Don’t shoot your eye out

This weekend, I was rooting through a box of old photos I brought home after we moved my mom and dad to town.

Came across this one:

Me with my first gun. 

A  Mossberg bolt action 4-10 my brother tells me.

That picture gives me good feelings.

I grew up in a time period in history where guns were a non issue.

Heck, I remember seeing shotguns hanging in the back of pickup truck windows in our high school parking lot.

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We have a good friend, I’ll call her Katie whose son came back from the service  a conscientious objector.  West Point graduate/ the whole works.  After experiencing the gritty side of war in  Iraq, he did a 180.  Her son passed away a couple of years ago from a rare cancer, probably due to the toxic smoke he was around while stationed in Iraq from the burn pits.

Katie and I were talking about guns, gun control, conscientious objection, personal protection, how does that fit into a Christian worldview,  what are my options if someone would break into my house?  (ever hear of the term center mass?)  yada, yada.

Made for a lively conversation.  🙂

What I liked about the conversation was we were asking each other hard questions.

No simplistic answers, but neither were we trying to tear each other down.

Genuinely wanted to hear the “why” behind what the other person was saying, and then ask more questions.

Here’s your chance to share your thoughts currently.

No snark, no nipping at someone else’s comments…If that happens, one of two things will happen.

I will delete or edit your  comment.

The whole post get deleted.

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I will start first.  The following are in no particular order, and I may add additional points as time goes on.  I would really like to clarify in my own head some of this stuff.

#1 I absolutely believe I have the right to protect myself, with whatever means are at my disposal.  We live in a broken world, and unfortunately, because of it, some people do not play by the rules.  Sometimes, bad people attempt to harm innocent and peace loving  people like myself.

#2 Having said that,  I don’t believe my only option is to “turn the other cheek.”  I can chose that response if I want to but that is not my only option.

#3  In addition,  I have been entrusted with a family, and part of that job description as I understand it, is to provide and protect.

#4  In the same way I am intrigued by wine making, even though I rarely drink, I am intrigued by a well, engineered gun or rifle, even though I rarely shoot.

#5 I would  love to be more proficient in my marksmanship, and plan to work on that this year.

#6 I don’t hunt for sport anymore, but would not hesitate to hunt if I needed to put food on the table, because I love meat,  and know where it comes from.

#7  I am not a member of any gun rights group.

#8  I am very thankful  the country I live in still has gun ownership as part of it’s constitution.  (see #1).  I know several people who chose not to own a gun, and that is fine.   That is their choice.

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In pop culture today, it seems you have to say and think things in just a very narrow ways, or the other side will vilify you. I don’t care what the issue is.

The problem with that is, issues are never that simple.    DM

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20 thoughts on “Don’t shoot your eye out

  1. Ha! Of course I thought immediately of Ralphie and his Red Ryder BB gun. When I last was at the Crystal Bridges Museum, they had an exhibit that included the history of that gun — it was a standard part of childhood in my time.

    As for guns in the back of pickups? Of course. How else are you going to stop for a little squirrel or pheasant hunting after school? Here in Texas, it’s perfectly legal to carry a long gun in your vehicle, and especially in farm and ranch country, gun racks are still pretty common, although most now prefer to keep the guns themselves out of sight.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I agree with your thoughts Doug.
    I think you know our problems. Us living in a fracturing society where lethal attack is growing commonplace. Which is why I miss the comfort of what I used to carry.

    Having said that, I have no qualms about defending us from attack.
    I do not waste time assessing things in terms of gender, age, or reason. I just react.
    I also don’t do ‘reasonable force’ as an assailant wouldn’t grant that courtesy to me.

    What I do know is:
    IF you cannot see, you cannot carry on an assault
    IF you cannot stand, you cannot pursue us
    IF you cannot breath, you will lose any interest in us

    IF I maim or kill you, you probably shouldn’t have attacked us.
    To that end I know in UK law that if our life is in danger, or perceived to be, I am allowed to use lethal force.

    As for my religion? I believe in what I lived by for many years and subscribe to “thou shall not murder” doctrine.

    Psalm 144.1
    Praise be to the LORD my Rock, who trains my hands for war, my fingers for battle.
    Why would he train me for something that is sometimes written “thou shalt not kill”.
    Is it not the duty of the strong to protect the weak?

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I came from a gun family. My father wrote safety articles for the Rifleman. I also spent 25 years living in Oakland, a city for which guns were no panacea. The pro or anti gun argument is a diversion. The real issue is how we choose to spend our capital. To stop gun violence, a society must invest in its human capital. Failure to do that results in lawlessness and despair. Lawlessnes and despair lead to violence both by the disenfranchised population and as a fear-based reaction to the disenfranchised population. You want to fix it? Make a living wage the law and invest in education. Treat all your citizens with respect. Provide opportunities for meaningful contributions to one’s local community, volunteer or otherwise, so folks know and connect with neighbors of all stripes.

