Sunday, May 4, 2008

Musings from a "Gun Nut"

I've been having a ton of fun with this story line...can you tell? The reason why extends beyond a typical leftist's claim that my toons reflect "the mentality a monolithic, right-wing gun nut." (I must confess that I love tweaking that collective of stupids! Their criticizes hum our me with their lack of originality and bumper sticker witticisms.) Unlike mentally deficient, gun-grabbers, I believe the 2nd Amendment guarantees the individuals' right to keep and bear arms and that right isn't a component of belonging to a militia.

More than that though, I am an avid shooter who enjoys going to the range to practice with my various fire arms. To do so effectively and consistently requires a ton of practice! Shooting with precision is a heck of a challenge, and each of these weapons requires different disciplines to shoot effectively! So if you'll indulge me, I'll explain why I enjoy shooting each of them and why.

My daily carry pistol is absolutely one of the best I've shot and the first one I ever bought. It's a Taurus PT111 Millennium Pro chambered in 9mm. From the standpoint of reliability, it has performed admirably since I purchased it over a year ago. With over 2,000 rounds shot through it, the PT has misfired only 5 times, with 4 of those malfunctions attributed to bad ammo. It's small, extremely accurate and has light recoil. All good traits in a defensive carry piece.

I purchased this pistol for one reason only: Self protection. I believe that it's MY responsibility to take the steps necessary to protect myself and my loved ones. Others my think that police are supposed to be the protectors of the citizenry, the simple fact is that they cannot be everywhere at once. If I'm under attack, I have the means to defend myself on the spot no matter where I am! And folks, let's face it, there are just too many incidents of random violence and often in places one does not expect like malls or offices.

My next pistol is also a 9mm and is Austrian. No, it's not a Glock, I'm just a little too much of a contrarian for that. It's a Steyr M9-A1, a pistol that is ergonomically superior to anything I've shot from manufacturers like Glock, Beretta, Taurus or even Kimber. It's my sidearm of choice for competition shooting in IDPA because of its front sight which allows quick target acquisition and accuracy. I affectionately refer to it as "Die Über Pistole" and have made believers out of everyone I let shoot it!

Next up is the Winchester Model 1200 shotgun I got at a gun show for $75 (And yes, there was paperwork and a background check done at the show!). Anyway, this gun is a necessity in a well defended home for 2 reasons: First, the sound of a shotgun being racked is a universal warning for an intruder that lets them know they have the potential to wind up on the business end of a nasty weapon. If they're smart, they leave the premises. Second, if the situation calls for it, a shotgun will dispatch just about any threat. Add to those qualities its extreme mechanical simplicity, how little training is required to operate it well and it's ability to be used to put food on the table, and you have a firearm that is an essential part of a shooter's collection.

How old can a firearm remain in use? Good question, because my next gun was made in 1946 and shoots like a champ 62 years later! It's a Russian military surplus rifle called a Mosin-Nagant M44. I don't know what's been more fun for me with the Mosin, shooting it or doing the historical research on this weapon. Best of all, when I take it to the range, I'm a rock star! Someone inevitably asks me about it either when they see it or after I pull the trigger and the massive "bang" erupts from its muzzle with 3 feet of flame. Trust me, it's an awesome rifle, and all this fun only cost me $50! Can't beat it!

Finally, I have in my possession a neat little piece that belongs to my father. It's a Mossberg
, .22 caliber rifle. What's really neat about the gun is the time in America it invokes. My father grew up in Wisconsin as a child, and when he was around 12, he went into a drug store and purchased the Mossberg. No parents. No older brother. No background check. Just him.

This whole scenario would be regarded as ridiculous fiction today and that is a sad commentary of where we are in America as a whole with regard to firearms. And what did this young kid do with the gun? He'd go hunting for small game in the early morning and bring home his quarry for an evening stew. Pretty cool if you ask me, but oh so politically INcorrect for today's times! Imagine that...a kid not only purchasing a rifle by himself legally, but also using it responsibly!

There's no doubt that times have changed since my Dad bought his rifle, and things have gotten worse violent crimes involving firearms. However, I think that the problem today isn't that we need more regulations or firearms prohibitions. All that have been tried have been ineffective. No, what we need to do is foster a better understanding of what firearms are for, respect the right of responsible citizens to own them and put fear behind us...or in the cross hairs. �