Sorry about all of the doom and gloom, but here’s another hot topic that’s been bugging the shit out of me lately. It comes with it’s own vague, seemingly inaccurate infoposter type of thing, and a veritable forest of real information, theory, and emotions that can sway you to one side or the other.
Before we get going, I want to say that I am a gun owner. I hunt, skeet shoot, and target shoot. I love guns, and I truly enjoy going out to a gravel pit with Jake and Daryl to blow off a few boxes of shells. I also love heading for the woods with the Larries to maybe get a few grouse for the freezer. I haven’t done either in over a year, but I really do enjoy it.
Okay, now for the probably wrong meme. I guess I can’t say it’s wrong, but it isn’t from this year.
My friend JC wrote and drew up a great post on the subject, and it got me thinking a lot about it. I wonder exactly where I do stand on the issue. I like hunting, and I own guns. I say that as long as you’re a responsible gun owner, hunter or marksman, it should be perfectly fine to own a hunting rifle (bolt action, no magazine) or a shotgun (breech load, single shot), because you safely store them, locked up tight, like the law says you have to. You are also an ethical person, and would never use those guns to harm a human being, so why shouldn’t you enjoy them?
Growing up, my stepdad, Paul had a pistol. It was a Peacemaker .22. We would use it to shoot rabbits in the live trap by the garden, because the neighbours wouldn’t notice it like they would a rifle. This was back before gun safes were necessary, so putting it in a locked box in your closet was acceptable. I was fairly perceptive, so I knew where the key was for it, and for the chain that kept all of the other guns together. I never did open the box without permission, because we were taught from a very early age that guns were not to be played with.
When Paul died, he left me his .270 semi-auto. It’s a great rifle, and I might use it one of these days. I might not though, because I’m just not into much more than shooting a few chickens these days. I would probably end up being the camp cook for deer hunting, because I have no desire to gut and skin a deer anymore, but I guess I’d take the rifle in case one walked to the pond for a drink.
My dad gave me my Wingmaster 12 gauge for Christmas when I was 15. It is the most perfect gun that I’ve ever fired. The stock was cut down, and fits me to a T. I got my Cooey .22 from Paul when I was 16, and Larry sanded down the stock for me to get the chipped varnish off of it. It was made in Cobourg, at the Cooey factory where my Great Grandfather worked, so it has a great deal of meaning. I also have an RCMP Centennial model 30-30 that my mom bought for me when she worked at Winchester. I couldn’t have been very old. It’s shiny with brass all over and it’s never been fired. It’s beautiful. They all are. To me, anyhow.
The problem is that not everyone is responsible, and just because you passed a course that’s designed for you to not fail (or was when I took it 25 years ago), doesn’t mean that you are safe to own or handle guns. Accidents happen, maybe you go for a drive and blow a hole through the floor of your company truck, or maybe your kid finds the keys to your gun safe, and decides that now’s the time to exact revenge for the world treating him like a piece of goat shit since he got caught pulling his pud in the school washroom. There are far too many possible scenarios that can go wrong here. Even if you are a super-safe, top notch firearms storage expert, there is always a chance that someone will get a hold of your guns and use them negligently, or for crime.
The long and short of it is that my guns mean a lot more to me than just a killing tool. Every time I clean them, hold them, shoot them, or just talk about them, I think about Mom, Paul, or Dad. They are all good memories, and they are cherished.
It’s also true that I don’t need my guns. If I want to hunt I can use my bow. I wouldn’t get anything, and it wouldn’t matter, because I’m not in it for the meat. I think that muzzle loaders or single shot rifles and shotguns would be okay too, for the folks that feed themselves or their families with wild meat, because you get the range or the spread that you need, but you’d spend so much time reloading, that it wouldn’t really be very effective for a mass murder spree. Semi-autos and other magazined rifles and shotguns are great, but I really don’t see a need for anyone owning them, along with handguns, or assault rifles. I do see that they can turn a crazy person quite an efficient killing machine though, so I do think that they should not be available.
The fact is that it doesn’t matter what way I lean, or whether the government revokes the right to bear arms. If someone wants to kill a shitload of people at once, they will find a way to do it. If they can’t get guns, maybe they’ll use homemade explosives. They’ll do something, because they’re sick. This isn’t a whimsical thought that just happens into their head for a second. They have time to think while they are going through the planning and execution stages. You don’t just wind up at a school or a theatre with a bunch of guns and say, “Fuck it. I’m here. I have the artillery. Might as well kill some motherfuckers.”
Or maybe you do. I really don’t know, and I hope I never find out.
Run, take the money, here’s a bullet for your boyfriend, guns, guns, guns,