Guns – I begin with a disclaimer that I have lived almost my entire life in the South and really don’t know enough about lifestyles in the rest of America. I believe with all my heart that I and my household are the only people in my entire family who are not armed. Not just armed, but heavily armed. My parents have their own guns as well as those handed down from their parents and their parents before them. Most of the females in my family carry delicate little weapons of death in their purses. Many of the cars owned by my extended family have a gun tucked away so that the driver can quickly access it. I have no guns and although I am intelligent enough not to say that I will never have a gun, I can say that right now I hate the idea of living with guns. My father likes to pull a gun or two out and show them to the children as he cleans them. He lectures them about safety and responsibility the entire time. Against my specific wishes (“I don’t want you to do that Dad”), my father bought a BB gun for the children to have target practice when they are at his house. Ted Nugent would be very proud of my father. I think that it just makes guns seem desirable while my father proclaims that it takes away the novelty of a gun. At some point I will allow them to go to a shooting range and fire a rifle. I want them to feel how long that ache stays in your shoulder after you have pulled the trigger. I want them to see how easy it is not to reach your intended target. I want them to know the difference between the best gun oil and regular stuff. When the topic of guns comes up I ALWAYS say that guns are intended for killing. They are not for protection or safety or whatever cute little expression people use to justify them. Guns are for killing and in one second of thoughtlessness or anger people do things that they can never take back. Guns are like suicide, permanent solutions to temporary problems.
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Guns aren’t as prevalent here either. Oh there are people who have hunting rifles and such but not nearly as many as in the States. My best friends dad when I was growing up had several hunting rifles and a pistol as well but they were kept well locked up in a gun cabinet with trigger locks as well. All the ammo he kept in a seperate well locked safe. We never had any inclination to even attempt to fiddle with them. He taught both his daughters and I how to handle them, clean them and fire them when we were about 12. I’ve never had any desire to even handle a firearm since that time. On the other side, my parents and their friends are horrified by guns and gun ownership which only became worse when a boy my younger brother went to school with was playing with his fathers gun and shot his younger brother killing him. This boy had never been taught gun safety or anything else about handling guns – so all guns were toy guns.
Hey I’m from NZ too. I can see why folks might use guns on a farm against pests even though I don’t like them. I lived in Florida for 4 years so I have some experience of the south which I found, like everything else in the US, to be more complicated than the often bigoted (in my view) stereotypes of white southerners pumped out on TV & crap LA movies. Don’t mean to rant here–yea, I knew some folks with guns but I never got it. I used to say “with all those guns around someobody’s gonna get all shot!” Profound, huh?
I live in a house of guns, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. Living out here in the country, it makes me feel safer when I’m alone. All it took was one terrifying incident several years ago where a stranger tried to get into my townhouse one Christmas Eve (when it was obvious I was the only home since everyone else in my block was away that night, so that lets me know that this person had more in mind than just a robbery) to make me realize I needed something with which to stop someone who would try to hurt me. I don’t want to ever feel that helpless again.
i come from new zealand where guns are licensed heavily
still i grew uo around them – we used to go shooting for rabbits and possums (feral pests)
i have also hunted goats and deer, though never got a deer yet
the police do not carry guns in nz – though they do here in australia
i will teach my children the responsible handling of a firearm when they are old enough – around 10-12 yrs of age – as i was.
My family owns enough guns to make up for me not having any. If I ever want one or a dozen my father would happily give them to me. I have a really cool bubble-blowing gun.
Neck breaking (quail) in the Trace was my job… I think you need to capture the difference between a handgun and rifle or shotgun.
The first time I watched a deer prepared was the LAST time I ever want to see a deer prepared. I can collect the dead quail but I can’t break the necks of the wounded. I spent enough time at my grandparents in Natchez Trace Park to see what guns can do.
The gun culture in the US is one issue that will likely prevent me ever moving back to the US from Australia. I remember growing up with regular news stories about children getting hold of guns that were locked up and killing themselves, their friends, anyone. I know there are some guns here but it’s not imbedded in the culture here like it was back home. At least it was in NC when I left ten years ago. Around here I am more likely to hear of a child drowing in a backyard pool than of one being killed accidentally by a gun.
Well, now you’ve done it. You’ve earned the unending ire of the gun-happy branch of the Rocky Top Brigade.
I took a stand against CCW laws a few months back and the backlash felt as if I’d advocated drowning cats and small babies in acid.
There’s a strong romance attached to gun ownership in the area that’s very scary and a little sick, I think. But you have to be careful.
You go girl! We have six guns in the house b/c mickey hunts and they are locked up and they still give me the willies.