Gun Control is Hitting what Your Aiming at.


On most issues most people would call me a liberal in fact many would call me an extreme liberal. I’m 110% behind Socialized Medicine, free college education, salary caps for top Executives, stronger regulations on the Banking & Mortgage industry, Raising the Minimum Wage,  No Child Left Behind, the list goes on and on and on of pro-society, pro-people causes that I’m willing to speak up for. I think that movements like Occupy,  Greenpeace, Sierra Club deserve our support both financially and in physical presence. I also firmly believe that global warming, nuclear waste disposal and breaking labor unions among many others truly are problems on the horizon that we need to start to address today.

That said…

There is one issue and ONLY one issue that you’ll find me on the “Conservative” side on and that is Gun Control.

I’ll start by giving you a little background on me. I come from a family of gun owners. My Grandfather, Great Uncles, Father and Uncles all owned guns. My first experience in handling and operating firearms started when I was eight years old. One of my great uncles, Uncle Joe owned a farm near Tomah Wisconsin. They started by showing how the different types of guns work (unloaded of course) while explaining to me the importance of never pointing a gun at anyone unless I intended to shoot them, that guns can kill and injure people and they compared them to my toy guns letting me feel the weight difference. they taught me as much as they could on how to spot if someone had a real gun as opposed to toy ones. During that late morning they inspected the guns they had, there were revolvers, automatics, rifles, and shotgun guns. I remember sitting there in awe watching them as they checked each one making sure that they were ready to be fired. Prior to that time my dad always told me never to touch his guns. I never did until that day.

After lunch my Aunt Mary (Joe’s wife and my grandmothers sister) and my mom packed up my sisters and went to town shopping. My dad and Uncle Joe set up targets, cans in a row, cans stacked on top of each other forming little pyramids, and cans hanging by ropes off of tree limbs. The forest on part of the property served as a back stop for the rounds preventing them from traveling their full distance. After showing me how to properly load and unload a small 22 caliber semi-automatic pistol they went over again the rules regarding handling real guns. Their rules were simple and still hold true today. Treat every gun as if it were loaded and never ever point a gun at anything or anyone unless you intend to shoot. They repeated this throughout the day making me repeat it back them. My first time handling that little 22 was surprising I marveled at the weight of the little gun as my dad and uncle explained how to aim and fire it. My uncle had been in World War Two where he earned his marksman medal. They explain how to acquire a target and properly sight in on it. I took careful aim at my first can and squeezed the trigger.

The gun went POP! I felt the minor kickback and saw the empty cartridge eject from the tiny weapon. I had missed, at the time I was disappointed but elated, shocked by how quiet the little gun was. My only experience with real guns prior to this day had come from watching TV and going to the movies. Where all guns make big noises and explode things into little pieces. My uncles help me adjust my aim and try again. POP! went the report of the little gun, this time they were sure I hit the can but it didn’t move. It was about twenty-five to thirty feet away which at the time seemed like a great distance it wasn’t until later that I learned about the range and real killing power behind guns, but at this point just hitting the can was all I wanted to do. My uncle asked for the gun, he explained that he thought that the sights must be off.

He took a few shots, POP! POP! POP! Nothing moved, the cans were right were they had been placed. My dad tried next POP! POP! POP! Still nothing moved,. I stood there watching as they examined the weapon, scratching their heads. Finally, they walked over to the cans and much to their surprise the cans were full of holes! They took a minute looking at the little gun and wondering how it managed such a feat. Then  it finally dawned on my dad, these were the new aluminum cans! They had been used to shooting real tin cans which were harder to go through and the impacting round would send them flying! These new aluminum cans just opened up to the bullet so easily they barely moved the softer metal meant no spectacular feats of acrobatics as cans would be flying every which direction. So they thought about it some more and finally decided the best thing to do  was to fill them with water. It did the trick and soon cans were flying every which direction, this time with trails of water adding to the effect.  So we spent the time shooting the cans with all different types of guns there were revolvers, semi-automatic, even a couple of bolt-action target pistols and a starter’s gun (fires blanks only). In the most common calibers. As we moved into late afternoon they decided to break out the rifles and shotguns. At first I had to watch while they showed me how to operate them,  but finally they let try a 22 caliber rifle. It made a noise exactly like the revolver, I found out later it because they fire the same round.  They wouldn’t let me try any of the bigger caliber rifle because the kick back would have been too great for me, instead they let me try a small shotgun a 20 gauge to be exact. The thing to remember is that with shotguns the bigger the gauge the smaller the round which the opposite of guns where the bigger the number the bigger the round or at least the power behind it. The 20 is a lot like a 22, the 16, 12,  and 8 shotguns are larger.

