I grew up in a fairly rural area of northern Kentucky. We weren’t so far removed from civilization that we rode horses to school or anything like that, but we were far enough that we had freedoms that city living didn’t. One of those freedoms was owning guns. That’s right, I grew up in a house with guns.
From as far back as I can remember guns being around. For me it started with a pump action BB/pellet gun. I remember getting into all kinds of hot water for shooting my younger brother in the back of the thigh with a pellet. The shot wasn’t strong enough to even break through his jeans, but it did leave a welt, and I’m pretty sure it stung pretty bad. I got my ass whooped big time for that one…..and I’ve never pointed a gun, loaded or empty, at another person. I was probably like 9 or 10 years old. Shit kids do, right?
As I got older I was upgraded to a .22 rifle that had a little clip that slipped in from underneath and fed the chamber. If I remember correctly it was semi-automatic. I never used that rifle for more than anything other than shooting empty cans in my backyard or firing at the occasional rascal that would come into our yard. I grew up on 15 acres of land, most of it woods, so there were always rabbits, raccoons, deer, possum, etc… I think the only living things I’ve ever shot and killed were a lame possum that needed to be put down and a squirrel that got loose in our basement…..I shot him with the BB gun. He had wedged himself down in this box and there was no way to get him out, so I grabbed the Daisy and put a pellet right in his skull, from about 10 inches away. To this day I feel horrible about that. The possum had to be put down or he would have suffered until something either killed him or until he just flat out died, so I did him a favor. That poor squirrel though….I probably could have done it different.
I said there were guns in our house and so far I’ve only talked about a BB gun and a .22 semi-auto rifle. Most of you gun owners out there are probably thinking “Those aren’t guns”. Well, my dad had a few of his own up in the drawer. He had a .38, a 45 automatic, and a 357 Magnum. My stepmom also had this little .22 semi auto pistol that fit in her purse. Anyway, there was some hardware around when I was growing up.
What the hell are you going on about, MULLY? Well, with the recent massacre at the Sandy Hook elementary school there is a LOT of gun talk going on both sides so I thought I’d share my feelings on the gun debate.
Let me start off by saying that I am not opposed to people owning guns and I don’t believe there should be a total ban on them. Get that out of the way first because any of you gun nuts out there reading from here on out probably aren’t going to like what I have to say. Ok, in a perfect world, yes, I would prefer that the general population not have access to guns. I currently live in Japan where some of the strictest gun laws are on the books. It works here…..notice I said that it works “HERE”. Japan is probably the safest country in the world. I can go out at night, anywhere, and not feel threatened. I can’t say that about my home country, the United States of America. I said above that I don’t think there should be a total ban on guns in the USA. The reason I say that is because you whacko gun freaks aren’t totally wrong when you say that if you ban guns then only criminals will have them. That is true. There are way too many guns in the USA today for a ban on them to be effective. That’s the long and the short of it, and that is really, really sad.
Now, I’m also of the mind that I don’t think every person should be carrying, or that more guns is the answer to the problem. What a sad state of affairs my motherland has slipped into. I can remember when I was a kid, watching the evening news, of these people in the Middle East walking up and down the streets with machine gun type rifles and thinking to myself “Thank God I wasn’t born in a place where people walk around with guns all the time.” Oddly enough, it looks like that will be the exact position my country will be in within the next 20 years or so, everyone carrying a gun.
Is an armed America going to be a safe America? No. It will only get more violent. What happens when you arm the general population? You open the door for a lot of accidents. You gun toting freaks out there are smugly sure of yourself as a responsible gun owner but let’s be real here, if you’re carrying, you’re only one drunken brawl away from shooting someone. Yeah, tell me how you have the ability to make rational decisions when you’ve had too much to drink. I know there are a lot of good people out there that have guns, people that would never hurt a fly, but again, one drunken mistake can change all that. Imagine you’ve had too much to drink and something happens that you “believe” is a life threatening event, and it turns out not to be. I don’t want to be around when it happens. Hell, you don’t even have to be drunk for it to happen, I was just giving you guys the great excuse of being inebriated to use. There was a case in the US back in the early ’90s where a Japanese exchange student was going to a Halloween party, in costume, and walked into the garage of the wrong house. The owner came out with a gun, yelled “FREEZE” at him, he didn’t understand and kept walking towards the guy, and the guy put a bullet in him. He was dead on the scene. Yes, it was an accident and, unlike my Japanese hosts, I accept it as an accident. The circumstances that came together that night almost make me believe that things are pre-determined in this thing we call life.
Here’s another hypothetical situation. Let’s say that more people get there CCW permits, or whatever you call them, and you’ve got a shopping mall full of armed people when some lunatic comes in and starts firing. Let’s be realistic here, you’re going to have a lot of people that will want to be the hero and head towards the shooting with gun in hand. They get to the area and there are 50 people with guns out coming from all angles. How in the world do you decide which one is the gunman? Or, and this is even better, say there is one lunatic shooting up people and one person that carries is there and it ends up that they are standing face to face pointing a gun at each other, and these are the guys in question…
Come on now, seriously, which one is the bad guy? Oh, don’t play that almighty crap with me, you know damn well which one you’d think it was. Statistically speaking, Mr. Ralph Lauren on the left is more likely to be the lunatic mall shooter. Sure, this is an extreme situation, totally hypothetical, but not out of the realm of possibility, especially today since so many young people are covered in ink.
Anyway, my answer to the situation is that I don’t have an answer. There is no good answer that is going to settle it for all sides. I will say this though, this problem is so much deeper than just people having guns. The moral fabric of the country has come unwound. The NRA guy, Pepe LePew or whatever his name is, blames it on violent video games and TV. I call horse crap on that one. Those video games and TV shows exist in other countries too and you don’t see them shooting each other up. He suggests a database of people with mental illnesses. WTF is that? I’m not totally against that, but let’s be real here, where is the line of a mental illness? How do you decide who is mentally ill and who isn’t? Talk about a slippery slope. Arming teachers to protect schools, or having armed security guards in schools? Jesus, the thought makes my head spin. What kind of country are you people making over there? I tell you what, I do have an answer, stop looking out for number one and get back to the days when the community was what mattered. Stop leaving your children unattended to do their own thing in the evenings. Bring spanking back and bring back the ability for teachers to actually discipline the little bastards. Kids these days grow up with no sense of responsibility because YOU have taught them that they can do what they want with no repercussions. It has absolutely nothing to do with the games they play or the TV shows they watch. The internet doesn’t help either…..this is going way off course.
Anyway, I’m not against people having guns, but I’m not 100% behind it either. I’ll keep my big ass over here in Japan where it’s safe and leave that problem to you.
Y’all come back, I’ll leave the light on,