Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Simple Question; Complex Answer...

Our favorite blogger from down under asks a very simple question:
Why do you own guns?
Hoo, boy, but that's a loaded one, ain't it? (pun kinda sorta intended).

I own guns for many reasons. First and foremost, I think they're neat. When you get right down to it, firearms are a very simple but elegant machine. All parts work together, a symphony of wood and steel (or plastic), all to send a defined projectile on a determined path at a certain velocity. Add in the historical factor and the "cool" factor increases - you can own a piece of history for under a grand in the case of the M1 Garand or the 1911. A firearm that may have seen action in WWI, WWII, or Korea could find its way into your safe for less than a big screen TV - and it will last several lifetimes longer.

Secondly, there's the personal protection aspect. Quite simply, a firearm is the best tool currently on the market for protecting one's self and loved ones. If/when they perfect the Star Trek phaser that allows you to stun an attacker unconscious with zero ill effects, I will stop carrying a firearm for self-defense. Until then, though, hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster at your side. The cold reality is that there are evil people what share this planet with us, and I prefer to have the best tools possible at my disposal should they seek me or mine.

Lastly, I enjoy shooting, plain and simple. Taking off for a couple hours to go burn through half a box of bulk .22LR with my 10/22 and a steel plate is therapy for me - it's hard to be stressed out when you're grinning from ear to ear. Ditto being worried when blasting away with a .357 Magnum - it ain't happening. There's a zen feeling when settling in on the rifle bench with a target some 100+ yards distant, a box of custom ammo, and a spotting scope - taking your time, making each shot count, well, there's an immediate gratification for a job well done, and something to learn from each miss.

Oh, certainly, there's dozens of other reasons. Some firearms are good investments - just ask anyone that bought a Mosin Nagant M44 for $70 five years ago, for instance - over time they're almost certain to appreciate. I've been known to pick up a gun simply because someone, somewhere thinks I shouldn't be allowed to own it. Still others are novelties, like the NAA mini-22LR revolver. I have yet to take that to the range where a whole slew of folks didn't wander over and ask it was real.

Then there's the citizen angle - as in, a person without arms is a subject, someone with arms is a citizen. The real reason for the Second Amendment has nothing to do with hunting - as Weerd likes to say, George Washington didn't cross the Delaware to get to his duck blind - but rather as a safeguard against an overzealous and overreaching governing body. It's difficult for the government to declare a police state when most of her citizens are armed and capable of fighting back. Keeping and bearing arms exercises our constitutionally enumerated right - and a right that goes unused starts to atrophy just like a muscle after extended periods of lethargy.

Really, though, I own guns for one simple reason:

So why do you like guns? 

That is all.


Angus McThag said...

Where else to you find a machine that needs to readily transportable by non-athletic people with the requirement of maximum energy transfer to the target with minimum transfer to the user?

I love all the contradictions that need to be accommodated in firearms design.

The gun has to be light and short to be handy. The ammo capacity has to be large and light and easily replenished.

It needs to be long to maximize velocity. The bullets need to be heavier and the charges larger for more velocity; thus longer range.

Balance and compromise that we don't see outside of aviation and affordable to the common schmuck.

Maura said...

"a person without arms is a subject, someone with arms is a citizen. "

Quote of the Day.

Chad said...

All of those reasons, plus the tradition, and the memories of hunting and shooting and reloading with my dad and grand-dad.

Anonymous said...

Because I'm not going to be tossed down another flight of stairs, whether it be by an individual, a group of his buddies, or by another party.

Because it is fun to shoot firearms: they provide instant feedback, they are a great ice-breaker ("oh, that's a nice revolver. How do you like it?").


Julie said...

Thanks for the link JayG ... and yep, I like your reasons :)

Anonymous said...

Because none of your damn business.


Bubblehead Les. said...

Why do I like Guns? Because I believe in Equal Rights, just like Col.Colt said.

wizardpc said...

When I was 16, I had two friends murdered by the same guy, a few days apart. They worked in fast food, he robbed them, they complied, and he executed them (and 7 other people) anyway.

I carry because I know there are monsters out there. I've seen them.

Dave H said...

You covered most of my reasons already, Jay. I've always been fascinated by old technology, mechanical solutions to problems we might use electronics or computers to solve today. (Morse code keys are another interest of mine.) Firearms technology has been around for hundreds of years and has reached an excellent balance of functionality, simplicity, and reliability. Feature bloat doesn't affect a 1911.

Most effective advances in firearms technology (as opposed to "bling") in the past 50 years come from better manufacturing methods and materials, so good guns can be made more inexpensively now, but the basic mechanism remains the same.

Braden Lynch said...

Given we just had May Day, and all the Communists/Anarchists crawled out from under their dirty rocks I see the need for them. They want to overthrow our Republic and have few qualms about causing another Holocaust, so yeah, I think that firearms and a couple thousand rounds of ammunition is in order.

It's not just about our government getting tyrannical that concerns me, but what might replace it, or what might happen during such a transition. Remember, anarchists have been used to pave the way for the totalitarians to take power.

Firehand said...

Among others, history: hold a Garand that went through WWII, and maybe Korea... Or a 1903 made during WWI. A M28 that may have been through the Winter War. You're holding an actual, physical piece of history.

MJM said...

I will add, in response to blogger Ricochet's question: if I lived on an island south of red China, and did NOT have the most powerful country, army, and navy as an ally to intervene between them and me, I would definitely want to own a gun. Think Japanese Empire on steroids.
And, considering that allies are fickle---the US included: You had better by God get your hands on a gun and convince all of your friends and family to do the same.
Because, when you need a gun, you really, really, really need a gun, and nothing else will do. Hint: By the time you realize you need one, it is too late.

Daniel in Brookline said...

Wow, some excellent answers here!

In response to something that Jay said:

It's difficult for the government to declare a police state when most of her citizens are armed and capable of fighting back.

Indeed. And that sort of comment, unfortunately, produces snorts of derision in too many people, particularly young people. How can you possibly imagine the United States becoming a police state and sending storm troopers to your door, they'll ask.

To which I'd respond: exactly. It's unthinkable because so many Americans are armed. The ludicrousness of the idea doesn't prove that guns are unnecessary; it proves that they are.

(I had a similar argument with one of my girls this evening. She said that the United States didn't need a big army, because who on Earth would ever invade us? I said that this was not a sign the U.S. military wasn't needed; it was a sign that they're doing their job. Deterrence is a very big part of what the military does -- preventing certain kinds of problems merely by existing -- and it's a powerful reason for an individual to go armed as well.)

Ricochet said...

Whilst I haven't yet had a chance to shoot a live weapon, I think guns can be very pretty things as they balance form and function.

MJM: Yep, the fact that if anyone was to take a proper crack at Australia the odds are high it would be a nation too populous and too powerful for our scattered and relatively small population to successfully repel even if we WERE armed has definitely come up in conversations with gun-owner friends online.