Guns, Me And Steve Newton – Or City Mouse Meet Country Mouse

Filed in National by on December 20, 2012

Steve Newton wrote a post the other day that I’ve been trying to find time to respond.  It’s a fascinating post, exposing a world that I was never part of.  I couldn’t stop reading it – which is code for you to go read it now.  The world in which Steve was raised is so different from my world.  Country Mouse meet City Mouse.

Steve and I haven’t had the same experiences.  But both are valid, and of all the gun owners/users I know Steve would rank at the top of the list of who I’d consider a responsible gun owner.

I, too, grew up with guns, but that’s where the similarity between Steve’s world and mine end.  The guns I grew up with were a tool, part of the uniform my father wore.  They weren’t for fun, or simply a part of everyday life.  They were dangerous weapons and to be treated with the utmost respect because of what “could” happen.

It’s like when someone says, “Don’t worry, my dog doesn’t bite.”  They are telling me to trust them.  If they don’t restrain their dog or keep bringing their dog around, they are forcing me to trust them.  And if the dog ends up biting someone then we’ll hear about how the dog had never done this before and was always a sweet, family pet – and that most dogs of this breed are gentle.  Sorta like… it’s not the dog that bit, it’s the owner.

Years ago a mother and child approached my neighbor who was walking her small dog.  The child wanted to go see the dog.  The mother asked my neighbor, “Does your dog bite?”  I’ll never forget my neighbor’s answer.  “All dogs bite.”  Truer words were never spoken.

Does your gun kill?  All guns kill.  That doesn’t mean that all guns will be used to kill, but all guns are designed to kill and can kill.

I will never have a gun in my home.  (Ask my brother-in-law, who moved back here from Arizona and stayed with us a few weeks.  He was welcome.  His gun was not.)  But my view on not owning a gun isn’t solely based on some mythical fear.  It’s based on several real life experiences.

When I was a teenager we went to visit friends in Parkersburg, West Virginia.  One night we went out with their kids. Now, I’m sure there was a lot of showing off for the city girl, but what they actually did was frighten me to the point where I vowed to avoid people like that.  The driving like a maniac on back country roads started it off, but it ended with one of the boys pulling out a gun (don’t ask, I have no idea what sort of gun it was) and waving it around.  I was terrified.  I knew what could happen.  Apparently, he did not.  When we finally got back to the house I was furious, and in my teenage fashion I launched into a rant about the reckless behavior to everyone.  The West Virginians didn’t get upset – they took it in stride.  I was stunned, and for years I didn’t understand.  But I think I’m starting to.  When I read Steve’s post I came to realize that there’s a certain amount of stupid behavior (shooting a cow?) associated with guns.  Guess it makes for a good story later in life – if you live that long.  ;-)   Starting to see the disconnect?  What horrifies me doesn’t generate the same reaction in others.

My second experience happened in my early twenties.  I was living in a Cool Springs city apartment.  Who knows why I didn’t go home that night.  Who knows why I slept on my friend Lori’s sofa.  Her husband was pulling a night shift and by the time we finished chatting it was really late.  Early the next morning my parents tracked me down at my friend’s.  I had to come back to my apartment.  It had been broken into, and the police and my landlord had contacted them.

When I arrived I discovered that my apartment had been broken into by a guy referred to as the Trolley Square rapist.  I also discovered several other things.  He had been in my apartment for at least several hours.  He had gone through every drawer and cabinet, moved the mattress, etc..  He had even found a hidden door in the back of my closet that led to an unused room- and for people who knew me then, my closet wasn’t an organized space.  It was a disaster zone, a dumping ground.  Even I couldn’t find things in that closet.

My point being that if I had owned a gun, he would have found it. And if I had returned home that night…

Those are two of my experiences.  I have also lived through the accidental shootings and suicides.  I am probably more familiar with these than most, simply because of my father’s job.  Dentist’s kids will be very familiar with the dangers of too many sweets and the need to brush and floss.  Cop’s kids will be familiar with safety and guns.  Every tragic/stupid event a cop sees will work its way into the conversation around the dinner table – age appropriately censored, of course.

