No One Has Pointed a Gun at Me in Years
(Posted by guest blogger Steve Hendrix) The first question on my first Raw Fisher posting, was "How are you on guns?" I had declared independence from my colleague and idol Marc Fisher on dogs, cats and taxi meters, and this commenter was trying to find some air between us on the Second Amendment
Fair enough. Guns are always good for some civil and measured discourse. So on a week when Congressional Democrats find themselves unable to keep their pandering paws off the District's registration laws, herewith are ten things I think about guns.
1. I like them. They're fun to shoot. As a son of small-town Georgia, rifles and shotguns were all over my house and the houses of most of my friends, neighbors and classmates, black and white. I got my own first gun, a single-shot .22, when I was 10. My mother, a single parent, kept a .38 revolver in her dresser drawer. I remember playing with it when she wasn't around.
2. I wouldn't have a handgun in my house now, mainly because I remember playing with my mom's .38 when she wasn't around.
3. I have gotten the drop, bullet-wise, on one rabbit, one deer, 13 quail ("plantation-raised," which I nailed for a story on fake quail hunting a week after Vice President Cheney's misfire in Texas) and about 200 rusty tin cans. I didn't eat the rabbit, which I'm ashamed of, but I did cure the pelt and keep it on my dresser for years.
4. I've had guns pointed at me three times. Once in the Atlanta home of my brother in the late 1980s, when I came to town after midnight without notice, let myself in the back door with the hidy-key and found myself face-to-face with my bro, in his robe and holding that same .38 that had belonged to my mother. Once again in a jungle in northeastern Cambodia with a wildlife documentary team traveling in the company of a security detail made up of former Khmer Rouge guerillas, when the film crew's sound technician crawled up into the elephant houda with me scrambling behind him. I looked up and he was standing unsteadily on the stock of a loaded AK47 and I was eye-to-eye to with the scary end of it. And once on the corner of Park Road and 18th Street, N.W., in 1991, when a hood in a hood pointed his piece at my face and asked for my wallet.
5. I think most gun bans, including Washington's, are patently unconstitutional. And I'm too much a groupie of the First Amendment, which I love, to feel comfortable flouting the Second, which I don't.
6. I would happily see the Constitution amended to allow outright bans of handguns and assault weapons. It's a different world than the one the Framers were writing for.
7. I'v known three people who had their lives ended or ruined by handguns: a delightful high school classmate who was abducted, sexually assaulted and shot in the head near Americus, Georgia, pop. 18,000, in the early '80s. 2, A troubled friend and father of four who offed his coke dealer in early 2000. 3, A family friend, Anne Marie Fahey, who was killed by her boyfriend in Wilmington, Delaware, in 1996.
8. I've never personally known anyone who was saved from harm or attack by a handgun.
9. I think if everybody had a handgun a lot of would-be killers would be shot, which would be satisfying. And I think a vastly greater number of petty crooks, spouses, innocent strangers and children who like to play in their parents' dressers would be shot, which would be unspeakably tragic.
10. I think that I and the House Democrats should keep our opinions out of the District's gun laws. It's not our city.
Ain't consistency grand?
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