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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Gun Control

Gun Control

Cranky Old Man does not own a gun, has never owned a gun, and has never even fired a gun.   Guns scare me.  I don’t want to hunt; I have no interest in target shooting, and don’t believe I need a gun for protection.   If I had a gun, the only time it would be fired it would likely be an unfortunate accident.  I don’t like guns.

I do not object to hunting.  Many people have a genetic urge to kill animals and fill their freezer with game.   I have eaten venison…it is delicious when prepared correctly.  I have no objection to people culling the deer herd by gun rather than culling it myself with the front bumper of my car.

Many people enjoy target shooting and or skeet shooting.  I do not wish to deprive these people of their sport.  I like to bowl.  I would be upset if laws were passed that take away my bowling ball just because some nut killed people by dropping bowling balls off a highway overpass.

If I lived in a remote area where visitors were rare, I would own a gun.  I would greet every car that came down my dusty country road with a smile, a wave, and a loaded shotgun.

Still, I believe we need stronger gun regulation in this country.  Purchasing guns should not be easy.  People should have a license to buy a gun.  The gun buying license should require some psychological testing.  At a minimum, people with crazy eyes should be disqualified (come on, you know what I mean!)  

 Do NOT sell guns to these people!
There should be a written test and a demonstration to prove the candidate is knowledgeable in gun use and gun safety.

The gun purchase license should be expensive, and should need to be renewed periodically.

Now the arguments against gun restriction:

Guns don’t kill people, people kill people. 

     Yes, but guns do make it easier and do increase productivity.

Only the criminals will have guns. 

     Well the criminals and the people that clear all the reasonable gun law restrictions.  Oh yeah, and the police.

Listen; do we really need assault weapons to kill a deer?  Do we need rapid fire heavy ammo to shoot at targets?  Does anyone need an Uzi for protection?

It is true that most of the mass murders in our recent history were perpetrated with guns that were either legally obtained or stolen and gun regulations would probably not have stopped these crimes.  However, all the stories have not been reported.

In April 2002, Cecil Plotnick went into a gun shop in Seattle with the intent of purchasing several handguns and then driving to the nearest mall and killing as many people as he could.  When told he had to wait for a background check he changed his mind and bought a PlayStation 3 instead.

In June 2007, John "Bubba” Beady tried to buy a high-power rifle and several boxes of ammo at “Ralph’s Burgers and Guns” café in Lacy Arkansas.  Ralph questioned him as to why he wanted so much ammo and Bubba responded, “To kill a whole bunch of people.”  When Ralph told Bubba he did not sell ammo that was to be used to kill people, Bubba went bowling.

The stories of Cecil, Bubba and hundreds of other similar stories never made the evening news.  Gun legislation that saves lives is not news.  Bad shit that never happens is hard to demonstrate statistically. 

If drunk driving was legal, wouldn't the roads be less safe?  If pilots required no training would you be nervous about flying?  If anyone could just hang up a shingle and call himself Doc, who would you go to when you were sick?

People do drive drunk.  Idiots do fly and crash planes.  Charlatans do imitate doctors.  Does that mean we should not have laws and regulations?  Laws and regulations limit bad shit.  They do not eliminate bad shit but they do reduce and restrict it.

Stricter gun regulations will not eliminate random mass murders, but it will stop some…we just won’t know about them ...ah...cause they didn't happen.      


  1. I agree with a lot of what you say here. Guns ARE dangerous, and it makes sense to have certain barriers in place to try to keep them out of the hands of bad guys.

    As an aside, I, like you, do not own any guns, and have never owned any. I like venison enough that I could possibly be talked into hunting someday, but for now, I get as much deer-meat as I want for free, from hunter-friends who don't want to deal with the meat.

    Anyway, one of my kids, who at the time was engaged in activity which he knew would displease me, once confided in the (not too bright) parent of one of his friends that 'my dad will shoot me' if he went home that night. So of course, said parent informed the police of my violent proclivities, and an officer came to my door asking me if I owned a gun. Huh?

    But of course, you can erect all kinds of really effective barriers, and guns will still get into the hands of people who shouldn't have them. Adam Lanza's mom obtained all her guns legally, in Connecticut, which I understand has some fairly stringent gun laws. She kept them locked, and was well-versed in gun safety. And yet. . .