As a cop’s kid you can’t help but be aware of tragedy/crime/violence.  Cops’ kids will know exactly what can, and does, happen.  We are raised to assess the situation and remove ourselves safely.  We are raised in a world where bad things really do happen.  We are raised to get the hell away from, and avoid, danger – and if we can’t get away we are taught ways to diffuse the situation.  We are trained to always check the back seat of our car before getting in; to immediately leave the house if we expect it has been burgled; to not chase a purse snatcher; to leave a bar if a fight breaks out, etc..  I had a friend whose mother was an ER doctor.  Her world view was pretty close to mine.  All parents do this to a certain extent – mostly when their teenager starts to drive – don’t play with the radio, don’t text, don’t speed, etc.  All designed to keep kids safe.

I was also raised with great respect for guns.  I understood that correct and effective use of a gun required extensive, ongoing training.  Owning a gun didn’t equal skill.  In fact, training should always come before owning a gun.  And training must continue once you own a gun.  The idea that someone – anyone – simply having a gun during a crisis situation is the answer to mass shootings is pure nonsense.  It’s also an insult to our military and law enforcement who train extensively to not only shoot, but how to handle themselves in a crisis situation – how to override human instinct and stay calm and focused.  The average gun owner isn’t remotely capable of this.

Steve writes an interesting paragraph:

And they [guns] don’t scare me.  A friend told me she was intimidated if she went to a public meeting where people were openly carrying weapons, that she wouldn’t speak, wouldn’t argue with them.  That she wouldn’t let her kids stay over at a house if she knew there were firearms there, no matter how safe, no matter how stored.  I have a difficult time understanding this fear.  I know that will sound utterly bizarre to some of you, especially in the wake of all the shootings recently, but I really don’t get it.  I get being scared in downtown Chicago, or Philly, or DC at night.  I get being scared if you live in the southwest along the infiltration routes from the Rio Grande and there are gunfights in your backyard.  But somebody open carrying to a meeting?  Not scary stuff.

I’m the mysterious friend Steve refers to – Yep, outing myself! – who wouldn’t let her kids visit houses with guns.  I told them if they were ever in a house and someone brought out a gun (a situation far too common and one I experienced as a teenager) that they were to leave.  Immediately.  Just walk out the door.  Don’t reason with the person.  Don’t find an adult.  Just get out.

You see, as a cop’s kid this scenario is Act I, Scene I for a tragedy.  A scenario that cops deal with far too often.

And there’s the difference.  I’m not scared in downtown Chicago, or Philly, or DC at night.  As a city dweller I understand and adjust for the risks.  Ain’t called street smarts for nothing.  So while I’m afraid of certain people with guns, Steve has his fears, too.  Both are valid, and both are driven by our individual life experiences.  Perhaps I underestimate my safety when I’m in Philly at night, but if I do then I’d say Steve underestimates his safety at a meeting where people are armed.

And given some of the heated public meetings lately, you’re damn right that I would watch what I say to someone who felt the need to bring, and flippin’ open carry, a gun to a meeting.  I would view the gun, and what it’s capable of, as a form of intimidation.  I would think twice before passionately disagreeing with the guy.  I would handle him/her in the same way I handle a drunk – carefully, as to not set them off.  Know why?  Because I don’t flippin’ KNOW them.  And that’s where we keep ending up.  Back to my neighbor’s dog.  All dogs bite, but not all dogs do.  And all guns can kill, but not all do.

We need to find a way to coexist.  We need to find a way where people who don’t like guns don’t paint all gun owners as dangerous and crazy, and a way for gun owners not to paint people who don’t want to be around guns as sissies or freedom haters.  You don’t have to agree with me, but I’d ask you to respect my views.  And that’s where we’re at.  I haven’t called for confiscating all guns.  I’m calling for solutions, for compromise.  Surely, there is room for compromise?  Surely, we can agree that some guns and ammo should be regulated?  But, maybe not.

Which brings me to…

The real problem I see is the NRA and what it has become – a lobbying group who pushes for laws (many that get enacted) that put us on a path where the motto seems to be “Guns for everyone!  Guns everywhere!  More guns would have saved those children in Newtown!”  Guns in bars, classrooms, churches, stadiums, dorm rooms.  Gun laws that allow you to shoot first and ask questions later – Stand Your Ground, baby, and when the homicide detectives arrive simply say you felt threatened.  Make them prove you didn’t, which can be difficult since the other witness is dead.  How about those body armor piercing bullets or the ability to fire 30, 40, or more, bullets rapidly?  Another WTF?

And that’s where I start freaking out.  What sort of mind believes they need these sort of guns in these sort of places?  These weapons aren’t for hunting or protecting yourself.  Talk about blatant overconfidence and ego.  It’s pretty scary to me that the only “what if” these type of gun owners seem to consider is what if a bad guy walks in the door.  Not… what if a kid gets my gunWhat if I drop my gun?  What if I shoot the wrong person?

