side of head being boxed).  Are you, some kind of sissy? Lock and load, the commies aren’t going to wait while you fiddle with your ordinance.”

Kids today have all the fun. I’m thinking next week will bring welcome news of the LaGrande Cub Scouts up in the Blue Mountains launching mustard-gas canisters into lava caves, and smoking the “rats” (or in this case probably frightened elk or horny coeds from Eastern Oregon State College) out of their holes. Flame throwers for the Brownsville Brownies!  Bazookas in the hands of each and every member of the Markham Middle School Chess Club!  Grenades for the Willamina Webalos! A veritable adolescent militia, armed to the teeth that between tackling long division problems and book reports are ready to kick some Osama butt.

An ingenue from Medford had another idea, as reported in the Oregonian on October 29. She organized a “Shopping For America” tour-bus to load up with all her chums and head on up to the Nordstrom’s in Portland. The store, touched by the show of true American spirit, and no doubt the thought of a tour bus of souls hell bent on maxing out their credit cards, decided to open an hour or two early. Imagine if you will: walking the pristine aisles of Nordstroms by yourself. Shopping blissfully, wantonly, with the blessing of none other than the President of the U. S. of A himself!

Okay, I’ll admit it. This “shopping patriot” business has left me confused.  While the idea of our schoolchildren engaging in paramilitary training with dangerous firearms on recess I can wholeheartedly endorse. The concept of emptying one’s bank account or maxing out one’s credit in an unstable economical environment under an administration that is more in tune with giving corporations obscene amounts of money in tax breaks and bailouts, than helping out the aching working stiffs who’ve been tossed aside in the ensuing economic dumpster fire — this I do not understand. I want to kick some evildoer ass, not land myself in bankruptcy if the economy continues to drop down the crapper.

Now, now, don’t go getting your undies all up in a bundle. If you need an excuse to run out and buy a bunch of unnecessary consumer goods just so as you can feel like an American and all, that’s fine by me, but don’t wrap the Stars and Stripes in your credit card statements. It ain’t about all that. After watching their retirement funds plummet and their friends get first the shaft ,and then pink slip, a whole slew of good-old fashioned 100% goddamned Americans have decided it’s time to rationally assess the situation, get their financial ducks in a row, and focus on some of the more important things in life. No amount of “Spend Proudly America” full page ad’s in the local newspapers will change that.

In a different climate that would be considered prudent financial planning. Right now my only financial plan, prudent or otherwise, involves shredding the credit cards and burying cold hard cash in the back yard. But I’m gonna proudly spend a small chunk of it. I got my eye on a new Italian sub-machine gun for junior. He’s been feelin’ a little blue these days.  Nothing a few hundred rounds shouldn’t fix right up though.

Till next month, keep the belt tight.


Originally published:
Issue Fifteen
November 2001



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