Firearm Folly

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Memoir  |  House: Footsteps, yarns and little fibs
Firearms and the second amendment are a worry.

Submitted: October 25, 2016

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Submitted: October 25, 2016

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‘This is my rifle, this is my gun, this is for shooting, and this is for fun!’ I remember reading this in Leon Uris’ Battle Cry, when he described the event for a young marine wrongly calling his rifle ‘a gun’. He was made to run around the parade ground holding his rifle raised in his left hand and his ‘manhood-gun’ in his right hand. This of course was to teach him that a long firearm with rifling is called a rifle and not a gun. Guns like muskets and shotguns traditionally have no rifling, although some modern shotguns are so equipped.

The grooves in the barrels of rifles, pistols and revolvers enhance the accuracy of the weapon, whereas the slang name scattergun, describes a shotgun well. The scatter depends on the size of the pellets, or shot, and the smaller the shot the more chance of hitting something but the less impact damage per pellet. Back in the day I knew a hunter who used buck-shot, which was five pellets and those pellets could do a lot of damage. He also used a single slug, which was a large lump of lead that hit with a thump but the compromise was accuracy.

I don’t particularly like firearms, even though I own a couple. They have been part of my working life, in a role to control pest animals in and around the forest and on my farm. From time to time I have had to confront illegal hunters, and in doing so I had the right to confiscate their weapons. Generally these guys were aggressive because they have been ‘caught out’ and nine times out of ten, when I asked them to hand over their weapon, their response was, ‘Over my dead body!’ Yes, I know that’s crazy, they think it is worth dying over a stupid bloody firearm! I never ever, confronted anyone while I was armed, that in my book would be plain nuts! Very often I had a dog with me and that tended to civilize them! The ‘over my dead body’ stance, I think is through watching too many John Wayne movies where ‘my gun is my right hand’ made him look tough.

I’m very thankful that I don’t live in the United States of America, where an amendment to the constitution gives everyone the right to keep and bear arms! The legislation was put in place well before the emergence of automatic, or rapid-fire weapons, and arguably during more dire times, so really there is a need to change the wording of the amendment, don’t you think? That amendment was put in place December 15 1791, seventeen ninety one! The sad thing is legislators since then have not been brave enough to update it! That is down to the power of the gun lobbyists.  They have heard all of the arguments before and are unlikely to listen to anyone with a moderate, peaceful point of view.

What I can’t get my head around is that there is at least one firearm per person in the whole of the United States of America! The stat I read recently was one hundred and twelve point six firearms per one hundred people! They are united at least in that! But what is the intentional use of those firearms? You don’t buy a firearm and hang it on the wall as an ornament – or do you? I suppose there’s no limit to what crazies might do. If the idea is for personal defence, and I suspect it is, does that not equate to everyone in the United States of America is actually prepared to shoot, possibly kill someone! Shoot first, ask questions later. Is that not a scary thought?

The more I think about that…. Anyway, if everyone is so fearful of their neighbour, chaos and the insanity of it will continue, and in those situations, nobody is listening to reason, so why try? Wouldn’t politicians’ number one goal be public safety? Surely there must be wise heads somewhere. The only people who can do something about reducing firearms and their risks are the legislators, but legislators depend on votes and they all want to retain power with those golden purse strings. So I guess the status quo is bound to prevail.

However, if people float ideas about addressing that contentious second amendment, maybe one day something will change. Here you go, I’ll start the ball rolling.

.Target ammunition. Every round, shell, bullet and projectile should have an identification mark. Limit the amount gun shops allowed to sell ammunition and to registered customers. If there is a shooting, the ammunition can be traced to the seller who will be investigated to ascertain if the sale was legitimate. Manufacture the ammunition so it goes stale after a year, then it must be returned to the seller,  before additional ammunition can be purchased, the spent casing should be returned. Computers are good a keeping data. All of this will of course put the price of ammunition up, which is an excellent thing. There are those, especially unsavoury characters, who are unlikely to ever give up their firearms or ammo, and yes there is an awful lot of ammunition out there so it will take years for this idea to work, but a start is a step in the right direction.

. They are called the gun lobby, so why not give them guns? The only firearms civilians should be allowed to own would be weapons without rifling, and modified to single, or perhaps two shots. Then the only ammunition available for supply would be bird shot. What about the hunters? Let the animals live and set up rifle ranges or at least special areas, where the firearms are left behind and not taken into homes.

. Collections of firearms belong in museums! Bluntly, collections are an excuse to own an arsenal, ban all private arsenals!

. Crooks will always find ways to obtain firearms, that’s their culture, but I see no need for the civil population to own automatic or rapid-fire weapons, so they should be called in. At least the crooks would not have stealing weapons as their mode of obtaining them!

Yes all that is hopelessly difficult, logistically difficult and politically impossible, but if I failed to make the suggestions, I would personally feel lacking. It is also worth noting that this second amendment-esk attitude travels like headlice around the world, an unsafe USA equates to unsafe everywhere! I don’t want to be unwelcoming but nor do I want ‘gun-totin’ people bringing their fearsome attitude to my neck of the woods!

Without discipline owning a firearm makes the trigger finger itchy, and that itchy trigger finger is why random things are shot including animals and sometimes even people. There is a thrill in the bang and power in the possession.


© Copyright 2017 moa rider. All rights reserved.

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