KingMidget's Ramblings

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Why I’m Going Shooting Tomorrow


As far as I know, I’ve never seen or touched a gun except for those guns on the hips of police officers.  Maybe somewhere along the way when I was too young to remember I saw a gun.  Maybe an uncle had one that he showed to me.  Or some other relative or family friend.  But I don’t think so.

I want nothing to do with the gun culture.  I want guns banned in this country and the hundreds of millions of guns that have turned us into an armed nation to disappear.  I want to do what Australia did a number of years ago when they suffered a mass shooting in 1996.  Within three months, the government banned rapid fire long guns and offered to buy back all outlawed guns.  Seven years later the government also began buying back handguns.  From 1988 to 2005 gun ownership in Australia declined by 75%.  And Australia has not suffered a mass shooting since 1996.

I don’t live in Australia.  I live in good ol’ ‘Murica, where we have the 2nd Amendment — one of the most twisted, misinterpreted, and misunderstood pieces of law in the history of the world.  We have the gun culture.  And we have the NRA.  And we have a people who seem to respond to every crisis by buying more guns.  We seem to be a nation awash in guns.  I hate it, but it is our reality.

Let me qualify what I just wrote.  I don’t have any problem with guns for hunting and guns for protection of one’s home.  My issue is that once a person crosses their property line and is out in the public (except for hunting), they should leave their guns behind.  I don’t think the Wild West is a preferable way to live.

* * * * *

A couple of years ago, on a quiet Saturday evening at home my older son and his girlfriend went out to our driveway to wash his car.  I went upstairs to our bedroom around 9:00.  Our bedroom is at the front of our house and looks over the driveway.  I settled in to read.  A few minutes later, I was jolted by two gun shots ringing out right in front of our house.

Where my son and his girlfriend were.

I raced downstairs and out to the driveway.

They weren’t there.  They had gone to get ice cream after finishing with his car.  I breathed a sigh of relief.

But, still, there were gun shots right outside my house.  (We believe it was a couple of neighborhood boys/young men who were in some way involved with drugs and a gang.  Fortunately, it appears they don’t still have those connections.)  See above.  I’ve never seen a gun.  Never touched a gun.  And people were firing them right outside my house.  And my son was right there.  Only he wasn’t.  But, what if.  How could I possibly protect him or my family from people with guns?

A month or two ago, a family down the street and around the corner were victimized in a home invasion robbery.  In the last year or two, we have heard more and more reports of crime in our neighborhood.

* * * * *

I have never felt safe.  As a child, I went to sleep most nights in fear of somebody breaking into our house or of the house burning down in the night.   I still have those fears, although to a lesser degree.  I regularly wake up in the middle of the night convinced there is somebody in the house.

As an adult, I have an overactive imagination.  Trust me, you don’t want to know about the things I fear when I walk the streets or I go out into the world.  The threats I imagine blooming into real acts against me and the people around me.  I don’t want you to worry about the things I worry about.

But I’ll give you an example … we have a sliding glass door that leads to the backyard.  I hate leaving the slider open.  We live on a corner lot.  All it would take for a bad guy to get into our house is to hop our fence from the street and … boom … five seconds later they’d be in.  (There is an experience in the past that supports this fear by the way — about 15 years ago, a single mother was home one night.  Her sliding glass door was open.  A fourteen or fifteen-year-old punk came into her house through the sliding glass door, raped her, and beat her into a coma that she never came out of.)  You see …

I have never, ever felt safe.

* * * * *

After the incident with the gunshots outside our house, I began to think of getting a gun.  Taking classes, getting licensed, the whole bit.  And then it died out.  But things keep happening and I keep thinking about it.

I have a number of friends who have guns.  How can I not in gun-rich ‘Murica?  Two of them have concealed carry permits.  One of them goes to the shooting range on a regular basis.  He has taken my sons there with him.  I have suggested I’d like to go at some point.  Just my friend and I, with nobody else.  I don’t need anybody making fun of my hesitation and reluctance and fear of holding a gun in my hand.  Tomorrow morning, that’s where I’ll be.

So, why do this?  Because I feel like I have no choice living in ‘Murica.  Because I have never felt safe.

The thing is … I know that having a gun won’t make a difference.  And I also know that I am still far from committing to the idea of having a gun in my home.  I’m going shooting tomorrow to see how I feel with it.  I’m terrified.  But I’m tired of being terrified.

 

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15 responses to “Why I’m Going Shooting Tomorrow

  1. Susan November 5, 2016 at 5:39 pm

    I’ve been shooting a gun since I was four years old and shooting squirrels out of pecan trees off my grandmothers back porch for breakfast. It started with a .410 shotgun. We raised our children on venison hunted on our farm (.30-06 or 12 gauge shotgun). I now own a Glock 19. I have a concealed carry permit, but the gun stays locked up in a safe. I recently started playing Pokemon, July 15th. It takes me to city parks, sometimes at night. I never thought about actually carrying my gun for protection. It’s just that owning one has always been a part of my life and when I was single, lived alone and had no grandkids, (or children around) it stayed under the edge of my mattress where I lay my head at night. I would have easily used it also. I go out to the gun range and practice shoot at least once a month. I used to go every week but got out of that habit. I still feel pretty confident that I could hold my own. Lately, people in my community have been assaulted in city parks after dark playing Pokemon, robbed at knife-point and gunpoint. I don’t go the the bad neighborhoods where this is happening, but I’ve had thoughts…what if it starts happening in the nicer city parks…where I am hunting. What if it happens to me. So I’ve started carrying my gun in my fanny pack when I go out to hunt pokemon and know I’ll be out after dark….even if I am in a city park with a large number of people present. I’m a bit afraid of myself, cause children are frequently there, playing in the park (It gets locked up as soon as I come into my home.). But my pack stays on me. Still, it’s a scary thought that I might actually have to pull it and use it. But That’s a good fear….I think.

