Ichabod's Kin
A place for politics, pop culture, and social issues

Let Me Get My Gun

Why are some people stockpiling dangerous weapons after the election of a black president?

Nothing fans public outrage like the issue of gun control. It makes some people want to, well, shoot someone. Why else stockpile such weapons after an election; when a black man becomes president; or someone calls for reasonable controls on their possession and use?

A Virginia gun shop owner said that after Obama’s election he now has over 200 guns in his home–aside from his place of business. If that makes him feel safer, what about me and his neighbors? Suppose he goes off his screw some night, or his wife leaves him, someone else ticks him off, or he gets mad at God? Forget about me trying to sleep, hoping his Pentium chip doesn’t go out of whack.

But that’s not his concern. He doesn’t care about me, or you, for that matter. He cares only about his “right to bear arms”–regardless that his home is overloaded with them, pun intended. So who else are they for? Let me guess: how about all the other walking arsenals who are his buds and fellow gun club members? What happens to the rest of us when they decide the country is going to hell and needs “the people” (read: them) to take matters into their own hands?

Of course, quick like a bunny (one not blown to Kingdom Come by a 20-gauge shotgun in the fun sport called hunting) I must issue the obvious caveat, that there are many gun owners and lovers who are reasonable and law-abiding in their practice of ownership. I’d also like to hear from them when it comes to their friends who are extremist time-bombs. They complain about Muslims who won’t condemn jihadists, so what does it mean that they stand by silently while Bubba down the street has a house full of hate-lit and belongs to a militarist org that is not only quasi-secret but gets real threatening when someone stumbles onto one of their woods-parties–as I once did. Where are their letters of protest that such aspiring vigilantes are ruining the good name of respectable sport and its practitioners?

Yes, there is such a thing as responsible behavior with deadly objects that have one main purpose: to kill someone or something. And citizens must stand up and say so, at least as loudly as Newt Gingrich has said that Sonia Sotomayor is a racist. Thank god that little doofus of a loose-cannon isn’t president, or I might tote a piece myself, for protection from his social incitements.

It’s been years since Americans have tried to calm the waters of gun rights and controls. But the NRA is a wild-eyed and woolly beast and has Congress more scared than convinced of their unlimited rights. Yet every day we hear of parents killing kids and spouses, of cops being shot, and school children riddled by the scores. The New York Times rounded up numbers that some 120,000 of us have lost life to non-terror homicide– mostly from guns–nearly 25 times those killed in Iraq and Afghanistan. If that doesn’t equal a war that is raging right in the U.S., tell me what does.

More than 50 million creepy handguns are in circulation. They account for half of all murders in our country, are used in more than a third of robberies, and kill up to 10,000 people a year. While I nibbled a sandwich at a restaurant in Florida one year, a man my age told me of some robberies in his suburban neighborhood. They asked for law enforcement to come and speak to them. “About safety?” I asked. “No, about defending ourselves,” he replied. I hoped he meant they had gotten, as I had, thorough home inspections and a list of things to increase security. Instead, he told me the police advised them to arm themselves and shoot to kill!

I couldn’t have been more startled, and hoped he hadn’t obtained a gun but he and the rest, flushed with permission from police, had already done so. I didn’t quarrel, I only said what was on my mind: “I’m sorry to hear that, because you realize that your family is now less safe than it was before, and there is far more chance of someone in your family killing one of its own, or a family friend, than killing, wounding or frightening a burglar?”

He squirmed at the news; it was probably the first time since the Great Safety Episode in his neighborhood that he had something other than guns as an answer to the problem. But the harm had been done: there was now a nice neighborhood in my community, inhabited by people like you and me, fairly well educated and decent about most things, armed with guns and the encouragement to use them.

That is an insanity of a sort.

Strange as it may seem, when threatened by fears, real or imagined, don’t go get your gun.

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