CHANGE THE COVER

but stay off of my lawn
JANUARY 25, 2013 12:22PM

my thoughts on 'gun control'

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I suppose I became a gun enthusiast, officially, on the cold November Sunday evening my dad returned home from a weekend hunting trip with several brightly colored (and thoroughly dead) pheasants. I was four-ish, and pissed that I'd been left home.

The old man had a Winchester model twelve pump action shotgun and a Marlin lever action twenty-two caliber rifle. No handguns. No high powered rifles. For whatever reason he hunted birds and small game only, for sport as opposed to necessity, although without exception anything killed was eaten. 

 

When I reached a hundred pounds, I received my  first gun as a gift from our parents. An H&R (Harrington and Richardson) 20 gauge 'single shot' shotgun. 

Yeah, one shot at a time. That's the amount of trust I was given. And that, only after a young life of many  hunting trips as 'bird dog' . . . no gun. Plus, had to go to this crazy young hunters' safety clinic that was truly all encompassing and redundant to the point of idiocy, before ever getting to sniff, let alone carry, a gun.

 

Eventually dad bought a fancy-ish Italian double barrel and I inherited the Winchester pump, which brings me to MY POINT. Thought I didn't have one, right!

 

The model 12 Winchester held five 2 3/4 inch shells, one in the firing chamber, four in the 'magazine.' Sometimes, though rarely, we'd scare up a huge bunch of pheasants at the end of slough or field and would then have the need for all five shots. Shoot--- pump--- shoot again, etc. 

Here's the rub though. Back then, and I'll bet it's still the same, there was a law stating that when hunting migratory birds (ducks and others), all shotguns could have, no more than, the capacity to fire three times without reloading. There were "plugs" that we had to insert in the magazines to restrict the payload to two shells (plus one chambered = three). A person caught hunting fowl of the migratory variety with an unplugged shotgun was regarded with disgust by game wardens and judges alike. We never even considered breaking the law, mostly for fear of being caught and heavily fined. But also, we understood that that particular regulation was in place to protect the waterfowl population so future generations of humans could enjoy the frozen miserable pursuit of those greasy dark meated quackers.

 

Yes, a law. THE MAN, knowing full well about the second amendment, dared tell us, free citizens of the USA, how many rounds we could carry in our weapons under certain circumstances.

And we were mostly okay with it!

So, as you may have guessed, I'm totally fine with laws that might, possibly, make it just a little bit more difficult to commit mass murder of humans. Just sayin' that if Joe Offhischain feels a need to shoot up a school or a mall or whatnot he shouldn't be able to do it with weapons and high yield ammo clips he got, legally, at the gun show. We all know criminals and nuts and nutty murderous momma was mean to me whackjobs WILL find whatever they think they need anyway, but . . .

. . . let's make them do that outside the law. 

 

Muddy Boot

 

          Previously published January 16 @ Our Salon. There was a LOT of discussion in comments so thought I would share here, although me re-publishing this at open salon in no way cedes ownership of this original piece to Salon Media group. It's mine  . . got it? 

 

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Comments

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You KNOW what I think.

BTW, the "semi-automatic" weapons that everybody is screaming about would include things like my deer rifle and shotguns. All of mine are gas operated autoloaders because they generate a LOT less recoil. My .30-06 deer rifle would knock me on my ass otherwise.
that bird is pretty. i have a friend who bird-hunts, and i have had wild goose, and it was quite delicious, i must say.

good thoughts, trig. and well said.
Limits on ammo for hunting does not fall under the constitution. It falls under wildlife management. Limiting the amount of ammo used in a shotgun only required a plug which could be removed while not hunting. The constitutional argument has nothing to do with hunting.

For me it just seems like more political theater and with most new laws will not solve any problems. Assault weapons are all ready banned because the definition of an assault weapon is that it can fire both semi and full auto which is not legally sold. Pistols regardless of their capacity were never assault weapons because of the low cal and range and are not full auto. Shotguns were never considered assault weapons until 1994.

Personally I do not think the proposed laws has anything to do with protecting the citizens or stopping violence, it's about more government control. It is a fact 2% of all gun crimes are committed with the proposed banned weapons. The proposed weapons being banned were only used in 20-30% (depending on your definition) of the mass shootings.

The reason these type of shootings are so deadly is because the attacker picks targets that are totally undefended. Another law will not stop anything. Do you know what stops a crazy with a gun? Another gun.
YAY more guns M. Todd.. Sometimes you feel like a nut, sometimes you are. Ever read the part of the second that says WELL REGULATED militia? Unfortunately, and I wish it weren't so, there needs to be some regulation, yes, just as wildlife laws regulate hunters to protect game, "militia" regs need to be instated to at least attempt to save humans from this madness.

Amy-

Jane-

hi
Gee,... way to completely dismiss anybody else's points, Seer! Nice job. Guess that makes you right, huh?
Amy... I have seen your link about the wacky Iowa lawmaker but daresay his views are the exception. Would that be fair to say from your observations? I don't believe anyone is going to suggest taking your auto-loading shotgun. By the way, later in life when I was like twenty I bought and used well, a Browning light twelve semi-auto. Sweet gun. Got fourteen pheasants in a three hour period once with it, in Iowa no less (and yes the limit was three but the morons I was with couldn't shoot straight so I filled their limits... I'm all about bending rules).

