My deer hunting buddy took his rifle to the range and sighted it in the other day so he is ready for deer season, he says. I got my shotguns ready for the upcoming turkey season, and, while I was at it, I was thinking about the recent horrid Colorado theater shooting.
And it brought the usual groups of anti-gun folks to the forefront again with their cry of 'tougher gun legislation.'
I'm not going to rehearse the tired cliches about "guns don't kill people, people kill people.'' What trips my trigger is the idea that it is because guns are "available'' they are used in crimes. I truly resent that.
Guns have always been the mainstay of this nation. From the pioneers on, guns were freely and openly kept in every home; it was the only protection homeowners had. Guns have from the beginning been readily available to anyone. But, even in my teen years, it was unthinkable that anyone would take a gun to school and shoot someone with it.
Why is it an option today? My opinion is that morals, laws and authority have so broken down that people actually think shooting is the solution to some problem they have. There's little sense of right and wrong these days, it seems, so violence is acceptable.
Whenever an election looms, I investigate the candidates as to their stand on this issue of private gun ownership. It's not the only thing I look at, but it is just about the first thing I try to pin down. If the United States signs the treaty with the United Nations that gives that body control over all small arms in every nation, our days to freely own firearms are very likely over.
I was sharing my thoughts about this issue on a local radio talk show the other day. I told the host that my opinion is that, had I been in that theater with my licensed handgun, I would have tried immediately to take that gunman down before he would be able to kill so many people.
One of the most memorable cases of random shooting violence is one that occurred many years ago when a man entered a railroad car and began to shoot at random, killing several and wounding many.
The folks on that railroad car were, in my opinion, just sitting ducks, because no one had a way to defend himself or herself. This was before 9/11 and the resulting strict restrictions for travel. Had I been on that railroad car and was not the first or second one shot, I'd have been attempting to get that shooter in my sights in an attempt to stop him.
The radio show host - at the conclusion of my remarks - said I sounded like "one tough broad.'' He hoped if we got into any trouble that I would be on his side. I just smiled.
I don't know about tough but I do know I do not intend to ever again be a helpless victim.
I had one of those unforgettable and eye-opening moments years ago when war and chaos was occurring in Lithuania. The news cameras caught one lone old woman, fleeing for her life, and she said into the camera, "We don't ask you to come fight for us, just send us the weapons so we can fight for ourselves.''
It was the intent of our founding fathers that the citizenry could always be armed so that we could not be conquered from within with no way to defend ourselves.
I told the radio show host that it is my belief that if that U.N. treaty is ratified by our senate so that every firearm we own -including our shotguns and deer rifles -have to be registered, thereby giving every enemy of freedom we have on this planet knowledge of who has firearms in their home and how many, there would be a revolt like none us could imagine.
That is my opinion.
Like thousands of others, when they come to confiscate my firearms, I will not give them up willingly.
So I'll be among the first to go to jail, if it comes to it. My firearms are precious to me. Not only the freedom to own them and use them for my own self-defense but for their sentimental value. My .308 Winchester has downed scores of deer and my beat-up 12-gauge Remington has barked at many a nice gobbler over the years.
I am one of hundreds of thousands who own firearms for hunting, target shooting and self-defense. It is a basic freedom, guaranteed by the Constitution, and I will fight for it to continue.