So where does your (whoever you are) right to carry a gun meet with my right to not be around guns?  Do I even have that right?  Am I simply potential collateral damage?

So my concern isn’t really with most gun owners, it’s with this new breed that the NRA and gun manufacturers openly woo.  Because, over the last twenty years, a new breed of gun owner has emerged and they are being encouraged, and egged on, by the NRA and gun manufacturers.

I was driving home from Christmas shopping yesterday and the SUV in front of me had a window sticker that read:  Body Piercing by Glock.  Aren’t they clever?  Another gun ad proudly proclaims “Consider your man card reissued.”  Seriously?

And there’s a point we should be discussing – our view of masculinity and how we’re defining it.  Here’s how Bushmaster determines who will receive their man card:

…visitors of bushmaster.com will have to prove they’re a man by answering a series of manhood questions. Upon successful completion, they will be issued a temporary Man Card to proudly display to friends and family. The Man Card is valid for one year.

Visitors can also call into question or even revoke the Man Card of friends they feel have betrayed their manhood. The man in question will then have to defend himself, and their Man Card, by answering a series of questions geared towards proving indeed, they are worthy of retaining their card.

I would hope that not many men participated in this man test, but I don’t know.  But I bet I could accurately profile the ones who did and took it seriously. To me this man test is very silly, but after last Friday’s shooting I’m beginning to think it’s dangerous… and a big part of our problem.  Of the 62 mass shootings that have occurred in the United States since 1982, 61 have been committed by men.  So, if we’re going to talk about video games, movies and mental illness, we should also be talking about the other common denominator – our view of masculinity.

Yeah, yeah, yeah.  Once again a post of mine has jumped all over the place.  Shoot me.

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About the Author ()

A stay-at-home mom with an obsession for National politics.

Comments (29)

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  1. I am with Steve, guns are not scary. I see it as an irrational fear. I am with you that guns misused are scary, just like that car driven recklessly. We need to deal with behavior not tools.

  2. puck says:

    Because of the different sensibilities of urban/rural communities, some aspects of gun control can and should be left up to local governments. Possession and concealed carry, for example. There’s no reason New York City should have the same possession and carry laws as rural New York state (unless they want to). A lot of the tension over gun control is the fear of rural communities that powerful urban politicians will take their guns away.

    An assault weapon and ammunition ban on the other hand must be Federal, because the weapons are portable and liable to straw purchases.

  3. cassandra m says:

    P, you’ll enjoy this article — HOW A GUN-LOVING WEST TEXAS GIRL LEARNED TO FEAR ASSAULT WEAPONS

    Awesomely well written.

  4. V says:

    Oh David. Nobody’s afraid of a gun sitting on a table. I’m not. Pandora didn’t say that. We’re afraid of the asshole (or the person who doesn’t know what they’re doing) holding the gun. I’m not scared of guns. I’m scared of shootings. What are guns made to do? Shoot things. At least other dangerous things (knives, cars) have other uses.

    and a way to deal with behavior would be to regulate the item. Exactly how you said with cars, we have rules, licensing, regulations. Unfortuantely driving a car is a privilege and being able to pretend it’s the wild wild west is a right.

  5. pandora says:

    The article Cassandra linked to is a MUST read.

  6. Joanne Christian says:

    Well done Pandora–and I agree. Having lived around the US, I can appreciate all sides of personal ownership and ease or hardship of access. Having been on the “accidental”, or “criminal” end of participating in treatment in the Emergency room my view as a reasonable adult and parent are worlds apart. My in-laws were put on full notice we won’t be visiting West with any gun in the house. I didn’t care they went out and bought some triple-locked lead whatever kept in a hideaway closet buried behind a secret door guarded by sentry angels. I have seen that horror of other peoples’ families who too thought it was all under control. If you are bringing children into a home–and all the more important, children not yet accustomed to a “gun” home–I’m not settling for mitigating risk. I’m removing it. I am not a crazy parent–medicine cabinets, fireplaces, furniture, stairs, dogs, liquor cabinets, and your cutlery can all stay put–but guns, when they were small was an unequivocal, non-negotiable in-law request. By golly, they removed them–to FIL’s office. They knew I don’t get uptight about anything in parenting–but this I was firm. We laugh now, because I do have adult children who own guns–respectfully–but other DILs behind me are a whole lot crazier, w/ everything from sockets to sunglasses for infants. Glad I settled the gun issue for them :) !!