Seer... thanks. These things need discussed. It was pretty tough for me to come to the conclusions I have. Problem is way too many fucking idiots and mental whacks (yeah we need to address mental health. . duh) out there murdering and making it suck for the rest of us.
Thanks for dismissing me out of turn too, Seer. I was feeling left out.
the 2nd amendment is not about hunting. the newly minted 'usa' had just fought a civil war against an 'oppressive government,' and won. armed civilians had formed military organizations of varying size and capability, and met one of the best european armies with success. timely help from the french speeded up the process, but victory had already become likely.

will they need to do it again? hyperwealth, and widespread poverty. government by secret imprisonment, execution by secret committee, torture as a tool of investigation, surveillance of all electronic communication, war as foreign policy, cia assassinations and coups, drones abroad becoming drones at home.

yes, even the american 'progressive' might wake up before the 'matrix' switch is pressed 'on.'

but at least stop talking about hunting, it betrays total ignorance of history and raises the possibility of cynical hypocrisy.
Oh yeah, I got it. And I agree with it. All of it.
Al.. I know (look above in comments) that the second amendment of the constitution and the department of conservation (or whoever is in charge of the game wardens) are not related.

"A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

The document itself that's been trampled upon many times by Obama and Bush (I always think "Patriot" Act), is open to interpretation, is it not? I personally think the NRA has too much pull, and for all the wrong reasons. I think, and once again hate having come to this conclusion, that we as a conglomerated populace, need regulated when it comes to certain firearms and firearm accessories.
Pierre Angiel writes that the idea behind a well-regulated militia was defense against American Indians in the border areas (and probably the French also, though I don't think he says that). If the government forbade gun ownership, they were dead. He may have a point.

I think I read this on OurS. I have no idea what I said there, but it had to be something.

I've been posting everything on OurS first, then stating when I post here that it was posted on OurS first in case there's an issue of ownership.

So if I type parts of the Declaration of Independence here, does Salon.com own it?
Who would have believed it? Instead of the left wanting to overthrow our oppressive government, it's the right - and the libprogs are howling to hold them back by repealing the 2nd amendment. Obama is a lying hypocrite. If he really cares about children so much, let's see him address the main cause of child mortality and make sure that poor women get prenatal care and that kids get enough health nutritious health care and regular access to health care.

You can bet your life there's an agenda behind this whole gun control mess - to cause massive division between right and left wing activists. Both are passionately opposed to the wars of Empire in the Middle East and the suspension of our civil liberties. If we worked together, instead of fighting with each other over gun control, we could turn this whole country around.
I hate the language of it all. The NRA types say "assault" weapons are already illegal, conflating the term with fully-automatic. The other side points to features like ease of firing again and velocity and size of the bullet as "assault" weapons, many of which characteristics typify many handguns and hunting rifles with limited magazines. NRA types consider all of that "constituional." But the Supreme Court has already ruled on automatic weapons bans, so the door is wide open to similar legislation for the rest of the feature set. Cop killer bullets - gone. Large clips - gone. Readily modified, street legal versions of military hardware - gone. GIN#s for each gun just like VIN#s for your car, recorded in a database. Laser-etched ID#s on cartridges. There is so much common sense gun safety, as you rightly point out and for which there is a chorus of like-minded gun owners, which feeds right into the crackpot narrative. That'll be a hard one to pull back. (r)
". . . if Joe Offhischain feels a need to shoot up a school or a mall or whatnot he shouldn't be able to do it with weapons and high yield ammo clips he got, legally, at the gun show. . . let's make them do that outside the law."

So the solution to mass murder is to pass a law that the mass murderers will ignore?

Rather than focusing on the weapons, I think it would make more sense to focus on the shooters. In so many cases there were clear signs that these people posed a danger, but nothing was done. Focusing on the human threat would not eliminate every shooting, but I think it would give us a chance to prevent some of the shootings. Focusing on the weapons just means that the shooter will use different weapons, or get possession of a banned weapon illegally. Laws only work with those who either are predisposed to follow the law or who fear the consequences of not following it. Someone contemplating mass murder falls into neither category.
A revelation of sorts about my critter loving vegetarian self. I own a rifle. My grandfather bought it for me when I was a kid, and taught me to shoot out in the field behind his barn, where we shot at cans. I got pretty good.

One Saturday, he gave me a bright vest, and we tramped into the woods instead. He flushed a grouse, raised his gun, fired it, and the grouse dropped out of the sky. He sent me off to retrieve it. After digging through the briars, I found it, a bloody feathery pile, gasping, one eye staring at me with the light going out. I started to cry, and cried for about five hours straight, the whole time in the car driving back to my mothers, and we never went hunting again, never spoke of it again either.

Each time I move, I consider selling the rifle. It's a good one, and a beautiful piece of craftsmanship. The dying grouse and the gun are all tied together for me though, and for some reason, I cannot let either go. I told you this, because from what you've said here, I think you'll get it, and that I agree with you.
"to cause massive division between right and left wing activists. Both are passionately opposed to the wars of Empire in the Middle East and the suspension of our civil liberties."

