If you don’t know what has happened by now, you can learn about it here.

We are confronted once again with a senseless attack, and again on the innocent, that claimed the lives of 19 children and two adults at a public school in Uvalde, Tex. on Tuesday. It took only minutes for an outcry to mount, particularly among liberals and Democrats, calling for gun control to finally end this problem.

No, a lot of fools argue, we should arm teachers. Like that would help!

I understand that feeling, of course. It has become the unfortunate call that echoes just about everywhere whenever one of the abysmal events bursts into the public conscience and touches us in our hearts, because of the victims, and in our heads, because of the lack of a logical explanation for a uniquely crazy act.

And make no mistake about it, it was crazy.

A rational person doesn’t behave like this, doesn’t launch an assault on the innocent, doesn’t arm himself as though he were being pursued by demons (actually, he was being pursued by demons, I am sure). A rational person simply mourns and then expects some action to stop all this.

And I do wish it were that simple a task.

President Biden practically begged Congress to take action on legislation that would at least begin to limit easy access to whatever firearm a delusional murderer can afford. Of course he called for that. What else could he do? He and the First Lady will inevitably visit the scene, perhaps the funerals, and make their own eloquent statements as people who have lost two of their own children.

But I am afraid gun control is not the answer. And I can tell you why.

The 1903 Springfield rifle

After a long period of ownership of two classic, murderous firearms, during which I fired hundreds of rounds and became quite proficient at up to 200 yards, I re-thought my ownership a few months ago. I have the eyesight of a 73 year old (which is what I am) and growing anxiety about the violence that seems to ooze from our culture the way pus oozes from a festering wound.

I doubt that I could even center on a target 200 yards from me at this stage, so having the weapons (a 1903 Springfield and a 1914 Krag, both in 30 caliber) is essentially useless to me. I know, you are wondering about self-defense. Say someone breaks into my house to steal my flat screen TV and some other things I really cherish. (NOT)

Krag Rifles in 30 caliber

Well, first, shooting someone who is stealing things is not morally supportable. A life, any life, is worth a lot more than anything I have in my home (except the other lives) and second, I would have to haul one of the guns out of its case in the basement, locate my supply of 30 caliber rounds, put the bolt in the rifle, open the receiver, put in a rounds sight and fire.

I would have to ask the criminal to hold it just a minute or so.

It’s a slow process. But that’s not the problem.

A round like that would most likely go through anyone you were shooting at, also through the wall, also out into the clear air and perhaps into the schoolyard across the street, where children play in the daylight and joggers and young lovers walk at night. That’s a lot of potential damage to inflict for a TV you could replace for a couple of hundred dollars. The guy would not be threatening me, I know from previous burglaries, because they don’t want to kill people, they just want to take their stuff.

I have a dog, too, that would bite the bejaysus out of them.

I researched my weapons. They were both World War I era military rifles, solid as rocks, accurate up to a couple of thousand yards and built, basically, to kill anyone they hit. Think about that. My rifle may have been carried in the First World War, where it and rifles like it claimed hundreds of thousands of lives. It also may have been carried in the Second World War. If you saw “Saving Private Ryan,” the solider who was a sniper was using the identical rifle.

It was no longer something I wanted anything to do with. People criticize assault rifles today, but there is no assault rifle on earth, I would suggest, that killed more people than the two kinds of rifles I owned.

The fact they were used in war is beside the point. They killed a lot of people, and I believe even in warfare, that is hard to defend. Everyone always thinks they are right in a war, Germans, Japanese, North Koreans, Russians, Ukrainians, you name it. It might be effective. It might achieve an end.

But that doesn’t make it right.

In retrospect, I thought, I am NOT okay with having these rifles anymore.

So I took them to a reputable gun dealer to get rid of them. I was unpleasantly surprised. He would not buy them. They said they were basically useless, that 30 caliber ammo was becoming a rarity, and that most of all, people didn’t want single shot rifles (*the 1903 Springfield has a clip that held all of five rounds). What they wanted was the sleek black guns that lined the gun wall in that shop.

Assault rifles. A lot of rounds in a few seconds.

That’s not for hunting deer. That’s for killing people. Make no mistake about that.

Should we ban them as part of a new gun control era?

I’d like to say yes but my brain says that would be futile.

Here is why.

After every mass shooting in the past decade (and there have been lots) the call went out to ban the weapons. There were some not too aggressive calls for better mental health services, but that didn’t go much of anywhere.

The fact of it is we have millions, no hundreds of millions, of guns in America and the vast proportion of them sit gathering dust until deer season or until someone feels threatened. And a few of them end up at the local elementary, killing teachers, or out on the street, killing anyone who gets in the wrong place.

The question I have goes back to mental health.

I’m not saying we should crack down on everyone who seems a little unusual. We are proud of that in this nation. But that’s not the same as murderously crazy. Those are the ones we need to find a way to identify. Those are the ones who need some kind of help, or some kind of restraint, at the very least.

And no access at all to firearms of any kind under any circumstance.

That would not touch the vast proportion of Americans who feel the Second Amendment gives them the right to be armed to the teeth, those people and all their Republican supporters. Maybe they should be more responsible about their weapons. Gun safes, trigger locks, bolts away from the weapon if possible, no ammo supplies where weapons are kept. All those things.

None of them touch on the Second Amendment. All of them touch on limits on people who would do grievious harm for reasons that make sense only to them.

Say a prayer for those children. Say a prayer for those families. Say a prayer for this country, that its compassion can overwhelm this overwhelming need for firepower.

2 thoughts on “Guns

  1. gun control should be ,in my opinion, an amendment to our constitution. did not all those innocent people who have been murdered in this country deserve the right LIVE? Does the right to bear arms outweigh the right to live? I think not.


  2. Hi
    The Evanston police will by back your guns which is what I did with my husbands antique guns. That way they do not go to someone who may shoot to kill which would happen when you sell them to a gun store.


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