The new Fleet-Farm in Cedar Falls opened the other day and I went to check it out. It’s impressive if just for the sheer size of it. I can’t say for sure if it has more of anything in particular than other such stores, but it certainly has broad shoulders.
It did seem that the Outdoor department was very well stocked. Every kind of fishing rod imaginable as well as hunting equipment. The display of rifles and semi-automatics were placed behind a varied assortment of handguns. I don’t believe I’ve ever seen a wider selection outside of a store dedicated to just firearms.
There were more guys milling about that section of the store than anywhere else. Their excitement was obvious as they handled the rifles. One man exclaimed: “THIS is the one I want!” while running his hands over the contours as if it were fine sculpture.
I’m not unfamiliar with firearms and their attraction. I grew up around rifles my friends owned and I loved to target shoot. My grandfather loved his shotgun and to hunt, and experiences in low budget movies and a few television shows gave me hands on training with a variety of firearms. A former member of the Israeli Defense Force even taught me to take apart and reassemble a Tommy Gun.
Behind me at this handgun display one man said to another: “This is what my girlfriend wants. I think it’s too small, but she likes it.”
There was no mistaking that firearms of many shapes and sizes, the caliber, the barrel, stock, and grip, offered more to these men (and one woman) than looking at boots, or tents, or the variety of ice melting salts available in the store. This was like watching automobile enthusiasts in Jay Leno’s garage.
Which leads me to a point—-
I hate being sold delusions. I would rather someone tells me an uncomfortable truth than lie to me (and probably to themselves) in order to give a more palatable explanation.
I would rather gun enthusiasts just came out with the truth: “We love guns! We love their power. We love the raw, focused power they give us.”
Sure, Constitutional adherence is a more palatable justification, but the Second Amendment is elastic at best when it comes to its prefatory clause (a militia being necessary…), the reality of weaponry at that time (single shot muskets), and the intention to protect ourselves from foreign invaders (not angry neighbors).
The argument that you are defending the Second Amendment, America’s sovereignty, or individual freedom is—-BU(($#IT.
At least when those concerns are measured against reality.
Last time I looked our gigantic national military could overrun the Michigan Minutemen (who practice maneuvers on weekends) should we be faced with protecting ourselves from government tyranny.
Protecting our families is the easy to reach ethical fruit and that is hard to argue with. But the simple truth is this: The likelihood of someone you love being killed by a firearm increases when you have a firearm in the house ( www.bradyunited.org ).
I spoke with a friend who owns several firearms for protection, and although this is only anecdotal, it seems consistent with statistics. I asked him if there is a lot of crime in his neighborhood.
Has anyone broken into your home?
Your neighbor’s house?
So, where is your concern that requires such a level of protection?
“This gives us the peace of mind we need.”
If the likelihood of needing a firearm is small, yet you’ve dramatically increased the likelihood of danger from a firearm by owning several, then how are you fulfilling your commitment to greater safety?
I lived in Chicago, New York and LA for 27 years and never once needed a firearm. That isn’t evidence to suggest that danger could not have approached me, but there has to be an equation for protection that makes sense.
Or does there?
Not to the gun enthusiast/supporter/lobbyist.
They passionately love guns. Behind their eyes they are Warrior Kings/Queens; defenders of the realm, possessing God-like power to determine life or death with a lightning bolt. It is seductive.
So, just tell the truth. Stop with the Second Amendment defense. I trust your motive to protect your family is sincere, but that isn’t the actual reason for your gun (in most cases). I live to protect my family, too, and that’s why I DON’T have a gun.
Just be honest. I’m not going to stop arguing and writing for better gun safety measures and sane restrictions, but at least together we could respect the truth.