At a dinner party last night, I overheard two sisters talking about a third who lives north of here. The two -- let's call them Alice and Becky -- were critical of the third sister's husband, Jeff, who followed the gun control controversy and expressed frustration and anxiety. Alice, whose husband probably has a hunting rifle at most, is fairly open-minded and the least rigidly religious of the three, Becky being more conservative (and more religious), married to a Baptist country boy who probably has a rifle or two and a shotgun. The gun-lover's wife, Cathy, is an evangelical. That's right: there is a direct correlation between the extent of their religious inclination and their ownership of weapons.
While I was with Alice and Becky last night, Becky discussed a phone call she had with Cathy, who was bemoaning the fact that her husband, Jeff, robbed the piggy bank after concluding from Fox News broadcasts that the government was about to pass new gun control laws. And even if they didn't do that, they were going to pass laws limiting how much ammo you could have, or whether you could use clips of more than ten rounds. Before she could point out that the money could be better applied to house repairs, things he'd been saying for months, "Oh, I'll fix that." He indulges his weapons fetish along with one for motorcycles and must have been watching too many Mad Max movies, only in this case it is Mad Jeff.
It became clear to me that Alice and Becky both dislike Jeff. From what I know of him, I am inclined to agree. I grew apprehensive about him several years ago, before he and Cathy moved away. He gave a brother-in-law a thick, full color, fully detailed encyclopedia of arms and ammunition. While we were saying the dinner prayer, I engage in my usual blotting out of the "blessing" and interiorization of what I had learned up to that point. One thing is that gun freaks tend to be deeply religious, but if ever there was a non sequitur surely it is giving someone a book about things that kill on the day their silly Christ was born. Another thing is that for guys like Jeff, guns and ammo become an obsession. I have to wonder about people obsessed with guns who also have apocalyptic religious beliefs.
I wonder about apocalyptic religious beliefs and gun ownership as well.
If this fellow needed to rob the piggy bank to buy three hundred dollars worth of ammo, I would draw a few conclusions about that act.
a) He is a bad shot. I would recommend a shotgun, which is as sporting as a water hose. Even a blind person can hit a target with a shotgun.
b) If he goes hungry, I hope he likes the taste of cordite and lead.
c) At least his Bible is edible, and would provide good fibre content and a few calories.
d) While collecting guns makes no more sense to me than collecting motorcycles, they both are either harmless (just an interest) or dangerous (both can be used as weapons).
e) While not a "gun-freak," I do own a gun, and am not religious. We have (some) dangerous wild animals here, and the sheriff's department is sixteen miles away.
f) The owner of the gun shop in the village is also an atheist (or at least he behaves as though he is). While there is a strong correlation of religiosity and gun-ownership, it is not exclusive. There is also a strong correlation of religiosity and being on the left side of the IQ bell curve, but that is not exclusive either. (I suspect Pope Benedict XVI is a very intelligent man, for example, even if much of his flock is not.)
I, too, own a gun, but I keep one part, the pistol, in my bedroom, and one part, the clip in the dining room, completely across the house. I am thus unarmed. I plan to stay that way. If someone climbs through the window some night, I will say, take anything you want but spare me my life, and if you take my life, please do not harm my cats.
I have trouble convincing my wife of the idea that if someone were to enter our house, the prudent course of action would be to retreat out the other door (if possible).
She is one of those who holds that if you are unwilling to defend your "stuff" you are just making an invitation for robbery. (Yet there has been no crime in the village since 1933, an illegal poker game in a boxcar busted up by the sheriff.)
For some reason I cannot convey the idea that "stuff" is not as important as "life." But she is softening up (she accuses me of turning her into a liberal).
For us it is a 12 gauge shotgun (if I have to use it, I don't want to be sporting about it). But the ammunition for it is not in the same place as the scattergun itself, and it is not loaded.
