Pardon my gun politics

I generally don't talk politics here--I keep my mouth shut because I want to be able to fangirl over a TV show or share pretty pictures and interesting poems, and I don't want to risk that by making people mad at me. But this whole gun control issue is one that comes very close to home. I know a bunch of guys at our church who own AR-15s--for hunting and for taget shooting.

The thing is, if you grow up surrounded by guns used for hunting and sport (I live in Pennsylvania, where every hunting season we host one of the largest armed bodies in the world), you wind up thinking of guns (of all sorts) merely as tools. Any tool can be misused by an individual (remember demon!Dean trying to bash Sam's head in with a hammer?), but that doesn't mean everyone else should be penalized for their error or malevolence. Especially when the people looking to do damage will simply move on to the next option available--or find a way to break the law and get what they want anyway.

I do think it's telling that most (almost all) mass shootings happen in 'gun free' zones. I work in a gun free zone, and I sometimes wonder about my safety if someone decided to take advantage of that zone--granted, I know that our grounds guy, who lives next door to the building, owns multiple rifles and is a good (and unflappable) shot, but given where my office is, I would likely be trapped in the case of an attack--trapped in a glass box, with nowhere to hide and no way to protect myself. And our police force is small-town, not used to handling anything more intense than yet another robbery at the local 7-11. Honestly, I'd feel a lot safer if I knew some of the guys I work with were armed.

I'll admit, I myself have never fired anything higher caliber than my dad's .22 air rifle. But that's still enough power to kill rabbits and groundhogs, or to injure someone if you handle it carelessly. It's also tremendously fun to plink soupcans with. And should someone ever break into our house, it has a heck of a lot more range and flexibility than the African war club we inherited from my mom's stepfather.

So I guess all I'm asking is for people to consider that when someone says they're against tighter gun control laws, it's not because they're haters or crazed gun enthusiasts. Perhaps they simply have a lifetime of interaction with guns and the law-abiding citizens using them to counterbalance the individuals who do stuff to wind up on the news.
And I think a lot of people *do* understand that sweetheart, not for one minute would any of us think that you're a crazed gun toting scary person. However the gun laws are lax as far as I'm concerned. It feels like fighting fire with fire except it never stays at just fire. We carry semi's they carry automatics.

Bear in mind I live in a country where you don't get to carry a gun as common place for protection, it's something you have to have a licence for and if caught out in the street with said weapon, all hell would break loose.

I'm a hunter, I've fired a fair few rifles and even a Winchester hand gun, beautiful piece. My Papa taught me to hunt/shoot from a young age, however if I were to carry said gun out with me and someone pulled a knife on me....I brandish this gun, they think it's fair game to have at it.

I'm not saying that peace is won by abstinence from weaponry, but adding weaponry to the mix ups the ante and you never know if someone would perhaps have backed off if they hadn't seen you were packing.

Also, please don't feel like I'm being mean here, just trying to have a discussion about it. We live in very different places when it comes to gun law.

I will admit that I am all for tighter gun laws, but then again I don't go out and shoot on a weekly basis, and I'm not allowed to defend my home with deadly force, which quite frankly is what a gun brings to the argument.
All I can say is that if I ever have to defend myself, I'd rather have a ranged weapon with which to do so. And I'd rather my neighbors near and far had that same option available to them.

(Here's an interesting collection of statistics; though the initial newsletter splash pages are annoying)
You're welcome! I admit, it sat as a draft for a while before I dared to hit the 'post' button. But I feel like this is a topic on which I have to speak up, simply because it touches on so many people I know.
Totally agree with this. Plus one thing you rarely, if ever, hear about on the news are those times when guns actually stopped something bad from happening. My mom told me about an incident - I think it took place in Texas - in which a school shooting was avoided because one of the teachers had a gun with them. While places with the strictest gun laws have seen an increase in crime rather than a decrease.

On a more amusing note, back when we lived in Alaska during the early eighties, it was actually commonplace for kids who walked to and from school to have guns to protect themselves from bear and moose. My brother told about how the kid whose locker was next to his opened his locker up and his gun fell out, and no one thought anything of it because it was just that normal of a thing.
My parents were in Alaska a couple summers ago, and one of the stories they heard were of a couple that were sitting on their back porch when their two sons ran in from the yard with the dog--the older boy ran back out of the house with a gun and disappeared around the house again. A minute later he came tearing back, got a bigger gun, and ran out again.

Apparently there was a grizzly hanging out where the boys had been playing. :P