Opinion: Guns and Liberty

Y’all will forgive me, but I am going to write this in the vernacular of the place in which I was raised.

When I was a child, you got a rifle when you were as tall as the rifle. You knew how to use it and you knew it wasn’t a toy. You had been out to turkey shoots and seen them old boys, some still shooting muskets, hit a turkey in the head at a hundred yards when it popped up from behind cover. They could bark a squirrel at three or four hundred feet every time because they had only one shot to get dinner.

It wasn’t a game and firearms weren’t toys – not to any of us. You were polite to everyone because it was the right thing to do, and you’d get a whippin’ in a second for not giving anyone older than you respect. Twice. Once from them and once again from your father. And I mean a pants-down whippin, with a tree branch, in front of everyone. And you only done that once before you learned.

No one EVER had an accident with a firearm. They’s be laughed out of the county. These events typically occurred after church and involved food and white lightnin’ and beer or whatever you preferred, and once in a while a couple old boys wanted to take to fightin’. It was allowed. Y’all put down your guns and knives, there was no spittin’ , biting, or eye-gouging, and nothin’ ‘dirty’. It was just plain old fistfighting. Whoever got tired first, called it off, but mostly everyone – including the ‘winner’ – declared it a draw. It was just Sunday fun, no hard feelings.

Everyone could take their knives and guns to school to show off. It was the most natural thing in the world. I actually got razzed a lot in high school because I didn’t have a hunting rifle and didn’t hunt deer, but while I liked venison – and still do, I didn’t like butchering an animal and packin’ out the meat…..and still don’t. Even so, I have a meat smoker in the back yard and if the pigs come for my vegetables, I will if I have to. I won’t hunt, though. They gotta come to me and make trouble and if it’s a sow with babies, she gets a free pass.

I feel pretty much the same about people. Pigs just want to eat, and that’s understandable. People who come on my property with bad intentions are a different animal entirely. The President is going to propose stiffer penalties for taking a firearm near a school, but unless there is a complete vehicle search at every school, that’s just rhetoric. People who intend to die don’t care about the
law, or signs, or anything else. They will just know that schools and ‘no gun zones’ are easy pickins’ for unarmed victims.

I don’t know where everyone got the idea that anyone can go to a gun show or the local gun store and buy a machine gun or an unregistered gun. You could buy unregistered firearms before 1968, and there wasn’t this level of crime before 1968. Before that, if you broke into my house, I’d just shoot you and be done with it. Now I’m supposed to retreat to the farthest place in the house, barricade the door, jump out the window and go hide in the woods somewhere. If you then decide you want to LIVE in my house, I have to take you to court to try and have you removed?

Here’s some news. If you break into my house, I’m going to just shoot you dead and be done with it. If your life is precious to God, He will keep you away from here. Once you have broken in, MY rules apply and you can ask Him what went wrong when you meet Him in ten seconds.

Now the President is gonna go to banning every firearm he can and that’s not right. I agree it’s not right for crazy people to kill their parents for the parents’ LEGAL firearms and then go on a killing spree, but you can’t legislate away crazy and we already have laws against ALL of these crimes. Personally, I think the military could do just fine with M1s or M14s. The whole idea behind M-16 type firearms was that you could carry a lot of ammunition and use it all up without hitting anything – so the military is getting away from that concept – and trying to get away from M-16s which were a crappy idea in the first place and I refused to ever carry one in combat. But the problem with these laws is that they address the same problem prohibition did. They address the same problem the War on Drugs is still trying to do but failing miserably. They are not addressing human actions, but the items they use to implement those actions.

Well, if we make alcohol illegal, no one can drink it. If we make drugs illegal, no one can get them. If we make contraception illegal, no one will have sex. If we make firearms illegal, no one will use them to commit crimes. None of this works. It HAS never worked. It WILL never work. NO ONE I KNOW who tells me how easy it is for a criminal to obtain a firearm legally has a firearm. They know nothing about firearms. They are afraid of the evils of firearms. But they have no problem getting stoned or drunk because THEY are responsible citizens – it’s just the rest of us that aren’t because we own firearms instead of getting stoned. We go to the shooting range instead of the Bingo tournament. Maybe we eat meat and fish instead of tofu and arugula. We probably served in the military and we are the policemen and firemen you call when you need someone with a gun or an axe. When you need someone who isn’t a coward like you are.

I agree that YOU don’t need a gun and YOU shouldn’t have one. But the phrase “making it harder for criminals to obtain firearms” is completely the wrong argument. Criminals don’t obtain firearms legally and no one can tell a psychopath until they act out. They can work their way into positions of very high responsibility in any government agency in the world. They can have ultra-high security clearances. They can pass complex psychiatric analyses and ace lie detector tests – and they do. Criminals and psychopaths don’t care what the law says. They are going to do what they are going to do one way or another.

So you can make it a law that no one working in a position of high responsibility can be a double agent, but they are. You can make a law that says no one can take a firearm within 1,000 feet of a school, but no one cares if they already intend to die. Why would a sign slow them down? All it tells them is that no one there can defend themselves so that’s where they are going to go. You can make a law saying that you can’t kill your mother, take her legally obtained firearms, and go on a killing spree. It won’t work.

After you outlaw firearms, then what? Propane? Gasoline? Are you going to make it illegal to urinate because of the possibility that someone could evaporate it for the saltpeter in it….also known as urea (a bit stronger than potassium nitrate)? 75% potassium nitrate, 15% charcoal and 10% sulphur make gunpowder.

We are already past the point at which you could buy Ammonium nitrate without applying for a license. Ammonium nitrate mixed with fuel oil is what Tim McVeigh used. You have to either have a valid business use and pass a federal background check for a license, or buy some cold packs at the drug store. I’d say let it go. You’ll just blow yourself up.

When I was doing explosives engineering, my favorite was DuPont Tovex. It’s a water gel and I used it with an EB cap on the bottom of boreholes. Then we’d fill them with slurry (ANFO/prill) and time the charges so we could get the best rock breakage. I loved blowing shit up but the government finally legislated me out of business.

I’m not going to be more explicit because you don’t need any of this stuff. All the chemicals anyone needs are readily available and anyone who has been to high school knows it.

After all of that, the bottom line is still this: No one is getting my firearms. I bought them legally and I’m going to keep them. They are investments for me. 95% of them are NIB, unfired. The only two I ever use are more than fifty years old and won’t be banned anyway. But that isn’t the point. The point is that you don’t start making things illegal that have been legal all my life just because there are more psychos around now. You deal with the psychos or you let the people where they try to act out deal with them. Since you can never disarm psychos, disarming their potential victims is not a rational solution and I won’t even begin to comply with emotion-based laws.

I’ll go further. If people begin abolishing parts of the Bill of Rights and Amendments to the Constitution, they will make about one hundred million Americans outlaws in their own country. When some dirt bag wounded two of our HPD officers last week, I doubled the reward and challenged every gun owner I knew to equal my contribution. So that puts me in a bind. I am a former Combat Marine and a Retired Deputy Sheriff. I won’t engage a police officer or anyone serving in the US military until they do something unconstitutional and they know it is. Then it becomes my duty as a citizen to resist. I won’t ‘bug out’. I won’t run away. But they will have to come with the intent to kill me and I’m sure they will, since I trained some of them. I will resist.

Dr. Tom is a retired scientist who is now farming on the Big Island of Hawaii.

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