Monday, January 28, 2013
What is it about Texas...
An opinion piece in the Times today, "Confessions of a Liberal Gun Owner," explains why a "New England liberal, born and bred" who now lives in Texas owns "half a dozen pistols." What's more, the author is "currently shopping for a shotgun, either a Remington 870 Express Tactical or a Mossberg 500 Flex with a pistol grip and adjustable stock." (Whatever those are.) Why?
From the piece (My emphasis):
There are a lot of reasons that a gun feels right in my hand, but I also own firearms to protect my family. I hope I never have to use one for this purpose, and I doubt I ever will. But I am my family’s last line of defense. I have chosen to meet this responsibility, in part, by being armed. It wasn’t a choice I made lightly. I am aware that, statistically speaking, a gun in the home represents a far greater danger to its inhabitants than to an intruder. But not every choice we make is data-driven. A lot comes from the gut.
I believe people are basically good, but not all of them and not all the time. Like most citizens of our modern, technological world, I am wholly reliant upon a fragile web of services to meet my most basic needs. What would happen if those services collapsed? Chaos, that’s what.
Chaos? Really? Why don't I ever feel like that? But wait; there's more:
It wasn’t until my mid-40s that my education in guns began, in the course of writing a novel in which pistols, shotguns and rifles, but also heavy weaponry like the AR-15 and its military analogue, the M-16, were widely used. I suspected that much of the gunplay I’d witnessed in movies and television was completely wrong (it is) and hired an instructor for a daylong private lesson “to shoot everything in the store.” The gentleman who met me at the range was someone whom I would have called “a gun nut.” A former New Yorker, he had relocated to Texas because of its lax gun laws and claimed to keep a pistol within arm’s reach even when he showered.
Really? Is Texas that dangerous? (I always keep my cell phone nearby, but that's so I don't miss a call.) But a gun? Really?
How come I don't live my life in constant fear like these guys? Am I naive, or are Texans just a little paranoid?