Wednesday, May 11, 2005

A Little More on Avoiding Gun Confiscation

I really don’t have too much to talk about today, so that means I should just shut up. That’s just hard to do so bear with me while I do a little free association. I’ll probably end up covering ideas I’ve already written about, but here goes. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

On Monday, I wrote about a possible scenario of how ourgovernment might confiscate guns. My post was based on American Drumslinger’s excellent article. I’ve been doing a little thinking since then.

We tend to think of US government as a monolith. But, that’s not entirely true. Government responds to and simultaneously shapes society. A simple majority is society’s most notable part. Minority ideas are heard through individuals and their organizations. The bigger a minority is in comparison to a majority the more it too is heard. Still bare numbers are not an entirely reliable indicator of an idea’s success. If a slight majority or even a sizable minority is near government and opinion makers, its voice will drown out a minority’s voice.

That’s where we are on guns. A large minority is against private gun ownership, but that minority lives in Washington, D.C., Chicago, New York City, Los Angeles, and other cities full of celebrities, politicians, business leaders, and others. Their voices are being heard more than our voices. They can’t conceive of someone liking guns and if they meet someone, they look at them as sort of a bug.

A person where I work argued with me a lot about guns and he finally said something I couldn’t answer. He said he could not image anyone owning something that was made to kill humans or animals. He thought it would give him nightmares just to pick up a handgun. He thought rifles and shotguns were only slightly better. He thought I was somehow perverted because I like owning and shooting firearms. How do you argue with this? In Boston, he and those who think like him are what Mayor Menino and state legislators hear.

Right now our Congress Critters are hearing gun owners voices too. They know we want no more gun control, but they still hear the anti-gunnie voice when they go to parties in Washington or meet constituents in their states’ big cities. They don’t know where to turn so they do nothing except tell gunnies to sit back and enjoy a few gains we have made. Our chief gain, expiration of the Assault Weapons Act, came about because that law had a sunset provision and Congress didn’t have to do anything. It only had to sit on its collective hands.

So, let’s look at anti-gunnie ideas. They don’t want to ban guns right away. Yeah, certain spokespeople have said let’s round them all up and that’s their ultimate goal. But, they’re patient and work in “reasonable,” “common-sense” increments. Their primary goal now is to kill the gun culture. That’s why they decry proven safety messages like Eddie Eagle since Eddie might have a positive messages about guns. It’s why they don’t want gun training or marksmanship competition in schools. It’s why they want to make it hard to shoot guns and even harder to let kids shoot guns.

Gun skills were historically passed from father to son (in my case father to daughter). If they can force us to skip a generation and ideally two generations our gun culture will wither away as each gunnie dies. Even now I’ve heard many gun dealers in New England mention people bringing in their deceased father’s guns because they have no use for them. A generational chain is broken in that family. I have no idea how many families are involved, but one is too many.

Government itself doesn’t want to take away our guns, but it will do what society directs. If anti-gunnies win, government will put more impediments in our way and especially make it harder to pass our skills to our children. Imagine a law that says you could not let any “child” under 21 touch a gun—even BB, Airsoft, or toy guns. Fine, you say, I’ll let him or her touch one indoors, but how do you teach marksmanship skills, gun safety, hunting lore unless you shoot?

Burying guns or buying them off the grid, as laudable and necessary as such activities may be, are not our sole answers. You can’t teach gun skills if your guns are buried or if there is no place to shoot legally. We have to defeat anti-gunnies in a war of ideas. We must organize and speak out. We must attract more women to gun ownership. Above all else we must pass gun skills and a pride in owning guns to each successive generation.

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