Clinging to the Second Amendment
made the road trip back from Texas last week. It was a three-day drive
with a two-year old, a five-month old, two large dogs and two separate
vehicles. Coming into Laramie on day two, I would have questioned our
sanity if not for our resolution that we will not fly while the TSA is
still gate raping toddlers and old people.
Somewhere in Wyoming, I flipped on NPR. NPR has two purposes: it
plays classical music for my kiddos and the political commentary
irritates me enough that it keeps me awake at those points in a long
drive when I might find it tempting to fall asleep behind the wheel
(parts of Wyoming, eastern Colorado and practically all of Kansas).
Sure enough, it didn’t let me down. They were doing a program on
guns and a caller from Arizona lamented the fact that you can buy guns,
and that you can even buy them at gun shows. And some have assault
rifles! What do people need those for, anyway?
If I lived in Arizona—particularly in the Phoenix area—I might want
an assault rifle. But I couldn’t have one, legally. They’ve been
restricted since 1986. You’ll have to forgive her hysterics, though,
since it’s an easy mistake for someone who has never been around guns to
make. There is a difference between assault rifles and assault
weapons, and even something like an AR-15 (it says AR, it MUST be an
assault rifle!) isn’t truly classed as an assault rifle because it’s
People are afraid of the unknown. While numbers are higher in the
last Gallup poll than they have been since 1993, still slightly less
than half of Americans admit to being gun owners, making guns and gun
ownership seem almost foreign to the average American. I’m not sure
this is what the Founding Fathers had in mind when they wrote the Second
Amendment. While, yes, the Founding Fathers often had no access to a
police force and the United States was still an agrarian economy, I
wonder what they would think of modern Americans and our hesitancy to
take responsibility for our own self-defense.
Because that’s really what it comes down to—if someone kicks in the
door of my house, I can either call the police and hope they get there
before the bad guys get to me and my kids (abdicating my right to
self-defense), or I can call the police while I load guns and tell them
I’ll handle the situation while they’re on their way.
We would never think of giving up the right to free speech (even
though it is happening), or that it could somehow just fall by the
wayside as we progressed into a new age of agreeability where no one
said anything to offend anyone else. Would we even want to imagine a
world where we just decided along the way that trials by jury were
archaic and unnecessary?
So, why, then, do a majority of Americans believe that gun ownership
is unnecessary and that someone else will just magically be there to
take care of them? Or, even if they live in a safe, crime-free area,
that owning a gun that might be handy in ye olde “well regulated”
militia isn’t something they need to do? How have we gotten to the
point where people are calling into national radio shows wondering why
other people even want to own guns?
So why do I own guns? Primarily, I like having my guns for
self-protection and then for sporting purposes. Thirdly, it’s great
stress relief at the end of a long week, just to spend a day putting
roughly 150 rounds down range like I did last Saturday with a bunch of
ladies in a women’s only handgun course (I would have shot more, but I
only had two seven-round magazines with me and at the end of the day,
reloading was getting tough!). It’s too bad that lady from Arizona
wasn’t there, actually, since I think she would probably have had a
great time and developed a whole new level of empowerment and
self-reliance. She might have figured out, too, why those of us who own
guns appreciate them and would like to continue owning them.
Link to the latest Gallup data on gun ownership: http://www.gallup.com/poll/150353/Self-Reported-Gun-Ownership...
Photo taken in Minute Man National Historical Park. Sculpture :
“Minuteman” by sculptor Henry Hudson Kitson (1863-1947); image courtesy
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