Friday, January 21, 2011

Guns, lately

This is just a political commentary I wanted to get off my chest, skip it if you want to!  I was going to include it in my next post but took it out here separately.  My 'gun story':  Hunters and other gun lovers types told me before the 2008 election that Obama was going to take away our gun rights.  That would require a repeal and/or re-interpretation of the 2nd Amendment.  I responded to all of them that I would march with them on the National Mall in Washington DC if and when that happens.  And I will.  But I seriously doubt an attempt to do that will be made by this President; that is just the politics of fear in action.

Yes, Saturday Night Special and Run Through the Jungle are ‘anti-gun songs’ on my current playlist. I could’ve put U2’s desire on there too I guess, but with the MLK Holiday recently, but “Pride” was a better choice. I’m not anti-gun, well, not completely. I support the 2nd Amendment, just not in a rabid, Ted Nugent, NRA type way. I’m a hunter, mostly upland birds, and I fully believe any American of sound mind has the right to own and responsibly use a firearm in certain conditions: to protect and defend yourself, your family, or livelihood while under attack or robbery, definitely; to hunt game for sport and food, definitely; to safeguard against an oppressive, totalitarian, unconstitutional federal or state government, yes also, if it comes to that. My caveats: (1) Guns should be used safely and NOT combined with alcohol and/or drug use, and out of the reach of curious children (locked up preferably or with trigger locks). Gun owners should learn how to shoot safely and effectively. (2) There’s too much knee jerk swaggering and posturing against the government by citizens with miniature arsenals, in my opinion. If ultra-right wing ‘patriots’ commit pre-emptive attacks against the government (and I won’t name names or events in the past) it’s fair to surmise that the government has the right to respond in order to maintain peace and order in our society. (3) Its also too easy for a mentally ill person to obtain a firearm, which is exactly what happened recently with Jared Lee Loughner in Tucson, Arizona. Without a legal requirement to check a gun purchaser for a history of mental illness in some way, shootings like the one in Tucson and at Virginia Tech (which left 32 humans cold and dead) will continue, my friends and fellow Americans.

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