after yet another horrific national tragedy that could have been prevented by common sense gun regulations — but will simply be rushed into the past, forgotten until the next one — all i can do is apologize for ever using the phrase: fight for the little guy.
by having used this phrase, i’ve diminished myself & whole groups of people who have endured more than the so-called “big guy” ever could. in fact, if those in “big guy” power — the white majority — the male, white majority — had to endure what women have endured, what people of color have endured, what the lgbt community has endured, what muslims have endured … people, they would crumble like stale bread, like dirt clods, like donald trump’s ego when speaking intelligently next to hillary clinton was so impossible he reverted to name-calling. he sniffled his way through questions that were so far beyond him that instead of trying to appear presidential or dignified, he pandered to his hoard by crying isis or late-term abortion or lock her up or they’ll take away all your guns — dog whistles for his de(base).
we know, us little guys of yore, we little guys no more, that the pejorative they would, in our Made For Giants shoes, trip all over themselves. they’d curl into fetal positions, throw tantrums, cry inconsolably, & reach for a kind hand … & find one: ours. damn it! if the tables were turned, they would never have been made to feel like they were on their own, that anyone’s god hated them, that they were responsible for their own pre-existing conditions, that they were worth less pay, deserved less financial stability, or were less capable of leadership — that their lives were worth less than a high score from the nr-fucking-a. but the tables aren’t turned. so, daily, we must fight against them, against their superiority complexes & corrupt bankrollers; against their one-way mirrors that reflect only themselves back at them. they see only today instead of tomorrow. & today, they want nothing more than to keep every bit of gerrymandered power, every dollar they never earned, every bible verse they ever memorized three minutes before they were queued to spout it out, every weapon of mass destruction. they do all they can to own every key to every lock, & one day the hinges on these long-shut doors will be undone by a single breath. even steel can’t handle the persistent oxygen of a billion voices saying no more, no more, no more. sooner or later it will turn to rust & crumble.
henceforth, we’ll get the language right, we will fight for the big guy, & name the little guy, finally, for what they represent & how they act. soon they will be so small, so tiny, so minuscule that they will be unable to harm any american citizen again through back-alley handshakes & hampton-house bribes. & in so naming them, we will baptize in a new era where the big guys are those who have paid a blood price on the streets of our country, & they will not turn a blind eye or a deaf ear to any citizen in need of a pre-emptive tourniquet. we will honor our citizens with care — not caskets.
henceforth, the white male establishment is the little guy, with their little insights, with their little interpretations of we hold these truths to be self–evident: that all men are created equal. they believe that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights; & that not among these (for the other) are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. they have perambulated the parts of this declaration that they don’t like for too long, & they have found way after way (new deal, anyone?) to make the bill of rights the bill of (male) whites. & they have acted on this again & again, & we the big guys are now here to bend down & look at them with our magnifying glasses, & tell them that we can no longer hear them.
because these small-man views, these tiny-handed men, these little paper tigers, have placed us, yet again, on the brink of a nuclear war, if not certainly a civil war; they have welcomed back bullhorn racism, hearkening the cries of white supremacy’s most revered ghosts. these little guys are so afraid of wayne lapierre, that they would rather see american blood flow in the streets & call it peace time, than stand up & say enough is enough. if a god exists, she would certainly let us know that the bell tolls for u.s.
so from now on, i fight for the big guy the people who have had to work twice as hard, fight five times as much for even an inch of power: who have always risen up & above the so-called powerful even while they were lynched or beaten; institutionalized or incarcerated; medicated or lobotomized. they are strong & powerful, & they have had to fight to the death for doing nothing more than trying to peacefully go about being themselves. they have been bigger, while the little guy attacks them with laws & weapons, with fear & lies, with bibles & klans. it’s time to stop giving the little guy such a big voice.
we have had front-row seats to the little guy show forever. we know everything about them. so it’s time we started using that knowledge to change the world. to tell them that they no longer represent us: that their way is too small, too myopic, too selfish, too cowardly.
the little guy is a gaggle of republicans who would rather take away health care than any kind of gun.
the little guy sits on a throne made out of stacks of the dsm v with the impulse control disorder page ripped out of every one while tweeting out verbal attacks on women, people of color, muslims, & anyone who wounds his little guy ego, & he does this under the title of POTUS which should also stand for: pride of the united states. it does not.
the little guy is a president who tells black people that they have less of a right to the 1st amendment than white supremacists do.