  7. SussexAnon says:

    “As a cop’s kid you can’t help but be aware of tragedy/crime/violence…..”

    As a cops kid, that paragraph is spot on with my experiences.

    Guns may not be scary but they deserve respect. There is a fine line between proper use and misuse with little margin for error.

    “Guns don’t kill people, people kill people. Monkeys kill people too….if they have guns.” Eddie Izzard

  8. Steve Newton says:

    For the record, I am NOT with David here. I do not see other people’s fears in this regard as irrational.

    There is a world of difference between explaining why I do not share that particular fear and admitting that I don’t understand it on a visceral level and in denigrating their concerns by calling them irrational.

    pandora makes an important point: we all have our fears, we all have our non-negotiables that may or may not be completely rational, but they are ours.

    But if we don’t discuss them honestly, if I don’t try to make pandora understand my perspective, and vice versa, in a respectful and thoughtful way, then while we may be talking we will never have a conversation.

  9. pandora says:

    Okay, I did chuckle when David Anderson reworked your position, Steve. I almost typed, “I win!” But that would have been juvenile behavior – funny, but juvenile.

    And we desperately need to have this discussion, for while I would never not go to a big city at night, there are definitely areas of that city I would avoid. Guess that’s what I’m hoping to hear from gun owners – while I would never not have a gun, there are certain guns that should be avoided.

  10. Steve Newton says:

    One of the things that this debate lacks in historical perspective is an understanding of what was happening when the Constitution was written. (I’m going to do a long post on this with references in a day or so.) Briefly: there was an intent to protect guns for personal defense, but that existed primarily in the State constitutions, not the Federal constitution. But that’s not my major point.

    The Framers wrote the US Constitution in 1787 which was (although they did not know it) the end of the pre-industrial era. So while they legitimately thought at the time that African slavery was a dying institution, they didn’t envision the invention of the cotton gin just a few years later that would make large-scale chattel slavery profitable again–and the constitution had nothing in it that would help them avoid that.

    Likewise, when the Constitution was written, the development of firearms was at the end of a fairly stagnant period of technical innovation that had lasted for at least a couple centuries, and no mechanism existed to produce them other than by individual craftsmen, one at a time. Within 50-70 years of ratification, however, both gun technology (invention of the Minie ball, repeating rifles, breachloaders, gatling guns) and in production (interchangeable parts, assembly line production, better alloys to withstand higher temperatures) had completely revolutionized the cost and effectiveness of firepower.

    They did not see it coming, any more than they saw how the railroad or the telegraph or the Lowell Mills would change the status quo.

    So while I do believe there is value in looking at original intent, it is critical also to place the constitution in its historical context, and to acknowledge as a starting point for discussion that the Framers did not legislate about automatic weapons or large-capacity magazines because such things neither existed nor were anticipated at the time.

    (If only they had read science fiction …)

    So it is also important to remember the words of Thomas Jefferson (who, I know, did not help draft the Constitution–he was in France at the time), “The Earth belongs to the living.” Jefferson advocated that EVERY single law needed a sunset provision because times and peoples change, and that peoples in each generation had both the right and responsibility to grapple with these issues anew.

  11. Geezer says:

    Thank you very much, Steve, for your perspective and expertise.

  12. heragain says:

    Pandora, thank you for this post.

    In the course of an average week, I run into people who are selfish, entitled, and have poor judgement. That’s just how they roll. They park across 2 spaces at crowded shopping malls, they have small children with multiple piercings and they spit on the sidewalk… sometimes all at once. They come in all ages, races, classes and conditions, but they are people I see and say, “Let’s just wait in this line.” so I won’t be behind them when they argue with the cashier. I don’t (usually) begrudge them their right to vote, or to a fair trial, or to speak out on subjects about which they will never acquire an informed opinion. I don’t care whether they worship Mormon Jesus or Cthulhu. But I TOTALLY resent their ability to turn the second amendment into a hostage situation for myself and my family.

    I will never serve in the military. I’m completely unsuited for the kind of discipline that makes that sort of organization work. I evaluate, on a case by case basis, whether someone is competent to run something. If yes, I’m loyal. If no, I generally just disappear. NOT the person you want standing next to you in combat.

    My brother-in-law, in contrast, has been a great member of the armed forces. I’m sure he has guns in his house (I don’t ask, so we remain friends) and I pity the poor SOB he decides needs to be shot. If civilization ends I plan to move my family to his bunker. I can cook.

