I Agree with Joe Biden—And I Might Own a Gun Shop One Day

 I Might Own a Gun Shop One DayI might own a gun shop one day. So I’ve felt like an outsider when my friends and peers from our ultra-liberal town have advocated for strict gun control. Their pleas, bleeding with fret and emotion, populate my Facebook feed. They often post pictures of the innocent children who were murdered in Newtown. When the subject comes up–and it always does–at my neighborhood book club or at various get togethers, I try to keep my opinions to myself. If I get into how I really feel, I’m afraid I’ll be asked to leave.

When Newtown happened, I cried just as much as everyone else. I hold sadness in my heart for the victims. I keep picturing the brave principal who tried to stop the crazed shooter. I see her pretty face in my dreams and wonder why she and so many others had to die.

But the vast majority of people who own weapons legally are not crazed. I do not believe guns are bad. I grew up with guns, and when I was 7, my dad taught me to shoot with a Bearcat revolver one day after school. He currently owns a gun shop in my hometown of Jeffersonville, Indiana, a small river community on the Kentucky border. (See left.) He would be the first to say that he is not a young man. So I hope he doesn’t get mad when he finds out that I’ve already pondered what will happen if he dies. Along with my brother, I will inherit his busy, popular gun shop and gunsmith business.

As you already know, Joe Biden has been talking gun control this week. I felt deeply relieved to hear the VP’s words. He echoed my opinions that I dare only say to my husband. We need to enforce the gun laws that are already on the books. We need to enforce universal background checks and waiting periods. We need to rethink the 100-round clips that go into AR-15s. We should have national gun trafficking legislation. Lost and stolen weapons should be traced. And here is where my dad and I disagree (and he may not speak to me for writing this): I do believe certain types of assault weapons shouldn’t be available to the general public. I have shot AR-15s and a few others. I understand why enthusiasts–mostly aging collectors and former military people–cling to them. They are, when used with the utmost safely at gun ranges, extremely fun to shoot. But they’re not necessary for sporting, hunting or self-defense. Too many bad things have been done with these easily-obtained assault weapons. That said, I get how AR owners feel. They are law-abiding citizens who don’t see why their rights should be taken away because of the deranged few.

Joe Biden is right. Keep the legally-obtained double-barreled shotgun. Fire two shots up at the sky out your back door if you hear an intruder. (That would freak my neighbors out, but if I were about to be raped, I think Carl would understand.) Keep the hunting rifles. Keep the handguns that come with extra responsibility–they are easily hidden, and in the wrong hands, can be very dangerous.

Ask parents if they own guns, where they keep them, and then decide if you feel comfortable going to that house. I know that today’s gun cabinets and safety features are excellent, so I don’t have a problem with it. I would only let my kids go to responsible, law-abiding peoples’ houses anyway. If you disagree, you are entitled to that opinion.

I say all of this, but I do not own guns. The ones I shoot are at my parents’ house. My husband won’t let me have them, and I respect his strong feelings. We don’t agree, but he treats me with understanding. He goes out shooting with my dad sometimes, too. This controversy runs deep. I find myself trying to get the liberals to see the gun owners’ side, and I try to get the gun owners to at least consider some liberal points. Gun control is polarizing. I can’t win, and I’m not trying to.

But I know one thing won’t change: When people speak vehemently against guns, I take it personally. I love and support my dad.

Originally posted on Mom Must Read for Parents

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  1. I was with you until you trotted out the BS conflation-canard of “assault-styled” weapons and sport/hunting. That line is designed to distract from ability to defend one’s self from authoritarian government that is no longer of the people, by the people, and for the people. I just don’t get why people are willing to trust government with assault weapons (and 2 billion bullets ordered in the past year for DHS) pointed at their masters, when you are served a never ending diet of lies and distortions from the same “leadership”. If local law enforcement needs to be militarized, with whom are they in a war with? It can’t just be for the occasional crazy. Welcome to the world where YOU are the domestic terror threat (and don”t let your normalcy bias get in the way).

    Cede your freedom(s) at your own peril. We don’t have many left.

  2. There’s a very plausible argument, if not near indisputable, that assault rifles are exactly the type of gun that we the people should be entitled to own. The 2nd Amendment is unique in that it states a specific purpose and that purpose is to allow for state militias as being necessary. One of the chief reasons for this would be to protect against a tyrannical government. So should you extend the logic, the people should be armed with weapons of a certain magnitude. As it is, a state would have a difficult time defending itself from the government’s arsenal. Limit the people to shotguns and pistols and it becomes that much harder.

    Though difficult to conceptualize in today’s modern society, it cannot be denied that the Bill of Rights was written with this concept in mind.

  3. This is where I differ with the right side of the gun control argument. I do believe in the Bill of Rights and the Second Amendment. But I also believe in our democracy and balance of power. We do not need to worry that we will need to overthrow the government. Besides, I don’t think our AR-15s will defend us against military aircraft and technology. Under this logic, we should all start hoarding army tanks, aircraft, bombs and drones.

    Someone made a comment about my article on Facebook yesterday that I thought was absolutely correct. In my ultra-liberal town, my views are frowned upon. (Though their responses to this article have been thoughtful and are much appreciated.) In my ultra-conservative family, my views are frowned upon.

    But the truth is, my opinion comes from the center. Is there anyone else in our polarized country who is moderate? I need allies.

  4. “We do not need to worry that we will need to overthrow the government.”

    If we is defined as those of us who will grace this planet for another 30-40 years, I would tend to agree with you. But naturally, there will come a point in the future (it may be two hundred years) where it will become necessary. It has always happened throughout history. Even in the history of democracies.

    “Besides, I don’t think our AR-15s will defend us against military aircraft and technology. Under this logic, we should all start hoarding army tanks, aircraft, bombs and drones.”

    The military is approximately 3 million people. The population is in excess of 300 million. There would be a lot of bloodshed, but sheer numbers would overwhelm any amount of tanks, aircrafts and bombs. It’s why revolutions succeed.

    The Bill of Rights was written to stand the test of time. It would be foolhardy to think that we can assume the state of the nation in 200 years. And for the record, I consider myself a moderate. But I also consider myself an historian.

  5. If it wasn’t for assault weapons Patrick Swayze , C Thomas Howell and crew would never had a chance against the Russians in Red Dawn. I was sold on the spot.

  6. At the assembly vote yesterday, there were several conversations between members of BlueWave and Moms Demand Action and other groups and the NJ2AS members present. There were also conversations in which people went on about a tyranny that must be fought and – on the other side – of all guns being melted down. Most of us are somewhere in the middle. Even in this ultra-liberal town.

    I have to object to linking to the post for Moms Demand Action (formerly One Million Moms for Gun Control) as “strict gun control.” The list of what they want is pretty short, and has some items in common with what you have talked about here. In case you haven’t visited the site to see, I’m pasting the basics from the website: https://momsdemandaction.org

    Moms Demand Action was founded to demand action NOW to:

    1) Ban assault weapons and ammunition magazines that hold more than 10 rounds.
    2) Require background checks for all gun and ammunition purchases.

    3) Report the sale of large quantities of ammunition to the ATF, and ban online sales of ammunition.
    4) Counter gun industry lobbyists’ efforts to weaken gun laws at the state level.

  7. Kristen, I think some of the comments would demonstrate that you hold a firmly moderate position on the issue.

  8. Hey , How about the governemnt releasing thousands of assault rifles into the general population so they can monitor drug cartel trafficking. You just have to make sure nobody gets killed by one.

    ooooo wait, they did that already.