The changing face of gun ownership

Gun ownership was once shunned by many Americans, secure in the assumption that we live in an ordered society. But I keep running into people who have changed their views on personal firearms possession, and bought guns. 

Events such as Hurricane Katrina contributed to this trend. While the stories of mayhem in the wake of Katrina may have been exaggerated by an irresponsible media that reported wild rumors as fact, many citizens quickly came to realize that civilization can be a thin veneer and the police won't always be there when needed.  

Two examples of just how respectable gun ownership is today happened to me this last week.  First, I am on my Catholic parish's finance committee.  As we finished setting our budget for the current fiscal year and adjourned Thursday night's meeting, the topic turned to guns.  Soon four of the seven members, including our pastor, were talking about getting together at the local shooting range.  At least one additional member is also a gun owner but doesn't target shoot as a hobby.   Although the parish is in small town North Carolina, none of us are native to this area.  We are big city and suburban folk, active and retired accountants, investment advisors and a former lobbyist for a business association.  Our pastor served 20 years in America's Armed Forces before entering his vocation to the priesthood.  Where some look at our extensive parish grounds with its large trees around a rambling Victorian rectory and see a lovely setting, Father also sees potential for late night mayhem by bad guys seeking to loot parish valuables.  Sometimes part of the task of protecting the spiritual flock is chasing away two legged wolves.    

Second, a local family are among the gentlest and most devout Christian people I know, with ministers and missionaries all along the family tree. They have eschewed eating meat out of religious conviction for at least three generations. Recently households on either side of this family have abandoned properties. That leaves a, mom, dad, and three children isolated at the end of a long, secluded, private drive.  Our entire community is miles from the sheriff's office. Cell phone signals are iffy here, too. 

My neighbor's brother, a lawyer who was a prosecutor early in his legal career, has long carried a gun and also taught his wife to shoot. As times have become more uncertain the brother has increasingly fretted about my neighbor family's physical isolation   Even though their budget is very tight right now, we talked on Sunday about my neighbor's plans to finally follow his brother's urging and buy a gun.  His main concern is personal protection but he also needs to deal with the critter problems that are part and parcel of country life.  With each passing year he is a fraction slower than he used to be. The last time he tried to kill a venomous snake that had taken up residence in their barn with the garden hoe, it almost got him instead.  Not wanting to kill animals for food doesn't preclude protecting small children and pets by reluctantly killing a Copperhead that comes close to the house or a racoon that is behaving oddly and thus potentially a carrier of rabies.  

This may be one of the few social trends lovers of liberty can celebrate these days.
Gun ownership was once shunned by many Americans, secure in the assumption that we live in an ordered society. But I keep running into people who have changed their views on personal firearms possession, and bought guns. 

Events such as Hurricane Katrina contributed to this trend. While the stories of mayhem in the wake of Katrina may have been exaggerated by an irresponsible media that reported wild rumors as fact, many citizens quickly came to realize that civilization can be a thin veneer and the police won't always be there when needed.  

Two examples of just how respectable gun ownership is today happened to me this last week.  First, I am on my Catholic parish's finance committee.  As we finished setting our budget for the current fiscal year and adjourned Thursday night's meeting, the topic turned to guns.  Soon four of the seven members, including our pastor, were talking about getting together at the local shooting range.  At least one additional member is also a gun owner but doesn't target shoot as a hobby.   Although the parish is in small town North Carolina, none of us are native to this area.  We are big city and suburban folk, active and retired accountants, investment advisors and a former lobbyist for a business association.  Our pastor served 20 years in America's Armed Forces before entering his vocation to the priesthood.  Where some look at our extensive parish grounds with its large trees around a rambling Victorian rectory and see a lovely setting, Father also sees potential for late night mayhem by bad guys seeking to loot parish valuables.  Sometimes part of the task of protecting the spiritual flock is chasing away two legged wolves.    

Second, a local family are among the gentlest and most devout Christian people I know, with ministers and missionaries all along the family tree. They have eschewed eating meat out of religious conviction for at least three generations. Recently households on either side of this family have abandoned properties. That leaves a, mom, dad, and three children isolated at the end of a long, secluded, private drive.  Our entire community is miles from the sheriff's office. Cell phone signals are iffy here, too. 

My neighbor's brother, a lawyer who was a prosecutor early in his legal career, has long carried a gun and also taught his wife to shoot. As times have become more uncertain the brother has increasingly fretted about my neighbor family's physical isolation   Even though their budget is very tight right now, we talked on Sunday about my neighbor's plans to finally follow his brother's urging and buy a gun.  His main concern is personal protection but he also needs to deal with the critter problems that are part and parcel of country life.  With each passing year he is a fraction slower than he used to be. The last time he tried to kill a venomous snake that had taken up residence in their barn with the garden hoe, it almost got him instead.  Not wanting to kill animals for food doesn't preclude protecting small children and pets by reluctantly killing a Copperhead that comes close to the house or a racoon that is behaving oddly and thus potentially a carrier of rabies.  

This may be one of the few social trends lovers of liberty can celebrate these days.

RECENT VIDEOS