    What is the problem with gun control in this country? The problem is that *I* could buy a gun. I could go buy a gun, keep it in my mess of a house, and let it off when I hear a mouse in the attic. I could leave it where my (or other peoples’ ) kids could get at it. I could leave it where burglars could get it. I could shoot it at people trying to break in. I could be ‘cleaning’ it when I unfortunately shot the really annoying woman next door. I could be diagnosed with something serious and just start working through my ‘better dead’ list. (I might actually get pretty far in that, I was a fair shot at camp.) But I don’t have a gun, because I was raised to consider the outcome of my behavior in a way that looks really RARE to me, these days.

    My BIL can have a gun because he was extensively trained in a system of respect for and control of one. There could be a gun accident in his house, but there would be an accident if someone stuck a fork in an electrical outlet, too. We don’t eliminate electricity on that basis.

    Really, you don’t want me to have a gun. And I don’t want YOU to have a gun, because YOU (the collective stranger in the US) are already treating the rest of us with no consideration, throwing your trash out the window, shoving in line, failing to wash your hands after going to the bathroom, and taking double helpings of food at a buffet that you leave on the table. I SEE you… you’re a mess. I prefer you to be an unarmed mess. I don’t trust you.

    When you’re a well-organized militia, when you answer to someone like my BIL, you can have a gun.

  13. Dave says:

    “Really, you don’t want me to have a gun. ”

    Me also. I don’t have one simply because I have yet to define a need; do not want the responsibility; and because I probably would have used it already. I don’t feel the need to get in arguments with folks who think they have waited long enough for their pizza. In fact, carrying a firearm probably contributes to such confrontations by inflating one’s confidence and invulnerability.

  14. socialistic ben says:

    I don’t think any amount of gun control (aside form a total nationwide ban and collect operation) could stop these mass killings. That falls into the category of “if someone is set on doing it, they will find a way…. Google “pipe bomb”)
    I think we can stop the George Zimmermans of the world. I’m with Pandora. I generally do not trust gun owners unless I’ve already decided I trust them, then come to find out they own a gun.
    If I see someone other than a cop in public with a gun, I get as far away from them as possible. I don’t know if they are evil or good, calm or angry…. what I DO know is, unlike most other weapons, if they decide they want to kill me for any reason at all, I’ll be dead before I have a chance to run or fight.
    That is what makes guns different. The speed and efficiency of their killing ability.

  15. Steve Newton says:

    @sb–so what do you do about the fact that in Delaware, as in most states, it is very very easy to acquire a concealed carry permit? Just decide not to think about it because you can’t see it? Serious question.

  16. socialistic ben says:

    the serious answer is… kind of, yes. Civilians who walk around displaying their guns bother me the most. To me, it is a much more violent form of playing your car music as loud as you can. They want you to know they have a gun, for whatever reason. Maybe it is simply to threaten all the “bad guys”… I want no part of being anywhere close to them.
    I figure at least half of the people who bother to conceal it don’t walk around pining for the chance to use it….. maybe the other half are all sneaky criminal-villains… that is where the out of sight, out of mind part comes in…. yeah i know it’s dumb.
    The fact is I am made very uncomfortable by the presence of a gun. Even of strapped to the side of a cop. Even on the wall of the home of a clsoe friend. If that gun is in the possession of someone I don’t know who may or may not be trained and responsible, my instinct is to get away fast. But again, this is an experience thread…. that’s mine. Based on where ive lived, guns dont mean hunting or target practice. They mean drug and gang violence.

  17. heragain says:

    Steve, not sb, but for myself, a) I already assume most of the people in a room are crazy.
    b) the sport is, what KIND of crazy.
    c) if you’re open carrying a weapon, I know what kind, at least for starters.

    I used to live in a town where it was legal for women to be topless in public. Very few women took advantage of this “opportunity.” If you happened to run into a woman who did… well, I understand it was often more scary than exciting for a lot of men who were, otherwise, totally in favor of female nudity. ;) People who are openly carrying weapons in a non-sport environment (particularly a debate-type one) are intimidating others. If I went into a zoning meeting carrying a pitchfork, same thing.

    Not that I haven’t been tempted to do so.

  18. meatball says:

    If a concealed carry permit holder “flashes” her gun, then she has broken the law. Also, I’m not really an argumentative person, I doubt carrying a concealed gun would make me more so. I don’t believe guns have the power to change personalities.

