Guns - Growing Up Informed and Well Prepared in the '60's and '70's
"I love guns. I always have. It's difficult to imagine life without one.
It's even more difficult for me to understand how repulsive those three sentences might be perceived by many citizens of the United States and others elsewhere in the world.
To comprehend my difficulty understanding how repulsed others might be about my love of guns, I need to rewind several years and provide some insight into my background.
First, I wasn't raised on a farm, in the country, or even in a household where hunting or other shooting sports was a part of life. Second, I was born in 1960 and grew up in the largest city in North Carolina. Lastly, my family isn't financially rich or poor but the wallets in our home always seemed like they were more empty than full.
Even so, my family was rich in love although quite often my parents, siblings and I didn't exhibit that love in a daily "Walton's" type family manner. It was simply understood that we were a family; and, with excellent guidance by my mom and dad, they managed to do what every parent hopes to do.
Their hope was to raise children who understand life isn't always fair but to stay the course they instilled in us. They did this by giving us a proper perspective on what the real priorities are. That being to work hard, treating others as you want to be treated, making good decisions, etc. by doing this, one day you'll hopefully get a start in life that's at least a little better than the one they had, and be lucky enough to be equipped with the mental and emotional maturity needed to be self-supporting citizens of the world who will hopefully leave this world a little better off than the way we found it.
Considering I was the "baby" of the family, you should infer that my siblings are working to ensure the same as we grow our own families.
So how does this correlate back to my love go guns and the 2nd Amendment you might ask? Well, first you should know that at a very early age I knew my parents owned firearms. Not only did they own them but I knew where they were kept. As a long haul truck driver, my dad never left for a trip without his revolver. Since he was away from home a lot, he knew my mom might need her own protection which was always close by. I saw her take precautions to protect her family on several occasions regardless of whether a "stranger" showed up on our property unannounced, or to simply hunt down a snake that made the mistake of coming onto our property. It should be noted that as a country girl growing up, she knew the difference between a black snake vs. a copperhead or water moccasin, and didn't take out a snake that didn't represent a threat to her family.
Having said that, they also didn't make the mistake of trying to add mystery to firearms. They let us know how dangerous they can be, how firearms worked, and where they were located in the event we weren't able to find our parents if we perceived the need to protect ourselves.
They even took it so far as to start the boys out with BB guns at young ages. They gave me a .22 when I was 14 and a 20 gauge shotgun at 16. My brothers were treated similarly, but my sister never had an interest in such things.
Even though we didn't live in the country, my brothers, friends and I could easily find land to shoot on within 20 minutes of our home, and shoot we did. Maybe it was our blue collar upbringing but most of my friends were treated the same way by their parents. We all knew the difference between right and wrong and had that instilled in us at an early age.
We also had no doubt about the consequences of using our firearms in any manner that would have landed us in jail or worse yet, in trouble with our parents. I still remember one of my friend's father "wrapping his son's BB gun around a tree" because my friend was being careless. I have no idea what the rest of my friend's punishment entailed; but, I'm glad I wasn't on the receiving end of it.
Being lower middle-class folks socioeconomically, there were many opportunities available for my friends and I to wind up on the wrong side of the law. Unfortunately, some did, but it seemed like most of that trouble was due to "partying" (considering this was the late '70's I'll let your imagination take hold as to what all that involved).
Initially all that partying was pretty innocent. Even so, I remember that after I had graduated from high school and had started college, some of the parties I attended back home had turned "meaner" (for want of a better word). It seemed like there were a lot of folks who were trying to play "gangster" and living in a way that told me to get as far as hell away from my past as I could. There were times afterward where I heard of friends or acquaintances being shot at a party, or for some other reason. That really bothered me. In all my years I never saw a gun just get up and harm someone. There was always someone willing to pull the trigger. Or, irresponsible enough, to play with one that was loaded. Or, worse yet, leave one where a child could gain access to it.
During this time, I really questioned the sanity of the world we live in. I guess I still do. After all, I'm the type of person who shot and killed a bird with a BB gun at age 10 and had never felt so bad in my life at that time. To that end, how could people justify killing other people over things like money, disrespect, or even the loss of perceived love? The only justified taking of a life I could ever understand is self-defense (to include war). But I still think that would have to weigh heavily on a person's soul.
Thankfully I got away from that world as did the rest of my siblings. Even so, having been exposed to it as well as the amount of random crime that occurs in any city, I never lost sight of the value of gun ownership since it truly is an equalizer for everyone who is faced with the need to protect themselves, their family, or anyone else who is in danger of needlessly losing their life or unwarranted violence.
For that reason, I'm the one of my siblings who has taken a more active role to ensure the lessons from my parents was passed down to my daughters. I've also been an advocate with my other siblings in helping to keep our parent's message alive with their children and my in-laws.
That message being - Treat others as you would have them treat you, but don't ever get caught short of having the ability to defend yourself regardless of whether you only need words, a knife, or a gun.
If you're reading this and writing me off as a "gun nut", a member of the "religious right", or a conservative, you're sadly mistaken. I don't believe in the need to be a "prepper", a "survivalist", or any other category of person who likes to use any type of extreme as the basis for arguing 2A rights. In fact, if you want to write me off with a label of any kind, you should hear my views on crime, punishment, vices, taxation, etc. I have opinions on many subjects but you might find yourself surprised at where I land on them. The next paragraph touches on that somewhat.
After all, I personally believe no one is 100% correct on any issue. Knowing that, there's a lot of misinformation out there regarding guns (as well as a lot of controversial topics) and if you look closely you'll find the the root behind my beliefs are simple, and stated profoundly in the 2A. Even so, the 2A was written a couple of hundred years ago when supposedly "all men were created equal" and we know how well that turned out for a lot of good people.
Suffice it to say, I agree there's some sanity in evaluating the 2A for some modification to fit our times, but in my belief the modifications don't warrant more restrictions. The modifications needed should expand gun ownership rights to allow law abiding citizens the ability to protect themselves whenever and wherever trouble can be found. From what I read and hear in the news, that means everywhere. Additionally, concealed carry laws that perform appropriate due diligence should supersede any other laws regarding gun ownership, and where they can be carried, anywhere in the United States or elsewhere abroad.
My mom and dad always said to never let anyone else know all your business, or else they'll know as much if not more than you know. This keeps an element of surprise with you at all times and no one likes surprises.
Good 'ole mom and dad, they never made it past high school but in my opinion they're geniuses in their own right!"
(Scott Morgan is a forum member)