Thoughts on Guns
ItĂ˘â‚¬â„˘s pretty well established that GeekPolitics is a strong advocate of gun rights and ownership. IĂ˘â‚¬â„˘m not here to argue sides though, I just want to share a few gun related thoughts and stories from the last year.
Kids and Guns
My brother-in-law was 10 and my wife and I wanted to buy him his first .22 caliber rifle for Christmas. We discussed it with his parentĂ˘â‚¬â„˘s and they didnĂ˘â‚¬â„˘t think he was mature enough yet, even though heĂ˘â‚¬â„˘d only ever use it with adult supervision. ThatĂ˘â‚¬â„˘s A-OK with me. Parents are the only ones who have the knowledge to know when their child is ready for that sort of responsibility. A couple weeks after Christmas they came to visit and we spent a very pleasant morning at the shooting range. There were 4 adults, a 10 year old boy, and a 13 year old girl. Everyone had a blast, pun intended. The most memorable part of our range-day was watching my 10 year old brother-in-law handle the firearms (with supervision) and show more patience, responsibility, and carefulness than he had ever shown with anything else. A few weeks after this my brother-in-law was allowed to spend his savings purchasing his own .22 caliber rifle. Clearly, his parents saw this behavior and were impressed also.
IĂ˘â‚¬â„˘m not saying all kids should have guns. However, I do think that proper training and supervision can allay the fears of even the stanchest gun control advocate. My brother-in-law wonĂ˘â‚¬â„˘t be pulling guns our of closets to show his friends. HeĂ˘â‚¬â„˘ll be locking his gun up when he is done with it and inviting his friend on a range trip with him and his father.
Carrying a firearm
ItĂ˘â‚¬â„˘s been a couple months now since I received my concealed carry permit and itĂ˘â‚¬â„˘s mostly been uneventful. Nothing has changed, my travels to the grocery store havenĂ˘â‚¬â„˘t become the wild west. I have had one semi-interesting experience however.
I was recently attending a picnic with some friends who had guests from out of town. We spent some time tossing the football around and doing that sort of thing. This meant that people may have seen my gun once or twice, but no one asked me any questions. Afterwards, I was online pokies games told that one of the out of town guests asked why I had a gun after we had left, our host responded, Ă˘â‚¬Ĺ“Oh, itĂ˘â‚¬â„˘s Tennessee, everyone has a gunĂ˘â‚¬Âť.
This is a humorous response and, as regards ownership, is probably true for more than half of all Tennesseans. I love living in a state where this is a, mostly, reasonable response amongst friends. Unfortunately, I think it makes light of the real reasons for carrying a firearm. I carry a gun hoping I never have to use it in defense but practicing regularly just-in-case. I carry a gun because I have a responsibility to protect things valuable to me. We deploy poison gas to protect our homes from termites. We use chemicals to protect our pets from fleas. We get safes to protect our belongings. We tell children to wear seat belts to protect their lives. If all of these things are valuable, it seems reasonable to me I need to protect the thing most valuable to me, the life of myself and the people around me from people that would do us harm.
There has been a lot of talk about magazine size since the horrific incidents in Arizona months ago. IĂ˘â‚¬â„˘m personally of the belief that the problem is the person, not necessarily the number of rounds they have in their magazine. This point was made clear to me when a close friend that carries a concealed weapon got his new magazine holster, so he could carry an extra magazine with him. Without even thinking about how this might be connected to the people arguing against large magazines I asked, Ă˘â‚¬Ĺ“Why do you need a second magazine? Most firearm confrontations will be over with just a few shots firedĂ˘â‚¬Âť. Ă‚Â His response was simple and reasonable, Ă˘â‚¬Ĺ“Hopefully, IĂ˘â‚¬â„˘ll never need my gun. But, if I think I need to be prepared with a firearm and training it seems reasonable to be as prepared as I can be and that includes an extra magazineĂ˘â‚¬Âť.
So, there it is. Once youĂ˘â‚¬â„˘ve decided you need to be prepared for bad stuff, it just makes since to be as prepared as you possibly can be.