Friday, January 9, 2015

On Men and Guns

I love westerns, biker flicks, and gangster movies. I like guns, and swords, and other dangerous toys. Courage, strength, violence, and heroes are concepts that resonate with my inner 7th grader. A thirst for adventure is the emotional element that draws me to dangerous themes.

That said, while I own guns, I have never carried one or even considered it. Why would I? If tears say, “I am sad,” and punching a wall says, “I am angry,” then carrying a gun says, “I am scared.” And, I am not scared.

Only a terrified person would need to have a firearm on his person at all times. Some situations warrant such fear. If one is in combat, law enforcement, a violent street gang, or any position where one might reasonably expect to be the target of some else’s firearm, then carrying a weapon is sensible. But, what level of paranoia and anxiety would be required to prompt a person living in ordinary circumstances to believe that, at any moment, someone might try to kill him? If life itself is so goddamned frightening to you that you feel the need to carry a firearm everywhere, I interpret that as a need for psychiatric treatment. And, if I’m not mistaken, an absence of psychiatric problems is a prerequisite for obtaining a concealed weapon permit.

I have been fortunate in my life. At 53, I have resolved every conflict through conversation and/or an ass whipping. Whether I am at a motorcycle rally or in a bad part of town late at night, I move through life without fear of my fellow man.  I’m not saying that I am against guys carrying firearms, only that those who do are also carrying more fear than I can muster.

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