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Massad Ayoob on Guns

Want to Comment on a blog post? Look for and click on the blue No Comments or # Comments at the end of each post.



Massad Ayoob

NIGHT OF THE LIVING MEMES

Saturday, October 29th, 2011

Halloween is almost upon us, and Zombies are everywhere. Predominating in “haunted house” funfests. On TV in “The Walking Dead.” You may just see more little zombies than traditional witches, princesses, ghosts, and goblins on Trick or Treat night.  And of course, the video games, books, and movies.

Ruger has just come out with a Zombie Killer model of their little .380 pistol, the LCP, sold complete with a Zombie Survival Manual. Hornady has recently brought out a Zombie Killer line of ammunition as a novelty.  (One blog reader wonders what the implications will be in court if that stuff is used in actual self-defense.  My answer is, if you shot an Obama campaign worker with it, the use of specific zombie ammo might be construed as an element of premeditation.)

But, seriously, there hasn’t been a zombie outbreak since the last Presidential election. That kind of zombie needs to be defeated with ballots instead of bullets.

Some commentators think those who go to zombie shoots, buy zombie targets, or play first person shooter games where the targets are the undead, mean the participants are repressed mass murderers taking out their homicidal impulses on targets already dead to minimize their sins and expiate their guilt.  Some others see the zombie meme as a commentary on a society which has surrendered itself to a herd mentality in which they seek to greedily gobble all they can, and in which brains are destroyed.  (Ever notice how many zombie films take place in shopping malls, amusement parks, etc.?)  Others have ominously suggested that it gives practice for the day when society collapses into apocalypse, and hordes of people one considers less valuable than oneself must be executed for him to keep his trove of wealth and food and cetera.

And some of us think that whole deal has been a bit over-thought.

But, hey, what do I know? Only that shooting them in the head is bunk, strictly for movie zombies.

For real zombies, the ones we have to deal with every day, you’d have to shoot off their Bluetooths or put a bullet through their iPhones to render them helpless.

Maybe some folks are simply having harmless fun with the whole thing, like my friend Miguel Gonzalez in Miami, who is holding a three-gun Monster shoot for Halloween. There, you’ll have more to worry about than the Living Dead.  I’ve been to enough shooting matches to experience the Night of the Living Sandbaggers.

Enough from me: what’s YOUR take on the whole zombie meme?

The poster for Miggy Gonzalez’ Halloween Monster Mash Match.

27 Responses to “NIGHT OF THE LIVING MEMES”

  1. akvusn eh Says:

    Zombies are fun. But I worry far more about the political class roaming free through society. The best ammunition there is knowledge, awareness and as you wrote, voting.

  2. Billy Bob Says:

    What’s my take? That’s easy! Gunnies like to talk about stopping power, shot placement, effective loads, etc., but we know that if the antis hear us going on and on about how best to shoot a home invader, or a foreign invader, or worst of all, “domestic enemies” of the Constitution, we would sound bloodthirsty at best, and sociopathically deranged at worst.

    So we came up with a euphemism that lets us discuss every aspect of defensive shooting, without sounding like a lunatic or appearing to threaten anyone in particular. Who can we talk about shooting, all day long, without sounding like a sociopath? ZOMBIES!

    Think about it. The zombies aren’t going to protest. There are no zombies rights groups out there to lobby for legislation. Neither Fox nor MSNBC can interpret zombie-killing as domestic terrorism. Nobody can accuse us of harassment, or terroristic threats, or assault, without first admitting to being a zombie themselves–at which point all good people everywhere will get out the pitchforks and yell for the zombie response team.

  3. Pete Sheppard Says:

    A shoot using members of the Tea Party, NRA and “right-wingers” in general as the targets *might* gain the Left’s approval. <_<

    I was going to add "white/male", but to the "progressives", any minorities that participate are traitors and should be liquidated as well. Sorry, Mas–you have to go, too.

  4. Fruitbat44 Says:

    As to the popularity of zombies, well I think that Billy Bob may well have a point; zombies are probably the last socially acceptable bad guys.

