Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Politically Incorrect

In the past two weekends, Redneck and I have attended TWO gun shows. Because, well, it's the South and. . . my boyfriend's name is Redneck.

Hi, my name is Roadchick and I have a confession. I own 2 guns.

I have a .22 long rifle (the infamous Valentine's day present from the Now-Former-Mr.-Roadchick) and a .357 Magnum.

Yes, I know how to shoot.

Yes, I have ammunition.

Yes, I also have a teenage son.

No, I am not insane.

When I first got the rifle, the ex and I took Rockboy with us when we went target shooting. He got a chance to shoot the rifle and then we showed him the amount of damage a .22 caliber bullet can do to a plastic milk jug that was filled with water. He learned that you never, ever point your weapon at anything that you don't intend to shoot. That you ALWAYS assume a gun is loaded, even when you KNOW it's not. And that if you touch the rifle without permission, getting shot will be the least of your worries.

Rockboy has a healthy respect of his mama's arsenal.

When I got the .357, Rockboy was again taken out to try a little target shooting and to inspect exactly what kind of damage can be inflicted with this gun. Same rules apply. Again - no problems with fiddling with the gun when I'm not looking.

On the off chance that curiosity (or stupidity) would get the better of him, there is usually a child-safe lock on the .357, since that one would be the most portable if he were to decide that he wanted to be so foolish as to take it somewhere. Hard to look cool with a neon yellow steel cable with a padlock running through the chamber of the gun. Dork.

Next month, I will be going to a permit class for handguns. While I'm sure they cover typical gun safety issues, this class also talks about "street survival" and how shooting at the range and a nice, safe paper target differs from what you would encounter should you ever have to use your gun to protect your safety or the safety of others.

Do I live in a crime-ridden area where break-ins are the rule rather than the exception? No, although home invasions are increasing.

So, if I live in a reasonably safe community with paid police wandering the streets at all hours of the day and night, why do I need a gun?

Because I want one, first of all.

But mainly because when it comes to what I consider to be mine: my family, my home, my belongings, my car, my money, my safety . . . I'm an extremist. Do NOT mess with what is mine. I worked for it. I earned it. I birthed it and raised it. If you want it, get your own, somewhere else.

Protecting Rockboy is not as big an issue as it was when he was little. I have always said that if anyone EVER did anything to him (like a kidnapper, sexual molester, etc.), they had better hope that the police got to them before I did because I would go to prison smiling, knowing I did what needed to be done.

But if someone were to break in and have him at knifepoint or gunpoint, I don't want to have to stand there, wishing I could do something besides beg and offer cookies.

At the end of all of this, you might expect me to come out in support of one candidate or another. Nope. If you know me, you might be able to guess my political leanings, but it's entirely possible that you would be wrong.

In all honesty, I don't like EITHER one of the candidates that we have to choose from. Both have very definite faults that I find to be incredibly offensive. Both have policies and beliefs that make my blood run cold.

Will I vote? Yes. And so should you - because if you don't vote, you can't complain later.

But as we approach the end of this incredibly long, drawn out political season, be open-minded when someone believes something contrary to what you believe. Be willing to have a conversation about why they believe what they do without resorting to anger because "your" side is the only logical choice.

Don't be a fanatic.

Orson Scott Card, in the Afterword to his book Empire defined fanaticism as this: You are so convinced of your views and policies that you are sure anyone who opposes them must either be stupid and deceived or have some ulterior motive.

Do I own guns? Yes.
Do I think you should own guns? I don't know - do you think you should? If you want one, get one, get trained, and be safe. If you don't want one, that's ok too.
Just don't take mine away from me. I promise to be careful.


Susan said...

Since I live alone I thought long and hard about getting a gun (hand gun, that is--I'm from WV, I basically sprung from the womb with a shotgun in hand--imagine the pain my mother was in). Eric and I actually talked about it on a serious basis. Since I have issues with night terrors, though, I came to the conclusion that it wouldn't be safe for me or my pets for me to own one.

The shotgun takes more thought for me than the other. It's secure at the homestead and trust me, girl knows how to use it.

Roadchick said...

Susan~ When Redneck was going through his divorce, he was having a hard time sleeping so his doctor gave him a prescription for Xanax, to help take the edge off. He took it for exactly one night because when he woke up the next morning he found his shotgun leaning in the corner of his bedroom which was NOT where he kept it. When he looked out the back door, he had blown the hell out of his bird feeder and did NOT remember doing it.
I want a shotgun to go shoot clay targets. Maybe Santa will bring me one.
Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition!