5. “I have enough guns” – TTAG writer Martin Albright made this observation yesterday. As much as it keeps American companies busy, the idea of never-ending gun buying is a extremely disturbing for people who don’t own a single firearm. Why would anyone own two guns? Or three? Or three dozen? I’m not exactly sure when a person slips from “hunter” or “home defender” into the realm of “gun nut.” It probably varies by state. In Alabama, I bet you have to own a gun store or maintain an arsenal for a militia with more than 10 members to qualify. In Massachusetts, discussing guns in public without using the words “ban” and “good idea” in the same sentence take you beyond nuttiness straight to “a person of interest.” For those of you on the outside looking in, rest assured that the “I need another gun” slope is so slippery that the Browning Safe guy didn’t laugh when I asked if their largest gun safe was too small. “You can buy one of our large safe doors that secures an entire room.” Gun owners do. And a large number of the ones that don’t wish they could.
4. “I have enough ammunition” – Ammunition is gun owner’s Prozac. Only the dosages are slightly different. The average American needs a single Prozac tablet a day. The average gun owner requires a thousand rounds of ammo to even begin to feel calm. And regular top-ups. The underlying rationale (if the desire to own tens of thousands of rounds could be called rational) is a single thought: what if I couldn’t buy any more ammunition? It’s the same thought as “what if I couldn’t buy any more food?” If that were the case, you’d stock up, of course. And then someone who didn’t stock up would want your food. And you’d need a gun or twenty to fend them off. All of which require ammo. And there’s no telling when the crisis would pass. So you need LOTS of ammo. See how that works? Not to put too fine a point on it, ammo-mania is some seriously insidious shit.
3. “I’m voting for a Democrat” – I actually know an actual liberal gun owner. On the way to the range, he explained his thinking. “I’m scared of conservatives like Bush. And the guys that support the right wingers are armed to the teeth. The average liberal should have enough firepower to keep the government and right wing gun nuts at bay.” Oh kay. Obviously, my left-leaning, gun-loving friend is the exception that proves the rule: I’ll vote for anyone who will stop anyone from even thinking about taking any of my guns ever. That would be Democrats. Even in those states where Democrats fire machine guns to get the NRA vote, they don’t. Much. After all, birds of a feather flock together. A Benelli would thin that flock, I tell you what.
2. “I keep a .22 for self-defense” – A bullet’s “stopping power” is to gun owners what the rhythm method is to sex for a devout Catholic. You can never EVER trust it, even though, ultimately, you have to. In the same way that a fertile Catholic might wish to use a condom or get a vasectomy—but can’t—most gun owners would like to own a .50 caliber handgun or a rifle firing BMG bullets. But can’t. But they can not use a .22. Despite the fact that a lot of cops dread getting shot by a .22 (due to the “rattle around” effect), despite the lightweight convenience of .22 caliber weapons, gun owners are like porn star producers looking for the next Peter North: bigger is better. You call that a bullet? What’s that you say? Shot placement? Gotcha. Meanwhile, I want my bullets to fly like a Desert Eagle.
1. “Guns are dangerous” – A lot of gun owners will say those words—but only in an ironic way. “Sure guns are dangerous. That’s the whole point. They’re dangerous for anyone who tries to hurt me or my family.” Ba-doom-boom. Obviously, the phrase refers to the inherent dangers of owning something designed to kill animals, people and/or targets. (OK, “wound” targets. Tough room.) If not the “yes they are but they aren’t for me” argument, you get the old rubric “guns don’t kill people, cliches kill people.” In other words, guns aren’t dangerous. It’s the people using them who are dangerous. Hair splitting methinks. Gun owners should acknowledge the fact that their weapons are just as capable of killing them and their loved ones as someone who wants to kill them or their loved ones. But, in the main, they don’t. In both senses. I need some range time.