Jarvis Arms the Homeless

Sit at Panera with friend, Jarvis. Jarvis is a staunch gun owner and the founder and chair of Committee to Arm the Homeless.

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He chooses his words carefully as he explains his group’s purpose: “As our homeless are undoubtedly the segment of our population most vulnerable to physical mayhem, we feel that it is incumbent upon us as a society to provide these individuals with firearms so they might protect themselves against the more insidious elements among us.”

”But arm the homeless?” I ask. “Do you think that’s realistic?”

“Please allow me to answer your question with a question,” he explains. He pauses momentarily and in the silence I overhear three women at the next table discussing literacy and problems in their community. A young man in the adjacent booth is commiserating with a friend about his inability to understand women. “My wife yelled at me this morning for peeing on the floor in the middle of the night. She said I missed the bowl completely. I said at least I didn’t get any on the rim.”

Jarvis looks intently at the point of my pen as he continues: “Do you think this is less realistic than allowing a nineteen-year old mental case to purchase a military-grade weapon in order to murder innocent high school students?”

In addition to being a gun owner, Jarvis is a hard-core left-wing hippie from the sixties. Back then, he was so aggressive he would pass you in the turn lane. Today he’s mellowed but he hasn’t lost his edge.  He draws an analogy: “Gun owners are like pot smokers. They won’t admit it. They’ll say, ‘Where is marijuana in the constitution?’ But the constitution is a made-up argument by the weapons industry to sell weapons. The issue is about human dignity and personal rights: the right to own a gun for my protection; to choose my own form of health care, to get high with the mood-enhancer of my choice.”

But even Jarvis knows there are limits to his freedom: “Don’t push drugs on kids, don’t drive when you’re smelling colors, and if you grow it for sale, you grow it organically for best medicinal purposes. And don’t let nineteen-year old mental cases purchase military-grade weapons.”

Jarvis excuses himself, adjourns to restroom. Passes woman by beverage station struggling to neatly seal iced tea cup lid over cup with one hand while holding young son’s hand with other.

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Survivors of Clinton Defeat Meet at Panera

Survivors of Clinton defeat meet at Panera, still stunned after week but determined, waiting for lunches to arrive.

First declares week long enough to mourn. Time to assess what went wrong and move on. “Our resolve, our courage, our love all are being tested,” she says. “If love is politically correct, then let’s celebrate political correctness, not run from it.”

Second reflects on mood of country and concludes: “Hatred and cowardice won this time around, even though love had more votes. Let’s find strength in that fact.”

First imagines good folks who worshipped Trump when they realize he used them to get what he wants and doesn’t need them anymore: “They’re going to be real disappointed.”

“How can we do outreach to them on issues where we share common ground?” asks second. “That’s our challenge as we build new coalitions and a better community.”

Floor staff person brings lunches, soup and salad for her, soup and sandwich for him.