The Lonely and the Dead: Why We Need Gun Control

At first glance, Dennis Nilsen looks like your average IT guy.  Quiet.  Unassuming.  Slight.  One of those people you barely notice while standing in line in K-Mart.  He was a cook in the Army and then later became a civil servant in London.  By most accounts, remaining a quiet, unassuming, slight, unnoticed guy.

On February 8 1983, a plumber from Dyno-Rod fucked up his quiet, unassuming, slight life, which really unhinged the next day.
Lonely boy.

Prior to February 9 1983, Nilsen was passing some of his time by offering men (mostly homeless and homosexual) meals, food, alcohol and shelter.  He was lonely and wanted someone with whichr to share his home or flat (where he later lived after moving).  These men would get a meal, get some casual conversation, most likely punctuated by talk of the military and the dreary, thankless life of  civil service.  Sometimes music was listened to and drugs were taken.  Most visits ended up the same way.  Nilsen would strangle and drown his victims.  He would then keep the bodies around for days, painting their faces, having sex with them, and later dismembering them and burning them or dumping them down the drain or toilet.

Hence, the Dyno-Rod employee investigating a clogged drain in an apartment building and finding it clogged with human flesh, including Graham Allen's.  Allen was killed while eating an omelete Nilsen prepared for him.

Similarities to Jeffrey Dahmer don't end there.  One of Nilsen's victims got away and went to the police.  London's police proved as ineffectual as America's finest, and decided this skinny hippie, who was obviously homeless, had only been the victim of a domestic dispute and his claims of attempted murder didn't need to be investigated.  Silly hippie.  Laws are for wealthier people.

When the police, investigating only because of a diligent plumber, came to Nilsen's flat, the first thing they noticed was the smell.  When Nilsen lived in a house he could hide bodies under floorboards, burn them in bonfires, and dump their entrails over the fence for the God's tiniest, furriest creatures to dine on.  Living in a flat meant that his only means of disposal was the plumbing.  He didn't want his friends to leave that quickly, so that meant he kept the bodies around for days.  (One of those bodies belonged to an English skinhead who was so tough he had a tattoo around his neck that said, most originally, "cut here."  This guy claimed he was a tough motherfucker.  Once he was drunk, though, Nilsen proved tougher.  As a reward for besting the Boot Boy, he kept the torso strung up in his bedroom for a day.  Kind of like the way all those deer hang in people's yards on the East Coast during hunting season.)

Nilsen tried to throw the police off with his quiet, unassuming, slight ways, but this former Army boy, who used the skills he picked up while in service to his country to dismember bodies, was smart enough to know when to get off the stage.  He had committed his final murder just two weeks earlier.  A drug and alcohol addict named Stephen Sinclair.  Sinclair was lured with a hamburger and the promise of a place he could shoot heroin.  Nilsen, upon recollection of the final murder, noticed that Sinclair's wrists had recent slash marks on them.  Nilsen had successfully done what Sinclair had only tried to do. 

Nilsen's trial was uneventful by all accounts I've read.  Objects he used in his dismembering (cooking pots and cutting boards) were introduced into evidence and then whisked off to the Black Museum, a place ghost hunters would surely have orgasms over investigating.  Nilsen was given a life sentence.  The world became a safer place 15 murders later.

So what does all this have to do with gun control?  Nothing.  People don't need guns to do horrible things to other people.  Nilsen used his bare hands sometimes.  We can't ban hands, neckties or headphone cords (all things Nilsen also used).  Sure, Nilsen didn't kill 15 people in shot, but had the police taken some reports seriously, they could've prevented further victims.  They didn't even investigate the plumber's concerns until the next day.  We don't have a gun problem.  We have a people problem.

When people are scared, they act out.  When people are lonely, they act out.  When people suffer from certain mental disorders, they act out.  When people want to end a war, they act out.  People live under goverments who tell people not to act out violently, then go to war.  People live in a world where social problems are often ignored or belittled.  People, like homosexuals, are told they are less worthy of respect and that the laws that apply to others don't apply to them.  People are divided by the institutions that hold sway over their lives.  What is surprising about mass shootings and serial killers and other mass murderers is not that they happen, but that they don't happen more often.
If you know what caused this, you know what goverments are capable of doing.

Humans don't respect other human lives.  They never have and never will.  On an individual level they do, but when taken as a mass group, there is nothing there.  That's how mass killings happen.  That's how wars happen.  No respect.  Kill those who are different.  Kill those who don't understand.  You can ban guns.  You can ban the bomb.  You can call for no more nukes or for anarchy.  It doesn't matter.  We don't like anyone who we perceive as different, and while we may not have the guns or the bombs to kill a bunch of them in one incident, we'll find other ways to get rid of them.  Not only are we full of hate, we are also very inventive.  The same kinds of smarts that brought you Real 3D, iPods, and yolk-less egg mixes also brought you automatic weapons, biological warfare and death cult terrorist attacks.

Gun control advocates are pushing forward, while those who claim "out of my dead hands" are pushing back.  In the end, it's all rather pointless.  If given the choice, we would eradicate large groups of people off the Earth by whatever means possible (mass shootings, bombs or the Rapture), and we'll feel good about it because "they aren't like us."  No amount of guns or gun control is going to change that, and I'm no different.  I, like the Nazis, Panzram and any generic jungle dictator, am more honest about it.  It's okay, too.  I'm not in the minority.  If I was, the gun control debate would never be happening.  The incidents that brought it on would have never occurred.  Humanity has its head in the sand and has had it there for quite some time.  When someone comes out and says "this is our nature," you can't just dimiss him or her as crazy.  You have to prove them wrong.  From where I sit, that's going to be a hard argument to make.  After all, I have history and the evidence on my side.  The other side?  The side that says that if we just take away the means of death we will have a better society?  A more peaceful world?  Well, they seem to be the same ones who believe Disney teaches history and the solution to any problem is to simply ignore it.

People like myself have already been proven right.  I just wish we were wrong.


pat said...

good piece.

DJ said...

You write about violence very vividly. I just purchased Melinda. Hoping for the same kind of read.

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Gun Control! Civilians safer

DJ said...

Melinda was creepy!!!!!!

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Kind of like the way all those deer hang in people's yards on the East Coast during hunting season

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