THE GUN JOKE

by Jamaal May It’s funny, she says, how many people are shocked by this shooting and the next and next and the next. She doesn’t mean funny as in funny, but funny as in blood soup tastes funny when you stir in soil. Stop me if you haven’t heard this one: A young man/old man/teenage boy walks into an office/theater/daycare/club and empties a magazine into a crowd of strangers/family/students. Ever hear the one about the shotgun? What do you call it when a shotgun tests a liquor store’s bulletproof glass? What’s the difference between a teenager with hands in the air and a paper target charging at a cop? What do you call it when a man sets his own house on fire, takes up a sniper position, and waits for firefighters? Stop me if you haven’t heard this one: The first man to pull a gun on me said it was only a joke, but never so much as smiled. The second said this is definitely not a joke, and then his laughter crackled through me like electrostatic—funny how that works. When she says it’s funny she means funny as in crazy and crazy as in this shouldn’t happen....
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How to Not Get Killed by the NYPD

  by Metta Sáma    When you see the pitch-perfect black 4-door shaded windows roll up on you, don’t grip your wheel. Casually look over your shoulder as a shaded window slips down. Don’t think drive-by. Don’t remember history. It’s only the police. Keep your hands on the wheel. In plain view. It’s the police. Keep your hands on the wheel. The light will turn in your favor. Don’t drive off. Keep your hands on the wheel. Wait, with your left foot pressed hard on the clutch, right foot pressed lightly on the brake. Hands on the wheel. Raise an eyebrow when the police officer raises a question: what’s the speed limit in New York City? Note: the correct answer is 30, no matter the street, no matter the avenue, no matter the faster moving highway traffic, the answer is 30           30. Don’t ask him to clarify. Don’t smile. You are anxious. You will smile. Don’t explain when asked why you’re smiling. Don’t explain your explanation when asked why you’re explaining. Don’t say: we’re blocking the road. Don’t say: we’re triple-parked. Don’t ask them to clarify the infraction. You are the infraction. Don’t remove your hands from the wheel. Accept that...
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