Sunday, February 17, 2013

Gun crazy

Robert Kirby is a columnist for my newspaper addiction of choice, The Salt Lake Tribune (loyal subscriber for 40 years!) Kirby is a humorist, an active member of the LDS Church and a former police officer. He sees things differently than those things would suggest. He has a lot of fun with church traditions (including how boring services can be), and he also takes stabs at behavior he perceives as nutty.

In his column of February 13, 2013, he went after a group of gun lovers demonstrating at the Utah State Capitol building. Kirby describes himself as a gun owner and says, “I own guns in a number generally associated with ‘a lot.’” He also says he’s no fan of big government. But he took issue with the appearance of the gun rights demonstrators. A third of them were wearing camouflage, “conspicuously toting weapons of various calibers and rates of fire, and waving flags and signs daring the federal government to do something about it.”

He continued: “Even a dullard like me with lots of first-hand firearms experience could relate. I watched the crowd and thought, ‘Wow, that’s a lot of scary gun owners. Maybe there’s something to this gun control thing.’

“Among the symbols of pro-gun defiance was a flag featuring an assault rifle and words, ‘Come And Get It.’

“Really? If it came to an actual fight over your guns, do you honestly think it would be a fair one? The government could deprive you of your guns by simply flying a bomb through your window some night.”

Which is something I’ve often thought: what chance would gun owners have against the military or militarized police forces of the United States? My guess is that if an armed insurrection were to be at hand there would be a lot of pushback from the government to end it, and they always win. Some of these folks could take to the hills. Survivalists would be good at that. It would be hard to ferret them out of the woods, but look what happened to Christopher Dorner, rogue policeman who killed four, when he hid out in a cabin at Big Bear Lake, California. He brought down an overwhelming force upon himself. Eventually the government has its way. And really, if they found a camp of self-proclaimed “patriots” and militia-men, what would stop them from flying a drone over and delivering a payload right into the campfire?

Then I thought, how much of what Robert Kirby described was real anti-government sentiment and how much was posturing? I see responsible gun owners who don’t have to wave their weapons around to make a point, and I see a bunch of redneck types who like to make some sort of a show about it.

And as I’ve said before, I don’t think the Second Amendment much enters into the minds of people like that.

This guy describes himself as “the world’s strongest redneck,” and he likes to show off how he can fire two semi-autos at the same time. What do you think he’d say if you asked him to quote the Second Amendment? Do you think he cares what the Second Amendment says? I don’t. People of all types like guns for all types of reasons, but if someone tells you he owns a gun because he believes in the Second Amendment I think he is overstating his case, if not telling a flat-out lie.

Fat redneck

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