The Right to Bear Arms

When I was a child, my favourite presents were always toy guns. I had soldiers, and a castle, as well as a Wild West fort: my Dad had made me a wooden sword that I liked to carry around, but the guns were best. I had a ‘Davy Crockett’ flintlock pistol, authentic in every way, save size. It had a working lock and trigger, a ramrod for loading, and a sparking flint when fired. As I got older, these toys became even more authentic, and increasingly sophisticated. My next handgun of note, was a replica Colt.45, ‘Wyatt Earp Buntline Special’. This had a swing out cylinder, containing realistic cartridges, and even came with a cleaning kit, all in a presentation box.

I soon graduated to a half-size sniper rifle, a replica M40 Remington. This came complete with a working telescopic sight, as well as a metal bolt and firing pin, that worked in exactly the same way as the real weapon. There were dummy cartridges, and they would eject from the breech when the bolt was worked.

This was at a time when all adult males of my acquaintance had served in the Armed Forces during World War Two. They had been familiar with firearms, and some had even smuggled back various examples. One of my uncles had a fully-functional Walther P-38 pistol, that he would allow me to ‘play’ with, unloaded of course. My Dad had returned from his time in India, with a Gurkha Kukri, and a Lee-Enfield bayonet, and these were given to me as souvenirs. There was still plenty of armed conflict in The World at that time; Malaya, Kenya, Cyprus, Aden; and rumours of trouble in a place that we used to call Indo-China, now known as Vietnam. Many of my relatives were overseas, doing their National Service, a compulsory two-year military conscription. I had always assumed that I would eventually be called up, until I was told that this would be ended by the Government, before my ninth birthday.

Still, I was convinced that there would be another war that I would have to go to, at some time in the future. After all, the Cold War was upon us, there was a wall in Berlin, and Soviet missiles on the way to Cuba. With this seeming an eventuality, I resolved that I would not go unprepared. I would become an expert on weaponry, especially firearms, artillery, and armoured vehicles. With no Internet to rely on, this would have to be achieved by studying books, films, and newsreel footage. I would also make numerous trips to the nearby Imperial War Museum, luckily a short bus ride away, and free entry too. This was, and is still,  a marvellous place, with row upon row of all weapons imaginable, from medieval pole arms, to every rifle and pistol ever manufactured. There are also full-size tanks and aircraft, and examples of artillery of various calibres.

So, starting with the matchlock firearms of the 17th Century, through to the then current trend for assault rifles like the AK-47 and M-16, I began to study the evolution of guns across the ages. I had to categorise of course: Pistols, Revolvers, Rifles. Sub- Categories: Automatic, Single-shot, Bolt-Action, Smooth bore.Then there were Tanks, Armoured Cars, Assault Guns,Tracked vehicles, Self-propelled guns, Wheeled vehicles. I would also flirt with Mortars, Anti-Tank weapons, Mines and Hand-grenades, as well as towed Artillery, Naval guns, and Aircraft weaponry. I had set myself an impossible task perhaps, but I was determined to give it my best shot. And I had never even fired a gun, or held a loaded weapon. I soon began to excel in the subject.

When I went to see the film ‘Zulu’ (at the age of 12), I immediately recognised the Martini-Henry rifle used by the British troops, and was satisfied that the correct weapon was being shown. I became critical of ‘out of place’ firearms in films, or on TV. I would be particularly incensed if a repeating rifle, shown in a film about The American Civil War, was described as a Winchester. I knew that it would be a Henry, and would probably only be in the hands of a Union Soldier. When a film about the Second World War was shown, I would pontificate on the merits of the Soviet PPSH, as opposed to its German counterpart, the MP40. I was known to comment that the Dreyser Needle Gun gave the Prussians a distinct advantage over the French Chassepot, though actually unsure if this was really the case. And all this before my thirteenth birthday!

As I grew older, my interest did not diminish. This was fuelled by the eventual chance to actually fire some guns, at long last, courtesy of some friends and colleagues who were members of some of the many gun clubs in the London area at that time. I was able to try an assortment of handguns, and some rifles, single-shot only though. The excitement soon wore off, as I discovered that I was an average shot, at best. I also tired of banging away at paper targets in dark tunnels, standing in what felt like a telephone kiosk. There was the chance to try shotguns, outside in the open. This held even less interest for me, as I had no desire to kill birds and small animals, or to wear body-warmers, flat caps and wellington boots, wandering around a cold field. Whenever I looked along the sights of a gun, toy or real, it was always a person I imagined at the receiving end, not a crow, or paper circle.