    • kingmidget November 5, 2016 at 6:54 pm

      I hate the idea that one needs a gun to feel safe. Absolutely hate it. I have no idea what I’ll end up doing, but I at least want to see if I’ll feel comfortable with a gun in my hands.

      The other thing is that as I wander out into the wilderness a little more, I think having a gun with me wouldn’t be a bad idea. One never knows who or what you might come across in the wilderness.

  2. hirundine608 November 5, 2016 at 5:58 pm

    I am a non-violent person and abhor the gun culture. Yet, I believe in the right to bear arms. If only the police and military have them. It becomes a police-state. I also believe that all should learn to use a gun and also other weapons. I’ve done martial arts training and weapons. Yet, I would not carry any kind of weapon. Kung fu, came out of China, where only the elites carried weapons. So the peasants took everyday objects and found ways to use them to great effect. Staff, fan, hands, billhook, etc. If a person is going to hunt down a squirrel, something that does not present a danger. How are you going to handle, a “Ninja”? Or Kung-fu (hard work) master?

    Life is very precious. We’ve worked hard to attain it. Do not live in fear. These things, guns, are not dangerous. Only the individual is dangerous. Cheers Jamie.

    • kingmidget November 5, 2016 at 6:57 pm

      I’m a non-violent person as well. I want nothing to do with these things, but I generally agree with the need nonetheless to learn them. That’s one of the reasons I’m doing this tomorrow.

      As for living in fear … I’m working on it. Very hard. But it’s difficult to overcome 50 years of doing so.

      Thanks for commenting.

  3. Holistic Wayfarer November 5, 2016 at 10:19 pm

    That is crazy: how amazing your boy and his girl had stepped away. I may have to start letting my son have ice cream for insurance! I didn’t like the feeling of the rebound after the trigger pull over 12 yrs ago as a newlywed. Too strong for my frame.

  4. Anonymous November 6, 2016 at 10:03 am

    Sparky, I am curious about your experience shooting a gun. Let’s chat next week. I also abhor our overzealous gun culture and the poor excuse to own or carry a weapon for ‘personal safety’ when history has shown this argument does not hold up. Ever. I am becoming a single issue voter – gun control. Period. I am not talking about responsible hunters who eat what they kill. That is not the majority of gun owners.

    • kingmidget November 6, 2016 at 4:18 pm

      Let’s talk. I am generally of the opinion that people should be able to do what they want to do in the privacy of their own home. If people shouldn’t have guns in their home for self-defense because studies show those guns are as likely to hurt or kill the gun owner or his or her family as they are to be effectively used in self defense, that’s the gun owner’s decision. But if we outlaw guns to be used for self-defense of one’s home because of that other risk than we should outlaw alcohol because of all the harm drunk people do to their loved ones behind the closed doors of their homes.

      I absolutely do not want people walking the streets with guns. But having guns — meaning handguns for defense of the home and rifles for hunting — I don’t necessarily have a problem with that. I also don’t have a problem with there being serious limits on the types of guns people can have. For self-defense you shouldn’t need an assault rifle, an automatic, or some of the more dangerous weaponry. But a handgun or two, a few clips that hold no more than 10 bullets each. Rifles for hunting. I don’t have a problem with that.

  5. Conversations With The Moon November 9, 2016 at 9:24 pm

    Did you go? How was it? I’ve posted on this subject a few times before. I find it to be a necessary evil. At the end of the day, it provides me a level of emotional security that I would have otherwise lacked in the circumstances your describe. No more…no less.

    • kingmidget November 9, 2016 at 9:26 pm

      I did go. Once I got over the initial terror it got rather boring pretty quickly. In terms of whether I get a gun for home protection? Still completely undecided. Going to the range didn’t push me in any particular direction.

      • Conversations With The Moon November 9, 2016 at 9:35 pm

        Interesting. Yeah, after about one magazine, it’s pretty much the same. Unless you are shooting competitively. You may want to consider getting a shotgun for home defense. Lots of documented reasons for that particular firearm for that task. Whatever you decide, at the end of the day, thankfully, most of us will never have need to use it. It’s more of a psychological panacea in my opinion. One that at the end of the day, I choose to employ. On a side note, I just completed my applications for the UC’s…Cal is one of the places I applied. If I end up going there, I’ll make the drive east and buy you lunch.

      • kingmidget November 10, 2016 at 6:32 am

        Completely agree that it is more of a psychological panacea than anything else. But maybe that’s good enough.

        As for lunch … no, I’ll drive west and meet you somewhere in the Bay Area. Good luck with your applications. I hope you end up where you want to be.

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