  2. Excellent Cranky. I do have a couple of guns and am proficient with their operation. Right now if you can make your X on the bottom of the page you can buy a gun. You do have to sign/X a box declaring you are not wanted for anything and are not a nut job, so I guess that makes it're a good guy.

    I'm too lazy to hunt deer...get up at WHAT time?....Sit out in the freezing cold for HOW long? But if I was a hunter I'm pretty sure I wouldn't shoot a critter with an AR-15 or a .50cal Barrett.

    The psychological exam is a good idea on paper, but I question how much a shrink can learn about you in a 15 minute drive-by visit.

    Some sort of comprehensive reform is called for, but I just don't want people to smugly say to themselves, "Well, that's fixed now. We're safe", because it will have a negligible effect as there are already hundreds of millions of guns out there unaccounted for. We shouldn't let our guard down.


  3. Living in the UK doesn't really qualify me to comment in any meanigful way. All I can say is that the horror of last weeks shooting has reverberated around the world and SOMETHING needs to change. I am grateful that I live in a country where we do not have the right to bare arms. Yes, gun related crimes do happen here too but only rarely.

  4. Excellent post Cranky. I wish I'd written it! ;-)

  5. A national ammo registry. Sell some quantity of shells deemed appropriate for the sport. Return the empties to buy new ones. Because it's the bullets that really kill.

  6. Just brilliant - absolutely resoundingly brilliant. Why can't everyone make such damn good sense as that. Thank you.

  7. Whoah... hold the phone - I just Facebook shared your post. I've NEVER done that before!!!

  8. I agree with you to a point. My issue with the gun haters (No I don't own a gun) is that it is Americans right to have guns. Countries around the world that have taken guns away from their ctizens have a higher crime rate and have written mulitple articles tel.ling America not to surrener their guns.
    One man I talked to said the only reason that his country didn't try to take over America was because the citizens were all armed. They may get by the military but the citizens would gun them down. There are pro's and con's to both sides of this issue. Personally I believe people should have the right to own weapons.. What's next? Take away all the knives because someone decides to go on a stabbing rampage?

  9. For someone who's never fired a gun you've hit a bullseye here. I agree with everything you say.

  10. I have a lot of respect for people like you. It does hurt though to see innocent kids get killed like this.

  11. Beautifully argued and expressed.

    I am with you 100%. (see....we do agree on some things)

  12. Well said. And I know what you mean about those crazy-looking eyes.

  13. Unfortunately making guns difficult to obtain through legislation isn't really going to stop these killings. Legislation can't stop 'crazy' or 'stupid'.

    Here in the UK you can buy a gun, if you have a good enough reason, and you pass the police checks, and you can find suitable character references. The hoops the law makes you jump through didn't stop the three mass killings we've had in the UK since 2000.

    I'd be very cautious at supporting any legislation which removes citizen's rights. The right to bear arms is enshrined in the US constitution. It would be easy to take away but impossible to get back. If you did introduce gun laws in the US, how long would it be before these laws took effect? Would the criminals give up theirs?

    I can see a point in getting rid of the stupidly automatic weapons which have no purpose other than mass killing. By all means require your citizens to surrender and destroy these!

    What would be effective at reducing these mass killings is to make them non-events. If they were not reported and glorified by the media where would the incentive be for the next 'crazy' to achieve a measure of fame like this?

  14. I live in Canada and find it hard to even understand why there is a controversy in the U.S. The idea that carrying a loaded weapon is a fundamental human right, but basic health care is not is so bizarre to me I don't even know what to say.

    When your right to carry around an item that is designed solely to kill things conflicts with my right to, well, stay alive, guess which one should trump?

    You can own a gun legally in Canada. It just takes some significant time and effort to get one. Like it should. How is that even in question?

    We have shootings and maniacs here in Canada too, but nothing on the scale or frequency of the U.S. If I lived in the States I would be afraid to leave my house.

  15. Absolutely 100% spot on. I know the US has that 2nd Amendment and all, but to the rest of the world this problem just seems crazy. There is no way everyday citizens should be allowed to own guns, let alone high powered assault weapons. And that thing about other countries without gun ownership having higher crime rates? A total myth.