Beware of Lady Lawyer with Ukulele

The lawyer Sue Forebucks and the old electric bones player Sloan Down were talking when I showed up for the jam at Avo's. Sue said, "With the new sheriff, there'll be more concealed weapons which means more violence."

Sloan nodded dejectedly, but I chimed in, "Not necessarily. Guns are just tools. Violence is a way of dealing with problems."

"But you've said tools can change the way you view problems," replied Sue. "And I know guns do. When a disgruntled client of mine was released from prison, I started carrying a .38. It made me feel powerful. Aggressive. I honked my horn at people who drove too slow or didn't use turn signals. Finally sold it before I started scratching myself and watching football."

"Weren't you still worried about the prisoner?" asked Sloan.

"Absolutely," said Sue, "which is another reason I got rid of it. After a particularly vicious and disgusting argument with my partners about the legal liability if I shot someone and whether it would be better to leave them wounded or finish them off, I got a can of pepper spray instead."

"That sounds effective," I said.

"Not really," said Sue, "I still felt aggressive. And to prove a point, my husband jumped me in the driveway. If he'd had a gun or a knife, I'd be dead. He also said any dedicated killer would just use a sawed-off shotgun from the bushes." She strummed a shrill chord on her gold slide ukulele. "I told him most of these guys don't think well to begin with, and then they get high to build up their courage. But I couldn't pull the canister fast enough to ward off an assailant, so I learned ju jitsu instead. It's a different approach to self-defense that doesn't have the negative, destructive feelings of weaponry."

About that time, Seymour Sharpe walked up behind Sue. "None of that self-defense stuff is useful," he said. "It's just a scam to make money. You're too small to really fight off someone my size." He grabbed her shoulders to make a point.

I don't know exactly what she did, but Seymour ended up on the floor with Sue sitting on top of him jabbing the peg head of her ukulele at his throat. Several of the jammers hollered, "Finish him off."

"It's tempting," she said, "but because I'm confident of my abilities, I don't really have any anger." She stood up and let him go. "Besides, there are too many witnesses." She sat back down at the table as Seymour stood and brushed off his clothes.

"Cool skill," I said, "but a gun doesn't require any training."

"Wrong," she said. "To be used properly, guns require just as much discipline and awareness as any other method of self-defense. But most Americans are too lazy. Guns are not 'just' tools." She made the air quotes. "They are hunting implements, and merely buying one and carrying it around unaware of its psychological effects turns you into a hunter and lets you regard your fellow humans as prey. Plus, it's a false sense of security."

"Well maybe having more guns around would stop random sniper attacks before too many people were killed," I said.

"Possibly," said Seymour, "but those are rare occurrences. Our focus is wrong. Anyone who doesn't wear a seatbelt shouldn't worry about random violence. And the biggest danger of death still comes from heart disease which can be prevented by exercise and anger prevention. Sue's probably found the best defense against the true dangers in life. I may start carrying a ukulele myself."