Friday, August 29, 2014

A Call for Gun Sense

I like guns. I do. We have one stored safely in our basement. I grew up with guns. They were stored safely through out our house. One was even used as a decoration in our family room. My brother(s?) made beautiful gun cabinets in shop class.

Shooting a hundred holes into a milk carton was one of my favorite things to do with my little brother. Shooting paper squirrels was one of my favorite things to do with my older brothers. I say favorite because we never seemed to fight with each other when we were shooting guns (good thing, huh?). It was like family bike rides, peaceful and refreshing. Not overly common, but regular enough that a few of these enlivening moments are etched into my memory. The phrase "wholesome family recreational activities" comes to mind as I reminisce on my childhood gun handling.

I remember my two older brothers talking about how fun it would be to see me shoot my first shot gun. They figured the kick would land me right on my behind. Determined it wouldn't, I wanted to shoot that thing long before my parents (or brothers) would let me. At about age 14 they all finally conceded. We went out onto our front lawn and I let her fire (cause we were that hillbilly). I didn't fall, but my shoulder didn't feel great and I don't think I've shot a shot gun since.

My point is to demonstrate two things. One, I love guns and I am not a crazy second amendment hating liberal. Two, my family, with its rich history in gun loving, didn't let me shoot a gun with a large kick until I was 14. Fourteen!

So who on Earth let that poor nine-year-old girl shoot an Uzi? Ben heard about the story before I did, and he quickly told me the parents and gun instructor were at fault. After reading up on the incident, I fully agree. No nine-year-old needs to shoot a machine gun. Ever. Not in war, not at home, not on a gun range. It is never acceptable for a child that young to shoot such a powerful weapon.

It is rarely acceptable for an adult to shoot such a powerful weapon. No hunter on the planet needs a machine gun. The only thing anyone would want to kill with a machine gun is another human being. So why are we (Americans) so in love with them? And how has this infatuation affected our society? Our culture? Our children?

That poor girl has to live with that experience every day for the rest of her life. I pray it makes her stronger. I pray she turns into a beautiful voice for reasonable gun regulation. We need gun lovers to put safety and common sense over profit and flag waving pride.

I really could go on for hours, but it'll just make my blood boil. So I'll end here. 


Anonymous said...

Sorry, but America has gone stark raving mad about guns. I am sick of the NRA and their power. They are as wicked and deranged as Utah's Gayle Ruzika and her Eagle Forum.
You may come from a gun loving family, but your father is very very anti gun! Haven't shot one since I was a teenager and have no desire to do so. I am fine with the types of activities our family enjoys with guns. I am not fine with children shooting military type guns. I am not fine with parents or instructors or laws that allow such. Come on people. Wake up!
Did you hit a raw nerve -- you sure as hell did!

Liz Szilagyi said...

Really, you never shot a gun with us when we were kids? I remember you being there when we shot at those squirrels on hay bales. You signed us all up for Hunter's Safety and used your Dad's gun for decoration ... but have been simultaneously boycotting them since your teens? You are such a puzzle to me father dear. Although, I haven't shot many since I was a kid. So it makes sense. The gun we have is for hunting, not self defense. Because seriously, your chances of needing to kill a burglar entering your house are SUPER slim.

Liz Szilagyi said...

*straw bales*

Why did we call them hay bales, when clearly using hay bales for such would have been financially wasteful?

Claudia said...

I do remember owning a gun as a child. It was a toy pop gun and was quite fun to play with! Haven't touched one since! The boys took Hunters Safety because it passed off a Scouting merit badge. That was my reason for signing them up. I do believe they went deer hunting with Uncle Howard. I imagine you wanted to take the class because they took the class!! It was a good class and it was hysterically funny when you one upped your older brother. Remember that? As for guns... I am an animal rights activist so what can I say? I look forward to the day when; "he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more." I personally believe the majority do the 'gun thing' out of fear and terror. I refuse to go there.

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