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Gun Disease

Gun Disease


I started with a Ruger Speed-Six .357 Magnum. Not macho enough, so I got a .44 Magnum Blackhawk with a 10–1/2” barrel. After being forbidden to shoot magnum rounds at the outdoor range (never happened to Clint), I thought it time to get sleek and modern, so I got a Smith & Wesson .45 M&P right about the time that ammunition started getting scarce. Too costly to shoot (bang…ka-ching!, bang…ka-ching!), so I got a Beretta 92fs and a Herstal FNP-9; two 9mm pistols. Ammo as cheap as dirt.

Then I decided that the main functioning part of my genitalia was big enough after all, so I sold them all — the guns, I hasten to add.

There are a number of given reasons for owning such an arsenal, penis enlargement apparently being one of them. But the great American tradition of hunting appears to be at or near the top of the NRA’s dubious list.

Yes, hunting; the greatest excuse ever to hoard deadly weapons. I’m not a hunter because animals have as much right to live as I. They also cannot shoot back, so it’s not a fair game, so to speak. When cro-magnon rednecks decided a nice, juicy porterhouse would be good for the evening’s main course, they grabbed a rock and grappled with the first red-blooded mammal to venture near the cave. The best mammal won (and ate). If Piltdown man didn’t come home, the wife ate the kids (I think).

Fast forward a few hundred millennia and we have a dead deer roped to the hood of a rusting 1976 Coupe de Ville with bulging eyes and lead in the belly. The poor creature never stood a chance and the only future left for it is to gaze Lugosi-like from above the fireplace, brain-dead and sans body, while the man of the house chugs down an Old Milwaukee and scratches his sweaty scrotum. Smug dominance over the lesser species.

Then there’s the home protection fallacy. That criminal you just shot on the dark staircase might actually turn out to be your 10-year-old wanting a glass of water (or a beer). Similarly, said child might get into your nightstand and start playing with the loaded semi-automatic you keep there. After all, what good is a gun intended for home protection if the ammo is locked in a tin box on a high closet shelf, as gun regulations might require? (your state’s laws might vary depending on how far south or how close to Ohio you live).

I just read about the moron who allegedly shot a waitress in the head for requesting that he not smoke in the restaurant. Some response. Like vaporizing Hiroshima and Nagasaki after the Japanese have pretty much agreed to surrender (or the Anglo-American firebombing of Dresden’s entire population to make a point). There’s a bit of overkill there. Was he protecting himself from the hapless woman’s body odor? It’s more likely to have been his own.

I grew up in a country where the ownership of guns was something denied even to police on the beat, so those deadly devices featured so heavily in the western movies of the silver screen looked terribly foreign and cool, what with Lee Van Cleef sneering with a stogie dangling from his lip and a single-action six-shooter dangling from his hip. The only thing that could wipe that grin off his face was Gary Cooper’s equally cool and deadly device. Even the meek and squeamish Grace Kelly got to use one. What a Quaker she turned out to be. All this before lunch.

As kids we had our toy guns; shiny faux-silver ones for the rich and hand-hewn wooden ones for the poor — all equally un-deadly. No kid ever got shot for brandishing a toy at PC31.

Goodbye, innocence. Now every gun-toting redneck in Hooterville is dragging his young boy to the back forty on weekends, shooting beer cans at 25 yards with enough firepower to rip a bear’s head apart a mile away. That’s the life. Books are for sissies.

I sold my guns because I’m not an East End kid playing Cowboys and Indians anymore. Lee Van Cleef still sits in memory as the western King of Cool along with do-gooder Gary Cooper. But the Old West is just a distant memory, fondly remembered in fiction yet still dangerously alive in fact.

I always thought that, in America, the pragmatic approach would be that either everyone has guns or nobody has guns. I now lean firmly toward the latter. I don’t want to die over my Grand Slam breakfast or at the hands of some trigger-happy cop who’s flat-brained enough to think that my iPhone is a Glock.

Yes, I sold my guns. I’ve matured and I’m cured. But they’re still out there somewhere — along with 300 million others.

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About This Story
26 Oct, 2017
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