Wednesday, February 2, 2011

A Strong Man's Thoughts on Gun Control

Don't worry, dear readers.  From the title of this post you may be thinking that I am going to get all mavericky on you.  Well, you would be wrong.  Many of you think I am a bleeding heart liberal who has forgotten his conservative roots, and although the former is true, the latter is still suspect.  Unless I have enough knowledge and have researched the subject myself, I do not like to make blanket political statements.  So you will not be reading, "Guns don't kill people, people kill people" or "Shoot them all and let the lord sort them out" or even "The 2nd amendment was never intended to allow private citizens to 'keep and bear arms.' If it had, there would have been wording such as 'the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.'"  Nope, not in this post.

But, after the recent shooting of a US Congresswoman in Arizona I started considering the issue of gun control.  Born in the hills of eastern Kentucky, I was raised in a pro-gun community.  As a child, every man I knew owned at least one gun.  Many of the women did as well.  However, the majority of these guns were used for hunting or sport.  I have no problem with this type of gun ownership.  The hunters I know actually eat, or share,  the meat of the animal they have killed.  Sport shooting, such as skeet or target, is also a legitimate past time.  However, semi-automic guns and the type of gun that the shooter used in his Arizona rampage were built for only one reason, killing fellow humans.  These guns were invented by armed forces throughout the world for the sole purpose of war.  I do believe that restrictions of some sort should be on ownership of these weapons.

In my experience, though, there is one particular group of people I think should be restricted on gun usage and ownership.  That group is the eldery.  As I stated above, most of the adults I knew as a child owned guns and packed heat.  This included both my grandfather, Poppy, and my grandmother, Granny. 

Block of Gov't Cheese!
My family owned different businesses in downtown in the 1970's and 80's and Poppy always helped out with them.  Mostly, he used it as his home base for his trading.  Guns, knives, and government cheese were his three main inventory items, and he kept them tucked away in a back room at the store.  I am not sure how many blocks of commodity cheese a gun went for, but I can tell you that both our refrigerator and my cousin's refrigerator were always stocked with huge 10 pound blocks of creamy processed government cheese.

Although they acted like young boys, Poppy and his trading buddies were, let's face it, old men.  Old men sometimes get a little carried away and careless.  Such was the case one day when Poppy brought one of his friends, Mr. Sizemore, into his back room to check out his new gun.  No one is sure if the men knew the gun was loaded or not, but what we do know is that as my Aunt Ruby tended the counter at Stewart's Entertainment Center, Poppy and Mr. Sizemore unloaded the magazine of a pistol from the back room into the showroom, totally destroying one Pioneer Home Stereo System and one front window.  Aunt Ruby was stunned silent, thankful she was not shot, as Poppy and Mr. Sizemore just locked up the back room and left the store as if nothing had happened.

Poppy's bride, Granny, was no better.  Granny was a typical mountain woman who always wore a house dress, sensible shoes, and never moved a fast pace.  She always kept a loaded pistol in her purse.  Always.  Anytime she was riding in a car with anyone in the family (she didn't drive), and the car was stopped by the police, be it for speeding or a standard road-block that was common in the 1980's, the family member who was driving would sweat bullits because Granny was sitting as the co-pilot with loaded heat in her purse.

Granny was also very protective over her pistol purse.  If she was going to leave it at home for any reason, she would hide it.  One particular time, she hid it in the washing machine.  The next day, she decided to wash her kitchen rugs.  She threw the rugs in the machine, set it to wash, and thankfully, left the laundry room and went into the living room to watch her stories on television.  What happened next is what one would image happening if you had to shoot your way out of a washing machine.  Granny had forgotten about her purse, complete with the loaded gun in it, when she loaded the washing machine and turned it on.  The jarring from the machine set off the pistol several times, leaving holes in the washer, dryer, wall, and window.  Remarkably, Granny was not hurt, but was upset that she had to miss the second half of The Young and the Restless that day.

So you can see, dear reader, why my concern for gun control really centers around the older population.  In fact, my Dad has a gun safe that I am considering changing the lock on and keeping the key.  He is a direct desendent of Poppy and Granny.  What chance at all does he have?


  1. Probably a good argument for why I should never have a gun!

  2. 1st step is learn how to shoot and how to control a gun. Some time during the shooting gun out of control and you become in danger