I did just enough shooting to decide on my favourite handguns. After much consideration, I decided that I would need an automatic, for more fire-power from the larger magazine, and a back-up revolver, in case of jamming. I rejected many fine examples, to arrive at my final choices. The revolver would have to be the wonderful Colt Python .357 magnum, with 6-inch barrel, which I still consider today to be the best revolver for general purpose use. The automatic was a harder choice, but I settled on the Browning Hi-power 9mm, with its 13- round capacity magazine, and proven track record.

This was all fantasy of course. I was by then in my twenties, considering marriage, and the purchase of a flat in South-West London. These guns were very expensive, as was membership of a gun club, the only legal way to own them. There would be Police checks, Licences, background checks, and after all that, you couldn’t even take them home! I wanted to carry the thing around, ready for defence. It would be left in the bedside table, handy for blasting any burglar, or intruder. I could conceal it in the glove compartment of my car, and soon settle any road disputes. What use was it to me, locked away in the secure case in the gun club, with the ammunition kept separately?

There had been ‘incidents’ in America. A young man had climbed a tower, then shot and killed random strangers below. An unemployed man had returned to his former place of work, heavily armed, then he shot and killed many former  colleagues. Worryingly, I felt that I understood them. They had a grievance, however imagined, and they had the guns, so the means to settle it. They probably did not take anything personally, and meant no harm to specific individuals. They were just convenient targets, objects to satisfy the disaffection with their lot in life.

Then, in Scotland, came the ‘Dunblane massacre’; the killing of numerous  innocent children, by a gun enthusiast, and gun club member. Everything changed in the U.K. No more personal weapons, even at gun clubs. Shotguns were still allowed, as were target pistols, and small-bore rifles. (We had to remember Olympic success…). I couldn’t rationalise this rule. A shotgun was an extremely destructive firearm, needed little skill in operation, and was still readily available to a large percentage of the population. It could be reloaded quickly, and, at short range at least, a kill was more or less guaranteed. But then of course, the upper classes and aristocracy like to use their shotguns. Where would their late summer be, without the killing of thousands of defenceless birds at short range? So, shotguns could never be outlawed, and we would all have to take our chances with the owners of that type of weapon.

During all this, I was still sitting somewhere, arguing that the Americans could never have hoped to win in Vietnam, as the M-16 Assault Rifle was not suited to the combat conditions found there. The opposition favored the AK-47, Russian and Chinese made weapon. This had many chromed parts, making it more resistant to dirt in the breech and receiver. The M-16 constantly fouled in these areas, due to the mud and humidity found in South-East Asia.

People must have thought that I was insane. Thousands were dying every day as a result of the Worldwide use of these firearms, and I was praising their design successes. Murder by shooting was on an unimaginable increase in the USA, and the West Indies. Even in the U.K., gun crime was spiralling, though thankfully, most of this was gang related, so few innocent bystanders were affected. Working in Emergency Ambulances, I experienced this first-hand, going from no gunshot injuries in my first year, to sometimes 20 a year, in latter years. These were illegally owned guns of course. There were no gun clubs supplying Jamaican Yardies, Russian mafia, or Serbian gangsters in London. They were all smuggled in, with consummate ease.

The Police responded in kind. From a few Firearms Officers in the 1960’s, drawing pistols when needed, Specialist Firearms Branches were formed, all over the U.K., and on a large scale in London. Officers carried sidearms, and machine-pistols, as well as Tasers, CS Gas, and the conventional truncheon or Asp.

I changed jobs, from the Ambulance Service, to Police Control rooms, seeing it from both sides. But I would still like some guns. I still read about them, still pined for that Colt Python, still wanted to carry it in a shoulder holster. Let’s face it, not many people argue with a .357 revolver pointed at them. It gives you that edge, gives you control, albeit temporarily, of any situation. Someone breaks into your home at night, they are not expecting you to come out of that bedroom behind a 6-inch barrel, with magnum firepower.

Trouble is, what if nobody ever breaks in?

How long is it before you leave the window open, in the hope that they will? You sit up all night, pistol ready, waiting for the creak of the floorboard, that finally gives you the chance to open fire, to shoot someone, to justify all those years of gun ownership. I reckon it is not too long before you slip that catch, or leave your door ajar. In America, random, mass shootings continue, almost on a monthly basis. This can only be a consequence of Liberal gun laws, and the hangover of the outdated second amendment of the U. S. Constitution. I would still like to own guns. I can buy de-activated weapons legally, to admire, or to display, though I cannot see the point, as I cannot use them, should I feel the need.

