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Wed Dec 26, 2012, 10:36 AM

 

Rural gun ownership. [View all]

I live out in the country, and like fifty six percent of rural households, I own at least one gun. That percentage figure is twenty five points higher than overall gun ownership in this nation. Why? Why do so many rural folks own guns.

In most cases, for good, practical reasons. Out in the country, you are miles from anywhere and anything, stores, fire stations, police help. Thus, living in the country forces you to plan ahead. Have a larger store of food on hand, since you can't run out to the corner store and get more. Have an extra fire extinguisher or two around in case something catches, after all, the fire station can be anywhere from five to fifty miles away. Have a gun in the house, because like fire stations, the local sheriff could be minutes or an hour away.

Furthermore, out in the country, you're dealing with situations that you normally don't deal with in the city. I had a neighbor who shot a dog on his front doorstep about four months ago. The dog was acting vicious, wouldn't let him, his wife and grandchild into their own front door. After trying other methods of getting rid of the dog, he was forced to shoot it.

Another common incident is having a wild dog, or even a domesticated one, running livestock. When you've got a thousand dollars involved in a cow and her calf, the last thing you want to see is a dog running them to death. If the dog belongs to somebody, you talk to that person. If the dog is wild, or the dog owner refuses to take action to control the dog, you shoot it.

There are other critters out here as well that have to be dealt with, depending on where you live. Furthermore, some of them could be rabid. I had to put down a rabid raccoon that had installed itself outside my front door. I wasn't going to let my dogs have to deal with it and possibly get bit. I wasn't going to wait for the raccoon to wander off either, spreading rabies throughout the countryside. So I shot it.

There are other acts of mercy that go on out here, mostly with livestock that is diseased and crippled. Horses, cows, goats, and more have to be put out their misery, and the easiest, most efficient and quick way of doing so is with a gun.

Not to mention basic hunting. Many, if not most rural folks put some, if not all, of their meat on the table courtesy of a rifle. One of the many reasons that it is generally considered easier to be poor in the country than the city is because of the hunting. Deer season in the country is a busy one, and more than one larder is filled in the fall.

The fact of the matter is the gun is a necessary tool of life in the country, and you are never going to get support eliminating all guns from the rural populace. You can get support for eliminating certain guns, assault weapons and such, and even support for other measures such as getting rid of high capacity clips. But take away the family deer rifle, or the twelve gauge shotgun in the closet, like many people on DU seem bent on doing? It's not going to happen.

So for those of you who think that gun ownership is something frivolous and unnecessary, go live out in the country for awhile. You'll find that owning a gun is just as necessary as owning a hammer. You may not use it often, but you want it there when you need it because you are far from any place where you can conveniently pick up one, and there is nobody who can be right there to help you in your time of need.

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