    I also think that the plethora of zombie movies and TV series is an example of “follow the leader.” There were two successful zombie movies “28 Days Later” and the remake of “Dawn of the Dead” and everyone else came to the conclusion that movies about zombies are what people want to watch.

    Okay “28 Days Later” is technically not a zombie movie, but it counts as one for practical intents and purposes.

    As an aside the CDC has released a comic about a zombie pandemic to instruct people in the importance of preparedness: http://www.cdc.gov/phpr/documents/11_225700_A_Zombie_Final.pdf and, apparently, zombie outbreaks are used for disaster planning exercises to get people thinking outside of their normal everyday thought patterns. Well that’s what they say; maybe they know something we don’t . . . 😉

    On the subject of zombie shoots – from the comfort of my armchair – I doubt if there is any practical real world application, well I certainly hope not! However a shooting discipline which emphasises accurate shot placement on multiple targets under time pressure, well I don’t think that’s a bad thing.

  5. Joel Says:

    The whole zombie thing is a euphemism for every disaster that can come upon us. Preparing “for zombies” makes some people roll their eyes at us, but it’s just a catchall term.

    Of course, we also have the real zombie fantasy of defending ourselves and loved ones/friends/team/world from ACTUAL zombies, but I highly doubt the time for that will ever actually come.

    But if it does, I’m ready 😉

  6. Fruitbat44 Says:

    As to the popularity of zombies, well I think that Billy Bob may well have a point; zombies are probably the last socially acceptable bad guys.

    I also think that the plethora of zombie movies and TV series is an example of “follow the leader.” There were two successful zombie movies “28 Days Later” and the remake of “Dawn of the Dead” and everyone else came to the conclusion that movies about zombies are what people want to watch.

    Okay “28 Days Later” is technically not a zombie movie, but it counts as one for practical intents and purposes.

    As an aside the CDC has released a comic about a zombie pandemic to instruct people in the importance of preparedness: http://www.cdc.gov/phpr/documents/11_225700_A_Zombie_Final.pdf and, apparently, zombie outbreaks are used for disaster planning exercises to get people thinking outside of their normal everyday thought patterns. Well that’s what they say; maybe they know something we don’t . . . 😉

    On the subject of zombie shoots – from the comfort of my armchair – I doubt if there is any practical real world application, well I certainly hope not! However a shooting discipline which emphasises accurate shot placement of multiple targets against the clock, well I don’t think that’s a bad thing.

  7. Tim from CO Says:

    I’m overwhelmingly “meh” on zombies. It seems like everything is zombies now.

    I’ll admit, I got to grow up with First Person Shooters. I was there for the first FPS games, but the more I practice practical/defensive shooting, the less I enjoy FPS games. Although I have met some cool CCW holders playing FPS games.

    More than anything, it’s the little things that get to me in FPS games. A handgun or subgun having more “stopping power” than a rifle. “Special Forces” guys using the cup and saucer hold. Or my personal favorite, a GI 1911 that had a DAO trigger.

    To all the liberals who insist FPS games teach kids how to kill, The Karate Kid probably teaches kids more martial arts than video games teach shooting.

    PS- Mas, the bluetooth/iPhone joke had my other half and me cracking up in class! Obama zombies are great too.

    Mindless hordes that can’t be reasoned with…and their greatest weapon is sheer numbers…

    Might be contagious too, exercise caution!

  8. gary Says:

    I’ve always felt that film makers were trying to say that, yes a crisis could occur where your neighbor could become the monster. it’s you or him.
    on a related note, there are alot of zombie prep forums out there, and the theme seems to be if your ready for the zombie apocalypse your ready for anything. a flood, a hurricane or a little snow isn’t going to effect you as much as the sheep down the street who didn’t prepare and is in front of a news camera pleading for FEMA to come in and save his ass.

  9. Long Island Mike Says:

    Mas, I read your post right after reading the following article about self defense rulings in Canada. Our Northern neighbor has got to get its act together. The zombies there are the government thugs besetting the common folk.

    http://news.nationalpost.com/2011/10/29/act-of-heroism-exposes-canadas-arcane-and-contradictory-self-defence-laws/

  10. John Says:

    I’ll admit I don’t really understand the current zombie craze, but the splatter zombie targets from Darkotic are a blast. My daughter and I have fun on the range with them: “OK, now I’m going to shoot the cell phone in the zombie chick’s hand.” “Great, I’m going for the zombie chihuahua.”

