The Tuscon shootings gave the anti-gun lobbies a new shot in the arm (sorry, I couldn’t resist) last week and it helped pave the wave for the introduction of some new legislation. High capacity clips are in the sites of the weapons control forces.
We live in a very interesting country, one of the tiny number where the right to own a gun is protected by it’s most basic government document. For some people that right is a sacred trust and is worth just about anything to preserve. As evidence see the reactions of some gun owners during the last election when the erroneous rumor that Barrach Obama planned to remove that right was circulated. They showed up “packin’” to political rallies and meetings. That was really “brainy” guys. If it were up to me I’d take your guns away and send you to bed without dinner!
It was as much baloney as is the thinking that somehow having a gun keeps you and your family safer. They don’t. The times of shooting attacking natives or bandits out the windows of your prairie soddy are gone. The idea that somehow a bunch of armed yahoos in sport utility vehicles are going to fight off the US army when the “Government takes over” is just dopey. They already took over numbskulls, that’s why we’ve been paying them for almost 300 years. In actual fact, owning guns make a family’s life more dangerous. That’s the reason I never, ever keep ammunition in the house.
I grew up with guns and learned to shoot at an early age. I gained great respect for the craftsmanship of some makers and a healthy disrespect for the sense of some owners. An alarm bell goes off in my head whenever I learn that someone keeps a pistol in a drawer next to their bed or a shotgun in the closet for “home defense.” This is a house I don’t want my children in.
Defending against who? Armed pirates just in for a quick pillage and rape? I suppose if you lived in a neighborhood overrun with violent gangs it might make some sense, but it would be way smarter to move. Do you really want to run the risk of a gun battle in your own home? Why not just get a good alarm and then beat it out the back when the desperadoes arrive? An escape plan is a better defense than a gun any day. A responsible head of a family should be thinking preservation not “shooting it out.”
Some gun owners have told me they have a weapon to defend their home against burglars. Really? The TV or your wife’s jewelry is worth taking a life? That must be some TV. Besides, do burglars usually come when your home? All the thieves that I’ve ever heard of come when people are not home. It’s easier. My solution to that threat is insurance.
Fatherly wisdom: If you can’t find the key to the gun cabinet/safe, ask your son.
The real deal is having either a loaded weapon or a weapon and the shells for it in your house increases the risk of someone getting shot exponentially. I have a friend who did keep a shotgun in the closet by his front door for home defense. I asked him about his sons, wasn’t he worried that they would end up fooling with it? “Oh they know better than to touch that!” Sure they do. No doubt that’s why my father threw his service automatic in to Long Island Sound, right after he caught me and my friend taking it apart. Sad day, but a good parenting lesson.
Fun fact: people who carry guns get shot more than people who don’t.
Ask any policeman if their guns make them safer. They carry them to possibly control violent situations and possibly save their lives but it doesn’t make them safer. Carrying a gun means that your opponent has to carry one as well. Drawing a gun only gives your opponent one option in winning the situation, shooting you. How is that “safer?”
10 point question: Handguns are for….?
Have you ever noticed that some guns have a single purpose, handguns especially, it’s killing people. While rifles and shotguns were originally made for hunting, handguns were designed and developed to shoot people. Some people disagree. I have a friend who hunts with a pistol, but not very often. It’s much harder than using a rifle or shotgun and people don’t like to hunt with him when he does it. Handguns swing faster and are easier to set off than a rifle, basically they’re afraid they might get shot. So, he has a $1,200 pistol with a $300 scope on it that sits in the case a lot. Fun to show off though, and you never know about those pirates. You can use a pistol as a hammer as well, but that’s not what it’s for.
I like to restore and repair original 45’s, the Colt M1911 and some of the more current models of the same basic design. It is an elegant machine and the forerunner of many modern weapons. Gruesomely simple in design, it has seen very few improvements in the hundred years since Browning first drew it. I don’t own one though, what would I do with it? Wave it at the TV when Glenn Beck is on? That doesn’t sound very satisfying and he’d probably like it. The fact is although I enjoy working on them, I have better things to do with that much money than having something to take out a couple of times a year and shoot targets.
While I don’t think much of guns as a weapon of defense I’m not sure I like the idea of outlawing them either, even handguns. I like owning guns, and I love to go shooting when I get the chance. It’s very expensive though, a single round of sporting clays can cost over $200. What worries me is that under our current system any nut job can get a gun in this country. Private militias play war games with real weapons in the western woods and fields. Guns stream over the border into Mexico every day filling the hands of their drug cartel enforcers. But, of all that’s wrong here, it’s still the mindset of some gun owners that bothers me most.
It’s a contentious subject, fraught with emotion in the US and I’m never sure which side I’m on. Maybe there’s a side that says “let responsible people own guns and irresponsible people not.” Too bad I have no idea how we could get that to work. For now I have no problem with banning high capacity clips, but what I really think we need is more responsible people.
Copyright Prentiss Gray 2011