Saturday, October 16, 2004

Interesting Views from a Liberal Weenie

Here's an op-ed that kind of weirded me out. It's by a complete liberal wuss, who went shooting for the first time, but it makes a compelling argument while being idiotic, simultaneously.§ion=columns&storyid=ColumnMike1015

The opener is, by no means, promising:

I felt like I was in a Michael Moore documentary.

If I ever felt like that, I'd find the nearest cliff and do what was necessary.

I remember feeling uneasy about the whole thing. Here I was, a kid never who shot any sort of gun in his whole life, handed a .45 caliber government model pistol. The two friends who accompanied me were also somewhat dumbfounded by the ease with each we attained firearms and ammunition. I kept asking myself, shouldn’t this guy have asked for some sort of credentials? All he required was my name and address.

I don't understand his point here. A range officer having a copy of your ID isn't going to tell him if you are a complete moron or not. Last time I checked, discriminating against someone for where the live is called "redlining," and is one of the oldest federal civil rights laws on the books. Coupled with the fact, they are at an indoor range. Outside of going on a kill-crazy rampage, the worst they can do is shoot at other people's targets.

My first blunder was loading the bullets. I was having trouble forcing them down into the clip — I put them in backwards.

Shooting, like most things, requires a modicum of common sense. You don't put the flat-head of a nail against wood and hammer on the sharp end; if you want the car to go forward, you put it in drive not reverse; etc.

I cocked the slide, just like I’ve seen so many movie stars do.

I have a big problem with this one. If you take your gun safety cues from Hollywood, it is only a matter of time before you hurt yourself or someone else. You don't "cock" a slide. Recently I watched "Man on Fire", with Denzel Washington. OK flick; not brilliant. But what irked the crap out of me was his character was constantly cocking and de-cocking a Glock. Hey guys, look at it; it doesn't have a hammer.

The most important thing I gained from my day at the shooting range is a healthy respect for guns. Even though I had fun and enjoyed myself — while utilizing common sense safety precautions — I have no aspirations to go out and buy a gun. I now know that it takes a lot of practice to be proficient in the handling and usage of a firearm.

Here's where my little buddy starts to make a little sense. In the immortal words of Mr. Eastwood, "a man's gotta know his limitations." And respect is more important than getting your nomenclature correct.

Becoming familiar with the weapon made me see the need for gun control laws. But more importantly, I realized that personal accountability is also critical.

This one is a bit two edged. Doing 65 rounds of .45 is not becoming "familiar with." As well, I have no idea how an hour at an indoor range can confirm or deny one's views on gun control (personally, I hate indoor ranges. They are loud and inevitably my neighbor's brass is bouncing off of my head.) But then my weenie newspaper friend gives a nod to personal responsibility, which is a human attribute one does not often read about in the New York Times or the Washington Post.

That being said, I don’t think that television is the real problem, in of itself. I think society is the problem. I think an environment where gun-violence is not glorified will greatly reduce the amount of real firearm-related crimes. Cleaning up television — from the violent images it portrays — is not the only answer. The remedy lies within you and I; It is the societal environment that we create, an environment that does not fear but respects firearms.

That's his weenie conclusion. He takes a pretty conservative solution to a perceived liberal problem. All in all, 65 rounds was not nearly enough. I'd like to hear back from him after 2,000.

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