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Tue Dec 18, 2012, 01:49 PM

I am not a gun person. But for the gun persons, how about you speak out? [View all]

I recall, way back when, kids my age going hunting. I grew up not far from Newtown, actually, and kids used to go with their Dads up into Monroe and Shelton, and, yes, Newtown, to hunt.

My Dad always told me he had enough of guns in Italy and France in the early and mid 1940s, during that big shooting incident they had over there. He never spoke about it specifically. It was understood he would not be a Dad who took his kids hunting.

When I turned 16, I joined the NRA, took my gun safety course, and bought a single shot 16 ga Savage shotgun. One of my sons still has it. No tradition involved. He just wanted it. It's a pretty benign gun as gun erotica goes.

When I was in the Navy, I had to learn to shoot a .45 automatic. I qualified pretty highly on it earned some award or other. It was more than 40 years ago, so I don't recall what it was, exactly. I also shot a lot of other shipboard-typical weaponry, both small arms and heavy stuff, up to a 40mm AA gun. Big booms! Yeah, it was visceral and in some ways kind of exciting. Cool. Big mechanical things making big noises. There's something in all that that seems to appeal to the testosterone rich among us.

To this day, I love the sound of unmuffled airplanes flying low and fast at air shows, of jets going vertical with afterburners flaming. Of cars going very fast. I love the concussion of the sound as it hits you, washes over and envelops you. I love that shit. I can see how guns hit that same spot.

Anyway, I'm not a gun guy. I hunted a few times, usually with borrowed weapons. Meh. I was more disgusted than not, killing something.

But I guess I can understand the allure of hunting. My younger son hunts. not so much anymore, but he still has a few long guns. no pistols, though. While it holds no appeal for me, I actually do think I understand hunting, and to some extent, owning a gun.

I also understand the familial pride of a Dad taking his kid hunting. Teaching him the skills needed, both gun skills and otherwise. I do. I get it. I also recall not feeling too good about my dad not taking me. I understand now, to be sure. But back then, he was Superman. Why wouldn't he take me?

So yeah, I think I understand hunting and hunters and some of the allure. And basically, I am fine with it. I prefer it not happen, but that's just me. I can be tolerant, though. I can also understand the need for guns, beyond and pride or pleasure. A rancher warding off a marauding predator. Law enforcement. I get all that.

But then you get into the perversion of guns. The fetishistic aspects.

Since I'm not a gun person, whatever I say becomes suspect. I have an agenda. I'd be just as happy - no, probably happier - if all guns simply disappeared.

But hunters, genuine sportsmen, honest gun users, responsible gun owners, why not speak out about gun fetishists. You know who I mean, so don't say you don't; you'd be lying. The survivalists. the castle people. those who fear crime from those of other skin colors. Why not treat the fetishists among you as society did to drunk drivers, smokers, wife beaters, etc. Societal pressures were applied to those activities. You know how the smokers now claim to be respectful and go outside to smoke. Many report being ashamed they still smoke. Millions, like me, have quit. It simply isn't cool anymore.

Why can't honest gun owners, the kind I describe above, why can't they put social pressure on the (okay, I'll go there) "gun nuts" to stop being so . . . . . I dunno, nutty?

It seems to me you'd do yourselves a service. Guns would be seen as they once were. Reasonable ownership restrictions could put in place without harm to the responsible owners. Police yourself.





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