It’s not the guns, but…


not gunsI’ve made it abundantly clear that I don’t care for guns.

I’ve also made it just as clear I don’t care for knee-jerks.

In the wake of the terrible actions of a hateful individual in Orlando, I expect there will be a lot of noise on both counts.

As a backdrop, my sole experience with guns came when I was young. Dad would take me out to some quiet Everglades canal and we would pop the tops off pill bottles with his .22 caliber rifle (before we knew how ecologically horrible that practice was).

I was, at best, a fair shot. Anything moving faster than a backwater canal current would never have anything to fear from me. So, let’s just say I’m neither competent with nor desirous of guns.

But, I am a proud American and I love that our country is one of many freedoms, including the rights to purchase most anything we desire (within notable legal exceptions).

It takes a particular type of person to be able to fire a gun, even if just for target practice. While I have no desire to do so (I opted for the baseball toss at the county fair), I have no issue with anyone who finds their recreation that way.

Similarly, I’m not a hunter. I would likely starve if there was not a supermarket nearby (or a fertile body of water…fishing, I can do). Hunting is a prized and enduring activity in America and another activity that employs guns.

And, of course, there is law enforcement and the military, all needful of guns.

There are also criminals, who use guns to perpetrate harm on individuals for reasons of want, rage, hate and passion.

And then there’s the maniacs; the ones even the staunchest gun supporter cannot fathom their reasoning. Indeed, I would suggest most gun owners would promptly dispatch any of the mass murderers the country has suffered if they had the chance.

As with most things, the “one bad apple” effect occurs with guns. The unfortunate problem is the dramatic carnage that a madman with a gun can create, but it still doesn’t refute the right of legal and sane people to own and operate guns.


I continue to state that people may kill people, but guns do it better.

I feel a lot better about my chances with a guy eight feet from me holding a machete than that same guy holding a gun. Despite my advancing years, I think I have a much better chance of safely outrunning a machete-wielding madman than a bullet-firing madman.

A semi-automatic rifle, in particular the AR-15 used now in too many mass shooting incidents, concerns me in ways regular hand guns and hunting rifles don’t.

Putting aside the fact that semi-automatic hand guns also exist, the AR-15 (or M-16, in its military, fully automatic days) is a weapon most suitable for one purpose – to rapidly fire ammunition in order to cause significant damage to an enemy or enemies.

From a hunting perspective, this seems overkill at best and cheating at worst. From a general citizenry perspective, this seems impossible to lead to anything other than disaster.

Home defense is one thing, but absent an armed squad of invaders entering your home, it’s likely a hand gun is a more flexible and effective means of repelling an intruder.

Given its most obvious purpose and result, what possible reason (excepting that target practice concept mentioned previously) can there be to allow this type of weapon in the hands of the general public?

Please, don’t recite the 2nd Amendment. I agree with you…own your own gun. But I wonder what the Founding Fathers might have written had they a few semi-automatic (or even fully automatic) rifles back then.

I don’t see this as an either/or conversation. I firmly believe that no one’s constitutional rights are abridged if we simply stop producing weapons of mass destruction for the general public.

You’ll still be able to hunt game, shoot targets, kill burglars and even pop tops of pill bottles.

You just won’t be able to do it at 120 rounds a minute.

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