Firing the 20 gauge was fun it was easy to hit the cans they suspended from a tree branch with ropes. My dad seeing how well I was handling it asked me if I would like to try his 16 gauge, my uncle was a little leery because there is a significant difference in the power between a 20 and a 16 gauge. But my dad perhaps being a bit over-confident and proud of how well I had been doing thought I could handle it and I was willing to try. They  decided my best chance to hit some thing was  to shoot it from a sitting position so they moved the picnic table into a position where I could sit on it and aim at the cans. Dad sat next to me giving instructions on how to handle the shotgun as I buried the butt of it into my shoulder and put the front sight on the cans and brought up the rear “sight” up in line with the front making small adjustments to my positioning when I felt everything was properly aligned I squeezed the trigger. There was a huge explosion and smoke everywhere as the gun discharged sending a load of bird shot hurling towards the cans.

It took a second as my surprise turned into searing pain in my shoulder, I must have made a sound to that effect because my dad grabbed the gun and said; “Are you OK?” I remember fighting back tears determined not to cry, I replied; “Did I hit them?” my dad chuckled and said; “Yes you got them, let me look at your shoulder.” with that he helped me remove my tee-shirt my right arm felt stiff, the searing pain having subsided to a dull but constant ache. There was a red mark that perfectly matched the butt of the large shotgun. That’s going to bruise good my uncle said as he stood next to my dad. Joanie is going to be mad as hell when they get back. My mom’s name was JoAnn but everyone called her Joanie. “Don’t saying to mother about this until I talk to her first.” my dad told me as he ushered me into the farm-house to get ice for my shoulder. I sat there with the ice on my shoulder while they put the guns away showing me how to break them down and store them properly. They’d clean them later that night, but the gals would be home soon and they’d be looking to get dinner ready.

When the gals finally got back the real fireworks started. My dad told my mom about the bruise. She came over looked at my shoulder the red mark replaced by a dark bruise that still matched the butt of the shotgun. Seeing it, my mother howled and took my dad off for a serious discussion, one of those discussions that as long as your within the range of the human voice there wasn’t place to go where it wasn’t heard. After the yelling subsided things calmed down and the rest of the vacation went fine. Of course the bruise was a story retold for years.

But the story of me and guns doesn’t stop there as a I got older the opportunities to continue practicing were many both at my uncles place in Wisconsin and a different uncle’s place in Michigan where I started hunting with my dad.  It during those times that as I grew into a young man, I started as kids do drifting away from family my dad and I found something that allowed us to stay connected. That week or two a year when we went up to my Uncle Lloyd’s place in Michigan. Gave us time to be father and son again with all the other outside influences that draw young men away, leaving their family unit to make their own way in the world set aside.  Don’t get me wrong, outside of guns my father and I spent a lot time together as I grew up. But guns were there, they also aid me in my current part-time profession for the last 11 years in law enforcement.

Because of this time with my dad and other relatives I have a healthy respect for all the things guns can do. My job has shown me about how bad it can be. What I don’t have is the irrational fear of firearms that most people who are against gun ownership or support gun limitations have. I also don’t buy into all the argument on either side of the issue. What I do see is that as a world society we have reverted to a more violent version of our former-selves. In areas traditionally more violent, if guns are taken away mass stabbings are become prevalent. People grabbing knives and attempting to produce the same effects that their gun wielding counterparts achieve.

I assure you that if guns are banned or seriously restricted here in the U.S. we will see knife wielding lunatics hitting the schools trying to inflict mass casualties like the gun wielding lunatics before them. So do we then move to ban knives?

I know I’m not the only one who has seen the small but steady stream of individuals from teens to adults getting arrested for manufacturing homemade bombs for either they’re personal use or for sale. Sometimes, these bombs don’t work but sometimes they do. Recently a man was arrest in Colorado trying to sell bombs for drugs He made really good ones too.  It was also not too long ago that police arrest a young man who was turned in by school-mates. In his possession was extensive material about the Columbine attack as well as bomb making plans and materials. They’re doing this without concerning themselves with guns at all. If fact the Colorado guy told undercover FBI agents they better stock up cause if guns get banned bombs will be ones only defense. The list of people looking at bombs as an alternative to guns seems to on the rise. The real scary part about bomb makers. They use materials commonly found around the house. Without providing a list of these chemicals I will say they that they across the spectrum from household cleaners to topical medications. Should we ban all of those too?