While I am not a hunter, we do have occasional wild animals here, and though I am more about leaving them alone should one wander in (recently someone hit a cougar near here with a car no less), I would not hesitate to use it in defence of self or another if it were required, and to heck with village ordinances against discharging a firearm within the village limit.
If only all were as sane as you.
My dad had a gas stove in the basement. He used to melt lead to make his own bullets. He got the lead from the local junkyard, prying off the lead balancing parts from old car rims. He also made fishing weights. He lived to 91 and until 90.5 was awesomely sharp and often wise, showing no evidence of lead poisoning. He was religious. He was not a survivalist kind of gun owner, did not identify himself as a "gun owner" but rather as a midwest farm / mississippi river huck-finn kind of life.
I think he would have been horrified that people think weapons of mass murder are some kind of "right". He would have distanced himself from those narcissistic, crisis-obsessed blowhards of the NRA. Those weapons are not that useful in hunting quail. I suppose getting those fragments out of a deer burger would be an unnecessary chore. They do seem to be effective at killing little kids, however.
"...narcissistic, crisis-obsessed blowhards of the NRA" Sentinet Biped writes. But, you've described Jeff perfectly! In addition to that, he is dogmatic and authoritarian. When he caught a daughter-in-law in her bedroom with the door closed, he brow beat her so bad and embarrassed them so much, the girl moved out of the house. He is a typical alpha male control freak. And to me, people with that personality profile are almost as dangerous as Adam Lanza.
Hmm. Leaky roof, caulking windows in winter, and baby diapers on the one hand. Or, more bullets on the other.
Hell, Cletus. That's a no-brainer! Git your Bible, and AR-15. 'Cause that's what Jayyyyyzus wants for all us good, white, straight, 'Mericans. Yeeee-haw!
The exact same sentiment that you expressed in the last sentence got Obama into trouble with the religious gun nuts right off. He said, off-handedly, that he did not think he was getting through to some who, in times of difficulty, "turn to their bibles and their guns." Amazing thing about Barack, he tells some truth most of the time, while the GOP merely lies along. They are reactionary by definition: look at how Jeff went ought and bought $300 worth of ammunition because he was afraid he would never again use his sacred AR-15, and you might need it if a Muslim were to take over the United States by pretending to be from Hawaii.
I am not a gun nut, as you would probably call them..I do however own a couple of guns. I don't generally hunt, but do own a hunting rifle. I own a concealable hand gun and possess a permit to do such. I know there are some nuts out there that think the apocolypse is coming, and they want to have thousands of rounds of ammo. Are they all Jesus freaks? Doubtful. Most probably claim to be religious, but you will find that most rednecks skip church more than they attend. All of the religious people I know don't have guns. Maybe 1 or 2 that their dear old grandpa gave them..most rusting in a closet somewhere. I don't think there is a big correlation between gun nuts and religion. I am sure they are all "right-wingers" as you'd say. I guess there is just something wring with me..I am an atheist, fiscal conservative, gun owner that does not believe in gun control. I believe in punishing crime. There is another comment above about sneaking out a window if someone breaks into the house in the night. Well, I will never do that. Is "stuff" worth more than life? Nope. Not more than my life or the life of my children..BUT, it you want my stuff so bad that you are willing to rob me in the night, then YOU have decided that it is worth more than yours. I will gladly oblige in your death wish...it sends a message to the next idiot to find another house to rob.
Back to the OPs topic. Should you use all of your money on a sense that Obama is gonna kill you? No, that is stupid. But, "just because you're paranoid, doesn't mean they're not after you". The liberals will be the least prepared when/if something does happen because they will all be astounded that evil lies in the hearts of men.
PS- I am also a Harley Davidson rider..how that was suppose to relate to a topic on guns and lack of intelligence I do not know. I tend to think you have something against people of a certain cloth..maybe something resultant from a childhood of disappointing your father.
Your PS about killed me, Moose! Ha!
Oh goodie, another person who doesn't know the difference between gun control and gun ban. Buy a dictionary and I hope to never meet you.
Tee hee. Good one.