7.23.2012

Guns, Gun Control and American Family Life


Let me say up front, this is not a rant about the need for gun control in America. There is a need for gun control, however, I long ago came to the conclusion that gun addiction is like any other addiction, you can't cure it until those addicted ask for help.

The first step is for those addicted to realize that they have a sickness in the first place, and since the vast majority of gun owners in America are law abiding citizens, they don't think they are sick or are doing anything wrong by amassing arsenals of destruction. Which means there is no problem and therefore no need for gun control.

When you ask, the arsenals are for personal protection or hunting and just in case.

Just in case what, I ask.

Well, just in case....there is no answer that they want to give to that question. Not really, because then they would have to admit that they live in fear...in fear of their neighbors....in fear of a black planet....in fear of a white planet...in  fear of nameless, faceless criminals bent on taking their stuff away from them.

They live in fear of the coming anarchy and revelation, the end of times. They live in fear of the return of Jesus, when they will have to give up their stuff and move to heaven, which is supposed to be a good thing.

However, if they were really honest, they would tell you, they don't really want to go there, either, until they have to, and only after they figure out a way to hitch a u-haul up to the hearse to carry their stuff with them.

So in the meantime, they buy guns and wait, for whatever.

And as they wait, they infect the next a generation with their sickness, primarily today, via video games and a lax attitude about violence and the agents of violence.

The first two words out of my youngest nephew's mouth when he first started forming thoughts and words on his own were, Walmart, Jo, and weapons. He wanted weapons to play games on the computer. Never used the word guns...He wanted and still wants weapons, which is a computer word...only now at the age of 11, he wants real weapons. I know because we've talked about it. Walmart was the place where you go buy stuff...Jo is my name...He had no concept of “aunt”. I was just Jo, at the time.

Owning guns are okay in his mind, because his parents own them. His grandparents own them, too. His Granddad, my father, is a hunter, a sportsman. He has what I can only describe as an arsenal of weapons, many of which were handed down from other men in my family. Men who never figured out how to take their guns with them when they died.

My uncle was a police officer, one of the first Black officers in Cincinnati. My dad has his collection of guns. My grandfather was a country boy who used to be a hootch and moonshine runner back during prohibition. Granddad needed guns for protection against the feds and others who might have tried to jack his illegal cargo. My grandmother used to talk about the bullet holes in the side of the car. My dad now has my grandfather's guns.

My father hunts rabbits, pheasant, shoots groundhogs and moles to keep them from tearing up his perfectly mowed lawn. My father just likes to buy guns. He never shoots them anymore. Just likes owning them, cleaning them and showing them off to his equally enamored grandsons.

I remember walking down into the family room, when our latest marine was visiting recently. A serious boy thing was going on. Nearly the whole floor of the family room was covered in guns, rifles, handguns. Old guns, new guns. I had no idea. The guns are never shown off when the women are home. The marine is a marksman and actually taught shooting on Paris Island. He was very at home amidst the guns and my dad's enthusiasm. And, it goes without saying that he is a man, all man..a grandson. Guns are something for men to talk about.

My dad is a member of the National Rifle Association. Law abiding. Keeps his guns in a vault-a locked vault to protect the young ones. When I was a kid, the gun was simply left on the shelf in the closet in my parent's room and we knew not to even think about touching it.

Kids today, are a different story. They have to touch and handle, regardless of what they are told to do or not to do. So dad locks them up, now. Progress of a kind, I guess.

My father and I are on different sides of the gun control argument. In order for gun control to happen, I would have to convince my father that he has a real illness with his need to own so many guns. But he, and others like him, nearly all the members of the NRA, don't believe they are sick, in any way shape or form.

They won't admit to being fearful either.

They are comfortable in hiding behind the rationale that people who use guns to kill people are either criminals or crazy, not like them, the law abiding citizens of the NRA. The law abiding need their guns to protect themselves and their families from the criminals and the crazies and to go hunting once in a great while.They don't distinguish between owning a 30 ought six or 12 gauge from owning an AR 15 assault rifle. They are all just guns, or weapons as my nephews say.

Guns don't kill people...people kill people. Fear the people, not the guns.

And that is why the shooters in Aurora, or Columbine, or the beltway snipers will have easy access to weapons, because guns are part of the American lifestyle of everyday American citizens.

Everybody has em, nobody uses em.....like any other tool in the garage... just there when you need it.
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