Monday, October 21, 2002

Chill of the Day

Shopping for Sniper Rifles. With international terrorists. At a nice gun show in suburban PA — probably someplace like King of Prussia Mall, which has hosted several gun shows to my certain knowledge.

You know, I grew up with guns. My grandfather taught me to shoot when I was 10 or so. We used an empty pumpkin can for a target. Later I took a hunter safety course, because you need to know how to handle them safely if you're going to be around guns. So many teachers and students at my high school were hunters that the school was officially closed on the first day of deer season. My father always had guns around: rifles, shotguns, revolvers, even a semiautomatic rifle that he kept always with him in the bad days of the end of my parents' marriage. But there's a difference between someone like Grandpa Belles, a lifelong NRA member to whom guns were a tool no more glamorous than a shovel or a saw, and my father, who used them to terrorize others so he could feel big.

I know all the arguments on both sides, and I also know that the fanatics on both sides never really listen. I don't discuss gun control any more than I try to argue with strict Freudians or the Reverend Fred "God Hates Fags" Phelps. Arguing doesn't make a damned bit of difference. All I can do is try to take care of the people who get squashed by the issues, support the causes I believe in, and make my ideas and preferences known to legislators.

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