Monday, January 21, 2013

Gun Control Is More Than Just Hitting Your Target

Time for the unusual- a serious post from yours truly. This is one of those hot-button topics that I would normally try to avoid, but I've given this a lot of thought and think I can talk about it rationally here. Live & in person, not so much, but here should work. The points I am going to try to make are not political (at least I don't think they are) and I am not saying that NOBODY should be allowed to have a gun. That said, let's give this a try...

My first point is addressed to the people who scream that "we have a constitutional right to bear arms!" and think that it's a be-all/end-all answer. It isn't, at least not to me. At the time the Constitution was written, guns were not the same as they are today. The Founding Fathers didn't have semi-automatic weaponry. They had mostly single shot muzzle loaded weapons that had to be reloaded after every use. They also didn't have law enforcement the way we do today. When you think about people living on small, far-flung homesteads with predatory animals and disgruntled Indians (an argument for another time), it made sense for the people of that time to have weapons in their homes. There was no-one to call if someone broke into your house, or threatened your life in the woods, so you needed to be armed. I can understand and appreciate that. I also understand that it made hunting for food easier. Again, not a problem.

Now look at modern weaponry. With semi-automatic handguns, depending on the size of the clip, you can get anywhere from 10-30 shots off in a very short span of time. Revolvers are a bit more limited, but still allow for multiple shots. With modern law enforcement, I don't think that every citizen NEEDS to be armed to the teeth, but I can sort of understand the desire to have a gun for protection. (for the record, I neither have nor want one- with my temper I'd be in prison for murder when I shoot the first person to really piss me off. And anyway, I have a sword) What I do not understand is the people- especially those in larger cities, who have freaking arsenals in their homes.

Working for the police department, I see a LOT of guns come through my office. It honestly scares me to see some of the things that are brought in. We had a case where someone who lived literally ACROSS THE STREET FROM A DIVISION OFFICE was arrested and they found over 35 handguns and long guns in his house. Including an anti-tank gun that was as tall as me, weighed almost as much as me, and took two of us to haul into the gun cage. WTF? Was he expecting someone at Ft Knox to go rogue and drive to his house in a tank to get him? Some of the guns were legally registered to him. Most weren't. We've also seen rocket launchers (wish I was kidding), bazookas (still not kidding), and every kind of assault rifle you can think of. Many of these come in from drug dealers and other menaces, a surprising & saddening amount are taken from teenagers, but the ones that worry me are the people who are served with mental inquest warrants and have enough weaponry in their homes to protect Ft Knox.

Side moment of levity- I was giving a rookie & his training officer a tour of the building once, and the rookie asked about the large number of swords we have as evidence. (my favorite is the Excalibur replica, BTW) His PTO told the kid that the crazy people always seem to have swords. I looked him dead in the eye and said " *I* have a sword." Without missing a beat, he looked at his PO and screamed "OMG, RUN!!!"

What about people who hunt? Yes, I understand wanting to keep a rifle/shotgun for hunting purposes. I don't like the concept of hunting just for the sake of killing things. Most of the hunters I know personally hunt for the thrill, but they also only hunt things they (or someone they know) will eat. (I've got at least 5 officers who bring me venison during deer hunting season- I can eat it as long as it's not identifiable. Show me the whole dead deer and I won't be able to swallow a bite) What I don't understand is the people who have to have the most hi-tech rifle/shotgun they can get their hands on, complete with a scope that lets them see the individual legs on a flea on a critter's hind end from a mile away...or why they need more than one of them.

I'd keep going, but I think you get the point. What are your thoughts? Please remember that while I respect your right to your own opinion, I would prefer NOT to have any political ranting on my blog. Thanks!

Normal snarky, sarcastic, inane posting to resume next week...

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