Thursday, October 31, 2013


Ask your gun loving friends this question and watch them turn cowardly---hem and haw---wiggle and lie, evade and accuse.  Almost none of them have the courage to confront this question rationally.  But I found one---Here he is:
He was having his morning coffee---I asked the question---expecting the usual evasiveness.  BUT SURPRISE:---he answered succinctly and un-defensively: SEMI-AUTOMATIC WEAPONS.  And he added:  There is no legitimate need for automatic weapons. (other than military)
I had stopped to photograph this provocative sign.  He told me  people stop often with their cameras.
In Prescott, Arizona---
This may be the biggest gun store in Arizona---
a veritable supermarket of deadliness.
RANDY PHILOSOPHIZES:  The range of deadly weapons extends perhaps from a low of POCKETKNIFE to an absolute high of Atomic bombs.  The question at issue is where along this spectrum shall we draw the line legally.
 I salute this brave man---did you notice he is carrying a sidearm? (Arizona has perhaps the most permissive gun laws) He operates this store.
I think I agree with his answer----to draw the line between semi automatic and automatic weapons.  At least for now, It seems a reasonable middle ground between too much and too little--- until so many mass murders occur that it will seem logical to begin restricting them even more---as happened in Australia.  I feel safe in Canada because they have so seriously restricted firearms. 
Only twice in 8000 nights of boondocking I have  felt comforted by my weapons---outside Sheridan, Wyoming In a lonely place-- 4 (drunken?) teenagers roared up yelling and began to rock my rig.  I was not afraid--because I was armed---having a weapon comforted me---I waited quietly--- they soon went away-- no harm done.
More seriously, in Lafayatte, La I was accosted by a carload of angry youths--yelling and cursing me for some supposed traffic infraction.  I apologized profusely several times---not knowing what I had done---while just out of sight I held my equalizer.  Luckily they did not attack.
All in all my guns have caused me more trouble than they are worth.  In Concord, Massachusetts the cops took my weapon---disassembled it and gave it back the next day. 


Wayne (Wirs) said...

There are two reasons to own a gun. One is to kill yourself. The other is because you are afraid.

I refuse to live in fear.

Your experiences would have turned out the same if you had a gun or not. Right?

Most people who own guns are simply afraid of mental fantasies.

Anonymous said...

Sorry Wayne, you are seriously in error. There probably are as many reasons to own a gun as there are gun owners.

In any case, I suggest you visit once in a while to encompass other people's reality, since yours is apparently so constrained.

Wayne (Wirs) said...

Yeah Anon, you're probably right, there are more reasons (sport, etc), but there does seem to be far more harm done with them (human lives taken) than any of the benefits (which was the point I was trying to make).

Tesaje said...

My brother who has had firearms most of his life also says the same thing and has all along. He also says semi-automatic is a technicality since anyone can make a tiny change to it to make it fully automatic and even in the semi mode, they can fire as rapidly as you can move a finger. Those weapons are for war against similarly armed humans only.

Even if one is armed, there is a huge disparity between a non-criminal normal human and a criminal. Intent to do harm gives the criminal an edge. A normal human has an abhorrence to carnage and has to be convinced there is no other choice. That time difference makes a huge difference. Cops are required to take a lot of training (10K rounds) and there are no small number who flunk out because of too much hesitation or the other side of the coin, too eager to kill.

dr.dave said...

I am 46 years old, and guns have touched my life twice. In 1988 a close childhood friend was murdered in a gun and drug related incident. In 2011 another close childhood friend with serious mental issues took his own life, after failing four times with pills. I currently live in Arizona, and amazed to see people with IQ's clearly barely larger than their shoe size walking around best buy or wal mart with firearms. Usually, they also have children with them, and I have even seen their children reaching for and touching their parents sidearms. Truth is, America is a violent place, founded in violence, preserved in violence, now mired in violence. I hope to get through the rest of my life without guns touching my life again, I fear I will not be so lucky.

Kallen & Kris said...

Children can be raised to respect and treat guns with good sense, just like any other tool. Or the kids can be neglected and ignored and not taught the basics of any responsibilities or community concepts. As a society, we seem to be more interested in getting rid of the dangerous tools than we are in solving the problems that are behind the mass murders and random acts of violence. The level of violence in the US has grown. So has the lack of mental health care, the reduction of moral values (ask a kid today if it's wrong to cheat or steal - any kid, from any socio-economic level in any community), and an acceptance of violence for no cause (such as campus riots after ballgames). It isn't the guns or the knives or the ricin . . . it's the people who no longer value other people, who no longer believe in doing good for the sake of being good, who aren't looking out for each other - just themselves. Take away guns and those folks will be a step closer to being in control. I live in fear because I've looked into too many dead eyes of too many young folks who were not taught respect of self, others, community, property, or dangerous tools.

VtChris said...

Hi Randy, I wonder, since you are better at asking strangers these type of questions then I am, if you could ask gun toting regular citizens "how many times have you NEEDED that gun?" I see that your answer was zero and suspect that 99% of gun owners would have the same answer (with the exception of hunters). So why all the guns??

Bon vivant said...

I'm not too well versed with the arguments pro/con since I've never owned a firearm. How's this: Citizens need access to, within reason, any arms the 'guvmint' has access to, since our greatest threat presently, IS the government AND that's one of two original intents of the amendment. "within reason" meaning arms which are designed to be carried/used by foot soldiers.

