Against my better judgment, because all this gun talk is a diversion to keep us from thinking about who did Dallas and Orlando, I want to respond to this bit about how it’s easier for teenagers to buy a Glock than it is for them to buy a book.
Here’s the catch: I’m not really going to respond to Mr. Obama’s statement per se. I’m going to respond to the standard boilerplate mode of conservative response to him and his bon mot.
The problem with it is that, since lamestream conservatives are mostly white people who live in suburbs, exurbs and rural areas, and almost always abide by all Federal and state laws in the process of their acquisition of firearms, their response is couched in their conceptual framework of “teenagers” meaning their (“white”) teenage (“sons”) and the census of dead tree and ink bookstores and book retailers where they live, and the rate at which their teenagers and their people in general own standalone e-readers or have e-reader apps on their smartphones and of the particularities of Federal and the several states’ firearms laws. In the universe of the lamestream conservative, the teenager can buy a book with just a few taps of a screen, while his attempt to purchase a handgun will be rejected at the local shooting supply store for his underage status. QED: “See? It’s actually easier for my teenage son to buy a book than it is for him to buy a Glock.”
This will be one of the very very few and rare instances in which I defend Mr. Obama in this space, and even at that, it will only be superficially and out of a sense of fairness.
When Mr. Obama said “teenager,” his mental image was that of N’Deshawntavious on the corner of Halsted and A-Hundred-and-Something on ChiCongo’s south side, and when he said “buy a Glock,” he’s not exactly thinking of a brick and mortar retailer where an FLFD fills out paperwork for NCIC runs. Also, N’Deshawntavious don’t read no mofo books. He ain’t no oreo, no sellout, no coon, no Uncle Ruckus, no Uncle Tom. You’ll never catch him acting white! Therefore, you’re not going to find many B&N stores along Halsted, and ooks’ phones are highly unlikely to have Kindle apps. So, of course, in Mr. Obama’s conceptual framework, keeping in mind that his community activist career started on such corners, it is actually a lot easier for a teenager to buy a Glock than it is for him to buy a book. Mainly because the teenagers of his conceptual framework buy a hell of a lot more Glocks than books.