Saturday, February 18, 2012

My Gun Control Dichotomy

I wanted to take a second to clarify my feelings about something I briefly -- and strangely -- texted about with my daughter a few days ago.  I'm an old hippie liberal.  I admit it.  I think one of the biggest problems the United States has is the plethora of guns.  They are entirely too plentiful.  And I believe them to be unnecessary.  We live in a society that, for all its flaws, is pretty well protected by those in authority.  Home invasions are still rare, although street corner muggings, sadly, are not.  But I truly believe, with all my heart, that society as it is now would benefit greatly if we could somehow make all our guns go away.  Hell, if we could make HALF of our guns go away, things would be better.

But.  All my highfalutin' beliefs about gun control and such unfortunately go right out the window if (or when) society starts to break down.  I honestly don't think my wife and I would last ten seconds if the meteor hit and some roving gang of armed scum decided they liked our house.  My ideas on gun control and gun ownership basically go away as completely irrelevant once we as a society no longer have that veneer of respect for the law and for each other (and no longer have the fear of the potential consequences of violating that law and respect.)  When nobody is on the other end of your call to 9-1-1, you are on your own, brothers and sisters.

So I don't currently have a gun in my house for lots of reasons.  In our present society, I think it would be wrong.  I think it would be more dangerous to have one than to not have one.  (But I do have a razor sharp machete as a compromise.  I also have a belaying pin -- that fine old club that pirates used to tie off sails and beat the brains out of each other -- in the bedroom.  But I digress.)  When you have a child in the house, all the gun locks and high closet shelves aren't worth much.  That kid is going to find that gun, load it, figure out how to turn off the safety, and shoot either themselves or their little friends.  Or both.  Count on it.  Also under our present system of society, I think it's far more likely that the gun would be turned against me, or otherwise do harm to me or my loved ones, than it would serve us as protection.  

So we don't have a gun.  A gun is the only tool whose purpose is solely to take life. Even machetes can chop branches, and belaying pins can, uh, belay.  Or something.

BUT.  I pay attention to the news.  I hope my daughter will, too.  Because if they spot that giant asteroid heading for us ...  if Mahmud Ammadinnerjacket over in Iran gets the atomic bomb he so desperately wants (and when he gets it, I honestly believe that he WILL decide to use it on Israel, thereby starting World War III) ...  if any one of a dozen other things should happen; any of those major indicators that things are about to change, and not in a good way...  I will get us that gun, if only protect what's ours, for the simple reason that nobody else is going to do it for us.  Once I am sure that society's collapse is only a matter of time, I will be on line at the gun store.  And even more importantly, on line TO LEARN HOW TO PROPERLY USE THE DAMNED THING.  People who buy a gun and keep it under their bed or in their purse "because it makes me feel safe" but who don't know how to use the bloody thing are IDIOTS.  And I am not an idiot.

And yes, I do know how to use my machete and the pirate club.  And I never even mentioned the superb L.L. Bean hunting sling I also keep in the house.  Drove a bear off with that sucker once ... but that's a story for another time.  

My point is, I could still seriously mess somebody up with any of those things, should the need arise.

Unless they shoot me.

1 comment:

  1. I see you sitting on the edge there old friend. As the son of a conservative who was captain of the William Penn Pistol Team and also invited to shoot for the USA at the Olympics way back in LA, I grew up around guns. I have shot guns many times I know gun safety and I have several in my home. My two children never found them nor played with them because I taught them at a very early age how dangerous they are.
    In my 20's I went into the military (god bless 'em but it really wasn't for me. Still I learned a lot, especially even more about guns and shooting)
    As I grew older I slowly became more and more liberal as you know. I think however I will never go so far as to say guns are bad. I know it is gun people propaganda but the simple truth is guns don't kill, people kill. This is even more relevant to you after the events in front of our church this past Sunday.
    Let it be known that in Switzerland there is a mandatory decree that upon his 18th birthday every eligible male child serves a at least a single term in the Swiss military. There he taught to use m care for and maintain a full submachine gun. Upon completion he takes that weapon home with him. That is Every eligible male child, so think a home with a father and two sons has three machine guns. Why? because if needed they will be called back into service. They are expected to continue keeping up with that guns care. Guess what country has not only the lowest crime rate but also the lowest number of gun deaths yet the one of the highest guns per capita..yes Switzerland.
    So what can we do here? Well yes try (but we know how well the black market works so criminals have easier access to guns already) to control who gets guns, require some mandatory training and teach our selves and children responsibility.
    Now I have a small problem with registering guns with the local, state or federal government. I know it is not considered a very PC or liberal film, but watch Red Dawn, the 80's original. The first thing the conquering army does is go to the local statehouse and sporting stores to find out who has guns and takes them. Worst case is that we as a people decide that our government has become too oppressive, they know who has guns now. I am not a paranoid alarmist I am optimistic about our system, but as is said "trust in Allah , but tie up your camel) The founding fathers knew that this experiment of theirs may fail and wanted the people to be able to defend themselves against ALL enemies both foriegn and domestic...and if the government fails and elections don't work? As we continue to lose more freedoms? (the Patriot act may be the tip of an iceberg if we keep giving up rights)
    So Tom, my dear friend i am very pro gun, but the key here is responsibility. Get one, go to a local club (there is one in Harrisburg and In Mechanicsberg) and learn how to handle it. If you want I'll lend you one of mine to train with so you can see for yourself.
    You may change your mind , Look at Kari on Myth busters she was anti-gun never fired one in her life till a myth called for it. Now she can't get enough....If you ever have questions I'm here, if I can't mt daughters fiancé is a teacher at Harrisburg.
    My best to you and your family

    Ed Hazell