The kids in the Columbine attack used both guns and bombs, they were out to commit mass casualties.  If guns had not been available to them they would have taken the time to perfect their bombs and the numbers of people killed and injured could have been and probably would have been significantly higher. I know that it’s only a theory, but they did build and tried to use them in the attack. Thankfully their bombs didn’t work as well as they hoped.

I think that if we are to truly combat the rise of violence in our society we need quit focusing on band-aiding the symptoms and start addressing the real problems. These types of attacks started becoming more common back in the 1980s and the frequency of the attacks have increased over the years. Guns have been around a lot longer than that.

I also believe the founding fathers would support gun ownership and reasonable gun laws. Though they couldn’t have imagined the world in which we live, but the idea that a person still has the right to protect themselves is as important now as it was back then. Keep in mind almost all of them took arms and fought a war to create the country in which we live. Those that didn’t completely supported those that did.

These days the news is filled with stories about guns, the issues about whether certain types of guns or all guns should be banned, or even loosening the restrictions allowing for more open or conceal carry. This is a political issue and not a real solution. Politicians use it as a way to gain votes and support for their re-election and not a subject to be resolved, because if they did they’d be one step closer to having to face the real issues of violence and in those there are no simple solutions.

I do believe that proper education about firearms is important for anyone who desires to own one. Background checks are important too. However, as we’ve seen they don’t always work as a way to screen out those who seek to do harm. But gun ownership is what created this country and is part of the cost for the freedoms we enjoy. Benjamin Franklin summed it up nicely when he said; “Those that surrender rights for security, shall not have nor deserve either.” We are the stewards of this great country and must step up not away from the responsibilities that come with it.

About MartyW47

Attending Triton College. Studying Emergency Services Management & Criminal Justice. Currently employed @ MPPD & Aflac. After 30 years out of school I'm back in College and having a Blast!
This entry was posted in Life in all it's glorious facets, Political Stuff and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

17 Responses to Gun Control is Hitting what Your Aiming at.

  1. Coming from Michigan I was used to guys going hunting and knowing about guns. A healthy respect is necessary, which is s key thing lacking in a lot of these incidents. You were taught well.

    • MartyW47 says:

      Thanks Mimi! I think so too, while writing this I kept thinking about my Dad and Uncle Joe. I lost my father a year before I join the police department so we never had a chance to talk about it. He would have laughed and been proud at how quickly and how well I qualified on both my duty weapon and shotgun. I agree with you a healthy respect for firearms is one of the most important ways to prevent accidents and incidents but we need to start honestly analyzing and addressing the issues creating the violent behavior or things will continue to escalate…

  2. hey, marty!
    as they say in england…..”you took the words out of my mouth, mate!”
    im with you 1001% there….i grew up with my dad and uncles all carrying guns….we lived in africa during the days of the colonies…at that time, there was a major problem with the mau-mau uprising, and although it was all about kicking the british out, some elements used that excuse to murder, rob, rape you name it…so keeping a gun at home was not a fashion…it was a necessity.
    dad and uncles were in the Home Guard police and were issued with guns anyway as part of their jobs.
    and i still remember a few times that we kids were awoken to find our dad firing, and one time, actually hitting an intruder in the middle of the night.
    had we not had any guns, my dad, and possibly all of us would not be here today….
    so, yes, have guns, but control their ownership as tightly as possible.
    great post, marty!

    • MartyW47 says:

      Hey Jak! Thank you! That must have been an interesting time in your life! Guns are tools and like other tools can be beneficial if used properly. However just like other tools they can have devastating consequences if used improperly.

      • yeah, thats right, marty!
        when we were kids, people were a slightly different then…there was at least an iota of morality for life…and people didnt kill or be killed without a reason….these days, as you no doubt have seen in your travels in cities, and cities all around the world are much the same now, you just try popping your car horn at somebody…they’ll either give you the middle finger salute, shake a fist at you, give you verbal abuse, r worst case scenario, blow your head off with a .22!
        thats the world we live in now and so guns must be controlled as much as possible….either that or change how people behave….:(

  3. “Those who put their faith in guns tend to favor hollow-point bullets that kill more effectively, the very basest of functions.”

