As Cindy Sheehan and about 60 anti-war protestors held a religious service in front of George Bush's Crawford, TX ranch, the president's neighbor fired his shotgun into the air. When Larry Mattlage was asked for his motives he said he was preparing for Dove hunting. When he was asked if he had an ulterior motive he said "Figure it out for yourself."
Touting grammar shredding English that has made the president wildly popular, Mattlage explained, "I ain't threatening nobody, and I ain't pointing a gun at nobody. This is Texas."
There goes a real man. A man not afraid to discharge his shot gun when provoked. A man unafraid to give ambiguous answers when pressed. The left has Cindy "Peace Symbol" Sheehan. But the right has Larry "12 Gauge" Mattlage.
I haven't been keeping score, but the last time I checked the police have not been dispatched because of any disruptions from the Sheehan camp. Unless you include exploding home-made flower bombs.
In all seriousness, I hope those at Camp Casey will remain cool and not retaliate with stupid aggression. Right now they are peacefully camped outside the president's ranch but a more subtle scene is unfolding. The grieving of a mother who has lost her son in a questionable war vs the hot headed, shoot first and think later Bush fans. By remaining solemn and cool those in the Sheehan camp are provoking the ire of those who simply have no tolerance for questioning authority. Which camp would you rather be in?
Sheehan should probably curb remarks like, "I'm surprised we haven't had more of that since were in Bush country." That only serves to stereotype all Bush supporters as senseless and violent. I think it's far better to let Larry Mattlage make that case instead. If those in Camp Casey remain passive, those who hate them will did their own graves.
In fact it is already happening. Yesterday, a Marine returned from Iraq--the 2005 Marine of the Year--fired his shotgun into a crowd of people in Boston. No one was killed. I am somewhat sympathetic to this man because apparantly someone threw a bottle through his window. In Iraq that means you get gunned down. He was responding the only way he knew how. And I suppose that is what you get in a country where you glorify war, and send your young men and women to be schooled in the streets of battle. That is what you get when you feed flowers with fire. Then you ask them to come back and deal with life more passively? We have thousands of such people returning, changed, every day. Maybe this is another folly Sheehan is speaking out against.
Bush has said he will not meet with Sheehan to discuss the war in Iraq. But he will meet with Lance Armstrong, a professional athlete, to ride bikes. Lance should decline and say, "With all due respect, I think there is someone outside who needs your time much more than I do." Bush claims that the families of those in the military are heroes--especially those who have had to give the ultimate sacrifice, a loved one. He says they should be honored. My humble opinion is that is hollow rhetoric when you'd rather meet with a biking champion than a member of the very group you claim to support, honor and revere.