With maturity, I can see the good sense of the gun laws in most European Countries. I really could not be trusted with a gun, so it is right that I am not allowed to own one. Trouble is, who can be trusted? Certainly not the ‘Batman’ killers, or Michael Ryan, who killed 16 people in Hungerford, England, or Anders Breivik, in Norway. The list goes on and on.

My conclusion is that we do not have ‘The Right to Bear Arms’, anywhere. No one can be trusted, as nobody knows when the day will come when we ‘lose it’, or decide to fulfill our darkest desires. If you really want to ‘Bear Arms’, join the Army, or the Police. They, at least, have some checks and balances, however imperfect. I will just have to keep on reading, and realise that I will never be carrying that Colt Python, or Browning.

Just as well too.

25 thoughts on “The Right to Bear Arms

  1. Wow. That was a great read Pete. Thank you for capturing all that. What a very similar life we led as kids.

    Guns, or No guns. . . “The Right to Keep and Bear Arms Shall Not be Infringed”. . . Okay, where to start, knowing (and sharing up front) that this will ‘not’ be short.

    Ridiculously simple answer: in a perfect world? No guns. In a ‘perfect world’, they would not be needed.

    But of course, our world is ‘not’ perfect, and criminals have guns. Many, many guns actually, and I am a firm believer that ‘outlaws’ will continue to have guns/weapons for the purpose of assault well after the time where those in control decide that “we” aren’t safe with guns in the general population.

    The fact is this: the U.S. Main Stream Media doesn’t share that there are far, far more people alive today because of an armed populous in the U.S. than there are innocent people that have been killed.

    Other things the anti-gun lobby doesn’t want you to know: Cities like Chicago, with the strictest gun laws, also have the highest gun-related homicides. There is even a website that tracks the shootings in Chicago each week. Disgusting. This fact holds true for the 5 largest cities in America with the strictest gun control laws as well. So much for legislating morality and self-control.

    Problem is, we lost ourselves here in the states some time ago. We no longer teach or require respect, or decency, self-control, nor provide a firm hand in reinforcing what it means to be a decent moral society that respects the quiet enjoyment of one’s life.

    I live in a house in the southwestern State of Arizona. It is pretty ‘chill’ for the most part, and people are way, way more courteous drivers than in California, Chicago, or NY. They also seem to be generally more polite, even though this area has experienced a 5 fold increase in population over the last couple of decades from transplants from other areas mentioned above. So why is it, that the Metro Phoenix area is as polite as it is? One theory? Everyone here can be armed, should you be an upstanding, “Law Abiding” citizen, all the time, with whatever they feel they need to protect themselves without restriction, You don’t even need a permit to carry a concealed weapon here. Is this kinder, more polite society the result of everyone knowing everyone else could be armed? Maybe. I kinda think so, anyway.

    I think an argument can be made that an ‘armed society’ is a cordial and polite society. Especially if you make firearms operation, safety, social responsibility, tactics, competency, de-escalation/conflict resolution training compulsory. Then, add back in educational systems that teach and support decency and morality, coupled together with strong social pressure for decency and moral conduct, then it would be as “ideal” as possible, but don’t fool ourselves – it will never be perfect.

    Why? Because this existence is all about proving our character to the power that created us, that’s why. Can’t have good without evil, just like you can’t have light without dark, up without down, or inside without outside. There is, and always will be an element of ‘evil’ here. No avoiding it.

    As such? I like the idea that as many of us ‘good, virtuous’ beings should be armed as possible. Simple as that. . . or is it?

    Full disclosure: Both myself, my wife, and my Father-in-law are fully trained, licensed firearm owners. By contrast? Both my adult daughters have been trained in firearm safety, operations, and responsibility and are quite competent, yet they both have chosen not to possess a firearm. I respect their choice.

