Tax Day: April 15th
Buy A Gun Day: also April 15th
Bill Goodman's Gun & Knife Show in Wilmington, OH: April 17th
Can you guess what else happened on April 17th?
Yup, I exercised my 2nd Amendment rights at an Evil Loophole Gun Show and got me a handgun! Please make my new Springfield Armory XD-40 Tactical feel welcome!
I know some of you (my dear friends and loyal readers) think guns are bad and wrong, or "badong". That's your prerogative. It's also my prerogative to call you a Gun-Fearing Wussy. It's just a gun, people. Like words, there is nothing inherently evil about them. Unlike words, they can provide protection against inherently evil people.
A lot of people my age come pre-packaged with a healthy dose of fear about guns. That's a good thing. It makes you treat a gun with respect. However, there is nothing about a gun in and of itself that is intrinsically bad. Having a gun does not turn a normal, sane, and rational person into a psycho serial-sniper - People like that are broken goods before they even pick up a gun. I think a lot of peoples' irrational fears about firearms would disappear if they were taught from an early age to respect and use a firearm. The greatest danger lies in not really knowing anything about guns - if you give it that sort of mythical quality, it loses its realness and you start treating it as a toy. The only real antidote to irrational gun fear is gun education.
Once you learn to stop fearing the gun, you start seeing it for the thing it is - a tool. Tools have been invented and used all throughout the history of man, and they all have one common trait - they make a process more efficient. It's the concept of getting a lot for a little - to put it punnilly, to get the most bang for your buck. It's always awe-inspiring to think of the massive energies being unleashed every time you exert a few lbs of force upon a trigger - and even more so for the intended target. And the effect of making that great power available to just about everybody, is that it makes for an even playing field. No other invention has done more to equalize the power between human beings. Consider the following scenarios: In a fist fight, if skills were equal, then the stronger one would win. In a knife fight, the knives multiply the effect of strength, so the stronger one would still win. However, using a gun does not depend on strength (much) - In a gun fight, given equal skills, a 100lb woman has just as much chance of a 250lb man - not something you can say for any other weapon. In concrete terms, if a woman's punch did 1 unit of damage, and a man's did 2 units of damage, and it took 100 units of damage to kill or incapacitate someone, then we can pretty much tell who the winner is going to be. The knife fight example may multiply the respective values by 5x or so. But a gun is not dependent on strength - it's like automatically adding 1000 units of damage to your abilities - which makes for overwhelming power - now the only thing that matters is who gets the first shot off. It's sort of like playing an unfair version of paper, rock, scissors: paper beats rock, rock beats scissors, and scissors beats paper - but gun beats them all.
Of course, this brings to mind the Spider-Man's words of wisdom: "With great power comes great responsibility."
Having a gun is having great power - and it requires great responsibilty. It humbles me every time I think about it - the ability to deal out life or death - and to tell you the truth, I don't know if I had quite prepared myself for that much power. But I do know this much: if there is ever a day where I need to use this great power, then I have a responsibility to use it properly. The day I do not treat this power with responsibility is the day I forfeit my right to have it.
Now I was surprised, to some extent, when even some of my guy friends evidenced gun fear. Unfortunately, it shows that The Pussification of the Western Male is happening, even here. But like I said above, the only real antidote to irrational fears is education - and I am going to do my darndest to educate myself, so that I may educate others. I wear many hats - computer geek, game geek, web geek, music geek - and now I'm adding the bright safety orange trucker hat of gun geek.