On Firearms

Two articles in one day! Without saying too much, tomorrow is a huge day for me, and I’m a bit nervous. Instead of diving right into it, I’d like to expand on why I am writing saucy opinion pieces on what used to be a pretty dry technical blog. I would like to write a story for my daughter someday, something she’ll actually enjoy reading. I am keenly aware I am not the most entertaining writer, nor am I the most practiced one. So, this is an attempt to grow my capabilities as an entertaining writer. I have picked topics I have pondered for a great deal of time that I feel are general enough to appeal to anyone, and I hope you agree. If you are entertained, feel free to drop me an email, which you can find on the left side of the page. I don’t wish to discuss my opinion with you, and if I’m being completely honest, I don’t really wish to hear yours, but it would be nice to know that you were entertained by my writing. Thanks.

Firearms are a particularly sticky topic in America and that is in part due to the second amendment, which of course guarantees the right to bear arms. The framers designed this law with the intent of giving the people the power to defend themselves in the case of a government incursion or oppression of the people. It is a very well-intentioned law, and definitely was important at the time, given the nature of the formation of this country.

I should probably state up front that I am a pacifist, and have been for since the age of 20. During my childhood, I grew up around guns. My father either had a concealed permit or just didn’t give a shit about the law, there are numerous military folks in my family, and my step-father repaired guns and musical instruments, which he would sell at a plot in the local area flea market, as a side hustle. I am familiar with how to clean and repair rifles, and I am also familiar with what you can do to modify several semi-automatic rifles into burst/full auto function. As a young child I owned a .22 and a B.B. Gun, the latter of which I used almost every day in our backyard and destroyed a population of dragonflies because shooting at stationary objects got too boring. I am sure if I wanted to, after getting used to the recoil and trigger mechanism of the model of my choice, I would have no problem shooting a rifle well. I have never cared for handguns.

When I was 18 I was given a present from my grandmother, which belonged to my long deceased grandfather. It was a British Military 303, which if I recall correctly uses 7.62mm rounds. I don’t know for sure, because I never had to buy ammunition for it, as it came with a full sized paper grocery bag that was full of these rounds. It had a shortened barrel, which honestly I didn’t derive the purpose for, but whatever. It was a very big fucking gun.

During my late teens and early 20’s saying I was “troubled” was a bit of a huge understatement, and firearms really aren’t the best thing in the house to have when you’re troubled. I had been through a terminal amount of stuff psychologically, and things honestly weren’t getting any better (don’t worry, they did). At one point, I lost a job I really loved, and due to workplace politics, I was strongly encouraged (aka, forced) to leave. I did not take this well.

Let me tell you something. For starters, if you ever try this, you are going to make me really sad. I took that rifle, loaded it with a round from that grocery bag, put the barrel in my mouth, and fully depressed the trigger.

Yes, you heard that right. I am writing this today because all I heard was “click”. You see, that grocery bag full or rounds was not only extremely old, but they were likely exposed to weather and who knows what else. The round was bad. The gun definitely would have worked.

Coming to terms with this has defined a lot of my life, and trust me, nothing makes grants you compassion over the pain of death more than narrowly avoiding it yourself. No weapons have been allowed in my home since, and I don’t ever plan on changing that. Besides, I have a young child now.

Not having firearms, but being around others who have no problem owning or using one has caused me to ask a lot of questions about this issue to myself. Naturally, the topic of gun control is of ever-present interest to me, as well as a number of other moral quandaries such as the rights for police officers to carry lethal weapons.

I’m sure if the right person read this, they may say something like:

“This dude is clearly a liberal, wants to take our guns, and is probably gay.”

I don’t believe in taking people’s guns. I think guns have a place in this world, sad as it may be, for defensive needs. I also things guns are, well, kinda fun to shoot, and if I didn’t have my own personal reservations against them, I might consider doing so. I also feel guns have a place in situations like ranching, hunting, and other situations where a gun is the best tool for the job.

The problem that I have with guns is the utter pile of drek you all use as excuses to carry one. Let’s go over a couple of them.

“I want to defend my home or business from invasion”. Seriously motherfucker? Do you know that if you own a firearm, you are actually more likely to get shot during a robbery? Do you think it has anything to do with the fact that even if the person robbing you doesn’t have a firearm, that you have one? This is the dumbest fucking excuse to own a firearm in america, and also the most pervasive. Your children are more likely to kill each other with your god damned 9mm than you are to ever get robbed in a way that threatens your life. It’s a stupid and dangerous discussion.

“What if the government needs to be overthrown?” Have you ever seen video footage of when Hitler invaded Poland? Go watch it. That’s what’s gonna happen to you if the U. S. Government wants to kill your ass. Good luck shooting that tank or those planes, dipshit. Trust me, your rebuilt AK-47 doesn’t scare them.

“I like to shoot at the range, guns are a hobby for me.” So leave your gun at the god damned range. Almost all ranges have lockers for this shit. Just leave it there. Don’t put yourself or loved ones in a position of danger. If it’s only a hobby, make sure it can’t be used for other purposes.

And concealed carry? Plastic surgeons can enhance your dick for about 50 grand these days, and they can do a pretty amazing job (apparently). Can you do that instead of potentially jeopardizing the rest of us with your insecurity?

Meanwhile, we see young children walking into a mall with the safety off on a MP-5 because someone posted some embarrassing pictures on facebook of them. I’m no fan of how bullying is done in general, especially these days, but perhaps that’s a very good reason to make guns harder to get. These people need therapy and real justice, not trigger discipline. The people they shot? They don’t get to complain. They get cremated.

And finally, my favorite target, police officers of america. I am quite fond of saying that a trained chimp can beat anyone with a stick, or point a gun at it to get their way. Police officers love an excuse to remove their service weapon from it’s holster, and that is the biggest problem with guns, ironically, the people who are not only trained in their use, but fully allowed by our government to do so. It is quite possibly the least intelligent way of ensuring peace, and it’s frequently abused. Officers in other countries are not allowed to carry firearms, sometimes in countries where the populace is allowed to. Personally, I feel that any dispute which is not an obvious threat on an officer’s life does not require the use of force, but I doubt anyone in america would say the police abide by this thought. The fact is, being a police officer is a great job if you’re a moron that wants to be paid well, and that’s not going to change while they’re allowed to turn their brain off anytime they’re in disagreement with the person they’re dealing with. There is quite literally no incentive to be different, or heaven forbid, try to solve a problem through intelligent discourse and applied maturity.

Really, the biggest problem with gun control is that it’s not actually legal, for one, but the most important problem with gun control is the damn people who own the things are too stupid to recognize they are contributing, as a group, to danger in their communities. They think “every man for himself” and don’t quite realize that a bullet doesn’t care if it penetrates its owner or a loved one of the owner. Bullets don’t have a soul or a sense of morality, folks. They just blow holes in things.