Howdy! Grab a chair an’ a beer! Ya know, over the years, I’ve tried not ta get on rants here, so first, let me tell ya that this is my personal opinion, and is not supported, shared, or encouraged by THUNDER PRESS. I know some of ya are going to disagree with me, an’ that’s fine. Life would be pretty dull if we all agreed on everything, so today, I want to talk to ya about guns. I don’t think I know even one biker who doesn’t own a gun—and the majority of my friends are frequent shooters, whether in the mountains, or at the range. They’ve never shot anyone, and don’t intend to, unless they’re forced to.
Here in California, our governor just signed the most restrictive anti-gun bill in history into law. Among other things, we now need a background check to buy ammunition, and it’s all tracked by the government. How many times have you stopped at the store and picked up a couple of boxes of .22 shells to take the kids out shooting? If you’re like me, it was pretty often. A gun is like any other tool; it can be used for either good, or bad, depending on who’s holding it. In fact, far more people are killed and crippled by doctors every year than by guns. I guess that’s why there’s such a long waiting period to see one…
Maybe I see things differently because I was raised with guns in the house, so there was never any fascination with them. I learned to shoot at a young age, and my family were all hunters. Now, any information, safety training, or contact with firearms is appalling to a lot of parents. What they don’t realize is that the more you make something off limits to kids, the more they want it, and the less knowledge and training they have, the more likely they are to have an accident. It’s human nature. I’m not advocating giving a kid a gun, but I am advocating sending them to a hunter safety class so the mystery is gone, and they can handle a firearm safely if necessary.
I remember when there was a class in junior high school called Cadets, and we used to have marksmanship and gun safety training with .22 rifles right there on campus. How many of ya remember all the school shootings we had back then? Yeah, me either. Maybe that speaks loudly about the kind of society we’ve allowed to destroy the innocence of our young people.
Let’s talk a little more about how this ties in with motorcycles. I’ll bet some of you would be shocked at how many bikes out there have a gun stashed somewhere on them. With the uncertainty of traveling alone, and the ever-increasing threat of terrorism, people who never thought of carrying a gun are now carrying, especially when they travel. That gets very risky since gun laws change from state to state, and what’s legal in one state will land you in jail in another. Even in California, sheriffs and local police are issuing concealed weapon permits by the thousands, and a lot of states are passing laws to make concealed carry legal with no permit. The recent tragic shooting in Orlando shows what one terrorist can do to a room full of unarmed victims.
When my boys were young, they were taught how to safely handle every gun I owned, and all the rules of safely handling firearms. There was never an accident, and now, it’s time for my grandkids to learn as well. My granddaughter, Chrissy, wanted to go to the range for her 21st birthday, and while we were there, she got the opportunity to shoot the new Smith & Wesson 500 magnum, which is a .50 caliber revolver. Since the ammo for it is eight bucks each, she only got one shot from ol’ cheapo gramps, but she put it less than two inches off center at 25 yards. The girl knows how to shoot, and will never have to depend on a piece of paper to protect her.
OK, so how about those ugly black “assault rifles,” you ask? Who needs one of those? Well, my answer is, “Who needs a 200 mph street bike, or a car with a 1,200 hp engine?” The answer is that maybe we don’t need any of the above, but here in America, we should have the freedom to own one if we respect the responsibility that ownership carries with it. There are literally millions of military-style semi-automatic rifles out there, yet hammers and knives kill more people a year than they do. We’re told not to judge any segment of society by the acts of a few, and we gun owners should get the same courtesy. When a drunk driver kills with a car, they blame the drunk driver. When people are murdered with a bomb, they blame the bomber, but when a terrorist kills with a gun, they blame the gun. Perhaps gun control isn’t about guns at all; perhaps it’s about control.