Hunting without a license

It’s funny what comes to mind when one says they used to live in Washington, DC, to someone who has never lived there. They tell me, almost like a reflex, that it’s the murder capitol of the country. I think the PR folks for Mayor Fenty need to get off their asses and come up with something, anything, else to replace this perception. Possible new mottos could be:

DC: 50,000 Lawyers Couldn’t Be Wrong — except, I guess, most folks don’t know that there are 50,000 lawyers working in the city. So maybe that one is out.

City of Monuments

Come for the Cherry Blossoms, Stay for the Slowly Flooding Metro

Okay, okay, so maybe “murder capitol” rolls off the tongue better than any of those. But hey, there was that recent Supreme Court decision to overturn the city’s ban on handguns, so perhaps a new campaign could focus on the pro-gun tourist. 

“Show the Murder Capitol Who’s Who!”

Or maybe not.

So I’ve started trying to figure out how to respond to these accusations that DC would have eventually killed me, either by terrorist attack, nuclear bomb, random violence, shock of the cost of living, or terrible traffic. And while many of those things could happen, that’s like chastising someone who lives in Florida as waiting around to die in a hurricane. Instead I think most initial responses are something like, “wow, do you miss the sun?”

Florida people, correct me if I’m wrong.

I’ve tried to tell people that the violence isn’t that bad, all told, that it’s pretty, has a lot of free museums and other cultural attractions, etc. And then they lean in, lower their voice so as to avoid Big Brother’s invisible gaze, and say, “and there are a lot of POLITICAL people out there.”

This is where I gasp and looked shocked.

“Political people, are you sure?” I’ve sometimes put my hand over my heart in an ironic pledge position, but really to suggest that my pulse may quit at any second. And then they of course realize I’m kidding.

This conversation, had about half a dozen times since moving, has been interesting and mildly amusing. But I didn’t expect to have it while trying to buy two new cell phones from my carrier this morning. I even got to see a permit to carry a concealed weapon (which frankly, I could have made myself with some plastic laminating sheets and my old Royal typewriter that I used to bang out bad short stories when I was a kid.

“Bet you won’t see this in DC, mister.”

He had me there. His point was that there would be many fewer violent attacks there if you weren’t sure if your intended victim was packing or not. I did not care to debate this with him, wanting only the nice shiny LG phones that would make it easier to text, and bring Susanne finally into the 21st century. Or even 1995, for that matter, since the woman has eschewed mobile devices until now. I just told him that I took care to stay in safe neighborhoods and not do anything stupid. Like pull a gun out of my pants to thwart some would-be mugger, only to have him wrest it from me and shoot me in the face. Because that would be my life if I had a gun. Or rather, the end of my life.

Nice to know, though, that certain people are carrying out here. They’re indebted to this Wild West thing. All I really want is a job.

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3 Comments on “Hunting without a license”

  1. jody
    August 27, 2008 at 2:35 am #

    Susanne TEXTED me tonight! I nearly fell out of my chair!!!

    Thank you, Everett Maroon. THANK YOU!!!!!

  2. evmaroon
    August 27, 2008 at 6:27 am #

    That’s awesome! I have faith she’ll actually get pretty into the texting thing.

  3. Alexis
    August 27, 2008 at 2:40 pm #

    Oh now, why the hate for concealed carry? My husband carries and in a few years I plan to as well. NOT carrying, however, is wise if you don’t have significant training and skill with a fire arm. Thus your scenario of having the gun taken away from you and used against you is probably accurate at this point in time. If you ever want to change that, come see us. We won’t charge rent and we clean our bathrooms 😉

    I’m glad to hear you are pulling the house together. Good luck with the job hunt!

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