Guns are one of those great American topics like Abortion, Evolution, and Global Warming, where what we believe is the absolute truth and everyone else is just flat WRONG. This, of course, makes it a lot of fun to talk about.
Real munitions, like Metal Storm million-round-a-minute machine guns and A-Bombs, are not easily available to the average citizen. Fully automatic machine guns can’t be found at Wal-Mart. Tanks and Aircraft Carriers aren’t for sale on eBay. No private citizen owns a fully functional Black Bird or a Stealth Bomber. What kind of panty waist Militia are we Americans putting together out there?
We are a county of cowards who gain strength from owning a pretty gun and keeping as many rounds as we can afford close at hand. It takes no skill, strength, or intelligence to kill someone with a handgun. That’s why they are the preferred method of killing people. Which is fine, if someone is trying to kill you, such as an enemy solider in an old style war where you knew who and where the enemy was, this is a good thing. Killing someone who disses you, cuts you off on the freeway, or wants your flatscreen-not so much.
Gun nuts like to talk about things like how many people are killed by things besides guns-there is one big difference between guns and everything else, a gun’s sole purpose in life is to end life. Gun nuts respond to this by mention target shooting, which like hunting, is not the reason most people buy semi-automatics or extended clips.
So let’s say you have a gun and I want to kill you.
I have a gun, so I shoot you first as many times as I can. You die, but maybe get a couple of rounds off and I die, too. To a gun nut this is a win.
I have a knife, I have to get close enough to stab you as many times as I can, which might give you a chance to shoot me and will certainly make a mess of my clothes and hands. If I’m crazy and yelling like Tarzan as I run up to you, you have a good chance of getting your gun out as I plunge the knife in.
I’m unarmed, but I’m a pretty big guy and can beat you to death. Take one, you can’t get to your gun while I pound away on you and fracture your skull. Take two, you get your gun but I take it away and kill you. Take three, you get your gun out and kill me before I get close enough to do you any harm and you end up on the evening news and possibly do jail time. Unless I happen to be in your house at the time. This is a win for the gun nut, as they can now claim victory in defending themselves and exercising their freedom. Take four-I am your husband, wife, or child who got up to go to the bathroom and woke you up from a bad dream-you get your gun and kill me before you can turn on a light. This might make someone change their mind about the whole gun nut thing, or it might still reinforce their believes, as the person they killed could have been a bad guy.
And so on and so forth…
The sad fact of the matter is that guns are cool. I wanted a .44 like the one Clint Eastwood used as Dirty Harry and I really liked the Desert Eagle used by Agent Smith in The Matrix. I owned a .357 revolver for about ten years and carried two speed loaders with me when I was at work. I only fired it a few times at a gun range. I read a lot of magazines, bought obscure rounds for their man stopping power, and read a lot of old books I found at the library on how to put more rounds in the ten ring. I liked the wad cutter rounds for the nice neat holes they left in the paper.
But even then, I was not a fan of the idea of every man, woman, and child in American owning a gun. I no longer own a gun, but the people who do own them usually own more than one. A&E needs to make a show called Gun Hoarders.
So what might happen that would do any good?
Have a never ending buyback program where anyone can sell any type of firearm-no questions asked-at any time.
Limit the amount of ammunition anyone can buy for a set period of time, and keep track of each purchase so that you can’t buy a box here and drive across the street and buy another box.
Make private sales of guns and ammo illegal. Require all transactions be put into a National Database that can be accessed by all law enforcement agencies and red flags will be raised when multiple guns or ammo are purchased by the same person or address.
Make it mandatory that anyone who buys a gun has to take a class and pass a test-a real test, not the jokes that pass for Concealed Weapons and Commissioned Security Guards.
This won’t work because crooks don’t obey the law and what’s to stop someone from hiring a couple of bums to buy bullets for them? So we shouldn’t try anything? Really?
I went to London about ten years ago. London was familiar with people killing each other over nothing. The bad guys liked to blow things up. I was greatly impressed with Security in Gatwick Airport, soldiers in full body armor carrying M-16s at the ready. Is that what we really want here? Blackwater patrolling the halls of our schools? I’ve worked in schools that have metal detectors at the doors, some of the kids in those schools are still pretty scary, even if they don’t have metal weapons. But I was never really afraid of them.
Of course, I grew up in one of Fort Worth’s many fine Ghettos, where gun fire was a nightly occurrence and likely still is. We all gotta go sometime. The folks in the Old Neighborhood owned guns and they used them. But again, I was never really afraid, I walked the streets day and occasionally night. I’m not afraid now. I’ve never been afraid and wanted to reach for a gun to keep that fear at bay. I did have that whole Superman thing when I owned a gun. I would reach for it during the occasional testosterone induced bit of machismo. I never shot anyone, never even came close.
I was working with another Security Guard at a Truck Stop. We were walking around, trying to keep the prostitutes at bay and trying to keep people from stealing the odd four hundred dollar tire. A car pulled up and we told them to keep moving. They gave us attitude and the guy I was working with got pissed off and shot the car as it drove off. The security company lost the account and the knucklehead lost his job. So far as I know, he still owns a gun, as is his right as an American. You might note that he shot the car as is was driving away.