Tuesday, August 05, 2008

My perspective

Those of you, like me, who frequent the gun-nut corner of this here blogosphere will have no doubt seen the recent brouhaha during the last few days over Mike Vanderboegh’s letter to the editor, and his opinions of regarding "the next American civil war". For those of you who aren’t familiar with this particular corner of the web, it may surprise you that there is an incredible diversity of opinion among gun owners (not really incredible to me, since I know gunnies are typically individualist at heart anyway – get ten in a room, and you’ll get ten separate opinions on most anything you care to discuss. Simultaneously our greatest strength, and our greatest weakness – gunnies tend not to jump onto bandwagons).
Sure, our current system of government has its flaws – anything conceived, instituted and ran by humans does – but by God, it’s the best system yet devised in human history and I am proud and thankful to be able to live under it.
The Founders’ promise still holds. Yes, it’s been eroded somewhat, but PLEASE take a look around you.
Where else on this planet do people have the freedoms we have? Just about anywhere else in the world you need to beg permission from your government to own a gun, permission that includes submitting your home to random “safety checks” to make sure your guns are stored properly, permission that means your guns must be stored at a gun club or rifle range, permission that is hard to get and so very easy to lose. Licensing fees and additional costs that put ownership beyond the reach of all but the very affluent. Registration that makes it easy for government officials to confiscate your guns when the time is right – a recent example being the British handgun ban after the Dunblane massacre. Hell, even permission slips to buy ammo.
Now look here at home. Look at the progress we’ve made in the last couple of decades or so.
A majority of Americans support the right to own guns for self defense (which is incidentally an invalid reason to apply for a gun in the UK. Everyone there has a right to life, including the bastard standing over your bed with an ax handle demanding your money, your jewelry and your daughter’s virtue). 37 states thus far have shall-issue CCW (with a further two, Alaska and Vermont, being unrestricted), way up from just 20 years ago. Castle doctrine laws are being passed (God bless Texas!). The Heller decision smacked down DC’s handgun ban, with other cities soon to follow. We’re moving in the right direction. A government of the people, by the people and for the people has to respond, however slowly, to what the people want. Sure, inertia makes it slower than we’d like, but it is moving. Our glass is truly half full.
I won’t deny that there is plenty of room for improvement - especially here in California. I won’t deny that there are abuses by the government that make one angry or nervous. But focusing only on that end of things produces nothing but a siege mentality and ignores the hard work and progress that the supporters of gun rights have achieved. Shit, just look at the internet. Until I began reading the gun blogs out there, I truly thought I was one of a tiny minority, a myth perpetuated by what I saw in print and on the news, courtesy of the MSM. It has been extremely comforting to discover, to KNOW, that I am not alone. I am part of a large, diverse culture – a culture that WILL be heard. A culture that will not be going away any time soon. A culture that I have every intention of passing on to the next generation.
I know America won’t last forever – it had a beginning, it will certainly have an end. I don’t know if it will go out in sudden collapse and societal breakdown, or fade into a more socialist/authoritarian obscurity like the once-Great Britain. All I do know is that right here, right now is the best time and place in history for anyone to live. So I’ll enjoy it while I’ve got it, thanks.


DirtCrashr said...

How's the citizenshippery coming? :-)

Kevin said...

Still pending...

Hammer said...

You are right gun rights are moving a good direction while our socialist government heads south.

I wonder how the two will coexist?

Thud said...

Once great Britain...kind of sad is it not?

Kevin said...

Very much so, sir.