The F Word: The right to keep and arm bears


The F Word. An online column for Frank De Blase to pontificate, ruminate, placate, and salivate. We'll have reviews and previews, we'll discuss trends in local and national music scenes, and we'll try to do it as reverently as possible. Yup. Let's get started.

Who am I to argue with Ronnie Van Zant? He was right when he sang, "Hand guns are made for killing / Theyain't good for nothin' else" on the tune "Saturday Night Special." You could include assault rifles in there as well. But people get into a knot when you threaten their precious firearms and their definition of the Second Amendment. It's a firearm fetish, and clearly with yet another mass shooting in Florida the right to bear arms isn't working.

We need to outlaw guns plain and simple. As long as firearms are in the equation, people will continue to die — with alarming frequency and staggering numbers.

I'm getting rid of mine. Who's with me? Seriously. If I don't feel safe without carrying a pistol or without having a shotgun in the house, I'm living in the wrong neighborhood or I'm walking down the wrong streets.

Meanwhile mass shootings are happening with alarming regularity and we offer up thoughts and prayers and promises of better background checks and buttloads of more paperwork and rhetoric. More guns mean better safety? Bullshit.

I grew up around guns. I got my first 20 gauge shotgun when I was 8, and killed my first duck when I was 9. I have a lot of fond memories hunting with my dad and grandfather. And I enjoyed skeet shooting, but haven't done it in years.

While writing an adventure article for a men's magazine a while ago, I went out in the Nevada desert with some gun collectors. We shot up a bunch of old TV sets and watermelons with AR-15s, AK-47s, and assorted handguns. I'll admit, it was awesome. The noise, the feeling of power was exhilarating. And I know there are people who like doing this type of stuff, but I'd like to think it's more important that so many Americans are dying. If I don't get that sensation again, fine, I'll live. If you never got that sensation, fine, you'll live. There are a lot of things I want, but have accepted their improbability and I'll live.

The Second Amendment is dead as it leaves a trail of dead in its wake. It has to go. Guns have to go. It'll be a sacrifice. Fine; we'll live.

I Scene It

And we can always just brandish a guitar for that feeling of power like Dave Riccione did last Wednesday at The Record Archive's happy hour. The place was packed, with Riccione's screaming flurry ricocheting off the walls. He is really one of the most underrated players I know, tackling the blues, soul, and rock 'n' roll. The music served as the only fanfare on stage. And in keeping with this week's firearm theme, Riccione even took a stab at The Sonics' "Shot Down."

By The Way

The Rochester Music Hall of Fame just announced its class of 2018 inductees at a press conference on Thursday. On the list is John Beck, The Campbell Brothers, Steve Gadd, Tony Levin, and Ferdinand Jay Smith. All these artist are terrific but The RMHF Board of Directors still seems to be skewing the same age — and gender — in its lineup, and in its intended audience.

There's the whole punk and new wave scene of the late-70's and early-80's, and a garage rock scene that could use some attention. And there were all-female outfits like The Antoinettes and The Raunchettes. RMHF inductees have been predominantly male, and I know there's enough fame to go around.

And check out my interview with Seth Faregolzia in this week's CITY Newspaper, where we discuss his new band, Multibird. F out.