An Essay by Miles Jaye


The history of guns dates back to the 10th Century when the Chinese used combustible agents to fire shrapnel out of bamboo shafts toward an enemy—thus, the firearm. Fast-forward to modern handguns. If you place your two hands together, fingertip-to-fingertip, the average modern handgun could easily be placed in the palms of even a small pair of hands. When one considers roughly 40,000 lives lost to gun violence in a year, about the same number as highway fatalities, half of opioid overdoses, it’s hard to believe that such a relatively small device could be the tool of so much carnage.

The primary tool of murder by firearm is not the rifle, the AR-15, or the Uzi, but the handgun– the 9mm, the 45 automatic, and the 38 among others. The handgun is easily concealed in a holster, a purse, a glove box, under the driver’s seat, in a pocket or the waistband of your jeans. Now with the ever-popular concealed weapon permit, it’s all legal, and the Stand Your Ground laws make it even more appealing to own and carry.

The history of murder, according to the book of Genesis, dates back to brothers Cain and Abel. William Shakespeare’s most famous murder scene may have been Julius Caesar’s at the hands of Senators of the Roman Senate. American history is ripe, if not rich, with murder. Presidential assassinations, Rock Stars, Civil Rights leaders, mobsters, gang bangers, and countless innocent victims struck down by the squeeze of a trigger on a handgun.

I first learned about “murder” on television and in movies where motive and opportunity were always used to build plot and drama. Raymond Burr in “Ironside” and “Perry Mason”, Angela Lansberry in “Murder She Wrote”, Peter Falk in “Columbo”.  Then there were the cop shows—”Dragnet”, “NYPD Blue”, “Hawaii Five-0”, and “Law and Order” to name a few.  Then came the Westerns, affectionately known as “Shoot ‘Em Ups” with a murder in nearly every episode. One could argue, Westerns made “gunplay” more popular than any other genre of entertainment.

What I learned was that “murder” comes in various forms, varieties, and degrees, as it is technically a legal term. “Murder” is the intentional or premeditated, and unlawful taking of another human life. Merriam Webster simply says “murder” is, “the crime of deliberately killing a person”, commonly referred to as 1st Degree Murder. Merriam Webster also says, “manslaughter” is the crime of killing a person without intending to do so,” or, “the unlawful killing of a person without express or implied malice,” known as 2nd Degree Murder. All categories of murder fall under the broad heading of “Homicide”, “the act of killing another person.”

 Murder, or taking a human life, is arguably the most serious crime a person can commit. This, regardless of means or method, be it stabbing, strangulation, poisoning, or shooting, so when candidate Trump said “I could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot somebody, and I wouldn’t lose any voters.”, I knew then that this was a depraved, morally corrupt, spiritually bankrupt individual, with no sense of right or wrong. I knew then that Donald Trump, the person, was completely absent of conscience, and therefore, quite dangerous.

Interestingly, while researching “murder”, I stumbled on the phrase, “to get away with murder”, meaning to succeed in doing whatever one chooses without being punished or suffering any consequences. I found the meaning strikingly relevant to today’s political climate. Today it seems, powerful men in high places, or as they’re referred to in Ephesians 6:12, “spiritual wickedness in high places”, are being exposed for their wrong doing, for their association with the same wretched man, and for somehow believing they will get away with murder.

I for one, was not surprised when, Trump referred to Neo-Nazis and Klansmen in Charlottesville as good people”, even as a young woman lost her life as a result of the violent protests. I was not surprised by Trump’s depraved indifference to the murder of Washington Post journalist, Jamal Khashoggi. And, I was not at all surprised by President Trump’s indifference to the death of a second Guatemalan child while in U. S. Border Patrol custody.

“They say I have the most loyal people…” said Donald Trump proudly, “…where I could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot somebody, and I wouldn’t lose any voters. It’s like incredible!” Who else would find humor in such a detestable notion but a sociopath? Of equal importance, who would allow someone clearly displaying mental disorder, to go unchecked about the business of the nation?

Senators Ryan, McConnell, Cruz, Menendez and other silent Republican senators should be leery, as anyone found to have witnessed a murder but having done nothing to prevent it may in fact be held, in some way, to some extent and to some degree, responsible for that life. As for retiring Secretary of Defense, Gen. Mattis, “retiring in protest” may be a grand gesture, however, it may go down in history as turning a blind eye to crimes in progress.

That said, beware the Ides of March!


Miles Jayewww.milesjaye.com