Wednesday, March 30, 2005

We're Running Amok

During my daily net-surfing session, I stumbled on a press release from Josh Horwitz of The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence (CSGV). I've heard of them before, but never really paid them much attention. Their tagline states they have been "Organizing for Progressive Gun Laws Since 1974." Been around for a while, I guess. They're affiliated with The Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence. Never heard of them.

CSGV had a blog called "Bullet Counter Points." It's on hiatus--last post, October 28, 2004. It didn't last long since it started sometime in June 2004. No explanation, just on vacation.

Okay, enough background, back to Horwitz's press release.

Horwitz believes that Minnesota's school shooting is evidence the "gun culture" is running amok. I don't know about you, but I'm a proud member of America's gun culture. I'm an NRA member, contribute to various pro-gun and pro-hunting organizations, collect guns, shoot a lot, and write about my gun nuttery here. No one has given me a membership card in "Gun Culture, USA" as I like to call it now, but I might buy a tee-shirt.

If you grant that I'm a bona fide member of "Gun Culture, USA," I gotta say, I'm not running amok. I might break into a sweat and we can't have that. Besides, I might drop a collectible firearm and damage it. We really can't have that.

I guess Horwitz wasn't quite clear on the concept of running amok, but he does want a "dialogue" on guns in America. You know, I'm almost dialogued out on guns in America. What is there to discuss further? Gun-grabbers passed their precious Brady Bill and I wait for my NICS check every time I buy a new gun. They passed their even more precious "Assault Weapons" Ban and that proved useless until it sunsetted (is that a word?) in September 2004. I still can't buy a machine gun in my local hardware store like my grandfathers could if they so desired. Horwitz, I'm tired of dialoguing with you all. Leave me alone.

Of course, they won't leave me and my fellow members of "Gun Culture, USA" alone. They can't do it. They're modern-day puritans who fear that somewhere, someone is enjoying themselves with a firearm. They can't stand that thought.

Horwitz repeats the litany of recent shootings and declares the NRA's solution is more guns in American hands. He states, "[NRA believes] that every citizen should prepare for armed confrontation. This just doesn't make any sense." He states that the "NRA and its allies" want to expand places where Americans can carry concealed weapons.

Wow, he actually admitted the NRA has allies. Usually gun-grabbers demonize the NRA as a big monolith standing in the way of innocent citizens who simply want peace. I wish he had named those allies, so I can be sure I've sent them contributions.

One final quote from Horwitz and I'll wind up: "These ideas [arming judges, easier carry permits, assault weapons ban--can't forget that shibboleth] should be debated, but not as a substitute for a discussion about whether a society where citizens feel they need to be armed to the teeth to go to school, work, or church is really the kind of world we want to create."

There's no need to create a world like Horwitz describes. It's already here and has been since history began. I'd like to live in a world without criminals, terrorists, government agents who sometimes run amok, and other threats. I'd like to live in a world where everyone used guns like I do--responsibly and for recreation. I'm sure that would be a nice world with butterflies and turtle doves. But, that world doesn't exist and never has.

I often carry a gun because I'm realistic. I don't live in the turtle dove world of Kumbaaya. I live in a world with a handful of people in it that'd kill me for a dime. We don't live in a world without criminals, bullies, and people who think they have found religious nirvana and want to force you to convert at sword-point if need be. I don't know if man is "perfectible" in the long run, but I'm almost fifty. I know I won't live to see it.

If I can contribute to a better world, I will. But, Horwitz and others want to define that world for us. I fear their ideas would create a world where we contribute 50%, 60%, 70% or more of our hard-earned income so that "unfortunates" can have what we "productive" citizens have. A world where civilian-owned guns are melted down into plowshares while police, soldiers, and criminals keep theirs. A world where predators prey on the weak, which will be everyone but a handful of elites with armed bodyguards. That's the world that would arise.

No, Mr. Horwitz, I will continue to keep my guns and keep myself safe from predators. If you think I'm running amok, well, it's just my dialogue on "Gun Culture, USA."

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