Sunday, August 31, 2014
I just got back from a gun shop. What a weird feeling....
Rifles lined the walls. There were enough to supply a few hundred soldiers. Hundreds more pistols filled the display cases. It was so busy that I had to take a number to speak to someone. This is one of the few places on earth where I am so totally out of my element. Realistically, I shouldn't be this way.
My family consists of a long line of hunters. Generations have stories to tell about shooting this or that. I didn't carry that gene on though.
My thoughts on hunting were always a bit different. Where all the talk was of “saving the animals from starvation”, mine was that, as a sport, it had nothing to offer me. The advantages all seemed to be stacked in the human's favor. Powerful weapons that can bring down almost any creature. Scopes that allow the “sportsman” to kill something from hundreds of yards away, the beast never knowing what hit them. Clothing that blends into the background. It just isn't a fair fight in my eyes. Take a sharpened stick into the woods and bring back a bear, THAT would be a challenge....
Even though it's not my thing, I respect the choices of folks who love it. I was talking to a man at the store while I was waiting and you could see the pride in his eyes when he talked about his abilities. Hitting a target at 500 yards is something I am sure a regular Joe (or Tom) couldn't do. I understood his desire to know more about his sport and his wanting to have many different guns at his disposal. I am the same way with cars, although my budget allows only dreams of cars.
The idea I can't stand is the one that states guns should be illegal to own.
Do the folks that think this way realize that one of the reasons our country is relatively safe is that our citizens are armed? Who wants to mess with a population that has more weaponry that people?
I am of the belief that PEOPLE kill, not guns, not knives, not intercontinental ballistic missiles. Human beings make a decision and perform the act. We live in a dangerous world in case you don't realize. There is a guarantee you will not survive, no matter how protected you want to be.
Is it a tragedy when a 9 year old girl accidentally kills someone? Of course it is. Is it horrible that anyone's life ends prematurely, being shot or not? Of course it is. Like anything, the more we know about something, the more comfortable we will be, the less dangerous it becomes. Sticking our collective heads in the sand will NOT make a safer world, it will just appear that way. Guns have been a part of life here in these United States for hundreds of years. Why aren't we used to it yet???
I have seen the business end of a .357, pointed straight in my face, but I didn't blame the manufacturer or the dealer for allowing this poor-excuse-for-a-human-being to have one. I blame the young man that held it to my head and demanded money. We need to fix the reasons why he decided to take this wildly unsuccessful path instead of the road more traveled. Show me a violent criminal and I will show you someone who doesn't have a retirement plan. Why would anyone choose that??? We should find out and repair this malfunction.
When I was in the market for a firearm, I was newly married and worried about home protection for her. I worked long hours and wanted to make sure she had a way of defending herself in case something awful happened. I shopped around and picked out a pistol that she could hold comfortably. She had been around guns growing up, as her Dad was a hunter. No worries.
The pistol was shot at targets for a grand total of once in 20 years. Definitely NOT gun-guy material.
Fast-forward to today and I am now an ex gun owner. I face the fact that I am NOT a gun-guy. Never was. Doubt I ever will be.
I would rather not kill ANYTHING. The older I get, the more precious I see life. Not only mine or yours, but of animals, plants, even bugs. I do my best to shush a fly out of the house, and have taken a cockroach out the door to live another day NOT in the place I work. I have talked to some insects that don't cooperate with my desire to see them living OUTSIDE, not flying around my apartment! (Thankfully, they have yet to talk back!!!!) I'm happy I don't have a camera following my every movement. I would have been taken quickly to the funny farm.
…. note to self – ask my invisible friend Beatrice why they call it the FUNNY FARM. Doesn't seem an amusing place to me!