When I was a boy, one of the greatest experiences connected with visiting my grandmother, Dad’s mom, was to play and explore in the enchanting attic of her beautiful, victorian style home.
One day I found a small revolver similar to that pictured here. Being safety trained by my Dad, even at whatever tender age I was at the time, I left it there and asked my Dad about it later. He said it was my grandmother’s gun.
It had long since given up the ability to work because of a lack of care. Deeming it safe (it was incapable of firing) and having trained me well, Dad said I could have it.
I was not allowed to “play” with it and had to keep it in a safe place. I could not show it to friends unless Dad was there. It was a treasure to young Peter and it sits today amongst a lot of other things from my past on a memory shelf in my home.
Elsewhere, I have written about my early introduction to guns and how Dad trained me. It was special because Dad and I were doing it together, not for reason of it being unusual.
Having this sense of guns being a part of every day life lasted until about ten years ago, when after a long hiatus, I decided to get back to recreational shooting.
It was still possible to get a gun in NYC, a modest nod to the Constitution, but it was a grueling and expensive process. The difficulty I experienced motivated me to further explorations of how and why the world had changed from that of my youth.
As I began to read the magazines and books that would teach me about contemporary guns, I also learned that there was a very large, well organized and funded movement to get rid of guns. The UN image accurately reflects their feelings.
I had never thought much about loosing rights, a word that is thrown around in a lot of crazy contexts these days while here it’s a direct reference to the Bill of Rights of the Constitution, but it sure seemed that they were at least being infringed in this case.
At one point, New York City changed their rules for the acquisition of a firearm by adding a ninety day waiting period between gun purchases. Unfortunately for me, it happened right about the time I decided to get into Cowboy Action Shooting. This is a competition where the contestants use period firearms (usually reproductions for safety reasons) and dress in period costume during the competition. Great fun!
We actually shoot four guns in each event or stage. Now a quick calculation will tell you that it would take me a minimum of nine months to acquire the guns to be able to participate in this competition.
No amount of trying to understand the twisted logic of the gun control folks could get my rational brain wrapped around this new regulation. From other reading, I learned that there were over 20,000 gun control laws spread throughout the land. It didn’t seem to me that they were doing any good given that their stated purpose was reducing crime.
Firearms, on the other hand, seemed to be crime prevention devices. In approximately two million instances each year, firearms were used, successfully, to deter or stop criminal activity.
I then realized that the gun control folks had little interest in crime prevention. They firmly believed, in the face of the above evidence, that guns were bad and should just be eliminated. They were intent on any course of action that would impose their will on those of us who thought that guns were a normal part of life.
The struggle continues and my take away is that there is a feeling among some that they know better and that they feel completely free to impose their will on the rest of us no matter what. This REALLY annoys me.
Now, politically, I understand majority rule but I don’t believe that it was intended to support any idealogical dictation of behaviors and life styles on others. Also, the anti gun folks are in a distinct minority.
Nana’s gun now symbolizes to me this very unfortunate characteristic that has taken a stronger and stronger hold on the United States.
Examples abound: the outlawing of tungsten light bulbs, the damning of top loading washing machines for less effective and more costly front loaders, the illegal actions in the government takeover of GM and Chrysler, the amazing corruption of regulatory agencies by the practice of hiring insiders from the regulated industry, the frightening growth of the practice of lobbying (it has doubled since 2000), NYC saying no to salt, smoking, trans fats, and guns.
So a simple thing like wanting to get back into shooting awakened me to the many abuses of a very big government and a concomitant, very large threat to the separation of powers intended by the founders.
It was a small restaurant and had a set number of staff. It was dinner time at one of the country’s “hub” airports. Lots of folks were tying to get a meal as they waited for their connecting flight and the line was very long.
As I usually do in such instances, I got in line and started to analyze what was going on. This was necessary to see if I could get a burger and still make my flight but it is also something that I, the business faculty person, do all of the time.
I discovered that there was a set process. It had nothing to do with meeting variances in the size of the queue. It had nothing to do with customer satisfaction. It was designed to work with the given staff size, no more, no less. It was, in other words, bureaucratic.
All I could think of as I watched this rush to mediocrity, was that this is just how the government works with the only exception being that it gets continually bigger and the queue is still unaffected.
The government is all Fudded up.