Should I Buy a Gun?
I have never owned a gun. Matter of fact, I have fired a gun a grand total of one time in my life. I shouldered a shotgun out in the north Georgia woods when I was nineteen years old and fired at a milk bottle filled with water as a target. The kick from the gun nearly tore my shoulder off, since I obviously had no clue what I was doing. I have no idea if I came close to hitting that jug.
I have never wanted to own a gun. I fish. No need to shoot fish, though I am sure that takes place. I have never been hunting. I am not opposed to it in any way; it just works out that I have never been asked to join a hunting party by my father or brother-in-law -- and considering my lifetime gun résumé to this point, that is, for their sake, likely a very good thing.
What I have done is held a pistol in self-defense. Robbed at gunpoint when I was working at a gas station off Interstate 20 east of Atlanta in 1978, I grabbed the pistol the owner kept under the counter and (for some silly eighteen-year-old-full-of-vinegar-manhood-thingy) chased the dirtbag out the door. Of course, I had already hit the silent alarm, and the next person yelling at me to drop the gun was the second person who had pointed a gun at me in the span of six minutes -- only he was wearing a cool blue uniform and waving a standard-issue .357 magnum of the DeKalb County Police Department.
So my personal, limited experience with guns is not good. Actually it's just this side of tragic. But I have considered, and now again am considering, buying a gun. I've been checking them out over the past few months. Looking at pump shotguns, mostly -- the lighter, the better. I think of things like "one round in the chamber in case I have to fire immediately" and "if I can pump it and get the perp's attention without firing, then I need to make sure there are 3-5 rounds loaded and the spread pattern is right" and to make sure I get double-aught ammo to be able to take someone out in one shot if need be. Do I need a trigger lock, or will the safety be fine if the weapon is loaded (who wants to be a rookie fumbling to load shells when urgency is at a premium?).
My stepmother is taking shooting lessons. Seriously. She is trying to choose right now between a couple of guns -- one was a 9-millimeter Luger, I believe. She announced that she was doing this while I was thinking of doing the same. Though I lean shotgun, if for no other reason than, well, easier to hit stuff, y'know. Her motivation for "granny gunning up" is on target with mine: the peace of mind that, should I need a gun, I would have it and know how to use it.
This, though, is not about what type of gun, or really even a gun at all. This is about the tenor of the times. At age 51, I have been around long enough to know the difference between unease and unrest. There are also levels of unrest. Right now, this is unrest that strongly threatens to grow into greater unrest.
While most of us have been rightly concerned about attacks on our soil in this post-911 world, "Washington" has done its "official public warning" best to attempt to convince us that the real and immediate threat is internal.
Now, we conservatives know full well that what "Washington" was talking about was a political ploy aimed at trying to sell the concept to the American voting public that right-wing militias connected to the Tea Party, armed by the NRA and under the direction of the Republican National Committee, are such a direct physical danger to the life and limb of regular people that we need to keep those folks in check.
My current concern is that "Washington" is about to be correct -- only, like my shooting grade,180 degrees off-target.
Across the nation there has been an ongoing debate over the past three weeks or so. Are those troublemakers within "Occupy" really connected to "Occupy"? Are they opportunists seeking to use this "movement" to create havoc and potential anarchy? The reason that question is asked is to seek a biased-journalistic way to distance any violence from those who have supported (and still do, since there has been no condemnation) "Occupy" publicly (read: Democrats and, more expressly, President Obama). That question is nothing but irrelevant spin. We should have a long discussion sometime about irrelevant spin in newsrooms, but let's stay on track for now.
Of course, "Occupy" owns any violence connected to it in any fashion, even if (and that's a strong "if") it did not commit that violence directly. It did, without argument, seed that violence, and then it sought to take advantage of it to place direct blame on the police. I am not absolving authorities, but if there are a couple of veterans who suffered serious injuries at Occupy Oakland, the fact is that Occupy Oakland is responsible for damage done in direct altercations since it initiated those confrontations.
Back to my gun. I am not overly concerned about any direct confrontation from anyone in any current "Occupy" movement. But I am very concerned about the potential for violence coming from the seed of Occupy.
These elements were emboldened by mostly liberal mayors who allowed that seed to be planted in a park in their town. Rather than immediately enforce laws that would apply to anyone else (like, say, at a Tea Party rally), those mayors played political footsie with the Obama administration and Democrat leadership and allowed this "grassroots movement" to ignite the hoodlums, thugs, gangs, Marxists, and general lowlifes that exists on the far left of our political spectrum. Occupy is made up of and attracted (still does) a violence-seeking mob that sought to exploit a political unwillingness in liberal bastions to forcibly tackle them head-on from the jump.
If Occupy wants to burn liberal inner cities to the ground, a lot of Republicans will simply shake their heads. If Occupy spreads beyond that and seeks to do direct damage to traditional Americans in our communities, then Occupy is going to find out fast that the rules of the past, where people like us relied solely on authorities to defend us, won't be in effect. I will be blunt. If they want a fight, they had darn well be ready for what punching back looks like. There is a reason "Occupy Cheyenne" didn't make any real noise. It's not the cops with tear gas guns that would be the problem -- it was the pickup trucks that drive the roads of very conservative southeast Wyoming every day with stickers that say "Hell ya' that's a real gun in that gun rack."
It is that unrest that has settled over me. I have never quite felt this way. That these liberal, indoctrinated morons who defecate in the streets of New York can actually spark a following that would spread to Kalamazoo, Kankakee, or Kearney. And since that happened, we have more idiots jumping on this, and suddenly you have "Occupy (insert name of your subdivision)." Not mentioned, yet, is the potential for what could take place the night of and day after the next presidential election. Especially if Obama loses. Especially if he loses like Al Gore lost in 2000.
No, these are unique times. Times when I consider something that I had not really thought of before. It might be time for me to arm myself.
*For the record, if I do choose to purchase a weapon. I will take lessons. Since I know you would plead for me to do so.