Monday, August 15, 2011

Shooting Pains

Saturday morning I sat in my car with the window open. I could smell gun powder and hear small arms fire in the distance. My heart rate increased and I fidgeted in my seat as I waited. "Today is the day." I said to myself. Thank you Jesus! Today we are hitting the target range!

Saturday I went to the sportsman's club with my friend from church. We had a blast! (I know, bad pun, but a good time!)

There is nothing like a warm summer day, a pile of ammo, and half dozen weapons!

I have been shooting since I was 14. For my family, guns were no different than owning a hammer for carpentry, or a chainsaw for cutting firewood. We gave them the same respect we did any other potential harmful piece of hardware - like a car. Each of us took hunter and firearms safety courses. My dad was a hunter, and so were the rest of the men in my family; it put food on the table. Me, I preferred target shooting and plinking.

Every weekend I would purchase a few hundred rounds of ammunition and head to the sand lot behind the house. I set up empty cans and targets and fired away for hours. I became quite a good shot; a talent I hoped to use in the US Army some day.

When I was in college I sold or gave away all my guns. It was the cost of education, and I had no where to store them safely. Trust me, bong smoking, beer drinking college students do not need guns! Not long after there were kids in the house, and stifling laws. It was for those reasons I put my interest aside for 2 decades.

In 2000 I worked for a software company and they occasionally delivered computer systems to a "not so nice section of the city," to be installed at night, while the client was closed. Everyone but me carried a handgun. The owner of the company paid for my license and State Police certification as well as giving me a rifle and pistol. Almost exclusively we would hit the local rod and gun club about once or twice a week; we never made any of the late night deliveries.

It is interesting, a lot Christians get lumped into the right-wing-extremest-gun-toting-religious stereotype. Even president Obama used the term "guns and religion" in San Francisco when he thought he was off mic.

I don't think anyone enjoys being stereotyped; I sure don't. I am not a hunter, and I am not sure that I would use lethal force to "protect" myself. Heck, even Peter had a sword in the garden.

I am not so sure the guns kill people. If that were the case, than all mine are defective.

I have very strong opinions about the 2nd Amendment. Of course on one side there is the take them all away crowd, and on the other, the lack of regulation all together. I find it sort of silly that we have certain regulations, while we leave other types of gun behavior, which will often lead to crime, untouched.

If we look at some of the gun tragedies that have taken place, we need to ask an important question: How do these nuts get guns in the first place? Some buy them legally at gun shows where no federal background check is required. I am sorry, that's a good place to start. As much as I hate Massachusetts' ridiculously restrictive guns laws, they have the second step right. They do not allow people that have had ANY admissions to a mental hospital or detox to get  a license to carry. Add to the that, convicted felons. Guns are confiscated when restraining orders are issued, and domestic violence is reported. Bravo Massachusetts.

It bothers me that the media does not report whether or not a gun is legal, or illegally possessed when they report gun violence. It becomes pretty clear that convicted felons in some of the USA's largest and most violent cities are not getting their weapons at Walmart. Don't even get me going about what is happening on the border with Mexico.

Massachusetts has a mandatory sentence for anyone who carries a weapon (legal or illegally purchased) and does not have a permit to carry it. Again, bravo to MA - make it a 20 year sentence!

Children who end up with a weapon that came from a parent, neighbor or relative is one of the easiest gun tragedies to stop. They have gun locks idiots! In MA you may have all the gun locks that you want, and they are free at the police station in every town! For those the feel the need to keep a loaded firearm at the ready, there are gun safes that will open at the scan of a fingerprint.

This is not an exhaustive list of logical gun regulations. It is a little common sense so that those of us that obey the law, and enjoy our freedom as US citizens to bear arms, get to keep on doing that.

What do you think, what other restrictions would make sense without taking away the right to bear arms?


Andrea York said...

As a Canadian, the topic is outside my realm of experience but that doesn't stop me from commenting. :)

My husband's mother used to be married to a man from Montana and one of the highlights of a trip when we went there was to shoot off some guns. He had some conspiracy theories, so he had enough guns to arm a militia, although as far as I could tell, he was very meticulous about safety and proper gun care.

I liked it because it was outside of my normal life but I don't think guns are necessary at all.

I know that the 2nd Amendment is very important to many Americans, like it's their God-given right. No, it's a man-made amendment although I don't have a problem, per se, with Christians and guns.

On a post on FB by another friend, he commented that if guns were legal in the UK, people could defend themselves. Specifically he said, 'when people give away their right to defend themselves'. I made a comment about that and then another person asked if I wouldn't think twice about robbing a store if the owner had a pistol or a shotgun. To be honest, I wouldn't rob a store if the owner had a water gun.

Guns escalate the violence, period. The bad guys might be able to get a gun, and that's bad but many gun accidents occur, not out of violence but because of accidents in the home. If there are no guns, there wouldn't be those type of accidents.

David-FireAndGrace said...

@Andrea - thanks for your response.

I am with your friend on the personal defense front. There was significant Nazi gun control, and the Second Amendment was the right to rise up against this sort of tyranny. It is our right to defend ourselves against the government.

It is tough to get proper statistics on "gun accidents". In fact even here is a state where it is tough on guns, we don't have even the same amount of training that kids get to have a driver's license.

It is interesting that Vermont has no license to carry a concealed weapon, and they have a much lower rate for gun crime the NY or Washington DC. It is the same in Boston. The criminals keep killing each other, and innocent bystanders.

Accidents in the home are sheer stupidity for the most part - akin to drinking and driving.

It's too bad we have make laws for such a small percentage of criminals.

Tony C said...

There are a number of rants...excuse me...comments I could make (i.e. recent article in The Economist about U.K./U.S. firearms policies compared), but I'll leave it at this one...

Do you think people being slain in Syria by their own government wouldn't like a little more gun freedom about now?

photogr said...

I relish the concept of having the right to own guns. It is the only way we can defend ourselves against the tyrany our own politicians might try to push over us.

Of course the other is self defense against criminals who have no value for human life. Certainly would not want to become a statistic for their behaviour.

I love shooting wildlife but not with a gun. I would not think twice using a gun if I felt my life was in danger even if it meant sinning against God's laws.

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