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Monday, February 4, 2013


Don't let me have a gun!  I am afraid of guns.  Let me explain.

When I was a kid, about 9 years old, my uncle gave me a 20 gauge shotgun and took me hunting for rabbits.  He taught me to respect the gun, and how to handle it carefully.  We went hunting several times, and I always handled the gun responsibly.  So how did I get from there to where I am now?

I read the paper and have had about 70 years of experience with people since those days.

When the subject of protection is the context, guns seem so deadly a solution.  So often it is a family argument over something very unimportant that has been settled so permanently by a bullet.  It was the heat of uncontrolled anger that pulled the trigger, but there are no do-overs.  It's too late to say, "Sorry".

We have always had the problem of "road rage" since the invention of the horseless carriage.  But today, if I accidentally cut off a driver, I may well expect a bullet riddled car (or head?) as a result of that rage.

Then there is the joy riding shooter who just thinks its fun.

If I had a gun for self protection, I can imagine several frightening scenarios that reinforce my resolve not to have a gun in my house.  I can imagine me confronting an intruder in the dim light of my living room with my gun.  Since I am reluctant to take the life of another human being (life is a sacred gift from God) I know I will hesitate long enough for the intruder to see my gun, consider me a threat, and shoot me first.  In this scenario the gun has been the cause of my wound or death.  Had I no gun, my intruder might have only bound me and robbed me of mere possessions.

Or (less likely for me) I might learn to "shoot first and ask questions later" and find out the "intruder" was really was my son who needed help but lost his phone.  Probably even more terrifying than the first scenario.

I realize that it is far too late to ban guns.  Everyone knows in that case only criminals would have guns, and indeed they would have them.

I realize that our founding fathers wished to protect themselves from an oppressive government, and were they alive today might argue for state of the art weapons for that purpose.  This would likely be repeating assault rifles with multi-bulleted cartridges.  The very instrument that is at the top of the list for elimination by vocal advocates of gun control.

Many years ago we borrowed my dad's little RV to take a trip.  It was just my wife and I.  As my wife lie in bed, I found my dad's 22 hand gun.  I didn't know this gun, but looked at it and thought it was without ammo.  I wasn't certain, but I was stupid enough to squeeze the trigger.  Barbara was shocked and said, "What was that!"  I was shocked even more than she was when I realized what I had done, and what might have taken place.  Then I began to worry that I might have struck something vital for the operation of the vehicle.  I was relieved to discover the bullet had pierced the pillow of the couch and smashed itself on the metal framework.  I am still embarrassed to tell that story, as you can well imagine.  But I am old enough to realize that this experience cannot be unique.  Accidental shootings appear in the newspaper almost weekly.

So whatever side you find yourself arguing concerning gun control, by all means, don't let me have a gun!

1 comment:

  1. Wow. . . The number one rule of gun safety is always treat a gun, loaded or unloaded, as thought it is loaded. Don't worry, I won't let you have my 9mm.