Person of the Year: The Lone Gunman

“America” needs a lone gunman to fill the pages of its paperbacks and by extension someone to write about him. Because when it comes to history, “Americans” love a good biography. Someone who’s not afraid to address the tough and pressing questions that haunt the deviance of sidewalk cigarette dealers that encounter cops so thirsty for justice that they’ll leave you breathless.

These are cultural images and social constructions you see on an airplane, on your way to work, on the bus or just occupying space in the basket right above the toilet. The efforts of one person, of an idea, of a concept, bound by the hands of a forger have become the sole sources of pseudo-intellectual substance when addressing questions of “American” historicism.

It’s an extraction so grand and estranged from objectivity that it would make Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas look like a pre-teen’s wet, American dream. We’ve seen how middle-aged community action heroes have empowered themselves with the right to kill. Armed solely with the cannibalized concepts of democracy and freedom, they’ve managed to pump information out of skittle-pedaling African American “hoodlums” walking back to their houses at the wee hours of the evening.

What would America be without them?

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Authors and Time Magazine aside, these people who risk the lives they’ve never had to cleanse America’s ethnic pores are the true heroes! Taking justice into their own blood-drenched hands! They are without a doubt, the vigilantes of “America.” They are, the Lone Gunmen.

Lone gunmen have taken many imaginary forms throughout the course of history

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They’ve taken the towers, grassy Knowles, federal buildings, schools, universities and churches (among many other structures and spaces) of the oldest standing constitutional democracy in the world only to prove their ill-conceived existence.

This figure has played itself into the American Psyche by venturing off to defeat the evils that live amongst us, hence:

“You rape our women and you’re taking over our country. And you have to go”, said our Charleston lone gunman, Dylann Roof, before shooting at the people congregated in the South Carolina historical church.

What about the collective beast that imagined this rifle-wielding yokel?

Can we ever hold any of them accountable?

Ultimately we can’t cancel everyone’s Miss Universe contracts…

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With the weight of the world on his shoulders, similar to the Atlas Shrugged romanticized cultural and industrialist imagery that symbolizes the price of modernity, the lone gunman is now damned by the constitution and laws that uphold its lucid relevance.

Consequently, its inherent defenses and impositions have stripped him of his overstated, democratic rights, to in turn, leave him to dangle at the cross in the Golgotha of his own mind.

Having established this crucifixion of our victimized hero as an intricate part of our sociological makeup, we must ask ourselves:

Is a man ever himself? Can a man atone for our sins if he was crucified by the state that we exemplify and defend? Where can people draw the line and allocate a bit of fault and guilt on people who so desperately need it in the USA?

Without indulging in the individualist ideologies and viewpoints spawned from some interpretations of Judeo-Christian/Capitalist imagery, the “American” lone gunman is essentially everything that an individualist can relate to.

He’s generally a white, Christian male willing to take “matters” into his own hands given that his “country has been hijacked” by terrorists, Mexicans, Mexican rapists, drug lords, welfare queens, the liberal media outlets, ISIS and Communism alike.

But all seriousness aside, what’s truly fascinating about this individualistic view of history forged around Fox and Friends, is that it idealizes the lone gunman’s efforts as if they were a form of poetic empowerment.

This doesn’t make these emblematic tokens of traditional “American” history good people necessarily, or much less even interesting. But it does give people an idea of what American- individualism is all about.

Ironically, The United States of America is not and has never been a nation of individuals.

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It is a nation of people hood, of groups, of factions, of political parties, of baseball teams, of cliques, of music genres, of classes and none the less, of ethnic groups and “race”. As long as the individual has existed scratching away at the surface of his own strange, liberal conceptions of “choice” and “freedom”, he has never endeavored a single effort without the inherent support and influence of the people around him.

The American psyche now worships this individual in all sorts of forms, whether it is to pick and exalt Time’s emblematic cover piece Person of the Year or to argue that those who were killed in Charleston were at the hands of an individual.

Consequently, this individual is stripped of his collective identity, much like that of a scapegoat being ousted from an ancient Mediterranean village, absorbing what’s left of collective atonement to face a life in exile.

If there ever was an individual however, I’m sure we could lock him up. Or we could at least take him down to the station for some questioning.

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We could even speculate about his “true intentions” until his lawyer arrives to protect him from the unfair haggling of “his client.” Maybe the prosecutor could get some key witnesses to testify that the smartphone recording the NYPD choke hold was in fact colorblind, Hispanic, or had black friends.

Or we can bite the bullet, and plead guilty for everyone who has ever wielded a gun against humanity in his own name, because it seems like “America” has been enticed to plead the fifth.


Escrito por: Jenaro Abraham-Childs

Colaborador de Ciudad Puente