Growing up in rural Texas, I knew that just about everyone owned a gun or two—sometimes several. Those guns were used by honest sportsmen and women who went hunting during deer season or duck season or dove season. Those hunters shot animals that ended up on the table in feasts of wild game. Among those honest people, anyone who went on the hunt just for the thrill of the kill, leaving carcasses to rot in the wild was considered anathema.
Back then, some people kept guns in their homes for protection that was actually more imaginary than reality.
So I grew up firmly believing in the “right (of US citizens) to keep and bear arms.” I still do. Let’s face it, “gun laws” are never going to keep weapons out of the hands of criminals. That’s a completely different problem.
What bothers me here in the 21st Century is that assault rifles are advertised and sold right out in the open. Assault rifles! What’s that all about? Do we need them to go to war against terrorist herds of suicide bombing deer? Are they necessary to protect ourselves against marauding bands of wild turkeys? Assault rifles are weapons of mass destruction used by deranged lunatics to enter public places and kill as many innocent people as possible just for the thrill of the kill.
Why is it legal to sell those things?
A .30-06 is a rifle of preference for many deer hunters, and you can be sure it will be a protection against an intruder trying to climb in your house through a window. The point is that a .30-06 has legitimate uses. Can anyone conceive of a legitimate reason for owning an A-47 assault rifle? What? Leveling an entire herd of deer for sport? Shooting dozens of people randomly in a dark movie theater?
Why was the 1994 ban on selling these offensive (double entendre intended) weapons allowed to expire? Why isn’t a do-nothing Congress held responsible for allowing these things to be sold willy-nilly to anyone who wants one?
To those who want to toss the baby out with the bath and ban all gun sales, I remind them that alcohol prohibition was an exercise in futility. Need anyone be reminded that the alcohol ban simply handed the sale of booze over to organized crime. The bumper sticker that reads, “When guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns,” is a legitimate argument.
We get busy to ban “bath salts” in a flash. So Congress, President Obama and/or candidate Mitt Romney, what do you propose to do about this matter?
Assault rifles aren’t effective against zombies, you know.