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{DESIGN BY JORDAN ROSSEN}

A visit from Reagan BY PAUL CURRY

pcurry@wsspaper.com

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n Jan. 16 President Barack Obama signed 23 executive orders aimed at stopping gun violence in the United States. Instantly, there was a large backlash to this proposed “fun-control” and Rand Paul (Ron Paul and Ayn Rand combined into the ultimate conservative lawmaker), proposed legislation shooting down the executive orders and protecting the right of Americans to defend themselves from 30 intruders a second. If you actually look at the

executive orders, none of them in any way “ban guns.” In fact, they just enforce rules that already exist (kind of the executive branch’s job). Originally, I was humored by the backlash, specifically the “Gun Appreciation Day,” which drew crowds of thousands and injured five. How dare the President nominate a director for the Bureau of Alcohol Firearms and Tobacco! No research is the best research! But today I had an epiphany. I was sitting on my couch playing video games after getting my wisdom teeth pulled out. I was wondering why so many people were adamant about guns, especially for hunting. “What’s the fun in shooting innocent creatures?” I said as I got a triple headshot kill in Call of Duty. But as I tossed my head pretentiously, a man caught my eye

in the mirror by the TV. I gasped. Ronald Reagan stared back at me through the looking glass. Before I could croak out a “Ronald!?” He reached through the glass and put a finger on my lips. “Paul, don’t fret, I’m not here to hurt you.” I had severely underestimated the sheer magnetism of Reagan. A shiver trickled down my spine and my bladder became deregulated. He explained to me through his soothing cowboy voice and frequent references to “a bear in the woods” that my trivialization of gun culture was the prime reason there was such a harsh reaction to Obama’s executive orders. “If gun-control advocates weren’t so patronizing about guns,” Reagan explained, “then perhaps there would not be such resistance

to very common-sense legislation”. Before I could say another word he vanished in a cloud of red, white, blue and magenta. So, me and other gun-control advocates sincerely apologize for our ignorance—we don’t want to do away with the second amendment, we want to stop gun violence. That’s why I’m founding the 501c3 NRA ANational Reasonable Arguments Association. Preconceived notions should be thrown out the window on both sides of the table. Rand Paul and Me-Paul need to stop being so paranoid of each other’s positions. Only then can we protect ourselves from an enemy that can’t be shot in the face: political division. Oh, and the doctor gives you pretty strong drugs when you get your wisdom teeth out.

In elementary school, I was a bookish thing that liked singing and coloring and playing freeze tag. The only thing I worried about was getting my shoes on the right feet, and even that could be shrugged off because unoccupied swings didn’t wait for untied laces. Unoccupied swings didn’t wait for anyone. Do you remember? Stress used to be a few seconds of regret at impatience because coloring in the lines was boring. Anger was throwing a kickball at a kid’s face for stepping on my glasses. Terror was the nanosecond before face-planting when realization struck: trying to run in ice skates was probably not the best idea. Hope was interpreting grass stains as small miracles, and seeing puppies in cloud formations.

Maybe I’m still that kid, beneath the pizza crusts and clementine peels and coffee grounds. Maybe we’re all still those kids, playing kickball, tying the arms of our windbreakers around our waists so we can scream-dash down yellow lines painted on fairly-fresh blacktop or poking at the exposed bodies of worms in order to make cute girls shriek. Maybe we’re all still fascinated with the dogwood trees at the end of the playground, wondering how their blossoms can be so beautiful and so malodorous. Maybe we never came back from the book fair and are still hoping our parents will get us spy kits, or that we’ll win raffles for bikes that we’ll outgrow in a few summers. Maybe life should never get more difficult than this choice: chocolate or strawberry milk. And maybe it never does.

Disenchantment BY ZORA HURST

zhurst@wsspaper.com

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ately, I’ve been feeling sort of strange—like if I were to lie in the heart of a parking lot where cracks from once-frozen asphalt split like chapped skin, my brain would seep into the earth beneath. Formerly forest, this paved area is presently the abandoned storefront of a pathetic strip mall. This imbalance has come from plenty of things, all of them mundane. Lunches microwaved not-quite long enough become metaphors for half-assed projects 34 OPINION FEBRUARY 2013

and broken promises to hang out. It’s hard to enjoy made-fromscratch soup when it’s tainted by your own apathy when it comes to French grammar homework. I am too busy trying to draw meaning out of every moment of my life to even live it. These hypersensitive strings of time are when my anxiety reaches its zenith and my cup runneth over with discontent because: I haven’t learned to manage my time properly, I don’t drink enough water and I still don’t floss. Remembering a time before this one is an almost-impossible feat. Haven’t my dreams always centered around financial aid and oligopoly graphs? I used to be fun, posterity! I used to be cool. No, I didn’t have those all-white K-Swiss sneakers, but I had serenity. I had confidence.

Feb. 1, 2013 issue  

West High's newsmagazine

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