Long story, but pertinent:
Many years ago, when I was maybe 26, there was a year when I thought I was a musician, or at least, could be. (Had not yet discovered how remarkably little musical talent I have. I just like music a lot. Not the same thing.) So I took some classes at U. of New Mexico, holed up in a cheap converted garage where I could make noise without bothering anyone, and did odd jobs to pay for my artistic poverty lifestyle.
One job I took was as a checker at a giant liquor store, the brainchild of a 2nd generation Greek American dude, years before Beverages and More had standardized the concept. Back then, liquor stores were still largely semi-seedy little shops, even out in the ‘burbs. This store in Albuquerque was huge, with an acre of parking. Ahead of its time. (3)
When I showed up for work on the first day, I was issued a holster with a .38 in it. During my brief job interview, this requirement had somehow not gotten brought up. But the job paid well – $5/hr, which in New Mexico in the mid 1980’s was actually pretty good – so I rolled with it. (Had some cop friends and my gunny VW mechanic friend show me how to use it. I was ready to be a regular Doc Holliday to miscreants within 10-15 feet of me.)
After closing, the boss would open a bottle of good wine and we’d hang for a bit. So I asked him what was up with the guns. He told me the story:
As a giant liquor store, they would get robbed once in a while. Price of doing business, he hated it but took no extraordinary steps. Then a few years ago, a truly sick and evil person robbed them at gunpoint, rounding up all the staff and customers and sticking them in a back room. He wasn’t content with taking the money, but proceeded to bully and threaten the terrified victims. At one point, he started in picking people he said he was going to kill.
My boss said he watched for a moment while all the other people just continued to follow the madman’s orders, even though he said was going to kill them. So he decided to push back, to argue, to engage the guy as an equal. So he managed to delay things, even managed to slip away to where he had a rifle hidden, get it, but the spell was broken, I guess, because the guy left, once his sadism stopped paying off. My boss said he was absolutely going to kill him, if he got a clean shot. But he didn’t.
After that experience, the boss decided that death in a firefight was to be much prefered to that experience, so he bought a bunch of holsters and Saturday Night Specials, and made sure that the first thing anyone saw when coming the front door were armed men. Holsters on the right, visible from the only entrance.
Not surprisingly, there had been only a couple attempts at robbery since he implemented the policy. He fired one guy, and ex-Marine, who drew his gun on a gun-wielding robber who stepped through the door, but didn’t kill him. Anybody walking into his store with gun drawn, dies. Not up for debate.
I left New Mexico for California shortly afterwards, tired of poverty artistic or otherwise, and wanting to get on with my life and get married, and never spoke to the man again. The one thing he said that stuck: the people held at gunpoint, being told that they were going to die, STILL DID WHAT THEY WERE TOLD TO DO.
We are so well schooled, so well trained, that 95% of us will march straight into the abattoir when somebody in authority points and tells us to. Even if it’s an obvious madman. Even if we know its an abattoir.
The schools will burn. It’s just a matter of of who does the burning, and had bad the collateral damage is.
- See: When Prophecy Fails. Oldy but goodie. Wow, looks like I never reviewed this book. In summary, ignoring all the armchair theorizing and focusing on the more concrete observations, when people fall under the spell of a prophet, they are undeterred when a particular prophecy fails. Instead, they tend to double down, demonize their critics, and circle the wagons. Those who criticize us are evil! If only we stay the course, all shall be well! This time, for sure. Sound familiar?
- I hope you don’t think I’m kidding or exaggerating here. Marriage must be destroyed precisely because most women (and most men, but it’s usually framed up with women as the oppressed) are happiest in a good marriage. Family, church and village must be destroyed for the same reason. Happy people don’t want to wantonly destroy everything – and wanton destruction IS THE GOAL. Only then will the flying unicorns of Marxism fart out the Worker’s Paradise upon the Elect in a totally not religious manner. At. All.
- Got to meet the Coors brothers, sons of the founder, who had come down from Colorado with a huge beer delivery. Seems our store was one of their very biggest customers, so they sometimes dropped by. They helped us unload and restock the floor. Seemed like nice guys.