The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly

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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…Screen Shot 2012-12-22 at 6.06.26 PM

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,

MULLY

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About MULLY

ex-pat American living in Japan since 1991. Love to play guitar and billiards. Love my Cincinnati Bengals too. Who-Dey!!
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3 Responses to The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly

  1. logganrunn says:

    I agree with a lot that you said Mully but do have some differing opinions. Back in the “wild west” days, most folks were armed like in your Middle East example and while gunfights did happen, most folks didn’t get into them because they knew people were carrying. I do agree that assault weapons are unnecessary as I was in the Army and know what they can do. The problem is that the anti gun crowd has gone so crazy that people believe they want all guns removed and so they overreact as well. As you pointed out, the moral fabric of the US has been seriously compromised and its not just violent games but violent movies, crude TV show and raunchy music. Parents leave their impressionable kids at the mercy of those forces in many parts of the country(big cities) and you can see the results. In more rural areas where parents are more involved, you see a very different picture. Religion also plays a large role in creating ones moral platform and there has been a big fight about this over the last 30-40 years. The Rhode Island “holiday” tree fiasco this year is just one example. As for the mentally ill, a lady wrote a blog about her mentally ill kid just after the shooting where she talked about how her family dealt with her son who had issues by running to the car and locking the doors while the mom collected all the knives in the house. We used to have insane asylums for folks like this until the ACLU sued because the crazy folks hadn’t hurt anyone and they had rights too. We really need to start using common sense again and get back to basics. Sadly, it may be too late.

    • Most people didn’t get into fire fights? Most people back then couldn’t afford guns. The ones who did terrorized towns or were paid guns for hire protecting those who didn’t. Anyone who idealizes the “Wild West” has watched too many westerns. Even “heroes” like Wyatt Earp were really just as bad as the “bad guys” and, in fact, had escaped from jail before he decided to get a job as a sheriff and “good guy.” Most people in those days never saw a gun.

      The lady who wrote the blog about her kid has been found to be another liar looking to get her 15 minutes of fame. In fact, from what I’ve read about her, SHE is the one in her family who was insane. She divorced her husband because she was so bored living a privileged, upper middle class life that her own daydreams included killing people and going to jail. Nowhere on her blog does she mention anything about her violent son. Before the “I’m Adam Lanza’s Mom” story, her biggest complaint about her son was that he was a tree-hugging, liberal Obama lover (she’s not).

      Places to keep dangerous insane people still do exist (where exactly do you think John Hinckley has been since he shot Reagan), but again you are glorifying insane asylums. Most times, they were full of rich mens’ illegitimate children, “hysterical” women who didn’t know when to submit to her man’s will and the mentally handicapped. None of whom belong in an insane asylum. The asylums were glorified prisons, people were mistreated, beaten, raped and they received no treatment other than occasional dousings with cold water and open windows during winter months. Assistance for mental health issues is important but opening old-timey asylums isn’t the answer.

      Re: Holiday fiasco/moral platform… so you’re saying a lack of religion causes these shootings… funny, because almost 100% of the time video or stories or interviews come forward from the shooter’s Christian church or minister/priest/etc. Sounds like they had some religion to me… apparently that doesn’t work.

  2. Ed Dubreuil says:

    MULLY,
    First of all, I love your blog, and I read it every time you put one out.

    Second, I agree with you 100% that there is NO right answer. It is too late for America to ban ALL guns in this country. Additionally regulating lawful gun owners is not the answer either. Criminals will always find a way to procure a gun no matter how many rules and regulations the government puts in place. Should the general public not be allowed to carry concealed? How many instances have there been when a well-trained, legal gun owner has foiled an armed criminal’s attempt to cause bodily harm to them or others? Do we read about that in the paper? Not usually. On the flip-side, can we trust a person with a CCW permit to not make a mistake in public if a situation should arise and the police aren’t there yet? Should we place armed guards at every public place like other countries do? Do I need protection to go to the theater to see “Batman” or “The Hobbit”? An armed guard for my trip to the grocery store to pick up my milk, bread and eggs? Do states like Texas where there are over half a million CCW’s have less crime? Maybe criminals in Texas are less likely to commit a crime if they fear a victim may be carrying. Where is the answer? I don’t know.

    I don’t own a gun, but my dad owned multiple weapons when I was growing up. He is an avid outdoorsman, and like you, I had a Daisy BB/pellet gun and a .22 when I was younger. We’d go hunting and target shooting, BUT, he always taught me to respect the gun and to always treat it as if it was loaded. He also told me to keep the safety on, and point it downward at all times unless you’re about to shoot at a target or animal, and to never point it at a person.

    The 2nd Amendment gives us the right to bear arms to protect ourselves and our property.
    Some people believe that if you unarm the population then our society could easily become susceptible to tyranny. Another scenario is that some sort of natural or man-made disaster could jeapardize our safety and without owning a weapon (or an effective one), we wouldn’t be able to protect our family and property from looters or worse.

    Unfortunately, America is becoming a country where political correctness, and the unnattended, unsupervised, desensitized, entitled and spoiled child is left to their own devices and negative media influences without a strong parental disciplinarian to straighten them out. It all starts at home. Some people want to blame the government for not having enough regulations in-place to prevent such tragedies. All this does is create larger government oversight and thus slowly reducing our liberties as a free society. Everyone wants to blame someone else when a tragedy or catastrophy occurs, when most of the time we could easily look in the mirror and see where we’ve failed our children as parents, guardians, neighbors, and Americans.

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