    “Those who rely on guns and bullets to “save” them are filled with fear. They believe their brothers are out to get them, and that there is no loving Creator to protect them.”

    • MartyW47 says:

      Thank you for your comments Christian, I do apologize for removing the link the you included in your reply. I have no problem with trackbacks or pingbacks but that link was neither, it was only a scribd page identifying you as the source of the two quotes you posted. to answer you statements I will says this.
      Hollow-points thought effective in their killing power are illegal in most states for that very reason. Where they are available they’re very expensive making them cost prohibitive to most people. In fact once you remove the causalities of war the most common round used against people is actually the tiny 22cal. Why? it’s cheap easy to come by there are many smooth bore barrel models available making tracing the round to a particular weapon more difficult providing one actually uses a commercially produced weapon. The 22cal can also be used in “Zip-guns” or homemade guns because their discharge is very low compression where higher caliber round would literally explode harming the shooter without necessarily harming the target.
      There are people that do go out and buy guns because they are afraid of the world around them. However, that is certainly not true of all gun owners. Because of my job in law enforcement I could carry my gun off duty where-ever I chose. I chose to leave it at home when I’m not working, nor do I carry an off-duty weapon. I understand your confusion though, the people who end up on the news in gun related incidents tend to come from the ranks of people who purchase a gun as a way to defend themselves against the evils of the world, though not all gun related incidents happen only to people who purchase them for self-defense.
      You do though high-light other important aspects about the gun debate. First that is the mis-information that is rampant. Second, many people polarize the instant “gun control” is mentioned. I blame that on the groups on both sides of the issued because they both make statements not unlike the comments you made that do not address issue as much as they seek to inflame people’s sense of fear.
      I welcome you to make more comments regarding my post but ask that you please make clear statements regarding your position on the issue and not continue generalizing. Lastly, If we committed ourselves to ending all violent behaviors against one another wouldn’t the issue of guns themselves become moot. Thank you again for your comments.

  4. I don’t know, Martin, but I’m a little confused as to your real stand on the issue. I understand that your job requires you to possess and carry the appropriate firearms; no problem with that. It’s just that most of the other people who share the view that things basically remain as they are when it comes to procurement and proprietorship of said weapons own guns, too. Which explains why they may have been subjective about the matter. We are also facing the same problem here in our country – yet our gun-restriction laws are more imposing compared to your country. My point is, something must be done by your government to prevent the tragedies that have already claimed the lives of so many innocent people – especially the children – even if that would mean stricter controls on gun ownership. My belief is that it’s better to try changing (however radical the reforms may be) or do something else than remain static about it.
    Thank you for letting me share my views here, my dear pal.

    • MartyW47 says:

      Marj! Sorry if I was a bit obscure on my position regarding gun ownership. Basically my opinion is that guns are tools like any other. Growing up around all them my life has given me a healthy respect for them, I don’t understand some people’s irrational fear of them. What I do see is that here in the U.S. and around the world is a sharp increase in violent attacks being carried out by people against groups of people and using what weapons they have available. For example, China just had a guy attack a bunch of people in a school wielding knives, here in the U.S. a guy turned up in a school with a bow and arrows, his initial target was his father, who was a teacher at the school (he killed his step-mom earlier before going after dad) he did kill his father as well but not before his father managed to sub-due him and allow the students in his class time to escape and for authorities to act. There was a time when it was legal to own machine guns (fully automatic weapons) here, people could buy the famous “Tommy Gun” (a Thompson sub-machine gun) and yet random attacks against innocent people didn’t occur (Yes, they were used by criminals in committing criminal acts but not the seemingly random acts we’re seeing today.) In fact the first of these random attacks began a full 50 years after Americans were no longer able to purchase fully-automatic weapons. Another thing that is showing up is a rise in people looking up ways to manufacture home-made bombs. The FBI and local authorities have made arrests, many of them are kids planning those credible attacks (though many were early planning stages) against their local schools. It’s that behavior that we need to target and focus our energies on. People need to regain a fundamental respect for life and understanding that every time someone is killed that it lessens all of us. I see the gun issue as a band-aid for this increase in violence and violent behavior and not the cure. If they ban all guns the violence won’t stop it will only change and where do we go from there? When do we draw the line and address the real underlying problems and get away arguing about the symptoms? Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to take away from the tragedies people are committing. I am saying that valuable time and resources are being wasted on things that are not the real cause in these attacks and that by adjusting our thoughts towards the real problems all of us will be safer and society will be better served. I know the problem of violence is much larger than just gun issues and to a lot of people that may seem like a daunting task, but I also feel that once we focus on that we will see that all forms violence decrease and hopefully one day cease.