    To Mas’ point about some critics thinking zombie shooting is symptomatic of something darker, why is shooting a zombie target worse than a silhouette target? Or a photo-realistic target of a “bad guy”? Is a FPS game targeting zombies somehow worse than Grand Theft Auto with the “hero” murdering a hooker? If I wanted to worry about FPS games, I think GTA would bother me more than zombie killing.

    Seems to me that some folks worry too much. To paraphrase Freud, sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.

  11. Mas Says:

    Good Lord, Long Island Mike, that’s appalling.

    Let me remind our Canadian readers that we Yanks accept refugees…

  12. Pmec Says:

    I’m with John. Recently, my wife and I went to the range to shoot the Darkotic Pizza guy zombie. I targeted the pizza while my wife did a number on the zombie’s teeth. It was a pleasent change from just shooting targets. A cigar is just a cigar but some are boring and some are really enjoyable to smoke.

  13. Roger in NC Says:

    As I am writing this I am watching the History Channel describing the horror of the “inevitable” Zombie Apocalypse and how we should prepare to survive it. Wouldn’t ya know, just when I was getting comfortable with the fun and silliness of the Zombie craze, the History Channel came along to legitimize it. When combined with Mas’s reminder of the existence of O’Zombies (not the Irish variety), many of whom we know personally, this whole idea may have some legs. Now if we only had a place to go to learn Practical Ideas for Self-Reliant Living…

  14. Tim Says:

    ‘For real zombies, the ones we have to deal with every day, you’d have to shoot off their Bluetooths or put a bullet through their iPhones to render them helpless.’

    A sad statement about our youth, but, Oh so true. 🙁

  15. Randy Says:

    I guess I’m behind the 8 ball. I don’t understand all this lingo about zombies. I thought all we had to worry about was the blood sucking vampires.
    AS for sandbaggers, how about that Dunston on Top Shot? He says he is a self taught shooter and camp counselor. I guess camp counselors make a lot more than I thought. To get that good, the ammo cost alone would exceed his gross pay.
    I have tried FPS games, usually just when I get a good run going, it’s dinner time and no way to save your place. I guess you have to be single to really get the most out of them. Now it gathers dust.

  16. Unlce Dave Says:

    At some point the Zombies will get an ACLU lawyer and then fun over. ( Proably in regards to zombie voting rights or instate tution). 🙁 To me it is cynical fun against what is too pc to pratice. If it gets more people shooting great

  17. john Says:

    The posts seem to always indicate that it is the left that are zombies??? Who made that distinction, to me there is “zombies” on both side of the isle.
    Also I think that the use of an Obama campaign worker is in poor taste, and I am not easily offended. What about a Rick Perry or Cain or any republican campaign worker. I do not think to respond to some “Bloggers” question in that way shows your deep commitment and thoughtfulness that you have work for all these years. When people ask me about responsible gun use, and self protection I have always noted you as one of the most knowledgeable person in the field. With this commend I am kind let down.
    I am sure people will hate this post and talk about liberal this and that, it is only a joke, but my view is that you don’t answer a persons comment or question as you never know who you are dealing with.

  18. GreyMas Says:

    Zombies are by far the coolest of all monsters, but I think they jumped the shark.

  19. Jack Zeller Says:

    Pure silliness…

  20. JSW Says:

    “…For real zombies, the ones we have to deal with every day, you’d have to shoot off their Bluetooths or put a bullet through their iPhones to render them helpless…”
    Sorry- can’t help but laff at this. So true.
    Shy III

  21. Fruitbat44 Says:

    Sorry about the double post.

    Something must have eaten my braiiiiins . . .

  22. Roger in NC Says:

    The Zombie-Liberal connection was documented years ago by Bob Hope. Look at this:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4a6YdNmK77k

  23. Gary of Ohio Says:

    John, as a former liberal now many years a staunch conservative and gun lover, I think we all realize that there are those who hold different political views who also stand firmly ready to defend second amendment rights for Americans.

