Bearing Arms

A month of Controversy, August Blogging from A to Z dry runAtoZ August 2012 — A Month of Controversy

Throughout the money of August 2012, my dear friend Aaron @dadblunders and I are doing a dry run of the Blogging From A to Z Challenge. This past April was my first official participation in such activity, and I had no idea what I was doing. No theme, no forethought, purely spur-of-the-moment. This time around, I have a plan. Join the fun!

For this event, I am engaging in a month of controversy. Consider yourself forewarned.

August AtoZ: Bearing Arms

Timing Is Everything.

I had my alphabet all planned out about a week after the idea for this Blogging challenge was broached. So imagine my chagrin when, after having already decided that “B” would cover “Bearing Arms”, a majorly public shooting occurred and further muddied the already-heated conversation.

“Please be careful with me,

I’m sensitive
And I’d like to stay that way.”

~Jewel

RAP4 MilSimX M4 Assault RifleI will admit, I have been, and still am, somewhat torn on the subject of Bearing Arms. Many will find this fact shocking, given how vocal I am on getting off the fence and picking a stance. And now I find myself in the position of potentially offending parties on both sides during this sensitive time. I want to be respectful to the parties hurt by recent events; I want to tread lightly and avoid making things worse.

I am a military brat — my dad is a retired service member — and I, too, briefly served. With that background, one would assume me to be a gun-toting, Republican cowgirl hollering that Bearing Arms is my God-given right as an American. One would be mistaken.

bowling for columbine by Michael MooreI don’t have a gun.

I don’t think any god worth believing in has a specific stance on guns.

And, of course, I am a Democrat.

But I do enjoy shooting a gun. I’m not very good at it. I’d like to do some more target practice. Not because I demand the right to own a gun. Not because I ever hope to use it against an intruder — a bad guy — (or let’s be clear) — a PERSON. And not because I’m afraid. I just think it’s a skill I would like to improve, like bowling or throwing darts. And there are legitimate places to go for that.

I go back on forth on the thought of actually, physically Bearing Arms. Because I have kids, and even keeping the ammunition locked away separately from the weapon could be dangerous. For that reason, I think I’m against Bearing Arms, at least for me. But I think I am okay with others Bearing Arms.

Why all these questions?

But then my hubz pipes up with his endless devil’s advocate-type-questions. He asks, “Where’s the line? How big a gun should others be allowed to own? And how many?”

These types of questions don’t occur to me,

I guess because I’m not a weirdo.

I don’t think in terms of “how big”, because it doesn’t strike me that anyone would want or need anything other than something small and easy to fit into a purse or glove box.

I don’t think in terms of “how many”, because it doesn’t strike me that anyone would want or need more than one.

So then we argue about it.

I’m like, “Don’t be a weirdo,” and he’s like “It’s a fair question.” And that’s why I’m still on the fence about Bearing Arms. Because of the fucking weirdos. Like the guy who most recently put this hot-topic back at the top of the charts.

Because, look.

One gun — one, regular size, no bells-n-whistles gun. That’s not really a big deal. But people have to get all greedy and push for MORE and BIGGER and SHINIER and LOUDER and… well, whatever other adjectives make their gun-bearing hearts beat faster.

roller skateKnock-knock. Who’s there?

There’s an old joke that, on their wish list, kids will ask for one impossible item as well as one smaller, more likely item. Ask for the pony, and you’re bound to get the skates.

A similar, inverted version displays a student explaining to Mom how she got pregnant and contracted an STD… then following up with “Psych! I’m not having a baby or dying of any diseases! However, I *DID* get a “D” in algebra.” Mom is so relieved about the worst-case-scenario not having come about, she doesn’t even mind the bad grades.

National Rifle AssociationI wish that’s how the NRA is.

