Friday, August 22, 2014
First some background. I grew up exposed to guns. By the time I was 5 years old my dad had me shooting a .22 at the range. Hunting is a normal way of life in rural New Hampshire. Target shooting is a well loved sport for both men and woman.
Here's the thing. Guns are no big deal. Just about everyone around where I live have many guns. Quite a few have concealed carry permits. Nobody is strutting around with a gun on their hip like they are macho. They would be ridiculed, like a guy with a big SUV compensating for personal shortcomings. Guns are not waved around to settle arguments.
Some folks collect guns. So what? Some people collect Star Wars action figures.
Here's how many people end up with an “arsenal.” They grow up hunting with dad using one of his guns. When they get old enough they buy a few guns of their own. They might get a shotgun for bird hunting. Then they might get a semiautomatic rifle for deer, bear, or moose hunting. Somewhere along the line a .22 is purchased because ammo is pretty expensive for the other guns and they want to practice. Maybe they buy a handgun or two to compete at the range with their buddies. Here's the thing about guns, with a little care they last a long long time. Eventually they end up with their granddad's and their dad's guns. To the press, a dozen or so guns looks like an arsenal.
Now I've got nothing against the guy who wants to collect a military style rife. Functionally, it's not all that much different from my deer rifle. Many of those guys are like the Star Wars collector who wants all the accessories, including a model Death Star.
Then there are those asshats who think they are Rambo. Thank the creator it's a tiny fraction of those who own guns. Some have fantasies of defending their way of life against an oppressive government. If they are very lucky it will always be a fantasy, like sleeping with twins, or pitching in the major leagues.
Do you know what happens to insurgents who go against professional soldiers? They die. In droves. The burn rate is astronomical. Yes, those who survive are tough and smart, but on the job training probably kills 8 out of 10 in short order. The reality is a lot less fun than the fantasy.
Guns can be good protection, but not against tanks, drones, planes and well trained troops. Against the occasional drugged out home invader -sure. I defended my home with a gun. Rabies was pretty rampant in the small wild animal population. A groundhog was acting very peculiar, like it was infected, so I shot it. It might have attacked my kids or my dog. Not very Rambo like, I know, but that's real life. Someone is much more likely to shoot at a weasel in the hen house than a human intruder -and that's a good thing.
Inner city gun culture scars the crap out of me. It's everything I've been trained not to do with a gun. If you are in a place where gun violence is common, the solution isn't to get a gun of your own. The solution is to get the heck out of there by any means possible.