I owned a gun once. It was a shotgun that was given to be in repayment for a debt that I would have forgiven, but she wanted to square things up and hadn’t fired it in a long time. I bought some shells but gave the gun away without ever firing it. The shells are still around here somewhere. They’re at least 20 years old now and I have no idea if they would fire but what the hell do you do with something like that anyway? You can’t just throw them in the trash.
I learned gun safety in camp when I was a kid and we shot at targets with .22 rifles. I greatly coveted the marksmanship award but never got it. I tried shooting skeet at a corporate outing once. Didn’t hit a thing. The machines fascinate me, using them doesn’t.
I’m musing on guns this morning because it’s the morning after the shooting in Las Vegas. Already the total is over 50 dead. The early reports are that some old white guy was using a military weapon to fire into a concert as fast as he could from a hotel room high in the sky.
If I was present at the birth of this nation when the Constitution was written I might have bought into the second amendment without reservations. However, I’m pretty sure the guys putting it together couldn’t even imagine modern weaponry that can literally spray more bullets in seconds then our forefathers could get off in their one shot muskets in a day. The idea of putting together militias may also have made sense if the Constitution failed in that still fragile nation and an unjust government tried to suppress our other rights. But even every home was equipped with an AK-47 and a large cache of ammo, no ad hoc militia would be a match for our military with the artillery, air power and training.
What’s the solution to gun violence in this country. Sorry friends, but for a variety of reasons there are a lot of folks who shouldn’t have access to guns and there are some guns no one should access to except the military.
I used to think that being a “conservative” meant being pragmatic, thoughtful, and supportive of incremental, carefully planned change. I never thought that term would be applied to a political party that is dominated by white supremacists, deterministic and intolerant religious zealots and the cynical 1% money grubbers that are more than willing to manipulate them.
On both gun control and health care we have numerous models in the other industrialized countries in the world. We don’t have to reinvent the wheel. If Sandy Hook, Charleston, Orlando and now, Las Vegas, can’t convince us that there must be a better way to deal with guns, then God help us. Charlton Heston would be having that movie prop rifle pried from his cold dead hand if he used it to confront anyone armed with a modern semi-automatic weapon.