Friday, December 04, 2015


My home is in the region that today would be considered part of the gun culture-- actually it always has been if we take it back to pioneer times. The home where I grew up was pretty much the same. From as far back as I can remember, I've had guns in my home. When I was twelve, I asked for a .22 for Christmas. With it came a gun cleaning kit. I wanted that rifle as a tool, not as a macho symbolism but as something I needed. My parents raised sheep. I had seen the sides of ewes torn out with their entrails trailing after neighbor dog attacks (coyotes kill-- dogs play). I took that .22 for walks over our 80 acres, hoping I'd see those dogs before they got to our sheep. Kind of silly as I think back as they were German shepherds and most likely a .22 would not have killed them unless I hit them just right. Still I had a reason for the gun and have had various reasons ever since.

Here on our Oregon farm, we raise cattle and sheep. I've been out multiple times with my rifle looking to kill a coyote before it can kill one of our lambs. A few times I have gotten off shots before the sheep got killed. I always missed though. A zigzagging, fast moving target isn't easy to hit. Coyotes are good at broken field running. Each time, a shot was all I got as to take more would have risked the neighbor's home. Reasonable gun owners are careful that way. That shot though chased off the coyote before it could kill the lamb it was chasing.

Twice I have saved a lamb from a coyote when I had no time for finding a rifle. I ran straight at the predator just as it got the lamb down and I screamed the mad mama yell, and the coyote looked as though a banshee was after him and ran for its life. One lamb had a neck wound but survived, the other I stopped before the teeth got a hold. A gun is a more reliable stop. and my husband has killed several when he did get the right shot with a coyote trying to go back to a lamb it had already killed and was planning to eat more than the hindquarter.

Many people on the right or the left do not see a rifle as a tool. Some think they need it to defend the country against its own military and police. That's the argument for owning an assault rifle. There is no other argument that makes any sense. The thinking, that their own government will need to be overturned,  goes back to the Revolutionary or Civil Wars. The idea is ridiculous considering today's military but the thinking is pushed by those who profit from it. 

As a gun owner and one who has had a concealed weapon permit ever since my state allowed them, I favor meaningful background checks. It would not stop all of these attacks. If we look at the most recent assault rifle attack, that guy likely had the legal right to purchase the weapon. Although I have read he didn't buy them (assault rifles of that level are very expensive and not possible to buy in California). The FBI is looking for the person who may have gotten them the rifles. The truth is though that with their interest in bomb making, they could have killed who they wanted anyway.

We should have a meaningful background check similar to what it takes to get a concealed weapon permit. Next, would be accountability for gun ownership. That means if my gun is used in a crime, and they trace it back to me, I could face legal and civil acountability for how that happened. These parents who buy their mentally sick offspring a gun need to know they are going to be held as an accessory with a criminal penalty. In the Roseburg killings, the mother should be held responsible as it seems she got the guns. The mother in Sandy Hook should have been, but she got her accountability when her son killed her.

I also would ban all assault rifles of the type only intended to kill humans or blow apart targets and buildings. A rifle that can penetrate police armor and go through walls really does not belong in private hands. Along with that would go extended magazines. Seriously, in a home invasion, you can't get the person with 6 shots? Maybe you should not have a gun.

Given our current level of violence, I would also have all schools with limited access and metal detectors to enter. We think we should protect airplanes but not schools? They say it would create the wrong atmosphere. So fear is a better atmosphere? Seriously, there is something wrong with a culture that doesn't see their schools as a first line of defense. When nothing was done after Sandy Hook, it was clear to do anything is going to be difficult. When Congress recently refused to even ban those on the FBI terrorist watch lists from buying a gun, it was clear the NRA and a small percentage of gun owners are dominating the conversation. I say small because most gun owners are like my husband and I-- favoring realistic gun regulations.

Listening to Rush Limbaugh this week, he deliberately or stupidly misstated what the left said after the latest mass murders. He implied lefties were putting down prayer. They weren't. Many of them likely pray. What they were saying was when we can do something but have not, it's maddening and pointless to say we'll pray as if that's enough. It's fine to pray. Also do what is possible to at least make the next attack more difficult.

Unfortunately, it seems we live in a time when none of that will be done. Seeing guns as tools is limited today with a culture that espouses violence. I have said many times that this concept, that we can fight wars overseas, with some naive attitude of avoiding blood being spilled here, ignores reality. With Vietnam the blood came back  and with every war we fight somewhere else, we see increasing instances of violence here. 

I don't know if there is a solution with the current mood here where each side seems unable to see the other side; but we should stop calling ourselves an exceptional people when we don't even try and when we allow dollars to rule our laws. That can be changed. I don't know that it will! 


Rain Trueax said...

He's listed along here but check out this article by Tom Degan Blood and tears in San Bernadino.

Ingineer66 said...

As for your marksmanship comment, it always cracks me up in the movies when somebody pulls out a pistol and shoots a moving target at 100+ yards.
Except for the assault rifles ban, I agree with you. And as you probably know, all those things you talk about including accountability and magazine size limits and assault rifle bans are laws already on the books in California. Along with having to take a written and physical gun safety test and a 10 day waiting period for each gun purchase and a limit on being able to buy only one gun every 30 days.

Rain Trueax said...

yeah but they are right next door to states with no such regulations. They aren't like Australia where there are oceans between them and another place to buy a gun. There was an assault rifle ban in place and Bush let it expire. We don't have a good reason to own one. And they evidently made theirs more powerful by some adjustments. Really, we want those who can kill our police officers easily?

la peregrina said...

Thank you for writing this. People need to know that not all gun owners are paranoid, anti-government,"I'll give you my gun when you pry (or take) it from my cold, dead hands.", nuts.

Ingineer66 said...

Of course I don't want criminals to be able to kill police officers. But I want to focus on the criminal not the tool that is used to do it. More cops are killed by cars than guns.
As for types of guns in my town there has been one officer killed in the history of the city. He was shot by a robber with a revolver in 1937. There was one other cop shot about 10 years ago by a shoplifter with a revolver with snake shot and he survived but lost vision in one eye.

In the county I live in there have been 3 officers killed in the last 20 years. One by an Hmong immigrant with a .22 that had just beat his wife up. And two that were ambushed as they walked into a house by a nutjob with a deer rifle. The Washinton Navy Yard shooter used a shotgun to take an "assault" rifle away from a cop and then shoot more people. And there have been two shootings in San Francsico where the gun used was stolen from a police officer. One being the illegal alien that killed the tourist. The anti gun climate in SF means that even police aren't supposed to carry them in some places so they leave them in the car and then they get stolen.

Rain Trueax said...

I am well aware some want all guns taken and naively believe that is possible. I find myself arguing with them right alongside the ones who want to own a bazooka. We are so divided that it's hard to see how we can come out ahead as a nation on anything. We freeze ourselves out of realistic action. I simply do not see the need for an assault rifle. To blow the deer apart that you supposedly wanted for food? Protection against home invasions? So the need for an assault rifle, that can be modified into a far more powerful weapon is because the government is coming for them and they can fight it off? We need keep jihadists armed and ready for their own goals? I mean seriously... That Second Amendment says well-regulated which to me means regulations as to who can buy a gun and what kind can be owned are just fine!

Ingineer66 said...

We agree about the no action part. No matter what the issue is, both sides scream that it must be all or nothing so we get nothing and stay mad at the other side.

Rain Trueax said...

That happens with everything out there and it's not new. We had the same divisions for the Revolutionary War as well as the Civil War. We're kind of a funny people, aren't we *s*

Carolyn Baker said...

Wish You A New Year