Forward to next post: Squalor and hope
As I mentioned two posts back, this past week I was visiting my friends Nancy and Elric in Auburn, New Hampshire. On Sunday night—which is Ladies’ Night at the Manchester Firing Line Range—Nancy and I, accompanied by Jim Macdonald, went and made a lot of holes in defenseless paper targets. (Pictures! We got pictures!) (And here are some pictures of Nancy and Jim).
The Colt .45 pistol was fine, and so was the AR-15 Sporter (though a little too hair-triggered, IMO); but the one I liked the very best of all was the 1928 Thompson Submachine Gun—that’s the Navy model, with the (relatively) reduced rate of fire when you’re on full automatic. That thing is one nice piece of design and engineering. It just feels good, like an IBM Selectric or my Honda Civic.
(Aiiiiiieeeeee! Flee, puny humans! It’s a liberal with a tommy gun!)
I mention this because it was fun, and cool; and also because I’m tired of hearing about how all liberals want to outlaw guns. Plenty of ‘em don’t. It’s not my place to say how Nancy or Jim voted in this recent election or any other, but let’s just say we assort well.
Personally, I think a lot of the liberals who want to ban firearms don’t have much ideological basis for it. It’s more that they aren’t familiar with guns, so they find them frightening and alien.
You have to admit, guns are naturally scary objects. After the first time I fired the Colt .45, I had to flip on the safety and carefully lay the thing down, then lean against a nearby wall a few seconds until the faintness passed. Biiiiiiiiiiig noise. Lots of power. A kick that tells you you’re holding a controlled explosion in your hand. Woo. And then I picked it back up, flipped off the safety, and fired a bunch more shots.
Any sane person’s going to be wary of guns. But if you’ve never handled one, and you don’t know anyone who does, they’re just plain frightening. Basically, I figure guns are like gays: They seem a lot more sinister and threatening until you get to know a few; and once you have one in the house, you can get downright defensive about them.
Then there’s the NRA. You know, those guys are no help at all. If I were a conniving right-wing strategist, I’d funnel lots of money to the NRA because their spokesmen are always coming off like such dangerous loonies. I’ve never known one single non-gun-using person who was persuaded by listening to the NRA that there’s such a thing as sane, reasonable gun ownership and use. Instead, they stampede in the opposite direction, which causes sane, reasonable gun owners to stampede rightward, and next thing you know there’s a culture war going on between people who otherwise would be sympathetically inclined.
My feeling on this issue is that next time I’m in Manchester, I want to try out a shotgun, even if it knocks me over backward. I understand the sound makes a Colt .45 sound like a popgun.
(Public Notice: Anybody who comes along and posts stupid gnu-control flaming boilerplate in my Comments section will find out about my magic powers to Edit and Delete. I don’t mind being disagreed with, but I hate being bored. Say something new or suffer the consequences. You have been warned.)