I was raised in a small Indiana town. My father was a Vietnam vet. He was not a hunter; nor would I even call him an avid shooter. I suppose my best description/recollection is that he was a gun collector of sorts. He had several from the war and over the years he would buy new ones. So, growing up I had many opportunities to shoot guns. We would drive to the middle of nowhere (a fairly easy task in Indiana), set up old plates, cans, etc., and shoot for an hour or so. As I got older we went to a couple of shooting ranges in Indianapolis to shoot. While I never really longed to go shooting, I always enjoyed it when I did go. My Dad passed away almost 7 years ago now. And after he passed I inherited a couple of his guns. Since then they have been locked away and talked about in that..."hey, let's take those to the shooting range someday" kind of way.
|"Made in the USA and geared for women"|
So, over the weekend I made my first effort in getting my Dad's guns out. I took a CCW class with Eric (at his insistence) at the Scottsdale Gun Club. A little background on CCW: it stands for Carrying a Concealed Weapon. And in the state of Arizona, a permit is not required to carry a concealed weapon. But Eric felt it would be smart of me to know the laws. And I agree.
Now, going into the class I never had any plans of carrying a gun around on my hip. It's apparently the thing to do here in Arizona, however. Our instructor, who is a former police officer and current defense attorney, told us that 70% of AZ drivers have a gun in their car. That was my first red flag. Um...maybe I need to tone down my road rage with those statistics!!! Not that I get road rage on a regular basis...but with those odds...I best start flipping the peace sign!
|Full disclosure...I did kinda like this pink .38 Special!|
Another red flag was raised in my mind when he advised us that if we are going to carry a gun we need to make sure that we have $15,000 to $30,000 readily available to hire an attorney should we ever have the need to pull out our gun. Um...I'm sorry, but I don't have that kind of money just lying around. And the fact that I even need to think that I might someday need an attorney is just mind boggling to me.
|And this is a WAY cooler target than a can!|
Then he began talking to us about the consequences of taking a human life.
Let me make something clear here...although it sounds from my class description thus far that he was trying to talk us out of carrying a gun, it was quite the opposite. I think I was the only person in the 49-person class who raised her hand when asked who was NOT considering carrying a gun. And he kind of singled me out and said that pepper spray and tazers can be lethal as well but are less effective in saving your life so I should strongly reconsider my decision. He said he has carried a gun every single day for the past 20 years although he's never drawn it.
|Please tell me what civilian needs this, though?|
Anyway, back to killing. He went into great detail about the effects that murder has on people. He promised us that if we ever had to shoot a burglar/criminal we would most likely crap our pants. Literally. He described bubbles of thick blood gurgling from the victim's body; our imagined dog licking up the blood; brain matter on the walls; having to call 911; the police arriving and questioning us. He basically told us that the law is never black and white; that we could easily say or do something when our adrenaline was up that could land us in prison for life. At this point, our lives are in the hands of how the police see/hear/spin the story, and, if we go to a jury trial, how the jury perceives our story. All the while, having to learn to live with the fact that we took a human being out of this world.
|The "Law Enforcement" Section|
But, hey, I'm "stupid" if I don't carry a gun every time I leave the house. Because, well, "you just never know."
I am not trying to say that he is right or wrong or that guns are good or bad or anything of the sort. My point to this blog is that I came away from that pro-gun class a lot more skeptical and a lot more afraid of guns. Maybe that's a good thing. Maybe that was his intent. I don't know.
I kind of just wanted to go out on some country road and harken back to my youth when I was with my Dad shooting some old plates and cans.
But maybe we don't live in that world anymore. Even as recent as this morning there was yet another news story about some crazies who went into Cici's pizza in Las Vegas and started shooting cops. Do I want to be standing in that situation with my lip gloss as my only protection? Would I even have the wherewithal to react properly if I did have a gun in that situation?
It's all too much, really. It's sad that we even have to think about these things. I wish the only thing we needed guns for was to bond with our Dad's.
"I have a very strict gun control policy: if there's a gun around, I want to be in control of it."
"Gun control?! We need bullet control! I think every bullet should cost $5,000. Because if a bullet cost five thousand dollars we wouldn't have any innocent bystanders."
"I don't care if you want to hunt, I don't care if you think it's your right. I say 'Sorry.' it's 1999. We have had enough as a nation. You are not allowed to own a gun, and if you do own a gun I think you should go to prison."
~Rosie O'Donnell (At about the time she said this, Rosie engaged the services of a bodyguard who applied for a gun permit.)
"Americans have the right and advantage of being armed, unlike the people of other countries, whose leaders are afraid to trust them with arms."