      • Dear Martin,

        I understand how you feel and I appreciate that you have been kind and generous in imparting more of your standpoint about this delicate issue. I am simply worried that gun violence will inevitably increase because of the changing times – caused by our dynamic cultures as well. If government remains passive, everybody loses in the end.
        We may not totally see eye to eye on this firearms restriction matters but it doesn’t in any way modify how I regard you as my blogging buddy whom I respect and cherish.
        Thank you for your attention on this. We are all concerned citizens of the world and that fact enough infuses me with hope and optimism.
        Have a grand week ahead.

        With affection,
        Marj

  5. Marty
    I wondered if anyone would post about this subject of which has gotten much attention these days. What saddens me about this is that there can’t ever be any regulations or laws to protect people from the hateful and evil hearts of those who will get guns regardless of how many laws are enacted. When the will is there, the way is always possible. I realize the powers to be feel they must satisfy the needs of those who have become victims. I get that. And my heart cries for all who have become victims of such dastardly men. Great post Marty.
    Yisraela

    • MartyW47 says:

      Yisraela! Thank you for your comments! Yes! I agree legislating against guns will not keep people safe from violence. True, many of the people who commit these kinds of acts are hateful and misguided and sick. Mostly sick, they’ve reached a deluded conclusion that the only way to solve their problems is to violently strike out against those whom they perceive as the problem. No healthy adult or teen would grab weapons and attack others, at least not senselessly, For those who go war, there’s an obvious exception. The only true way to solve this issue is to find out where we left the path and how do we get back to it. We also need to rethink and over-haul our ideals about mental health and how we handle people with a mental illness. We need to make sure that those less fortunate than us have a real opportunity to better themselves. We need to push for peaceful solutions to the world problems that we’re currently fighting wars over and make our “enemies” understand that though we will not tolerate violence against us. We will not seek out opportunities to commit acts of violence against them when peaceful alternatives exist. We change our way of thinking returning to and promoting the notion that violence is only a last option after all other reasonable options have been tried.
      Sadly, we do not currently do that. Most people don’t have time…

      • I quite agree. And that only adds to the heart of the matter. Excellent post. It brought much conversation which I always like. Hitting the like button doesn’t help me know what someone’s heart is.
        Take care Marty
        Yisraela

  6. reocochran says:

    I think that I am in agreement with everyday people having regular guns to shoot at targets or to feed their family with their killed animals. I am against automatic guns or sniper weapons unless the persons are in the military. I see no need for regular people having such weapons nor do I think that anyone is against ALL guns! My son gets a lot of pleasure at age 30 just shooting beebees at a target. I also know some people who like to shoot plates!

    • MartyW47 says:

      Thanks Robin! You bring up an important point that many people are unclear on. Automatic weapons are banned for ownership or use here in the U.S. except by the military and specially trained law enforcement officers. They are banned on both the state and federal level, only Wyoming had no laws regarding the ownership and use of automatic weapons, but I believe that has changed in recent years. What they’re attempting to get banned is really semi-automatic weapons. Sadly, people who are gun owners misuse the term because other gun owners know what their talking about, so the term Automatic describes a particular type of weapon, but, is also used idiomatically to describe not only automatic weapons (which fire single, bursts (typically 3 rounds), or full auto (which fires until the trigger is released or the weapon runs out of rounds)), but semi-automatic weapons (that automatically re-chamber a new round and expel the spent one) but require a person to continue pulling the trigger to keep discharging the weapon. Semi-automatic guns can be modified from automatic weapons (not unlike cars that have manual or automatic transmissions there need to be design modifications to allow a vehicle to be switch over from one to the other) or semi-automatic weapons designed only for hunting, target, and yes personal defense. What concerns gun owners most is that banning the semi-automatic versions of automatic weapons will open the door to banning non-military use designed weapons. Semi-automatic rifles are particularly popular with older Americans and those with disabilities.

  7. goethalsart says:

    I think that guns became a part of your culture.Here, in Belgium, we don’t talk about about guns, we don’t have tragedies.Guns are not available to everybody.Although Belgium produces high caliber guns, used all over the world.Everything about guns is related to politics.

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