Thursday, May 03, 2012

'Why own guns?' Good question

over at Marooned from a guylady in Australia. I'll throw in my thoughts, in no particular order:
I like them. I enjoy shooting, I enjoy working on them.

If all goes to hell, having that option for self-defense is very comforting.

Haven't hunted in years, but I can; there's something special about being in the woods looking for meat.

History. Hold a Garand that went through WWII and maybe Korea, same for a M1 Carbine; it's a literal physical piece of American history. Same thing with lots of other firearms. One of my favorites: looked at what appeared to be a standard WWII K98 Mauser. Then you looked closer and the German markings on the receiver had been defaced, and on top of the ring was a six-pointed start. It was one of the rifles brought into what was then British Palestine by some people in real need of arms. It delights me to think of Hitler & Co. gnashing their teeth in hell at the knowledge that a bunch of Jews used Nazi-produced arms to help create and defend the state of Israel.

Because I can, because the founders of this country understood how powerful, how necessary is the right to arms of a free people. And rights not exercised, politicians tend to think they have some privilege to take away.

Reloading. Being able to roll your own ammo, whether to save money or tune loads to a particular gun, it's a wonderful thing. Recently went to the range with a friend and his son; back during some bad weather a year ago the son had spent a day at my house, and I'd taken him through reloading some .357 Mag ammo. He got to take ammo he'd put together and use it to make holes in targets; he liked it.

Back to that 'working on them' thing; looking at the inside of, say, a S&W revolver and watching what Tam once called the ballet that goes on inside as the action works; marveling at the way, say, a Colt Model M comes apart and goes back together; and all of it capable of controlling some really amazing amounts of pressure so as to direct a projectile downrange. Kind of marvelous.

One thing about the original questioning that does tick me off:
So the idea of going out and purposefully purchasing something that could be used to quite easily kill someone... someone who wouldn't have a chance to get close enough to fight back or defend themselves... it doesn't sit quite right with me.”
Well, assuming you're speaking of a law-abiding citizen, they won't be just going out and committing murder, will they? And in self-defense, well, I have news for you, Richochet: the whole idea of a firearm is to PREVENT an attacker from getting hold of you(" on me, I'll Equalize"). I do not understand this attitude, that somehow keeping some thug from getting close enough to use a chain or knife or boots on me is somehow bad... I'm reminded of two things: one was the idiots in the SCA who thought guns for self-defense were bad because "It's not honorable to shoot someone that way," who'd talk with great enthusiasm about the knife or axe or sword they kept by the bed*. What the HELL does honor have to do with protecting yourself and family and home from some goblin intent on harm?
Second: ever read any of the Matt Helm novels? There was a passage in one that stuck with me, along the lines of "All anyone has to do to get along in peace with me is leave me and mine alone; it'll all be smiles and happiness. But if they threaten me I'll do whatever it takes; they open the door to violence, they've got no right to whine because more than they expected walks through."

For what it's worth, there's some of my reasons.

*Also not understood by me: shooting someone is horrible and awful, but sticking a couple of feet of steel in their guts, or opening up their body with a sharp edge, well, THAT'S just fine!


Julie said...

Interesting to read your comments. I'm that GAL in Aust that Jay linked to :) (and btw Ricochet is also female) :)

I do like your quote from Matt Helm - I think I need to read some of his books (and remember that quote).

Firehand said...

Nice to hear from you, and the gender reference has been corrected.

Author is Donald Hamilton, there's a whole series of them

Sigivald said...


Same thing with my 1914 M1890 Nagant, made before the Revolution... with Finnish Army property marks.

Was it used to kill Bolsheviks, and then to kill Even More Bolsheviks later?

One can only hope.

Windy Wilson said...

The Leftists are supposed to be the party of nuance and subtle distinctions, but when it comes to self defense and to guns, they default to a generic Rules of Engagement for a bar fight, where the inducement for the violence is clouded by mutual consumption of alcohol, and but for the moment of anger, neither wants to particularly hurt the other, who are best buds the rest of the week. This is completely at odds for when Ricochet might actually want to invoke violence to save her life when for instance someone slips into her home and bedroom while she is asleep and seeks to determine if her blood is as red as other women. THEN she would recognize that someone with no good intentions has initiated violence against her without any plausible assistance on her part other than she's a woman living there.
Also, that Matt Helm quote is splendid, a great expression of how live and let live works, and how if one kicks open the lid to hell he (and it is virtually always a "he") should not complain if he gets splashed.

Mattexian said...

If you've got an Israeli Mauser, count yourself lucky. I've been wishing for one of those, or a Czech Mauser, with all the proper markings on it too (like the Czech Lion crest on the receiver, not scrubbed off by the Soviets after the war).

Julie said...

Lol Firehand - thanks for the correction :)

Anonymous said...

I own guns (plural!) because I like to keep my options open. If I ever need a gun, for whatever purpose, I have one. Having firearms, I can always choose not to use them. I can leave them in the gun cabinet, or stash a couple in the office, or maybe under the seat in my car, or maybe stick the Tomcat in my pocket in the morning, but I have the choice to not use any firearms at all.
However - if I don't have a firearm, and a situation arises where I need one, I no longer have a choice. So you see, it's a pro-choice thing.

Erin Palette said...

Ricochet is a good person -- she just has to overcome years of cultural conditioning that "Guns are bad, mkay?"

But just like we've said, all it took for her to start questioning that was a trip to an Army base where she got to fire a rifle simulator (where she proved to herself that she's a damn good shot) and she started thinking "You know, these guns are kind of fun, maybe I can own one for myself..."

Don't berate her for her brainwashing. Instead, encourage her to join the gunnie side of the Force!

NotClauswitz said...

I sold my M1 Carbine that was an Israeli return...

Firehand said...

AHHHHH! I've never even heard of one of those!

Erin, not berating her; just that attitude when related to self-defense. Everyone has to start somewhere, and a simulater's a beginning.

markm said...

Sigivald, if that MN was still in Finnish Army service in 1939, it may have been used to kill commies and nazis. The Finns allowed some German units to come and help them against the Soviets, and eventually had to run them out.

Ricochet said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ricochet said...

It's been really interesting watching my little question bounce out into the world via my gun-owner friends and get some responses from the wider community :-)

It's really helped me get a handle on my own ideas. The point you quoted in particular has really come into focus.

When I made the comment about the other person not being able to fight back or defend themselves, I was basing this on the fact that if someone was trying to kill or injure me I would want the chance to defend myself.
But the key, very important point that slipped my mind at the time is that I don't intend or ever wish to attack, rob, assault, threaten or kill anyone.
So if someone was seriously threatening my well-being or that of other innocent people then yes, having the advantage of a weapon and a bit of distance is something I would definitely value and wouldn't feel at all conflicted about!

In relation to stabbing or cutting someone, I guess what I was trying to say wasn't that it was in any way better but that I always figured that a person with a knife has to really want to kill somebody and has to risk getting in close to do so whereas an irresponsible person with a gun only has to kind of want to kill somebody and doesn't have to risk their own skin in order to do so and they might act more impulsively because of it.

As you can see I still have a ways to go learning about all of this.

Firehand said...

God, don't we all?

I do get your point. From what I've seen, the people who intend harm to others don't really care about getting close because they're not looking for a fight, they're looking for a victim to ambush; they find one, they don't see any real risk in sticking a knife in or otherwise doing harm. I can't remember how many women Ted Bundy murdered, just by talking and then caving their head in or otherwise attacking them.

Speaking of- well, not really 'impulse control' but a fine example of other peoples' lives not counting: