Monday, March 18, 2013

The Walking Dead: Return of Gun Control


In Sunday night's episode Prey, guns are "collected" from the citizens of Woodbury so that they can be used in an attack on Rick's group. Andrea has to hand her pistol over to Martinez, thus leaving her unarmed when she leaves Woodbury and is chased by the Governor. This handicaps Andrea, of course, leaving her to fight Walkers with nothing in hand but a small knife; likewise, she is unable to effectively combat the Governor. In the end,that decision is what leads to the final scene of the show: Andrea ball-gagged in the Governor's "torture chair," waiting for him to show up and start indulging his twisted fantasies.

In a zombie apocalypse, you can't afford to be disarmed - - by anyone. The world is such that you need a weapon at hand at all times, and no one has the right to tell you otherwise; and anyone attempting to disarm you is no more or less than an enemy who desires your death.

It's interesting to me that, in the world of The Walking Dead, that attempts to organize healthy, sustainable communities are so unsuccessful. Has the essential goodness of humanity deteriorated to such a degree that no one willingly takes in the stranger on trust? A few episodes ago, Rick, Carl and Michonne ignored a hiker screaming for aid - - twice - - along the side of the road; and, in the closing credits, you see them finally stop to loot his backpack after he's been attacked and devoured by the dead. Would southern country people really behave in that fashion? I'd think that they'd more likely organize quickly around their church groups/neighbors/friends and form defensive communities, and quickly expand in size as new people showed up; each newcomer provisionally accepted into the group, depending on good behavior and willingness to contribute to the community's survival. Woodbury isn't an example of this because the townsfolk have surrendered their autonomy to the Governor and his minions: just who "elected" him Governor, anyway, and how do the townspeople get rid of him when he proves inadequate? If they aren't armed at all times, they don't; and you'll notice that the folk of Woodbury are mostly unarmed, most of the time. This state of affairs might happen in a zombie apocalypse later on, when most of the zombies have been destroyed; not in the early stages, when to leave the security of the frontier fort (and that's what these communities are: forts, castles; refuges from the dangers outside) is to take one's life into one's own hands.

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