Why Do I Own Guns? Because I Like To Own Guns.

I bought my first real gun in Florida when I was 12 years old.  A beautiful Smith & Wesson 38. Got it in a flea market somewhere on Highway 441.  Owned that gun for about 30 minutes until my Uncle Nat took it away from me and probably hocked it the next day.  He was right.  What the hell was a twelve-year old kid doing walking around with a gun?


              Star 30-M

Star 30-M

This purchase began a life-long addiction to guns which continues to this day.  Or at least until yesterday, when I walked into Dave’s Gun Shop and bought a Star Model 30M, a heavy, all-steel pistol that holds 15 rounds.  Why did I buy the gun?  Because I wanted to buy a gun.  Why does my wife buy shoes?  Because she likes shoes.

If I were a typical gun guy, I would tell you that I bought this gun because it’s good for self-defense.  I don’t often, if ever, carry a gun. Guns are lying around the house but none are close enough to be grabbed up if an intruder were to suddenly burst through the door, but I know that owning a gun makes me safer, which is why I bought the gun.

Actually, that’s not true.  I didn’t go into a gun shop yesterday because I was thinking about my personal safety. I didn’t walk up to the counter, take one look at that Star pistol and decide that this gun would protect me from crime. I certainly didn’t for one second imagine that buying that gun would somehow make me ‘free.’  I bought the gun because I wanted to buy a gun.

This may have been the third time I owned this gun.  I had a Star 30M back in the mid-90’s; sold it to some guy in my gun shop who then sold it back because he needed a set of tires for his truck; sold it later to another guy who probably at some point traded it at Dave’s shop where it was sitting when I made it mine.  You don’t see a Star 30M all that often, and it’s not as if the gun, or any gun for that matter, ever wears out. If this gun had been picked up at a crime scene instead of being sold to me, the ATF trace would show that the gun went into private hands somewhere around 1995.  But it went into private hands and then back into an FFL inventory at least two more times over the intervening twenty years.  So much for the value of ATF traces and as well as the nonsensical discussions about Time to Crime.

On the NRA website, Wayne LaPierre tells the NRA membership that “nothing would make us more vulnerable to generations of suffering and slaughter than the destruction of our 2nd Amendment.”  There’s about as much reality behind this statement as the idea that I bought that Star pistol to protect myself from crime.  I live in a White, middle class neighborhood – if anyone ever tried to break into my house it would probably be my drunk neighbor who thought he had come home and forgot his keys.

I have personally owned, bought and sold, probably 500 guns over the course of my lifetime, and I can say that in all those transactions going back to 1956, I never once asked myself why I needed any particular gun. But if someone were to ask me why I bought and sold all those guns, I might rattle off something about crime, or terrorism, or my Constitutional ‘rights.’ After all, I have to come up with some kind of answer, and it’s not as if people who don’t like guns can offer me a clue.

In crafting sensible solutions to gun violence, my friends in the GVP community have to understand that any new law will force me to somehow change this impulsive habit.  And when was the last time you stayed on that low carbs diet?





3 thoughts on “Why Do I Own Guns? Because I Like To Own Guns.

  1. There was an article in my small community paper (both the community and the paper are small) about guns this week. The reporter had interviewed a gun shop owner who said most buyers were concerned about terrorism and crime. It makes no sense to me. In the unlikely event of a UCC- or San Bernadino- style attack, I’m going to be flat on the ground acting dead and praying I’m convincing, not pawing through my purse looking for my gun. Of course, there is no gun in my purse, but you get my drift. Beyond that, I can’t really imagine a terrorist coming to my village of 50 or so people, and even the closest town of 35,000 seems like an unlikely target as are any of the other places I visit on a regular basis.

    As for crime, it’s not a big problem here. In the same paper, the monthly statistics for crime list 11 assaults as the sole “violent” crimes. Most, if not all of those, were likely fist fights fueled by alcohol. A gun in such a situations is probably as likely to increase the level of violence as decrease it.

    Fear is a funny thing…and arming yourself every minute of the day seems unlikely to make you feel safer or increase your freedom. More likely the weight of that gun is going to remind you to be afraid. Maybe what we need is fear control.

  2. Very well put Mary. The main point Mike is making is that most gun purchases have no real pragmatic reason behind them. Some folks just like guns – owning, trading, shooting, collecting, tinkering with them, etc. But they feel the need to give such a reason.

  3. Pingback: Why Do I Own Guns? Because I Like To Own Guns. | Mister Journalism: "Read, Share, Discuss, Learn"

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