JimS said...

Well, Randy, you know how to pick a topic. :)

Once Congress defeated the latest legislation to enact any semblance of gun control, the sane went off, licking their wounds, while the gun-rights crazies paraded through the streets with their flag and religious monikers, none of which garnered much media attention; it simply disappeared.

Until here in Colorado, where sane state legislators passed a simple law broadening background checks and limiting magazine sizes, the gun-rights crazies reared their ugly head again, being handed the media microphone, as if the implied spoksemen of freedom (read: stooges of the NRA and right-wing lobbies). Those same crazies, who lament govt spending, didn't blink once when the taxpayers picked up the tab for the recall elections (even though one of the congressmen had only a year left in his term and was term limited).

When I've seen people carrying sidearms in public (and safe) places, it makes me wonder what they're afraid of. As Wayne said, their mental fantasies.

Steve said...

I own guns and wish I didn't need to but am glad I have the freedom to.

1. Randy--thousands more people die every year from car-related accidents than guns. Many of these accidents are caused by the negligence of drivers but no one wants to ban cars.
2. Kallen & Kris--very well said.
3. VtChris--be careful how you characterize people. Stereotypes are rarely accurate. My father is a retired police officer and could give you HUNDREDS of instances where victims could have prevented violence and attack had they been armed.

The bottom line is that people were killing each other long before guns were ever invented and, unfortunately, will continue to do so. I at least want the option of fighting back with equal force. I don't live in fear. I live in acknowledgement of reality. I wish it were different but it isn't.

Steve said...

Jim S--Your baseless and broad characterizations of people who disagree with you don't give substance to your arguments. They just make you look silly.

Anonymous said...

Wayne, I read that there are over one million US victims of crime per year that successfully resolved their encounters using personal firearms. Generally all that is required is the perp noticing that a gun has been drawn and they run for it. I am inclined to believe those numbers (again see for daily examples.

This is likely not the best venue to get into big discussions about firearms. But anytime one sees emotional laden comments like those from Jim (sane, crazies, etc.) you know reasoned arguments went out the window.

In any case, we DO have constitutional protections to bear arms. "the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed." Simple. Fact. Too bad if it chaps your butt. Molon Labe.

Most gun owners I know are responsible, educated folks who respect the tool. I practice more than any cop PERIOD; judging from the number of shots that cops take and miss, they need much more practice since they tend to hit dogs and bystanders more than perps, LOL. Just for your info, gun crimes continued to decline in the USA as MILLIONS of new weapons were sold. Makes me go hmmmmm. An armed society is a polite society !!

I would agree, however, that being armed while being a mobile-kodger-type is problematic. Too many jurisdictions for comfort, as much as I want the firearm to protect myself and pup from coyotes, etc.

Anonymous said...

I grew up in the rural areas of northern NY state and in our family weapons were a part of our lives, not for protection but for hunting. Safety was taught us before we were old enough to handle a weapon. The hardest things in Vietnam for me to get used to was carrying a loaded weapon in a vehicle and having one next to my bunk. My compromise was to never have a round in the chamber. Vietnam convinced me that there was no reason for a civilian to carry a side arm or an automatic weapon. Nothing since has changed my mind. I no longer hunt, but still have rifles and shotguns in my weapons safe. When asked by a co-worker what type of firearm he should keep in the house for protection, I always said a baseball bat and explained why. Killing other human beings is over rated as a sign of macho. I like it that you approached a man carrying a side arm and asked your question. I liked his response too. By the way if one chooses to use a stick of any kind for protection then they should learn how to use the stick or it will cause great pain when inserted in their rectum athwart-ships.

Unknown said...
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dave s said...

You can't rely on the media and political operatives to give perspective to the problem of gun violence.

The book "Freakonomics" does a good analysis on guns and gun violence. An interesting comparison by Freakonomics of deaths by gun and deaths by drowning begs the question "why isn't the government in the business of banning swimming pools?".

Anonymous said...

This is from my feeble old guy memory but... I do not recall the word "guns" or gun in the US Constitution. I believe the word is "arms" with no mention of defensive or offensive arms. And my understanding of that is there was no limitation as to what weapons the populace could have. From a history buff point of view, my understanding of the 2nd amendment is that the founding fathers expected those arms to be used to protect the populace from the government, not just for hunting or collecting etc.. There is none of the modern BS of y'all can have muskets but no pistols or, no one can have a cannon, or.... only certain muskets are allowed based on what they look like or what might scare certain people.


Anonymous said...

I own guns because they are fun to shoot and I have always enjoyed weapons since I was a small child. Sticks, bow and arrow, bb gun, you name it. Also, I like knowing that I have ultimate force at my fingertips just like the bad guys. I hope I never have to use one defensively, but at least I have the option.

Also, reasonable gun ownership is a God given right, inalienable right of citizenship (so long as I do not criminally harm my fellow man). If you don't care guns, don't own them, but don't attempt to tread on my rights. Also, history teaches us that governments are the number one killer of people in the world. Our government needs to be kept in check in multiple ways, the primary means being the system of political checks and balances. But an armed citizenry is a nice "check" too.

sail4free said...

Gun ownership is a "God given right"? Well, then, it's clear I have nothing to offer this conversation. Keep wrapping that cross in the (notably) US flag with those God-given weapons nearby and we'll try to remember to drape your coffin with same so *your* God will recognize the box when it shows up at the gate.