If you listen carefully, you just might be able to hear the sound of a Florida cottonmouth laughing. And I’m laughing right along with him, relieved that he escaped execution at the hands of a Volusia County man, who — fortunately — shot himself in an attempt to murder the snake.
The snake hadn’t done a goddamned thing when 75-year-old Garrett Bauernschmidt decided to play cowboy, according to a report in The Daytona Beach News-Journal, which tells us: “No one else was injured, authorities said. The snake got away.”
I’m thrilled that the report’s author, staff writer Chris Graham, pointed out that “the snake got away.” I hope Mr. Graham is laughing, too.
The fact that “no one else was injured” should have Florida lawmakers breathing a sigh of relief. If this incident isn’t enough to convince state legislators to take guns out of the hands of sight-challenged seniors like Mr. Bauernschmidt, I don’t know what will be.
I realize that enacting such legislation in Florida would be about as easy as convincing the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to mandate that pharmaceutical companies conduct product tests on inmates and the infirm, instead of on non-human animals.
I’m certain that someone in Florida would have held a press conference by now had Mr. Bauernschmidt’s self-inflicted wound proven fatal, or had his gunplay caused the death of a neighbor or passerby.
You can be sure that we’d be hearing the word “tragedy” tossed around a lot had Mr. Bauernschmidt accidentally killed himself or someone else. And we’d be seeing all sorts of knee-jerk histrionics from talking-head types.
You can also be sure that this story would not even have been reported had Mr. Bauernschmidt been successful in his unconscionable assassination attempt without suffering any injury himself.
Rest assured, though, that I’d have heard about the incident from one of my trusted sources. And I’d have had some scathing words for Mr. Bauernschmidt for murdering a snake who hadn’t done a goddamned thing to him.