    And even though we don’t need a Permit in Arizona? My wife, father-in-law, and I still went to the effort to obtain Arizona-issued Concealed Carry Permits. we take the responsibility of owning, storing, and handling firearms very seriously. Both I and my wife are ‘very’ proficient in firearms use and tactics. We have been around firearms all our lives. I Live in a house where there are multiple safely secured loaded firearms in different locations for different reasons. Firearms that are available where you need them when you need them provide near-instant protection of life and property. These safety tools include: (Interestingly) a Browning HiPower (wife’s favorite) which I purchased one each for my father and my father-in-law some 33 years ago; multiple Smith&Wesson .38 special revolvers, both in 5 & 6 shot models with laser sights, plus a Ruger 6 shot SP101 revolver in .357MAG because ‘wheel guns’ pretty much never fail; and, cue the James Bond theme music please. . . a couple of Walther PPK/s’s. Yes, they are oh so sheik and sexy, but they are very concealable, very easy to shoot accurately, and are exceptionally well crafted. There is a reason why Ian Flemming chose it for 007.

    And those are just the ‘family throw-down’ pistols. ‘Throw-down’, because here in the states, if you use a firearm to shoot someone, even in defense of your life, it will be a LOOOOG time if ever, that you will ever see it again. . . These guns listed are ‘tools’, and be ‘thrown down and surrendered with no attachment. We also have multiple shotguns and long guns for close support and other legal weapons that can extend lethality to a mile. Why? Because we can. And, because neither you nor I can predict the future. Together, they form a fluid insurance policy of appropriate firepower depending on the threat encountered. Oh, and most have used in competitive shooting environments as well.

    And finally? My personal favorites: My collection of Colt 1911 automatic pistols chambered in .45acp, & .38Super acp, in full and commander frame sizes, from 7 shot capacity to 15. Why a100+-year-old design heavy pistol? Especially when there are state-of-the-art Glocks, Sig’s, HK’s, and many new fancy polymer guns (which we do own a few of)?

    Because I have been shooting them competitively most of my adult life, and the balance of this particular firearm falls to hand perfectly, quickly acquires the target naturally for me unlike anything else I have ever used due to practice and years/thousands and thousands of rounds fired. And as such, am in agreement with the Character ‘Dirty Harry’ when he said as to why he carried a Smith & Wesson Model 29 .44 Magnum? “Because I hit what I aim at”. I am very comfortable with a 1911 pattern auto, be it at 10 ft, 30 ft, or 250ft. Really Really. and have even successfully hit skeet clays with them. No brag, just fact. How many clays? Not MANY, that’s for damn sure!
    More Disclosure – together with my brothers, I used to have a full firing range at my disposal. The STRICTLY PRIVATE “Shannon Valley Sporting Clays at Lincoln Ranch. Facilities included Skeet, Sporting clays, and 5-stand; pistol & rimfire range from 5-90 to yards; Long-gun Range from 50yards out to ~250yards. We were truly blessed, but sadly it had to be closed down a bit over a year ago due to encroaching home development.

    Obviously, I have emotion and effort tied to firearms ownership, as well as financial interest involved. But that said, I would gladly give them all up forever should we find a way globally to bring this society back to the decency, morality, and integrity of 150 years ago.

    I like the idea of the ‘ol Bill bopping along with nothing more than a truncheon, and the toughs being a good bit afraid as a result. . . I really do. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I doubt we can ever agree about this, as I don’t live in America. Some criminals here also have guns, and can get them illegally despite the strict ownership laws. But there have been no mass shootings since Dunblane, and people being shot are greatly outnumbered by those killed by knives. On the plus side, most shooting victims here are other criminals, shot in ‘wars’ between gangs. Though sadly some bystanders suffered too.
      I have many blogging friends in America, and it seems that the majority own firearms of some sort. That must be why there are more guns owned privately in America than there are people in the population. It is part of your ‘wild west’ heritage, and your culture, undoubtedly.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I heartily agree that there are topics that are indeed divisive, and firearms is clearly one of them.
        Not trying to change anyone’s mind but, I ‘would’ include the following data in a F2F discussion:

        It does change the narrative quite a bit when we include the fact that ~60% of the firearm homicide rate in the U.S. is actually intentional Suicide.

        https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2019/08/16/what-the-data-says-about-gun-deaths-in-the-u-s/

        Additionally, other research findings indicate that in the absence of firearms, other methods of suicide are substituted, leaving the suicide rate virtually the same, and showing the actual gun violence #’s, though not inconsequential by any means, to be significantly less than the gross number usually presented.

        I have observed throughout my life that the media always seems to do its best to fan flames around controversial topics, polarizing them by making them seem ‘black or white’, which they seldom are. The act by any organized group that is focused on dividing us, rather than working to unite us as one body of humanity seems to be a tactic rooted in the evil present on this planet, as is the actual violence perpetrated against innocent persons. . . The inconvenient truth is that defensive firearms research has shown privately owned firearms to be a significant deterrent to violence in the U.S.

        https://larryelder.com/column/many-lives-saved-guns-dont-gun-controllers-care/

        One single death or injury via unprovoked violent actors is unacceptable to me. But the choices can not be denied: As far as the U.S. is concerned the choice is fewer firearms and more death and suffering via violent means, or more firearms owned by the populace at large, which leads to a reduction in overall violent crime victims.

