Ah, yes, the venerable gun. What I have found in life is that most people either love them or hate them, and very, very few feel completely and totally indifferent about them. Personal experience, opinion, education (or the lack thereof), experience, and a whole lot of other factors come into play when deciding if you like guns or not.
Those of you who know me on any level probably know that I’m a gun enthusiast, and have quite a few in my collection at home. I believe that as long as it’s our right to own one, we should all have them. I’m not a zealot, by any means, but I feel strongly that guns in the hands of capable citizens is not a bad thing. Guns in the hands of *criminals* and idiots, however, is, but why should they get the upper hand? If someone breaks into my house one night, I’m ready, and that’s the end of it.
Many of the folks I talk to about guns who have decided they do not like them have never actually fired one. That’s understandable. I don’t like skydiving, and the whole entire idea of it seems nothing short of insane to me. However, I have never done it, and so I really have no basis for that opinion other than sheer logic and the occasional tragedy that happens and makes the headlines. Guns are pretty much the same way.
Some people feel that outlawing weapons completely is the way to go, but I strongly disagree with that idea. Heroin is also outlawed and completely illegal, and look how well that works. No, as long as someone wants a gun, he or she will find one. So, if people are walking around on our streets, armed and potentially dangerous, I see no reason why I shouldn’t have the right to respond in kind.
I won’t bore you with a lot of statistics and other garble, but instead, I’ll try to highlight some of the positives of owning guns. As long as they are stored in a safe, responsible manner, they are no more scary than having a paper weight in the house.
1. If you have a gun in your home, you at least have options. Admittedly, the chances might be pretty low that an intruder will show up in your bedroom at three in the morning but if one does, you’ll end up a victim for sure if you don’t have a gun ready. The beautiful thing is that you probably won’t even have to use it, either. Simply announcing that you have a gun is sometimes enough. If it isn’t, the clack-clack of the shotgun or the unmistakable sound of the slide on a pistol may just do the trick. Those are scary.
2. Educating yourself and others around you on the proper ways to handle and fire a weapon greatly reduces the risk of “something going wrong.” Yes, guns can be horrible in the wrong hands, but as long as you and yours know what you are doing, there isn’t much risk involved. Surely no more than say, driving 5,000 pounds of steel at sixty miles per hour.
3. Squeezing the trigger at the range every now and again is a great way to get rid of stress. There is just something about the entire process of shooting, from loading the gun to aiming the gun to hearing the *boom* when it goes off and feeling the recoil before taking aim again that really does something for the soul. It really is cool.
So, what is your take on guns? Are you someone who wishes that not another single one was ever manufactured, and that all the current ones would be melted down and made into something nice like Hondas? Are you someone who has always had a fascination with them but have never actually gone shooting? Or, are you more like me and feel that guns serve very noteworthy functions in our lives in that they are great for both recreation and protection? One of the cool things about guns is that no matter who you talk to, someone always has an opinion on them or a story about them. What’s yours?