By John Hubbuch
I just don't get the gun culture in this country. But then I don't get mud wrestling, watching The Bachelor or dining at Alinea. At least no one gets killed in pursuit of those activities.
Born and raised in southern Indiana, I had plenty of exposure to guns and hunting. My dad must have had a dozen shotguns and rifles, but he didn't do much hunting. I had a BB gun. The only target I ever hit was a sparrow. The joy of my first and only kill was tempered when I held the tiny quivering creature in my hand until it died. My dad shot two copperheads on a log in the middle of Turkey Fork Creek near Leavenworth, Ind., one hot August afternoon. Now that was pretty cool.
The explanations for why guns are so great just don't resonate with me. Sure, I like being in the woods on a crisp autumn afternoon, but pumping bullets into the bodies of deer, birds and squirrels seems cowardly, cruel and savage. I suppose shooting bullets at targets might be fun, but there's always darts and carnival games. Maybe walking around with a pistol strapped to your body makes you feel like a man, but Internet porn is widely available.
Then there is the personal safety issue. You need a gun to shoot the bad guys. As far as I can tell, for every bad guy killed, there are lots more unsupervised children, innocent bystanders and bad guys who weren't really bad guys that get killed.
So when gun advocates argue that gun show registration or restricting bullet clips are just first steps toward further, more severe restrictions, my response is that I certainly hope so.
It would seem that my desire to restrict guns in modern society is not likely to be satisfied in my lifetime. That's OK. I'm comforted by the thought that not that long ago slavery, like guns, was protected by the Constitution. It is hard for those who live in the 21st century to understand how one man could own another. By the time the 22nd century rolls around, there will be billions more of us living closer and closer together as global warming pushes us from the world's coasts. Almost certainly armed violence will spike dramatically. Liberal media will nightly document this epidemic of gun violence. The Republican Party will have moderated — or be gone like the Whigs. The Supreme Court will be much more liberal.
I only wonder if the end for guns will be dramatic, like the Emancipation Proclamation, or more gradual like same-sex marriage. I won't live to see it, but I am comforted by the knowledge that history is on my side. It almost makes me want to fire off a gun in celebration.