        If I am to believe the data, and if I am against innocent persons being subjected to the terror and life-changing aspects of violent crime, which include the death of innocent victims? Then on the surface, I have to choose an armed populace. Simple as that.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. As if politics alone weren’t enough to differ in.. I suppose we could argue our fave guns and their calibers and applications. 🙂
      I dunno if I’d give you much credit for that .380, chuq.. a bit of a ladies gun there. 🙂 Good man on that .45. I wish they had let us USAF cops carry those.. we had the damn pussy .38 S&W police special revolver when the world was transitioning to the 9mm.
      That M14 was a kick-ass assault weapon.. but the technology was old by Vietnam. It was just a beefed up M1 Garand from WW2; lots of moving parts and heavy.

      Here’s a strange story you may not believe given how the world has changed. When I became a high school freshman in 1965 in the Chicago Public School System we had the option of joining the Army ROTC in place of physical education (gym). While I was ok as playground sports I wasn’t really a sport person… plus I was not gung ho for swimming classes naked (yep… guys had to be naked), but that’s a whole other story. Anyway, the ROTC classroom had a basement level gun range (huh?? A gun range in a damn school??).. and… we had an armory that contained 40 M1 Garands, 2 BAR’s, and a bazooka. Of course, no firing pins on anything… those were locked away (on premisis!). All this crap was a post-war holdover after it was thought high school ROTC was some preparatory thing for fighting the godless commies in the Cold War. Anyway.. by time I came on the scene in 1965 the gun range was not in use… the bazooka and BAR’s we just there. The Garands became used for teaching us how to assemble and disassemble (why? No one was using that weapon!) and mostly for demonstrations with our Drill Platoon… the student elite exhibition unit that did all the marching and drill routines for mom & dads and competitions around the city with other schools.
      So.. yes… I learned how to tear down and assemble in 1.5 minutes an obsolete weapon… even in that day.
      The rest of the story…..
      One of the inner city black high schools got broke into and all their armory stuff was stolen. Apparently 40 Garands and a BAR hitting the streets during the civil rights era, even without firing pins, was a bit disconcerting to the Board of Ed, so they pulled all weapons out of all the city high schools by time I was a junior.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Beatleypete, I agree. what so utterly illogical is that, in America, in which, maybe just fiver percent of gun enthusiasts belong to the Nation Rifle Association; but, it claims to speak for everyone. I f you’re familiar with automation guns, you don’t use them for anything other than killing people–or trying to. The vibration makes hunting and target practice illogical.

    The NRA, which is really a shill for the weapons and ammo industry is allowed, due to campaign contributions–bribes in toy guns clothing–to allow “law-abiding” citizens to have guns. Some states even permit “open carry”, whereby people can sling an AR-15 over their shoulder, or walk down the street with a Colt or Ruger holstered on their hip. Perhaps these guys are lacking something.

    The “Catch 22” is that these “law-abiding” citizens don’t wish to be subjected to background checks. Well then, why [prove that you can pass a driving text to operate a vehicle, or show a birth certificate before you register to vote. Yes B.P., we do nor have corruption in the U. S., just campaign contributions. BETTER STICK TO ARMING BEARS!

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    1. Thanks for your comment, Cheekos. I have read about the ‘open carry’ policy operating in some states, as well as concealed carry permits, and women walking around with guns in their handbags. (Purses) Sounds like something from the old west.
      ‘More guns than people’ is not something for a nation to be proud of.
      Best wishes, Pete.

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  3. As always, Pete, I enjoy the foreign (to us Americans) perspective because here across the pond we tend to think of ourselves as the world revolving around us.. so foreign input tends to be lacking and I find myself rather starving for that, personally. Here’s the thing regarding the fervent (or would it be vehement?) proponents of our Second Amendment…
    It’s based on the popular concept of those early days that if a government doesn’t serve its people properly then it’s up to the people to fix it. That pretty much means that the right to keep and bear arms is a Constitutional mandate that unless the government is responsive to the people then the people can revolt using said arms. That might have made some sense back in the day with less people (and guns) wandering around but it doesn’t seem realistic, in spite of the fact that proponents will oft defend this position using examples of former fascist states and Nazi Germany confiscating all the weapons to theoretically make the public impotent in striking back. Let’s forget about the idea that the public of those countries put the Nazis and fascists in power to begin with. But, history be damned.

