Monday, October 4, 2010

I am a left wing gun owner.

A magical, mythical beast!  The left-wing gun owner!  Get thee to the fainting couch!

Right.  Got that out of the way.  I think the biggest problem is the NRA.  Back in the day, I've heard they were good people.  Worried about making sure everyone who had a gun was using it safely and properly.  Using their expertise in the field to help draft effective legislation, like the National Firearms Act of 1934.  But now they seem to be taking the position that a heavily armed society is a polite society, pointing to every shooting and saying "this could have been stopped if everyone there was carrying a gun," citing the safety of legal gun owners, and forgetting that we are this safe because we have had safety drilled into our skulls since before we ever touched a firearm by the people who introduced us to them.  Legal ownership does not make someone a safe gun user.

The NRA has turned into nothing more than a lobbying organization playing on the legitimacy it once had.  It has done this at the behest of rich white people who think of guns as toys, and don't want to see the government getting in the way of their fun.  Now, I'll be the first to admit, shooting is fun.  At targets.  On a gun range.  While strictly observing the rules of safety.  I don't imagine myself whipping out a pistol at a mugger.  I don't imagine scenarios where me and a legally concealed handgun (not actually possible in Wisconsin) save the day from nefarious villains.  Well, I do imagine these scenarios, because I'm a prolific planner who believes and hopes that enough planning will prevent random horrors (including car accidents.  Yes, I'm deluded, and yes, cognitive dissonance sucks.)  But I don't fantasize about them.  I do not ever want to be in a situation where I need a gun.  I do not ever want to be in a situation where the best possible action is to end the life of another human being.  But I support gun ownership for people who can demonstrate safe handling and use of a gun, and I support concealed carry permits for the same after background checks and psychological evaluations.  Because if I or someone else encounter that horrible situation, I want the best possible action to be possible.

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