    Unfortunately, the Democratic/Progressive side of the aisle has, in the last two presidential times of office (Clinton and Obama), done much to reduce and eliminate these rights – and the current administration certainly has shown it can’t be trusted to uphold these rights in the future.

    Some suggest that if Obama gets another term and has the opportunity to appoint another extreme left-leaning Supreme Court Justice, the second amendment could be a thing of the past. I find nothing from any of the right that would challenge America’s uniqueness in guaranteeing that we are able to protect our very lives and freedom as do these despicable and deplorable folks currently in power.

    With this in mind, it is sometimes very difficult to remember that there are good people on the left. I just hope we all come together some day to ensure that the right to keep and bear arms is an on-going part of American citizenship instead of folks just wanting control over what others do.

    Let’s all “zombie up” and enjoy the chance to be lighthearted in what has become a very disheartening political environment!

  24. Rich Morales Says:

    Zombie shooting is, to me, a media invention used to create a socially acceptable targeting icon. One can no longer shoot at minority gang-bangers,white supremacists or (forgive my use of the term) Islamic terrorists, without social repercussions. The gun ban clan will find ways to attack us no matter what we shoot. So let’s shoot at targets that are fun and help improve our shooting skills. Will shooting zombie icons cause us to go out and start shooting at living human beings? Not likely. Long live the zombie era!!

  25. SCS Says:

    Cute…..

  26. John Says:

    Just for the record, two different John’s posting here. John (capital J) and john (small j) are two separate individuals. Appreciate the links Fruitbat44, Roger and Long Island Mike provided. Two were amusing, the other disappointing.

  27. Don Lester Says:

    I tried sending this to Hornady. Hope it is passed on to them.

    To: Steve Hornady
    Subject: ZOMBIE KILLERS!
    I have used Hornady products for years and have always been pleased with the performance. I was shopping on 19Dec11 at a large sporting goods chain and assisting another customer with their purchase of some rifle ammunition. I was appalled when the lady I was helping asked me, “what kind of bullets are these?” I was a few feet away and didn’t recognize the box, though as I got closer I recognized the ‘Zombie Killer’ in big red letters and then saw the Hornady name. I knew of zombie games recently though until then had never known any company was using such fantasy as a marketing strategy. People next to us heard this discussion and wanted to add their comments. The response from the lady I was helping was “I don’t want my son seeing that!” Others were laughing about the whole issue of ‘zombies’ period and all serious talk ended and joking began. I didn’t know how to respond at first as I was trying to teach someone about responsible firearm use. I’m standing next to five or six customers and I have people joking about how the bullets might blow the guts out of people, not zombies, and all while a single mother that is trying to learn about firearms to protect herself and what type ammunition she should buy and also so she can pass information on to her 10 year old son that wants to learn about shooting.

    I wish some Hornady personnel would have been there to take over and explain why ammunition packaging has the word Killers on the box. I served in the USAF and in civilian law enforcement and killing may be a part of the job though ‘Killing’ isn’t a word I would use to describe on a ammunition box of any type, maybe on Nerf Gun ammunition. The whole subject brings another bullet nickname to mind and that is the words ‘Cop Killers’ the anti-gun establishment put on the Black Talon bullets made by Winchester. Is a fad about Zombie’s or Zombie games a reason to justify a marketing scheme or whatever this is for such a real life subject, one that has no room for joking or fantasy, especially with all the persons jumping at any chance to speak negatively about shooting sports? I don’t think so and most of the adult shooter’s I know & have discussed this issue with lately agree. Shooting needs advertisement that is positive, not ammunition for anti-gunners to make jokes about or twist words with subjects of fantasy. I know of no ammunition that is funny or humorous when someone is shot, or “KILLED!”

    I will stop using Hornady products just as I try not to buy “Made in China” products. But not to worry I’m sure something I will need in the future will not be found that is made by Speer, Nosler or another company and be assured that at that time I will still buy Hornady, just as I have at times purchased items “Made in China!” When Hornady is serious about adult issues, I may reconsider.

    Thanks for a chance to comment about this issue,
    Don
    Natchitoches, Louisiana

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