Guns: Part Two

I’m not crazy about guns. I very seldom fire one any more—they take time to clean, and the shells are almost prohibitively expensive if you don’t have a reloading press. Furthermore, I particularly hate automatics. They jam, and I’m also never quite sure that a final round isn’t hiding in the chamber. I find them hard to aim, as well.

When I was about sixteen, I began acquiring a series of replica pistols that used black powder and loaded Minié balls from the cylinder’s forward end with the aid of a ramrod slung under the barrel. They were small cannons, in effect. I would retrieve the lead from two-by-four targets and melt it down to create more balls. The complete experience was very educational with regard (for instance) to how the Civil War was fought: but its complexity, its racket, and its risk also inspired in me a deep respect for the firearm. Guns are and always have been—and always should be—the last resort in the struggle to survive.

I’ve known, or known of, many people who boast of their time on the shooting range as if they had run a weekend marathon or pumped weights for an hour at the gym. They act as though shooting is physical exercise; and indeed, most of them need a strong dose of the real thing. Simply squeezing off rounds doesn’t prove you’re a man, develop your biceps, or bring you closer to nature. I don’t understand this “winning your spurs” attitude toward shooting that licenses the initiate to swagger like a saddle-sore cowboy. Petite females, in fact, are often the most enthusiastic and devoted shooters, precisely because they realize that the “equalizer” (as the 1873 Peacemaker was dubbed by its loving patrons) gives them a fair chance against a 250-pound assailant.

Would the world be a better place without guns? I doubt it. Then the lone female would again be easy prey for the criminal predator. Fights and even full-blown wars would probably also be more common, both because the opposing sides might suppose they had less to lose and also because the act of combat would be deemed a fitting measure of manhood (since trading Homeric blows tends to reward strength and determination, whereas surviving in a bullet-heavy atmosphere is largely a matter of chance). The butcher-bills reported by Julius Caesar in his foreign campaigns are utterly staggering.

Truth to tell, the “romance” of the firearm has been purveyed more by Hollywood blockbusters and the video games that have fed off them than by redneck Westerners plunking at bottles on their remote ranches. I’ve given up movies, for the most part. I can’t stand the glorification of gunplay and the sociopathic indifference to its consequences (not to mention the childish ignorance of the physics involved). I’m not a “snowflake”. On the contrary, it is because of my fair familiarity with guns that their constant use to supplement AWOL plots and characterization by an industry without conscience or other signs of basic intelligence disgusts me.

Why, after all of these shooting incidents, do we never hear a cry and hue rising from the Democrat Party to discipline—or at least boycott—Hollywood’s antinomian, homicidal tripe? Why, for that matter, have I heard not a single plea from either side of the aisle to outlaw the bullet-proof vest? That unique garment would be my greatest fear, if I were concealing a small handgun legally in church for my and my neighbors’ defense when Punk Sociopath bursts in screaming, “I’m so offended that the world hasn’t made me emperor!” as he sports a bullet-resisting jacket. Great. Now we’re all dead unless I squeeze off a perfect shot.

Why does nobody ever ask questions like that? What good would it do to collect all the legal weapons? What good would it have done, Mr. Republican, if the Air Force had done its job and put the Kelley punk’s risk factors in a database? You think people can’t purchase guns illegally? What good would it have done, Mr. Savage and Ms. Ingraham, if the swine had been confined to a mental hospital? Thanks to our “entertainment” industry, we’re grinding out psychos faster than Planters shells peanuts. Why don’t you all tune down your mouths long enough to think?

Author: nilnoviblog

I hold a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature (Latin/Greek) but have not navigated academe very successfully for the past thirty years. This is owed partly to my non-PC place of origin (Texas), but probably more to my conviction--along with the ancients--that human nature is immutable, and my further conviction--along with Stoics and true Christians-- that we have a natural calling to surmount our nature. Or maybe I just don't play office politics well. I'm much looking forward to impending retirement, when I can tend to my orchards and perhaps market the secrets of Dead Ball hitting that I've excavated. No, there's nothing new (nil novi) under the sun... but what a huge amount has been forgotten, in baseball and elsewhere!

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