What is it like living in a country with no guns? Well, there are guns in China, usually in the hands of guards at the airports or in kids like at this virtual reality sniper game at a local Kunming mall.
And oh yes, the military have guns, too. Armed soldiers marching in goose step are as common as roasted duck wafting in the air.
But no guns shouldn’t be confused with no violence which my Chinese students confuse with violins (they also confuse Oregon with organ, and mouth with mouse). No guns means more physical outbursts like the one I saw the other night. I got a front row seat to a John Wayne movie kind of brawl at my favorite squatty.
The peppers in my pork were tame compared to the entertainment.
This small open air restaurant has great people watching as it’s right across the street from a row of massage parlors. Now, most of these places are free of hanky-panky: they just scrub the day off tired feet or blind guys crack the walnuts in one’s aching back. But a few massage parlors are questionable which explained why this restaurant is so popular with young guys guzzling bottles of Dali beer.
I was nibbling on my appetizer of sunflower seeds when a girl in glittery spiked heels walked over to their table, which seemed interesting enough to watch when suddenly, all eyes went to the street.
A woman in pleather hot pants started screaming at a frumpy middle-aged guy. He looked like he belonged behind a computer and was no competition to the man that had joined Miss Hot Pants. But my opinion changed when he launched a Bruce-Lee style kick that tickled the long hair mole of Miss Hot Pants’ bodyguard.
Crowds formed and Chinese cops were called on multiple cell phones. Even the cooks put down their woks to see what was going on. It took about ten minutes for the police to arrive in their boxy black and white cars that were life-size versions of the Matchbox cars I buried in my neighbor’s sandbox as a kid. But the officers didn’t pull out guns. They pulled out their cellphones and snapped pictures of the threesome standing together.
So, no guns, just Huawei Y9s.
I think of the kids I’ve known over the years in Chicago who got shot, stabbed or did the shooting or stabbing or ending up with three hots and a cots to another act of violence. I wonder which of those young guys who are now old and hardened are still behind bars. I wonder why we aren’t shocked any more by school shootings in America.
Meanwhile, the kids play.