Sunday, April 6, 2008

The Second Amendment

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.

I'm afraid of guns. Even though I spent a stint as a Correction's Officer and had to qualify with one, and at times even wear it, I can't deny, they scare me. My youngest son, on the other hand, follows in his father's footsteps, and is enchanted by them. Luckily, the collection is kept in a gun safe upstairs.

Many times, he and I have argued over how having a weapon in the house makes you more safe. He's not a hunter but feels a need for protection, believing that eventually the world will progress to the point where we'll need one (or twenty). He claims a revolution is coming and we must be prepared. I imagine next we'll start stockpiling food, water and batteries.. Maybe I should go on eBay and shop for a 'flack' jacket. I joke about it, but I shudder at that thought that we're going to be our own demise. I think it's inevitable. I pray it happens long after I'm gone.

This morning, I was saddened to learn that Charlton Heston had passed. For some reason, it always bothered me that one of my biggest heroes was president of the NRA for so many years. Evidently, he shared my son's views: A constitutional right to bear arms. Somehow, I believe we should concentrate our efforts on other things, like recognizing that we are ALL truly created equal and should be treated thusly. I was reminded as I submitted my tax return that's not likely to happen in my lifetime. :)

While pondering the loss of a great star, my son sent me the following email. I thought I'd share it in honor of Mr. Heston whom I just watched for the umpteenth time in The Ten Commandments. It's so hard to picture Moses toting a gun.

The purpose of fighting is to win. There is no possible victory in defense. The sword is more important than the shield, and skill is more important than either. The final weapon is the brain. All else is supplemental.

As John Steinbeck once said: (note from Ginger: I'm not totally sure he said any or all of this.)

1. Don't pick a fight with an old man. If he is too old to fight, he'll just kill you.

2. I carry a gun cause a cop is too heavy.

3. When seconds count, the cops are just minutes away.

4. A reporter did a human-interest piece on the Texas Rangers. The reporter recognized the Colt Model 1911 the Ranger was carrying and asked him "Why do you carry a 45?" The Ranger responded, "Because they don't make a .46."

5. An armed man will kill an unarmed man with monotonous regularity.

6. The old sheriff was attending an awards dinner when a lady commented on his wearing his sidearm. "Sheriff, I see you have your pistol. Are you expecting trouble?" "No Ma'am. If I were expecting trouble, I would have brought my rifle."

7. Beware the man who only has one gun. HE PROBABLY KNOWS HOW TO USE IT!!!

But wait, there's more!

I was once asked by a lady visiting if I had a gun in the house. I said I did. She said "Well I certainly hope it isn't loaded!" To which I said, of course it is loaded, can't work without bullets!" She then asked, "Are you that afraid of some one evil coming into your house?" My reply was, "No not at all. I am not afraid of the house catching fire either, but I have fire extinguishers around, and they are all loaded too." To which I'll add, having a gun in the house that isn't loaded is like having a car in the garage without gas in the tank.

While I'm not so sure I agree with the contents of the email, many do believe it is their right to bear arms. My son keeps reminding me that it isn't firearms that kill people, it's people who kill people. He's pretty certain that if they didn't have a gun, they'd find another way. He may be right. I'm still afraid of them.


Minna said...

I'm so thankful we don't have that kind of general attitude about guns here in Finland. And as far as I know, around here, if you do have guns at home, you are supposed to keep them locked up, unloaded and in several pieces, too.

Minna said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Sorry you feel that way ma'am. When trouble comes your way, and it will, just tell the guy to take everything you have and cover your eyes. He may not shoot you.
Better yet, when you go out, wear your gun control tee shirt, and leave the front door unlocked. You probably won't get hurt that way.

My sister made her husband lock up his guns. They were still locked safely when we buried them.

Minna said...

Here's a news flash for you: Finland is not United States. You are far more likely to get yourself shot than I ever will be. You see, despite the number of guns we have (after all, people hunt, including some members of my family, need guns because of their jobs etc.) comparatively, we have nowhere near as many crimes done with fire arms as in your country. Of course that's not to say this would be a crime free country. Some bad things you can avoid by using some common sense and others you can't even if you would have a loaded gun with you all the time. I'm truly sorry for your sister and her husband, but even if his guns wouldn't have been locked up it wouldn't have been any kind of automatic guarantee that they would have survived. They could have just as easily been shot with his own guns.

Minna said...

And here's something for you to think about:
How many people have died or have been injured in school shootings, say during last 20 years in U.S.A. as compared to other countries, like for instance your neighbour Canada?
How many kids took their parents or other relatives loaded gun simply because it wasn't locked up and shot somebody?
How many people died or were injured in shootings last year?
How many of those shooters have been under 18 years old?
In how many cases someone was shot with his own gun?

Doesn't seem to me that arming everybody to teeth has made your country any safer place to live.

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