    Interesting though today I tried to purchase a replacement magazine on the internet for a .223 caliber (same as the AR 15 class of weapons)rifle. There are none to be had anywhere. They are all gone. Same with .223 ammo, balls, hollow points, and tracers, all gone. I guess the gunnies are running scared.

  19. pandora says:

    “I guess the gunnies are running scared.”

    They always seem to be running scared. And that’s one of my concerns. This group lives like there’s always a hurricane barreling straight for them. It must be exhausting.

  20. Joanne Christian says:

    hereagain with a pitchfork LOL. seriously though, my neighbor’s sign reads “All gunfire will be returned”. He’s a pharmacist about 70–his spitfire of a wife could hit the eye of a perched barn owl. Me…I still can’t see the barn. I’ve known them 15 years and never knew it was them at target practice, until last weekend when I was going over some end year financial stuff as he retires. God Bless discretion–because I live on the same country road w/ police, DEA agents etc.. and I swear they hunt their dinner nightly. But I guess that’s how they all stand ready like hereagain writes.

  21. None says:

    The problem in coming up with certain firearms that you want to ban is akin to coming up with types of speech you want to ban. The individual has the right to own a gun, it may be distasteful to the rest of us even downright scary but they have the right to do so. Thats the legal ones.
    Unfortunately there are these nut jobs that illegally get guns and bypass any law that we come up with. Murder is already illegal, they don’t care about that they won’t care about a lesser firearm related offense. There is no amount of laws that are going to stop that.

  22. geezer says:

    “The individual has the right to own a gun, it may be distasteful to the rest of us even downright scary but they have the right to do so.”

    The individual has no right to an automatic weapon; we already ban those. So it’s not the problem you seem to think.

  23. SussexAnon says:

    Automatic weapons are not banned. You can own one with a (very) special permit.

  24. Dana Garrett says:

    Well everyone is being so understanding of the other position. I guess I’ll have to be the one who thinks the other side’s position is tendentious in a way that is indefensible and rhetorically suspect.

    I think it is quite easy to conjure the posture of fearlessness when on the one hand your love for liberty so eclipses public safety as to make the latter a veritable negligible concern and, on the other hand, when the the kind of person who is likely openly carry a firearm to a public meeting is the kind of person you are likely to agree with at the meeting. There is no virtue in being monomanical about one value or in finding the behavior of your likely allies agreeable.

  25. Joanne Christian says:

    Dana, I don’t think it’s so much as the “other position”, as it is situational and degree of circumstances. I think SB at 4pm makes it clear that guns to him don’t mean hunting and target practice–they mean gangs and violence (sic)–based on where he was living.

    Does anybody remember an Army tank parked in the front yard of someone’s home on Rt. 13 for sale about 15-17 yrs. ago? It was there for years. I called and stopped by about that piece. I thought it would make a great playground feature for my kids to climb all over. It was a bit out of my price range, but wow would we have loved that when we were kids–to go with foxholes and an old stretcher we had when playing Army. Never even viewed it as a weapon. Life can really change.

  26. Steve Newton says:

    @Dana: “There is no virtue in being monomanical about one value or in finding the behavior of your likely allies agreeable.”

    For example, valuing your particularist view of “public safety” over all other values?

    Got it.

  27. Truth Teller says:

    Ted Nuget got out of serving in Nam by claiming that he had a mental problem so why is he allowed to own guns and have a gun show on the Discovery channel?? Eric Holder get off your ass and do your job.

  28. Dana Garrett says:

    No, Steve, I am not for an absolute ban on all gun ownership. I believe in balancing valueS and against giving one value absolute veto power over all other values (like Libertarians do with liberty).

    I also think openly toting guns to public meetings is a defacto act of menacing.

  29. X Stryker says:

    My personal experience with guns is that they are things people I have known who suffered from depression used to kill themselves. The majority of gun deaths are suicides, and suicide rates ate historically pretty high. You don’t need a gun to kill yourself, but it makes for a very compelling shortcut; the longer the preparation time required, the more opportunities you have to talk yourself out of it. So despite having played many violent video games, and loving Tatantino movies and Bruce Willis shoot’em-up movies, I’ll never have a positive association with an actual real gun. That’s not my pitch for pragmatic gun control, but since we’re discussing the way we perceive guns on a personal level, I figured I’d share mine. Among other things, I remember being in high school when Kurt Cobain died. And let me also note that I’m not particularly intimidated by Philly or Wilmington at night. Camden on the other hand…

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