Red Ryder BB gun

Our family weapon. It’s a classic.

When I see a story about folks who’ve gotten busted for having an arsenal and because, as my husband puts it, “they have toys in the attic,” I notice most of them are poor. Living in squalor.

They live in trailer parts, rural shacks or crumbling buildings in cities. Or in a perfectly regular house in some suburb, maybe right next door. They don’t have much, but by golly they have guns. Lots of guns. Maybe if they didn’t spend all their money on guns, they might be able afford furniture and some food in the fridge.

There was a time when Garry and I talked (briefly) about acquiring hand guns. He was working all kinds of hours in dangerous places. I was coming home from work alone, in the dark. So we checked out what a decent handgun — one that won’t blow up in your hand and will hit a target when aimed — costs.

More than 20 years ago, a reasonably good handgun from a legitimate manufacturer cost a thousand dollars or more. Maybe you could do better at a gun show or pawn shop, but we don’t know enough about guns to buy that way. How do the gun hoarders accumulate all those weapons? We couldn’t afford them even when both of us were working and earning good money.

I suppose it’s a matter of priorities and what’s important to you.


It seems to me — correct me if I’m wrong — these people are passionate about their right to protect their stuff and feel they need an arsenal with which to do it. But the only thing they have that’s worth protecting are guns. So they need guns to protect themselves from people might steal their guns. Have I gotten that right?

Guns to protect guns.

These whack jobs abound in every area of the country. You can find them in mountain hideaways, rural villages, big cities, and suburbs. They are hoarders, obsessed with owning more and more weapons, the bigger and more lethal, the better.

Too much fire power for my comfort and too many weirdos owning them. Their presence in my neighborhood does not make me feel safer. They are not protecting me or mine.

I want them to go far away and take their guns with them.

Categories: Anecdote

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17 replies

  1. According to ABC News in August 2012, there are more than 129,817 federally licensed firearms dealers in the United States, compared to 36,569 grocery stores and 14,098 McDonald’s restaurants.
    According to ATF reports, in 2010 the US manufactured 5,459,240 new firearms, 95 percent for the US market. An additional 3,252,404 firearms were imported,
    In 2011, at least 31,940 people died from gun injuries – ie, 87 per day.
    Fewer guns = fewer deaths sounds very logical to me. (That’s me being polite and restrained. It’s a subject that makes me want to scream and kick things.)


    • It does sound so logical doesn’t it. But the people who feel that their right to have an unlimited number of guns don’t feel your right to be safer matters. ALL that matters is THEIR rights. Period.


  2. Thank goodness we have stricter gun laws in Australia. I find it scary that so many Americans who otherwise seem nice and ordinary and just like me believe that they need guns in their homes to defend themselves. I think that in many ways Australians and Americans are quite alike but where guns are concerned it is as hard to understand them as it would be people from another planet.


  3. I know just from reading this post that you know *exactly* how I feel about it, particularly living in Texas. There are perfectly nice, mentally-healthy people and psychotic monsters in this state in, I’d guess, pretty equal proportion to those outside of Texas, but a whole heck of a lot more of both groups seem to own guns here than in some other states. And that, my friend, gives me significant pause. It’s said that the odds of being attacked with any sort of weapon are much higher when you yourself are armed, and it seems perfectly simple to draw the straight line between one of those ideas and the other, but the truth is that, just as though it were the perfect inverse of why people buy lottery tickets, everyone’s sure that *they* are the ones who will get lucky/saved by ‘packing’, and not their attackers. How wonderful that we’re all exempt from the laws of chance and nature, isn’t it!


    • I try not to think about how many people around me are armed and dangerous. It only adds to my paranoia. Yes, I think we are in agreement here!


  4. It would be nice if guns didn’t exist and nobody felt compelled to own one – for any reason. And the average individual or family doesn’t need to own a gun at all – of any kind. But, though I don’t know what percentage of Americans or Canadians are gun owners, I would say that 99% of gun owners (responsible people or not) will never have a negative incident with a gun.
    But that’s not newsworthy is it?
    This doesn’t mean I’m defending guns or gun ownership. But it’s true.
    All this makes me wonder about other things though – namely the Entertainment Industry – starting with Movies. Take a look at what’s playing at the theatres at any time – and over half the Movies involve guns or weapons: killing. Sometimes more than than half. Even stuff like The Hobbit is full of killing and violence (good thing those Dwarves don’t have guns). Violence? Killing? We call it Action. TV has lots of shows involving guns or violence – but most TV shows don’t – unless you want to look at Pro Sports – many of which are full of violence.
    How Electronic games? – a multi billion dollar industry. Probably over of these games are 90% are gun / action / violence.
    I go to Movies – I watch TV – I play Electronic Games – I played and watched Sports for nearly 50 years …
    We love this stuff.
    But I don’t own a gun.


    • As I said, I am not suggesting no one own a gun. But those people who seem to feel they need enough weapons to supply an army ARE the people who have incidents. I don’t think action games or movies have anything to do with it. I think some people are violent and others, no matter what games they play or movies they watch, are not. Literature has always been full of violence. The human race is violent. That’s why our history is the history or war and slaughter, everywhere throughout the ages. Guns just make it easier to kill more people faster. Fewer guns? Fewer deaths. It has worked in Europe and Asia and it will work here. If guns are less accessible, when someone feels like killing someone else, he/she/they might have to get up close and personal … and it’s a lot more work than just pulling out your Saturday Night Special and shooting.


  5. That reminds me of the excellent TV show “Justified” with Timothy Olyphant. I could not believe the number of guns everybody was waving around (as they exited their run-down shacks to see who the had just driven up outside). Why say “hello” when you can wave a gun in someone’s face?
    It’s even more startling to me, being from the UK, where anyone who owns anything more than a (licensed) double-barrel shotgun (usually just farmers) tends to get chucked in the slammer.


    • Yeah, well, this is America. Shooting is sport. Shooting each other? Just a little collateral damage … or another kind of sport.


  6. Random thoughts about gun ownership

    someone once told me how they came home one night to find that the house had been broken into. “Thank god,” she said, “the guns were all safely locked away” –in a glass fronted display case–“and if my husband had been home at the time he’d have shown them a thing or two”. yep. There might as well have been a sign on that gun case saying, ‘to use, break glass” It never occurred to her that if there were burglars in the house THEY were the ones with the guns at that point.

    I have a friend, a Viet Nam vet, who even now sleeps with a gun on his nightstand. War does that to ya.

    My neighbor gave his wife a pistol for Christmas one year. She kept the gun on top of the kitchen cabinets (requiring a ladder to reach) because the kids were still small, the bullets in a locked drawer in the living room, and the key around her neck. That way if someone wanted to break in she would have to climb up on a stool to get the unloaded gun, “You wait right there, mister, and dont you look at where im going” cross the front hall to the seekrit locked drawer, take one bullet out (Barney Fife eat your heart out) and load the gun. “okay mister, you can come in now. Ive got a gun.”

    My husband has a shotgun, never used it. I keep the buwwets in a coffee can in the freezer.

    I think we spend far too much time and effort worrying about children making cool gun noises and drawing pictures of guns, and not nearly enough time dealing with the quiet loonies out there who do indeed have a private arsenal of guns in the attic.

    It isnt necessarily Guns to Shoot, as it is Guns for the Comfort Factor.

    We draw on the “right to bear arms” line without understanding the times that spawned that, and the necessity of it. It’s become the excuse, with little reasoning behind it.


  7. Oh, my God, I agree, I agree, I agree!! I find the arguments in favor of “gun rights” to be nothing less than insane.


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