    It’s no accident that the current and most lethal gun threat is from disenfranchised white males. In an increasingly unequal society, they have had the most to lose. No longer can a high school diploma secure a living wage to support a family. Education is rapidly being priced out of reach–or it becomes a debt magnet–another road with no destination. And it’s sad that we’ve so compartmentalized our world view that we no longer even see those struggling among us; they are invisible. That anger and frustration festers and finds company in the leagues of other disenfranchised folks. Brotherhoods of anger mobilized by rejection, channeled through racism, or anti-immigrant-ism; they are the most potent source of danger in our schools and our public forums. How about we mobilize our communities–have schools team up with seniors or low-income folks in need of help. How about–instead of gun-toting militias, we organize our communities so that every person has a role–everyone is honored for their contributions–be they Habitat, or snow-shoveling, planting community gardens or just checking up on our elders to make sure they’re okay?

    Yes, it’s a given that certain types of guns should be regulated. And, certain people ought not have guns. But the real regulation needed is for us, as a nation, and as local communities, to take back the role of raising citizens. Put down your screens and live in the world and be a part of solutions. Stop treating others as misfits, or as forgotten and discarded people. When everyone is needed, and included, regardless of color or creed, our problems will diminish.

    Liked by 3 people

    • I can tell you have given this issue a lot of thought, and just hearing your perspective illustrates why it is not a simple topic. Quick question…having grown up in a home where your dad had such strong thoughts about it, I’m curious if you even own a gun for personal protection..maybe you live somewhere, where you don’t feel the need? I really do appreciate your taking the time to share your thoughts! DM

      Liked by 1 person

      • I never wanted a gun, in the city. My ex did. So we had one–which of course was stolen in a burglary. (Great guilt there–arming crooks, and with a good gun.) Then, went blithely gunless for a good twenty years. Then–while living in rural California–I was victimized by an anonymous telephone caller. Now, it is not unusual for lawyers to get threats, and previously had not felt the need to arm myself. But, the law enforcement response time in that location was nearly an hour–certainly long enough for serious trouble, should my anonymous threatener to act out, so I once again, armed myself. Now, in rural Michigan, I feel no need for such self protection, but I intend to take up hunting. To that end, my husband and I have purchased a rifle and a cross-bow. These things are tools, to be used for a particular purpose. (And I’m the one who chose the crossbow, because after a childhood of target shooting, I just cannot take the noise.)

        Liked by 2 people

  4. I would not feel comfortable without my firearms. I don’t hunt any more, but keep my license just in case. Also need to protect my own livestock should the occasion call for it (and it has). Self protection? If I need to yes. Am I a rabid avid collector? No. Each firearm I own has a purpose. To me – a firearm is a tool – much the same as an axe for splitting wood, or a shovel for cleaning out a pig pen.

    Liked by 3 people

    • I would say I feel a lot like you..the guns I own are all for very specific purposes, and they are just tools. I am not an avid collector either What sort of predators do you have to deal with? (bear, large cats?) Good to hear from you Val. DM

      Liked by 1 person

      • Bear (black and grizzly) coyote, fox, lynx, cougar. We’re not overrun- but quite common to see depending on the time of year. If we’ve a long fall, the black bear like to stay awake and fatten up longer. The grizzly around here tend to take down moose – and mostly keep to themselves. Fox and coyotes like my geese for dinner, and chickens. Cougar don’t come down from the mountains unless there’s a shortage of food up there….but when they’re yowling in my yard at night I’m up in a hurry.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Whoa…that is quite a list! the only two that really give me the willies are the bears. My luck I would have to shoot one, just wound him and piss him off. Our predators consist of raccoon (who have literally torn a hole into the chicken house and killed several of ours in the past, and coyotes (who I am pretty sure ate my favorite cat)

          Liked by 1 person

          • Bears – you can hear them coming…and unless you are between momma and her cubs – I don’t worry much. Of course with all wildlife – best left alone. Cougars are very very quiet – they can be ten feet behind you (or above you) and you wouldn’t have a clue. When there’s one around, even the dogs shut up. Also very unpredictable. I personally would not take a shot at a bear unless I had a clear one…..they can slow their heart down to pump only once every four minutes. A wounded bear would be a dangerous situation for anybody who happened across it.

            Like

  5. thought-provoking post!

    I grew up around guns, shot off some as a kid (at targets, not critters). I don’t hunt, but I’m not against it, either. I don’t own any guns but my 80 yr old Father In Law still “packs” – retired military. He has an arsenal b/c he loves guns and hunting. Discussing next steps I.e. senior living .. his first question was “can I take my guns?” ah … nope! Many layers of complications as he ponders (gasp) selling his arsenal. ( The $$ would help cover his costs for quite some time … but I digress)

    ~ MJ

    Liked by 1 person

    • And thank you for stopping by the blog and leaving a comment yourself! I was thinking about your recent trip to your old neighborhood again this morning on my way to work. there was a backhoe parked on property that the last time I drove by, a home was standing there. Ithe house was no where to be seen. Gone…buried. who knows… It’s sobering how quickly things can change. Just another example @ how fleeting our lives are. DM

      Liked by 1 person

      • Your reply was very helpful to me. I realized how much I AM grieving many things in my life. I guess it’s common at this age. Having to come to terms with harsh realities of my children growing up and things being so weird for them in this new America, the death of parents, end of certain dreams and goals, and just remembering the easy days of childhood, even though mine were kinda stressful in ways, but still happy. Not to mention having to deal with actual difficult situations way too much lately. It’s all a bit depressing and seeing the old street , I guess it brought out those buried feelings. Probably a good thing. Thanks for the insight. And yes, life is short and changes quickly! Have a nice evening!

        Liked by 1 person

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