In South Carolina there is a lottery every year to hunt Alligators. Applicants pay a $10.00 non-refundable fee and if chosen, by a random computer drawing, pay $100 for an Alligator hunting permit and a tag that allows them to “harvest” one Gator. Competition is fierce each year to get a tag. Rednecks from all over the state dream about riding around in their Jon boat with their drinking buddies for the chance to kill the next Godzilla.
Most Bubba’s end up with a Gator much smaller than they hoped for. But for these would be Crocodile Dundee’s its all about bragging rights no matter how big or small the Gator is. These Neanderthals just like killing shit from bunnies to Bambi, and a man-eating Alligator is the ultimate trophy. And as the years pass, the six-footer they killed grows to twelve and the dent in the bow of their Jon boat wasn’t from the rock they hit to get on shore to take a pee but from the monster Gator that tried to eat them alive.
Yup if you like shooting at shit an Alligator might just be the greatest prize a redneck from Florence, SC could ask for or maybe they would pay big money for the chance to shoot at a human being. You might have heard that the “illustrious” governor of South Carolina, his majesty Henry “Foghorn Leghorn” McMaster has brought back the firing squad for death row inmates to choose from. Because the ingredients for the lethal injection cocktail are hard to find and expensive to buy, McMaster has decided to offer two options for those condemn to die, the electric chair or the firing squad.
Some of you may recall the Gary Gilmore execution by a firing squad in 1977. I was a young pup at the time, but I remember all the news coverage about this event. For seemingly months the debate about the ethics of this, was it right, was wrong, was it humane, was it legal, dominated the news. Gilmore requested to be executed in this manner, rather than being hung, the other method Utah employed at the time. Certainly, being shot through the heart seems less barbaric than dangling from the end of a rope.
Gilmore’s firing squad consisted of five volunteer law enforcement officers from the county Gilmore committed the crime in. Equipped with 30-30-caliber rifles, the five gunmen stood concealed behind a curtain with five small holes. They aimed their rifles at Gilmore’s chest and pulled the trigger. Supposedly only four of the five had a live round in their rifle and one had a blank. They five didn’t know if they had a real bullet or not. I suppose that helped them sleep at night.
I go up and down on the death penalty. Are there monsters out there that deserve to die? Sure. But what really twist this debate up in knots are the pro and anti-abortion zealots. How can you condone killing criminals but not a fetus or vice versa? This is a deeper conversation than I am prepared to have right now but one that certainly causes a lot of handwringing among pious Christians and feel-good Universalists.
So back to Henry “Foghorn Leghorn” McMaster, with a swipe of his pen South Carolina is the newest open carry state in union. His reasoning for signing the bill, he wanted to enhance “South Carolinian’s ability to exercise their 2nd Amendment rights.” Man, I feel safer going to Dollar Tree. And now McMaster wants to bring back the firing squad. I would bet the last time a firing squad was used for punishment was during the “golden” age of slavery. I guess deep down Henry is just a wannabe plantation owner. He sure as hell sounds like one, “I say, I SAY pay attention to me boy! I’m not just talkin’ to hear my head roar.”
I guess the question I ask myself is how do these Jesus believers like McMaster justify authorizing or making it easier to kill another human being? If the Pearly gates exist, a place where you must answer for all your sins, how would Henry answer Jesus’ question “Why did you allow others to kill one of my sheep?” I guess his answer would be “I say, I SAY Jesus baby, an eye for eye and pass the gravy.”