Sunday, March 2, 2008

Get To The Choppuh!

A couple of buddies took me out to a firing range today. I'd fired some handguns while out camping a couple of times before but never like this. I have to say that it was pretty cool. I shot some .22's, a .44 Magnum and a bunch of other much bigger ones with names full of letters and numbers that I can't remember. One of the reasons I went is because I've never really been that comfortable around guns. In truth, I've always been a little scared of them. I know, I know, my little bio at the top of the page says I grew up in Texas and that's true. I guess I just knew too many idiots who did too many stupid things with guns in their hands and that has been the general feeling I've had whenever I've been around guns.

So I guess you could say that I've rethought how I feel about guns quite a bit. Of course, I've never been a rabid anti-gun activist; my Libertarian views won't let me become that kind of person. We should never forget that Nazi Germany was the last major world power to have extreme gun control laws and I don't trust my government nearly enough to give it that kind of power. On the other hand, over 11,000 gun deaths every year in the United States certainly bothers me but I think the reasons for that are much more than just the existence of guns and are best suited for exploration at another time.

When the topic of guns came up in conversation in the past I used to just say that I didn't like them but after spending the day with two guys I consider fairly sharp and responsible I'm going to amend that statement. What I was trying to say was that I don't like irresponsible gun ownership and use, which I think is a big difference. We don't blame cars or alcohol for drunk-driving deaths and for good reason; the central issue in both cases is personal responsibility.

On a lighter note, another buddy of mine suggested that I take a picture of myself at the range with some of the cooler weapons. I declined for two reasons: 1) the camera on my phone is pretty crappy and the picture wouldn't have been of "blog-quality" and 2) if for some reason I snap someday and go on a killing spree I know that's the first picture that's going to be on the news. Why give the media more ammunition?(yes, pun intended) Besides, I feel that the picture of my governor at the top of this post is a pretty close approximation of what I look like holding a gun anyway. I'm sure you'd agree.


Anonymous said...

We went to the gun range for my college roommate's bachelor party. We shot a Glock 9mm and a machine gun. Suffice to say that I could be comfortable never shooting another gun in my life.

JBW said...

I used to feel the same way but I'm starting to become more comfortable around them. I'm planning on learning how to clean and operate various weapons to become even more so. Of course, I don't plan on owning one, and I've still got my trusty Tazer.