Tag Archives: BB gun

Guns

Oh no…here we go again. Some members of our state legislature are once again, not surprisingly, proposing new bills that would allow for additional gun ownership rights in the state of Arizona. What a perfect world it would be if everything in the Valley of the Sun was so rosy, with all of the state’s problems already solved, that the only discussion left to consider would be concerning gun issues. Unfortunately, that is not the case, so I wish our elected officials would show some common sense and concentrate on more important things instead. Thankfully, at least this time around allowing guns on our college campuses are not presently included in the mix. Last time several of our state representatives fought long and hard to pass a senseless bill, although it was eventually defeated, which included allowing guns on campus even though the majority of Arizona’s law enforcement agencies, including campus police, were adamantly opposed to the proposal.

A few years ago I had the opportunity to fire several shots from a handgun, during a citizen’s police academy class, and I admit I liked it. The experience was very exhilarating, and it gave me a glimpse into how one might be attracted to owning a firearm and participating in target shooting. Guns are fascinating to me, but I have no use for them. Maybe that’s because of an incident which happened long ago involving myself and an innocent bird. As a beautiful Robin sat on a telephone wire high up in the sky, happily chirping away and enjoying life, I took aim at it with my BB gun. Expecting to miss the target, like I had so many times before, I was shocked and then saddened as the bird fell from the sky and hit the ground with an awful sounding thud. At that moment I realized if my BB gun could do that much damage then what about a real gun especially with how potent they have become in the modern world. There is a substantial difference in the kind of weaponry used in the old western classics, commonly seen on the “boob tube,” compared to the array of powerful gun choices now normally seen in most of today’s action films. For better or for worse they’ve come a long way.

The truth as I know it is I am in favor of sane people, who have passed an extensive background check and have taken a gun safety course, owning as many guns as they would like. I also support enforcing all current gun laws, reinstating the ban on assault rifles, and reducing the number of ammunition allowed per gun clip. Many times I have heard the pro-gun argument that the main key to reducing crime is by arming as many of the “good guys” in our society as possible. However, the problem then becomes attempting to determine what constitutes a “good guy,” and what happens if the “good guy” one day becomes a “crazy” but is still armed. Another problem can arise when the “good guys” are firing at the “bad guys” in public and innocent people are caught in the crossfire.

Many gun owners routinely insist the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution gives them the right to protect themselves and their property, via firearms, and I would agree with that. I would disagree though with allowing those weapons in public places because that would then infringe on my right to “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” as found in the United States Declaration of Independence. How can I be happy with the fear of knowing I’m possibly surrounded by people with loaded guns when I’m innocently patronizing a store, restaurant, or bar? I believe the true intent of our forefathers, when crafting the Second Amendment, was to assure all Americans, both individually and collectively, the right to bear arms against an invasion from another country onto our Nation’s soil. Many additional things could be said on the topics of gun ownership and gun control, but I guess unlike some of our state representatives I have more important things to do with my time.


A Snake Story

Once upon a time I had an unwanted encounter with a snake. Well, besides the occasional garter snake sighting that’s so prevalent to living in Iowa. This encounter was very different, and it happened during a visit to my Grandma and Grandpa McCleary’s farmhouse in Joplin, Missouri. One nice afternoon many, many, many years ago I strapped on my trusty BB gun and ventured out into the woods behind my grandparents’ house. And no, for those now wondering, my gun was not an official Red Ryder 200-shot carbine action air rifle like Ralphie’s in the holiday classic, “A Christmas Story.” It was merely a Daisy, but a pretty nice one at that.

As I wandered about, looking for something to shoot, I hopped over a small creek, and suddenly there it was: a massive black snake, only inches from my feet, leering at me with hungry eyes while its tongue violently lashed in and out of its mouth. I blindly and quickly jumped backwards onto the embankment, on the other side of the creek, as the ugly beast remained on his side seemingly taunting me and daring me to try and get past him. As scared as I was I still somehow managed to gather my composure. I pushed the safety button on my Daisy to the off position, slowly raised the rifle, and pointed it towards the intended target. I took a deep breath, gently squeezed the trigger, and watched as all those hours of shooting empty pop cans in my backyard had finally paid off. Bull’s-eye! I saw the shiny BB pierce the scaly skin of the humongous reptile. As a red dot gradually appeared on the black snake I fired my weapon another nine or ten times until the creature laid completely still.

I scooped up the obliterated snake with the barrel of my rifle, and I trekked back towards my grandparent’s house. I was ecstatic while fully anticipating a much deserved congratulations, for my tremendous bravery and for saving my family from the beast, when I got there. My grandma was the first person to see my prize-kill after returning to the farmhouse. Beaming with pride, at first, I felt quite differently when after catching eye of the motionless eighteen-inch creature, dangling from my gun, she questioned why I went to all the trouble to kill a small, harmless, and innocent snake. At that point, as my heart sank, I simply had no good answer.