Why I Do Not Own A Gun
I remember when my dad first took me down to the firing range for my birthday. I had never fired a gun, and I was a little nervous about the details – would I be able to withstand the recoil? Would I jump like a skittish girl when it went off, and then all the other guys would make fun of me?
I didn’t want to feel this stupid about guns, but I did. I’d read up on them, of course – I was always a voracious reader – but the difference between theory and actual gunsmoke was pretty vast.
As it turns out, I did pretty well. The shop was clogged with bullets and sexy black metal, and they gave me an hour’s lecture on gun safety and told me what to do if the gun jammed, and when I was done they gave me a little gold certificate I could hang on my wall. And then I got the reward for being so patient: I shot guns for an hour. My aim was better than I thought it would be (“You’re good at the arcades,” my dad said proudly, “It must carry over”), but not particularly great. I asked to fire the heaviest handgun they had, the Desert Eagle, and I held it steady as could be expected through the kickback.
When I was done, it turns out I’d locked my keys in the car, so I had to call a tow truck. I was twenty-five years old at the time, and I’ve never fired another gun since.
This was not unusual. After all, I’m from Connecticut.
Oh, I’m led to believe that down South, you’re given a rattle and a Browning 9 millimeter, but in the Northeast gun owners are a quiet minority. It’s not that there aren’t people with guns – they exist – but there’s not that kind of gun pride you see in Southern states. They own the gun, and they’re enthusiastic, but they don’t talk about it that much.
But me? I can’t own one.
A lot of my friends have the gun terror – they’ve never fired a weapon, and guns terrify them. They not only refuse to have one in the house, but they don’t want to see anyone holding a gun. I get the impression that to them, guns are kind of like landmines – even if you’re just holding one by the barrel, it could go off and kill everyone in the room at any time. And for them, the idea that someone would keep a miniature Death Star in the house is evidence of purest insanity.
But me? I think guns are simply a tool that can be used for good or evil. I think that having a gun in the house is a choice that people should be allowed to make – it’s not always a wise choice, but like smoking and drinking and drugs, as long as there are laws to force people to do it responsibly, I have no issues with it.
To me, it’s a wash; every time I hear about some nut shooting up his son who was sneaking in after curfew, I hear another story about a guy who chased off a burglar with his gun. The statistics aren’t pleasant, of course, but there’s a part of me that notes that the statistics don’t show how many deaths a gun deters, only how many deaths it causes. (Probably not as many, but still.)
Plus, I’m practical. We have a zillion goddamn guns in this country; outlawing them would have all the effect of, oh, I don’t know… outlawing drugs. Plus, unlike drugs, guns don’t get used on a daily basis by their owners; nobody’s huffing bullets, meaning that a supply of ballistic tips lasts longer than a bag of cocaine. Even if we cut off the supply of guns overnight, we’d still be awash in a tide of bullet-conveying devices that would be easily available, so my fondest wish is that the Democrats would drop the “we must ban all guns” talk and move towards the middle so they can discuss “stopping crazy folks from getting legal guns” and make it stick.
So I’m actually for legality. But personally, I’ll never own a gun. And you know why?
Because guns are ****ing neat.
I’m a nerd, and I love reading catalogues, and even though I have no desire to fire a weapon again, skimming through a gun magazine is enough to make me drool. Guns are designed to look bad-ass, and the catalogues are filled with statistics and discussion of the craftsmanship that goes into them, and there are hundreds of details that make the difference between various models. Even allowing for the whole “This thing is designed to dispense death,” they’re sexy.
If I can spend hours reading up on types of armor that I’ll never own and spend days playing Oblivion in search of the ultimate superweapon, a gun catalogue would be heaven.
But I’m just smart enough to know myself. If I bought a gun, I’d buy a damned fine weapon, and it wouldn’t just sit in the closet in a safety case; I’d have to take it out and look at it a lot, and I’d dress up in my Matrix trenchcoat and pose with it, and I’d probably be dumb enough to go out in the backyard and see what the hell it did when I shot a tree. Give me long enough, and I’d accidentally shoot someone while experimenting to see what the gun could do, maybe with a bad richocet, and then look phenomenally stupid when the cops showed up.
I am not responsible enough to own a gun. And that is why I do not have one.
The comment fury may now commence.
Source - http://theferrett.livejournal.com/771153.html