the little guy says the 2nd amendment has no room for interpretation & whines about any kind of gun control while wanting to sue or jail anyone who uses their 1st amendment right to express an opinion held in variance to their own. they cry defamation, libel or slander! missing entirely that these legal actions are indeed re-interpretations of the 1st amendment in the form of word control.
the little guy always wants to make the rules up as they go.
the little guy calls black athletes unpatriotic & son of a bitch for holding peaceful protests that implore their fellow americans to look at what is happening to black bodies in this country — to acknowledge the unacceptability of our nation’s implicit bias which continues to allow the murder of unarmed black americans by police officers at a rate as high as our worst days of jim crow lynchings.
the little guy finds a way to blame tamir & jordan & alton & eric & etc & etc & etc, for their own deaths, & even though philando carried the same gun permit that his white counterparts do, they still blame him because the little guy doesn’t actually want black people to have guns.
the little guy says all lives matter because that’s just how to spot a closet racist 101.
the little guy white washes the amount of preventable gun-related deaths in the most developed country in the world by changing the narrative in the Brought To You By the Smith & Wesson Text Book of Very, Very, Very Modern American History, & manages to convince (who?) that more guns will somehow stop the increase of gun-related deaths directly correlated to the easy access of said increased amount of guns.
the little guy is george zimmeramn who auctioned the gun he used to kill seventeen-year-old trayvon martin who went out to buy skittles.
the little guy is the alleged buyer: a woman who offered $250,000 for what she said was a birthday gift for her son.
the little guy uses phrases like black on black crime to turn the argument from gun control into something else entirely: still how to spot a closet racist 101.
the little guy is an abortion foe who would rather pass laws that cost women’s lives than allow a woman to make her own decision about her body while limiting that same woman’s access to affordable birth control — they’d rather force a woman to carry a non-viable mass of cells than do anything to stop the senseless & preventable gun-related death of a living, breathing, daughter or son.
the little guy says conception is god’s will & birth control should be natural while allowing men access to any medical intervention needed to continue his ability to get a boner because god’s will only applies to those they want to control. so, a dick & a gun walked into a bar & the bartender said, shots all around?
the little guy is anyone who thinks that religious liberty means denying “others” access to what they have, which is the right to live a life without interference by father figures nobody wants or needs — under the guise, of course, that they are saving our souls: an utterly ridiculous assumption that we’d ever believe they’d share the wealth of their made up heaven with those they have so willingly forced to go without here on earth.
the little guy is a politician who follows the nra’s lead, when it seems like maybe america has finally had enough, by pretending that banning bump stocks is actually some kind of gun control.
the little guy will fight like hell to protect weapons manufacturers from law suits even though a bartender who serves an intoxicated person a drink can be charged if that patron later gets into a vehicle & kills someone. but gods forbid we require any accountability from the gun lobby.
the little guy is piece of lint in the pocket of the nra’s dungarees.
the little guy is senator john thune of south dakota who, rather than support any kind of gun regulation, says, “i think people are going to have to take steps in their own lives to take precautions … to protect themselves,” & that “in situations like that, you know, try to stay safe. as somebody said — get small.” like him. the little guy. shame on the little guy.
the little guy won’t pass a federal law requiring universal background checks for gun buyers, or work to close the charleston loophole because of the fact that they are nra pocket lint.
the little guy is any politician who would vote yes on allowing america’s hunters to buy silencers to protect their poor little ears (c’mon!), while all they do in the face of national tragedy after national tragedy after national tragedy is stage meaningless &, frankly, nauseating moments of silence.
the little guy says, guns don’t kill people, people with guns kill people, even though they would be the first to sue any product that turned against them. i mean, don’t they know aftershave doesn’t give people rashes, people who use aftershave give people rashes. i mean that’s straight-up logic, right?
the little guy is anyone who says that now is not the time to discuss gun control, when we all know that we are way too late in talking about it.
the little guy is any politician who would rather we live in a war zone, would rather innocent people die, than take a stand.
the little guy will always find a way to blame someone else for the blood on their hands.
because, inexplicably, for the little guy: newtown wasn’t the bell tolling, resoundingly, enough.
*i use guy in this essay as a non-gender specific term, an all-encompassing title for all walks of life. i will often use they/their pronouns as singular: which the oxford english dictionary says is a-ok! if i intend the male or female connotation, i’ll make it clear.
if you’d like to hear more of what i have to say about gun violence in america. i wrote this, an open letter to straight, white, american men, after orlando. if you’d like to read it, just click.