    Then there’s the reality of the owners of 200 million guns in this country getting organized enough to even fight the government when each one has their own idea of what to do and who should be in charge and who should follow. But, heck, there’s a bit of “romance” in thinking everyone can just snake off to the hills and be guerillas like in the movie(s), Red Dawn.. singing Kumbahya around the campfire while cleaning your weapons. Uh huh.

    Anyway, I’m a bit of a gun nut too, Pete. Back in the 70’s I had a large collection of military stuff but had to sell it all during a bout of unemployment. Now all those things are damned expensive to replace. I even managed to pick up at a local gun store a 7.7 Jap Arisaka.. WITH the flower (christhansumum wrong spelling, I know) on the receiver, for $40 bucks. That thing is worth over a thousand now. Sorry you failed to get to fire any of those you loved. I’ve moved from Chicago, where the guns laws are pretty restrictive, to the Southwest where it’s still the cowboy days (of sorts). Recently at a gun store in Arizona I rented to fire at $75 per magazine a WW2 B.A.R. and a German MP40 Schmeisser. Totally cool, to say the least. That MP40 was a really “sexy” gun to fire.. and it was a pretty pattern as the cases were ejected en masse. Nothing like the Garand M1 or even the M16 (which I used as a policeman in the Air Force back in the day).

    Oh, by the way, the AK47 was a bit better in rough conditions because the machine stamped parts were looser fitting whereas the M16 was cast steel parts, held to much higher spacing tolerance, was easier to keep on target during firing, a greater cyclic rate of fire, more accurate, and it fired a better bullet. But, yes… you have to keep it clean.

    When you visit the States sometime we will collect some guns and go shooting together. 

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    1. Thanks for your ‘local’ point of view, and your detailed experience of actually using these weapons, Doug.

      When we see programmes about heavily-armed US citizens talking about resisting the government, those featured always seem a little too disorganised, and a tad wild-eyed. They also seem to have ideas about fortifying and defending their own homes or regions, rather than forming regiments to march on Washington. I do not foresee organised armed revolution there any time soon.

      Best wishes as always, Pete.

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      1. Oh oh .. it’s working now and what a funny picture.. Thank you for sending this.. it took Word Press this long just to show the broken link symbol, but thankfully it opened up .. So funny

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  4. “How long is it before you leave the window open, in the hope that they will? You sit up all night, pistol ready, waiting for the creak of the floorboard, that finally gives you the chance to open fire, to shoot someone, to justify all those years of gun ownership.”

    Pete, I have a registered .357 Magnum. I haven’t shot it in many years, and I’m certainly not sitting up all night hoping to justify its purchase by plugging someone as they come through the living room window. But I know how to use it, and if I’m alerted to an intruder with enough time to get my hands on it, I will certainly use it. I’m a good shot. I grew up shooting real guns—rifles, shotguns, and pistols. Anyone who uses a weapon to settle a score is mentally unstable, and I do support gun registration and legislation that makes ownership of certain weapons illegal. However, even in countries with strict gun laws, criminals are able to get their hands on guns. The black market sees to that. As long as there are criminals in this world, law abiding citizens need to have the ability to defend themselves. The trick is to make sure that only mentally stable and morally responsible (and possibly financially sound) people are permitted to purchase firearms. In other words, background checks need to be stringent, and meticulously enforced. One issue here is that anyone can sell a firearm to a private buyer, and, of course, we have gun shows (several in Las Vegas) where people can buy firearms (24-hour background check; registration required) that make firearms very accessible. In a perfect world, civilians would have no need for guns, except those used for the purposes of hunting (I’m not really in favor of killing animals for sport, but if the hunter intends to eat his kill, or if the government needs to thin out the animal or bird population to make it healthier, and issues licenses for that purpose, then I’m not against it). Unfortunately, we don’t live in a perfect world.

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    1. Thanks for your comment from an American point of view, David. For myself, I can still imagine a few occasions where I might have shot someone, had I been carrying a gun.
      I hope that you never have cause to have to use your own pistol in anger.
      Best wishes, Pete.

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  5. Great piece of blog mate, what a thorough chap you are. I have an image of you and Ollie roaming the September fields armed to the false teeth!

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