Although the Sandy Hook Elementary School children who survived a massacre have now returned to class the headline rhetoric blaming guns has not softened. Guns, though, can do nothing by themselves, just as cars cannot kill by themselves. Could we be focusing on the wrong thing? Is it possible our priorities are wrong?
As a high school senior I often returned to school after lunch in Dad’s ranch truck, one of those trucks awashed in character, if you know what I mean. It had no air conditioning and since the windows were seldom rolled up, the cranks were difficult to work. Yes, there were cranks before pushbuttons!
For the most part, the windows stayed down when you drove, wherever you parked, at home at night – no big deal. No big deal even though 2 rifles hung on a gun rack across the back window. Approximately 2-3 times a week I parked that old truck on the school parking lot, windows down, guns easily accessible. I’ve no doubt other trucks were there in similar attire.
For ranchers like Dad guns were a working tool. Coyotes killed baby calves, or you killed coyotes. Snakes den in old barns, under rocks and in stacked hay and better them dead than you bitten. With a rifle in hand jumping a rabbit meant rabbit stew for supper.
Guns were an asset then and they still are today. According to a July 26, 2012 US NEWS article, “The U.S. Department of Justice reports that guns are used 1,500,000 times a year to successfully defend good people from bad people—almost always without the firing of a single shot.”
That’s 1,500,00 people alive because they had a gun. That’s 1,500,00 who might be dead had they not had that gun.
Personally, I think our priorities are wrong. Perhaps our lawmakers should look at whose using the guns just as they target drunk drivers who caused car accidents. I’m betting if our Washington lawmakers had to live a month on a ranch they might see things more objectively. There is nothing like experience to help get your priorities right.