I do not want to write in my blog on one of the best days of the summer. So I'll make this short. Yesterday I got into a discussion, which turned into a pissing match, with some gun-toting facebook people. Their arguments defending handgun ownership are often specious and wildly uninformed. They can't back up anything they say with any proof. Only opinion. Meanwhile, I got accused of being an insane liberal. Did I mention, anger management is not one of their strong suits. After providing hard numbers to debunk an unsupported opinion that DC's handgun law hasn't worked, along with a couple of other misleading statements, I was accused of spouting left wing propaganda. Meanwhile, they're equating guns that kill with cars that kill -- just the latest in their bag of illogical syllogisms.
The whole experience made me realize that I may finally be old enough and unencumbered enough to work on anti-handgun legislation for real. I can finally say f**k to the danger, because the NRA can be a scary, threatening group. But I can no longer sit back watching them turn this country into a bunch of concealed carry bullies. At least now they can't extort cooperation for their policies by threatening the company I worked for, which is what the NRA did twenty five years ago to stop the anti-handgun advertising we were doing. It was getting way too much attention. So they brought the hammer down.
Meanwhile, I'll soon be going to visit my friends who are up at their summer house in Wisconsin. He's a big game hunter. Is that bacon or do I smell irony?
Two years ago he went on a father-son bonding safari with his oldest boy who plays on Wall Street with his own hedge fund. When you're flying in and out of African countries you have to let the local customs people inspect your unloaded rifles at the many checkpoints along the way. There's almost a ritual to opening the cases, lifting the guns out and looking them over. The local gendarmes even do dumb stuff like looking down the barrels. Mostly it's for show, but it's also an unavoidable part of traveling with these types of weapons on that continent.
After the hunt was over, the trained professionals, who have worked for my friend on multiple safaris, packed up all the gear, cleaned all the guns, then put them back into their cases. Now they would be ready for the numerous inspections on the trip back home.
Once home, my friend took one of the rifles out of its case to check out something he thought might need to be fixed on the gunsight. His finger was near the trigger which is very sensitive, but not a problem when the gun isn't loaded. Suddenly, the gun went off, blowing a huge hole in the floor. His wife came running thinking he was dead. But he was just stunned. The gun had never been unloaded. After traveling six thousand miles home through all those checkpoints with people holding it, examining it, aiming it, handing it to other people, picking it up, setting it down, and yes, looking down the barrel, it had never fired. All my friend could wonder was, What if?