They show up at funerals — completely distasteful ass-clowns that they are — and make a huge noise. So they can be allowed to have 500-million-trillion guns. And nukes. And biological weapons. And all things that go “boom-boom-die-bang”. Am I exaggerating? I really don’t know. I hope so. But I really don’t know.

I wish I could believe that they were really only being loud so as to preserve their right to own A gun — one each. I wish they were only trying to get a pair of roller skates. I wish they were trying to pass off a smaller agenda, like a bad grade. Sadly, I think they truly are the jack-wagons they present themselves as.

The NRA is just honking nuts when it comes to gun ownership. Their defense of the 2nd Amendment  is truly astounding. All this junk about Bearing Arms for a militia. Meanwhile, kids are dead.

So do I want a gun? I don’t know. Maybe it’d be too tempting to shoot someone with it. I read this article about how if more people in the audience had been packing, someone could have taken down the maniac before so many people were shot. But I don’t believe that’s true.

I recently wrote an article about Moral Dystopia. People in crowds generally like to believe that “someone else” will take care of the problem. I saw this mentality firsthand last weekend. We were awaiting the start of a movie at the outdoor drive-in-theater, when in the distance beyond the screen, black smoke began to rise above the treeline. I wondered aloud if we should contact someone, just to be sure the fire from which it arose was under control.

My hubz said, “I’m sure the security staff has already reported it.”

I thought, “But what if they HAVEN’T?”

My dad said, “I don’t know what it is, so I don’t want to call it in, because what if it’s nothing?”

I thought, “But what if it’s SOMETHING?”

My brother-in-law said, “I’m not getting involved.”

I thought, “But —”

And then I quit thinking. And I quit hoping someone else would do the right thing. And I ensured the security staff reported the smoke.

These three men, some of the kindest, most intelligent people I know, all three failed to do the right thing. I doubt, had they been at that theater with guns in their pockets, that they’d have behaved any better under those circumstances. More guns would not have solved the problem, and may have only served to worsen it. Because weirdos will always be weirdos. And decent people will always hope someone else does what needs to be done. And between the two, we will always find ourselves massively disappointed.

So on the issue of Bearing Arms, I think I’ll opt out. I don’t want that kind of guilt on my conscious. What if next time there’s smoke, it’s *ME* who fails to do what’s right?

1 comments
Wallace1770Mary
Wallace1770Mary

You are not in your right mind. This is not my Andi-Roo. What have you done with her? She would not take this attitude. She would be all about yes! A person has the right to defend herself! One gun may be necessary. But no more! The NRA and 2nd Amendment goons would have us believe that by not being able to own that SAM and heat-seeking missile ensemble, we are somehow abrogating our 2nd amendment rights. Try selling this to the idiots who thought blankets with arms and hoods were a good idea.  In my round about way, what I am trying to say is that there has to be some reasonable approach to gun ownership and responsibility. The only thing that fills me with horror more than the shooter in Aurora, is the idea of several people firing back in a darkened movie theater filled with terrorized, confused people. Chances are too, that said "heroes" would not be compos mentis. I have pulled a gun on a person, with every intention of shooting that person. It was to stop my home from being invaded, which had already happened. I worked from home at the time, prior to my being disabled. I was caught unawares the first time; luckily, it worked out okay, when I wrestled the bitch outside into the waiting arms of the law. From then on, I worked with a .38 in my lap.  The 2nd time it happened, I heard someone in the yard. It was night. The place is very isolated. I walked out on the porch, pointed the gun and said "turn around and walk away. Now." Guy kept coming; I didn't recognize him. He had on a pink tee shirt, sunglasses (at night!) bermuda shorts and a windbreaker. There was no reason for him to be there and I had been on a call. He kept coming. Again, "turn around and go, walk away now." He kept coming. I took one more step towards him. "Last time, asshole. Walk away, or you're leaving in a body bag." He stopped and turned and left. I was spent. Sounds like a bad movie. I would have shot him. I believe in gun control, but I believe that we have a right to protect ourselves, too.