Damn Doc- the level of discourse seems to have improved in concert with the site performance, I haven't often agreed so strongly. Bravo!

Bruddah T-

When I think back to days or yore, and the rules and regs involved in aquiring my Webelos marksmen's pin, what I miss most is ... seeing the target! ... my eye's ain't whut dey wuz back den :(

And, all the instructors were WWII and Korea vets, like my Dad, and, by the way, ooohhhhhh to have a lever action, my dream. An 11 year old can get really quick with an ancient Remington bolt action though, especially if you are "trying" to hunt fowl with merely .22 buckshot rounds, and you're hungry after surfing all day.

Nowadays, this type of discipline and safety adherence is just not the case, too many, though certainly not all, gun owners ( 5 shot, self-inflicted! on last Gun Appreciation Day) are simply irresponsible.

Hunting in rural areas and policing metropolitan cities have very little connection with each other, other than the transport of arms from one to the other.

Imua (Onward)
I suggest anyone interested go to Dr. Bramhall's post and view the video there

http://open.salon.com/blog/stuartbramhall/2013/01/25/anonymous_-_response_to_obamas_2011_gun_control_policies

will be back
You constantly give me reasons to like you. :) Most of us just want the children to stop dying at the hands of crazy people. There has to be a balanced solution.
Thanks for sharing your gun sights on this.
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"balanced solution"

Yeah I hope. I hate laws, hate 'the man.' Yes. Also hate babies being murdered by the insane progeny of the American dream using high capacity clips and machines made for nothing but killing humans quickly and efficiently.
Agree with the good Doctor. Will not reiterate her words.

When I worked on construction sites I was advised by the police that being a very small woman I should have protection. I can tell you that arm wrestling a man who weighed twice my weight and was a foot taller..would not have sufficed. I carried a handgun in my brief case. Thankfully, never had to use it. Also lobbied for the police chiefs in MA against confiscation of personal property without due cause. No one wanted that job.

I grew up around guns and learned to shoot. Took lessons. Had a license. Home life was stable and that is the difference. We had respect for other humans and animals.
This is just about the most sensible thing I've read by a hunter and a traditional gun owner. I understand that there is more to hunting than the gun. There is an appreciation of nature and conservation of natural resources. Over hunt and you have nothing to hunt.

But this business of guns and ammunition designed for mass killings or fighting the government is something else. It's murder and it's treason. Of course, if I were in Syria right now and saw Assad walking down the street...

It is not a one dimensional world for rational gun owners, but the gun extremists see things in one flat dimension. Great post Trig. R.
Tr ig and Seer. My point is not regulations and laws to help insure guns do not fall into the wrong hands. The real issue of the 2nd amendment is that guns in the hands of average citizens help protect the constitution which is the cornerstone of our freedoms and laws.

I am not so worried about criminals as much as this move to limit the power (yes guns give power to the common citizen) of the average citizen by the rich and powerful. The rich and powerful which have the most influence in government have their own private police, security, armed guards for their children and schools, and even weapons for themselves. They pretty much right the laws that favor themselves. The same people who control the government also control the media that controls the argument.
I see this move as just another power grab.

If you feel comfortable with only the government and rich having all the weapons and power then you will like the direction it is going.
Good piece. The plug was still mandatory in Virginia last time I checked. I know of nobody who had the slightest problem with it.
well,whaddayaknow,this makes at least 4 reasonable posts on the subject...
Rated
People keep talking about the 2nd amendment like there is lobbying to have it repealed. People keep talking about the 2nd amendment like it is a guaranteed right to keep and bear any arms they want any time they want.

They are wrong on both counts.

I personally don't want to see a total ban on guns, because I don't see it as necessary. Like you, I DO see a need for more stringent regulations. Which, btw, the SC has already determined are well within the governments rights and that said restrictions/specific bans DO NOT infringe on the rights of the people via 2A.

And for those who keep using the whole "defend against a tyrannical government argument - well, I'm surprised at you. Since the government is far better armed with more exotic weaponry than you are allowed to own, what good do you think your AR-15 is going to do? Will it stop a tank? Will it repel mortar fire or RPGs?

When you start ranting irrationally, it makes those of us looking for moderate solutions dismiss you as crackpots out of hand, which does NOTHING to further your cause.

Put your gonads away and try coming to the discussion table with some rational, sensible ideas. "More guns" is neither of those things.
Ahh.. a late influx of commentary. It is a fairly important contemporary subject isn't it (and unrepresented on the OS cover.. HAHAHA.. hello Jake you scruffy over-smart beatnik you!)

Readers poll: How many of you expected (upon seeing my title and "knowing me") expected a redneck rant defending the 2nd? Ha

I don't understand what the anti-regulators see in the second amendment when they read WELL REGULATED MILITIA. First of all you are NOT militia members, you're conspiracy nuts. Second, if you could read and think you'd understand how much sense WELL REGULATED makes. Written by pretty smart guys.
Ain't saying what needs done. AM saying . . . something
Fuck off and die , trig-- Kissy, Kissy