June 12, 1992

Gun Nuts

You can get more with a kind word and a gun than you can with a kind word alone.

Johnny Carson

In the days when my family did a lot of camping, I wanted something that would protect us against an aggressive bear or human. The park rangers used mace which, I was told, would stop a bear. I bought a spray can of the stuff and kept it in the tent. Before long, mace was outlawed. Why? I believe that it was outlawed because, unlike guns, there is no political organization that supports it enough to make a court battle over what constitutes arms. It is now very difficult to legally own something that you can use to defend yourself without killing. If you don't mind killing, there are no impediments.

A few years ago, a Texas maniac gunned down and killed 22 innocent people, for a national record. Twenty more were injured. Isn't that wonderful? It shows that all of the media's efforts haven't been in vain; at least one person took Rambo seriously.

Fantasies of killing people aren't unusual. They are a harmless outlet for anger and aggression. The moment that someone buys a real gun and real bullets, it isn't fantasy any more --it's potential murder. If it's a rapid-fire weapon, it's potential mass murder. I suspect that every owner of an automatic weapon is either temporarily or permanently off his rocker, or a criminal. I know of no possible reason for owning one other than to kill lots of people, or to make believe that you are killing lots of people. You could make believe with a video game; you don't need a real gun.

I remember when a buddy of mine opened up with a Browning automatic rifle on a small European deer. There wasn't enough meat left to cook. Automatic weapons are of no use for hunting. Their only use is to kill or intimidate people. Cops seem to prefer hand guns and shotguns. Criminals have preferred machine guns since the days of Al Capone.

Gun manufacturers make a quality product. Most guns will last several lifetimes or more, depending on how often they are fired. The only ways that manufacturers can continue to make money is to make their products obsolete, as they do with military weapons, or to get more people to own guns.

For a long time, the greatest support for the NRA (National Rifle Association) came from the law enforcement community. Now that the cops are finding themselves outgunned, there is a good deal of support by law enforcement for getting automatic weapons and hand guns out of the hands of the public. They now realize that heavy fire power in the hands of everyone can be a real hazard to their health. The NRA has become a friend of the criminal and the enemy of law enforcement. Thanks to the NRA, a hand gun or a shotgun is no longer considered an adequate weapon for personal defense; now you need an assault rifle. Before too long, you may need grenades or a bazooka --or maybe a tank. Where will it end?

The Brady bill mandates a 7 day waiting period to buy a hand gun. I was in favor of the law for only one reason: the NRA, gun manufacturers and gun dealers were against it. It is not going to protect our police, it is not going to protect the children, nor will it protect the innocents who are caught in the crossfire. It is a waste of time and effort because there are so many hand guns and automatic weapons out there, that there is little chance that anyone who has the money and wants a gun would not be able to get one. Since guns do not become obsolete, the Brady bill is too little, too late! Maybe the gun nuts will kill each other off in their zeal to protect their freedom to bear arms.

The NRA's position has been consistent. It is opposed to any regulation whatever. No government is going to take away our toys. I believe that the major factor in the NRA's attitude has nothing whatever to do with the right to bear arms, or government infringement on those rights. It has to do with profit. Their policies are in accord with the financial interests of this country's gun manufacturers, who supply much of the money for their lobbying efforts. They might allow a curb on gun imports --but never anything that might impede gun sales.

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