Gunning for Guns

I have another dose of the fuzziness of the world we live in. Guns. Where do I stand on guns? It’s a hot topic, in the US and Mexico. But always the debate is about US guns. They are used, all too liberally, in both countries. I think only religion brings more wackos into the limelight than does the gun lobby. Regardless of the rights and wrongs of gun ownership, a big handicap of the pro-gun movement is that most of the most prominent spokesmen and women and mind numbingly dumb.

You can almost hear open palms slapping foreheads in astonishment the moment lips start moving. The latest? An NRA spokesman who decided to use Mexico as a prime example of what happens when you have really tight gun control. Tens of thousands of gun deaths. I slapped my forehead good and proper. The gun lobby needs a new approach, and some slightly more sophisticated and forward thinking ambassadors.

Should they be repeating daft old chestnuts about well armed militias being needed to protect the people against the government? Sure. I’d like to see that. A bunch of rednecks, sloshed on moonshine, versus the United States army. That’s going to be a close call, huh.  We’d see a sharp jump in the average IQ in the country, pretty quick. Natural selection in action.

I don’t think guns should be banned in the US. It’s a pointless argument. It’s not going to happen. Gun culture is too embedded. But the need for military grade assault weapons? Diversity in gun legislation from state to state? Lax gun ownership checks? Crazy. You bet there’s need for some new legislation. Talk of arming teachers instead of taking automatic rifles away from people with significant and long standing histories of mental illness does not make sense.

Would I like to own a gun? Sure would! Would I buy one. Nope. There’s lots of nutty things I could do. There’s a bunch of adrenalin fueled stunts I’d like to pull. But I have the ability to reason. To be thoughtful. To think better of crazy ideas. Most of the time anyway. I wouldn’t buy a gun, because I know that the potential negative consequences grossly outweigh the buzz of firing off a few rounds. I got robbed at gunpoint once. Wouldn’t I have liked a gun then? Not on your life. It would have done me more harm than good.

The other day, Mother Mexile commented that I wouldn’t have been allowed to play violent shoot ’em up video games as a child. I pointed out that, as a child, I ran around with an arsenal of toy guns  and knives, simulating murders and massacres. I practiced slitting my brothers throat a thousand times. We lined up brigades of plastic soldiers for battle. Mother Mexile commented that she tried to prevent me from having toy guns. But I just made my own out of branches. If push came to shove, fingers would do. There’s really just something in us boys, isn’t there? Life is fuzzy. Look how happy I was with my Action Man.

Always Ready For Action, Man

12 Comments

  • The only thing that can stop a nut with a gun, is another nut with a gun. So according to the National Rifle Association (there’s a misnomer if there ever was one), we should all be armed. Think back to the good old days (1800’s?) – everyone carried a gun and no one ever got killed apparently. They were so much safer in those days, weren’t they?

    • That’s pretty much one of the points I made in a reply to a comment above. Generally speaking, our world has become much safer and fairer. There’s still room for improvement. Repealing the right to buy assault rifles in 2005 probably wasn’t a step in the right direction.

  • In 1966, Action Man launched. I guess you were about 6 in that photo, so you may be at least 20 years younger than I am. And you’re a male, I am not.

    But whatever–I get so tired of the gun debates! To my mind, there is only one solution–that of Australia’s. Otherwise, the killings go on, the “moment of fame” psychopaths continue, and the suicides continue to increase.

    Here’s a rather conservative take on the Australian results. CNN had a much more favorable report. Regardless…..

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2012/08/02/did-gun-control-work-in-australia/

  • You can buy guns in gas stations in Guatemala but they have a policy I like: All legal guns have a spent round on file from the factory or wholesaler, if they dig one out of someone, they can match them up. If you get caught with one that is not on file, then you pay a fine and sit in jail until they can fire off a round out of it to compare it to the “unsolved” rounds they have on file. It cuts down on the stolen gun market as well-who wants a gun that has a murky history, you never know where it might have been. The law does little for shotguns but they are hard to hide under your shirt in a tropical climate.

    • If the Founding Fathers were reborn today, and given an island to populate and the joy of hindsight to boot……I suspect they’d make a lot of laws to try and improve the lot of the general public, and there’d be no mention of any ‘right’ to bear arms. Quite the opposite.

    • Great to see you back here! It’s been too long! I am many things. I’d like to think, though, that I’m one of the non crazies that inhabit the Earth….maybe.

  • Oh,oh, Politics, religion and guns, topics that will bring normal (if there are any) people to fisticuffs.
    What I have a difficult time grasping is what is responsible for the increase in these mass shootings. Growing up we all played cowboys and Indians, soldiers and such, and in those time we didn’t have the issues that are abound today. My first gun was purchased over the counter at a hardware store in the 50’s sure there were jealous husbands that finding out their wives new stud would get shot at now and then, but all in all, there wasn’t the violence there is today. My belief is that it turned out to be a social issue somehow intertwined with family values and being disciplined while growing up. There is a general lack of discipline which started in the late 60’s when parents got locked up for “abuse” for some form of discipline. Now you can’t lift a finger to do much of anything and because of that, more wackos think it is perfectly acceptable to do whatever they “feel” because they have a right to.
    It is a complex issue, which will not be decided in our lifetime I don’t believe, but looking at the way things are going it is not going to get any better, the populace cannot depend on the police to do much nowadays, so having some form of firearm at home is probably the only way to address that issue. There are bad people out there, doing bad things, we seem to not use the laws that are on the books to prosecute them because somehow they turn out to be victims.
    You tell me what the answer is, in the meantime I will go outside and do some target practice……

    • I have no intention of even beginning to try and tell you what the answer is Jerry! The genie is out of the bottle – there is, probably, no satisfactory answer.

      I don’t buy the argument that social change in the 60’s lies at the root of the issue though. Too many people look back at the past with a touch of nostalgia that doesn’t bear scrutiny to the reality. Even as we speak, there are people in Eastern Europe and former colonies of the British that wish communism or empire were the good old days. Besides, an awful lot of these killers have been neglected or beaten in their youth, just like in the good old days.

      There’s a ton of questions I might ask if I were trying to get to the bottom of it. Were assault guns so widely available and affordable back in the days of yore? Why have so many of the mass killings, about half of them, occurred in the brief period since the automatic weapons ban was repealed? Has there been a change in the social or economic landscape of the US? Is society really more lawless than it was? Demographic changes? I’m running out of time, but I’m sure you could come up with a few questions too.

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