Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Guns, USA

I use firearms in both my personal and professional lives. At work I frequently carry a 9mm pistol or a 12-gauge riot gun. While on leave at home I visit the local range (at which I am a member) and empty a few boxes of 9mm and .380 into paper targets

I enjoy shooting--it's a method of honing my skills for work and blowing off steam at the range. Not to brag, but I'm pretty good. What's more, I'm safe.  I know how to handle and control a pistol, shotgun or rifle. I respect the weapon in my hands.

Please note: I do NOT own a firearm, and will not allow one into my home. As a 25-year veteran I have seen what bullets do to the human body and to the psyche of the victim, and do not plan to contribute to the flow of stolen weapons on the street should per chance a firearm owned by me be stolen; I refuse to take responsibility for the injuries or deaths it might cause.

I know the gun/anti-gun argument is raging again after the recent tragedy in Oregon, and that both sides are revving up the same old arguments over the "right to bear arms".  Well, here is my position, take it or leave it.

The right to bear arms "as part of a regulated militia" is an antiquated, quaint notion that assumes a threat from within our society or without, and that every able-bodied male in the community would be "on-call" when the need arose to defend said community from attack.  In a rural environment one would have hunting arms as a matter of course, but in villages and towns as well there was a reliance on the ability to call out the armed populace.

This is a fiction today.  The community will not call individual citizens to the defense of the commonweal; this is why we have police forces and armies. There will be no more "midnight rides", folks.  The zombies aren't coming and The Purge has been cancelled. What there will be are continued deaths, either accidental or intentional, because of the existence of firearms in the hands of irresponsible or incompetent owners.

People buy firearms for "home defense" or "personal protection".  In the vast majority of cases this is fiction, an excuse.  People buy guns in the main because they are empowering; they make one feel in-control, better able to deal with the world around them.  I know this feeling; I've felt its effect even after decades of handling rifles, shotguns and pistols.  It feels good to heft a long arm or draw a finely crafted pistol from its holster.

Too good.  The sensation of life-and-death power is seductive, even addictive.  And destructive.

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