Purple Hearts and Guns

I like guns. I relish the solid click of a cylinder revolving as I cock the hammer on my double-action pistol. I delight in that Teutonic crispness in the action of a Browning shotgun. Working the bolt of a Remington 700 .30-06 reminds me of the power of human ingenuity in the form of clever engineering. Part of this comes from growing up in the sticks where everybody was gun literate. The rest is residue from US Army infantry training.   I was taught to fear and respect firearms, and how and when to use them. I’m comfortable with weapons, but I don’t have or want a concealed carry permit. Get enough of those in circulation and we’ll be back in the Wild West. But invade our little house and you’ll hear me or the Kat sternly advise “Leave the way you came in, and you’ll live. Come closer, you die.” Then we chamber a round, and that metallic clack tells the intruder “this is serious”.

 

The Second Amendment appears to give Americans the right to bear arms.   Still it contains that troublesome prepositional phrase “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” Most of us aren’t in the National Guard, and those who are must leave their SAWs and M-4’s locked up in the armory. Outside the National Rifle Association no one questions the right of the government to regulate the type of firearm citizens may possess (no machine guns, grenades, or anti-tank weapons). But the NRA puts more fear in politicians than campaign finance reform and an informed electorate combined. Worse yet, the NRA wants a gun in every bedroom, preferably two.

 

Since I became old enough to buy beer (1968) 1,517,000 Americans have died from gun violence right here in the USA. Less than 10,000 others have been killed by terrorists. In all of our wars combined we lost 1,400,000 American lives. That includes both sides in the Civil War and all soldier deaths from disease.   Guns have killed more American civilians since 1968 than all our wars and all acts of terrorism against US citizens in all of recorded history. (Feel free to ask The Google.)

 

The USA leads the world in mass shootings.   To which the NRA replies “Guns don’t kill people: people kill people.”

Killed at Umpqua CC
Killed at Umpqua CC

 

That’s technically true, but guns make it too easy to kill people. A lunatic with a knife or hammer can take out one or two.   Give that loon an AR-15 with a couple of 30 round clips and a .40 caliber automatic, and you’ll get an Umpqua, a Columbine, a Sandy Hook, a Virginia Tech, a Texas Luby’s, a California McDonald’s, or maybe something in your town, coming soon.

Columbine Shooters
Columbine Shooters

 

Years ago, right after the U of Texas clock tower sniper, the time came to regulate firearms sales. That was 1966. To do nothing now is beyond irresponsible: it’s bloody murder.

Lucky Ones at Sandy Hook
Lucky Ones at Sandy Hook
The First Mass Shooter
The First Mass Shooter

7 thoughts on “Purple Hearts and Guns

  1. I am not a gun owner and am horrified by the gun violence culture that has taken root in the US. I find thoughtful posts like yours very powerful, since you actually own and appreciate guns, yet still realize that something has to be done to change the current state of affairs. I wish all my friends who owned guns thought like you and didn’t assume the “left” was coming after them and their guns. They are so incredibly defensive about their weapons and their NRA- and fear-fueled dogma that they refuse to acknowledge the simple, logical truth you speak: People may kill people, but guns make it oh so much EASIER. Easier for mass shootings to occur, easier for children to accidentally kill other children or their parents, easier for the depressed to kill themselves. Something has to give.

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    1. An old buddy of mine paid NRA dues for many years. He stopped paying when their leadership came out against a proposed Federal ban on teflon-coated ammunition. (Teflon coating makes it possible for an ordinary rifle or pistol round to penetrate a bullet-proof vest.)

      I’m just about there with the 2nd Amendment. People should have to register guns. We should have to insure them, annually, and guess what? That’s going to mean insurors will have to find a way to weed out the nutjobs. The rest of us will have to pay and pay, but if you’re handy with a roscoe and too old to successfully rassle an intruder, it’ll be money well spent. Peace of mind, don’t you know. But for those who aren’t comfy with a piece, in time they’ll turn ’em in.

      Over time guns become unworkable, especially without proper care. So about 50 years after we enact some kind of legislation to require responsible ownership, our problem will be solved. That to me feels like sometime after seawater has covered the streets of New York and Miami, but the day will come, for guns and an understanding that global warming is real and is upon us.

      Meanwhile, all we can do is try to speak the truth.

      Thanks for your kind words, Em.

      Jackson

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      1. Good clear thinking, Jason. Unfortunately what you purpose will never come to pass. You see, there are good clear thinking people like you in America, that ain’t the problem. The problem is there just aren’t nearly enough of you in America. We’re a very stupid people with a lot of power and natural resources, that’s all. Oh, and a couple of oceans on each side of us helps. IMO.

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      2. One would hope the public would tire of mass shootings. But if not, those of us who think something should be done have a duty to speak up.

        Thanks for reading us,

        Jackson

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    1. Only post if something moves you, good or bad. I write because I seem to need to. You don’t have to give me good reviews; I write for nothin’ as it is.

      Jackson

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      1. Understood about why you write. That’s great, and it comes through in your writing, your love of it.

        Same for Kat’s photos.

        I enjoy commenting, and do so when (as you said) something resonates with me. 🙂

        Like

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