My Politically Incorrect Habits
What, or more accurately who, defines your habits? What I mean is, who decides if your habits are good, bad or indifferent in some moral or ethical sense? Is there some objective standard by which your habits (and mine) can be judged?
Without discussing norms, mores, folkways, values and the like, it’s important to understand each culture and society has its own views of what is and is not acceptable (as C.S. Lewis noted, there are some common themes that seem to run through all societies, but that’s not the focus, here). Likewise, there are some things viewed as acceptable by some parts of society, but not by others. Thus, we have some things viewed as politically correct or incorrect, depending largely on where you might fall along some political spectrum. Guns*, gun ownership and gun use are good examples of this (we can also make some comparisons based on other factors, but again, that’s not the focus). Broadly speaking, those toward the right hand end of this political spectrum tend to view guns as morally neutral and gun ownership and use by law-abiding citizens as morally positive. Those who fall toward the left hand end of the spectrum are far less likely to have a positive view of guns, gun ownership and gun use. Some have even endorsed research which says merely seeing a gun increases feelings of aggression (as a RN with a significant amount of mental health experience, I find this research to be, shall we say, dubious).
I find my views of things to be increasingly libertarian. Like many libertarians, I’m a big proponent of gun ownership by those who obey the law. This, then, brings me to one of my politically incorrect habits. For some people it is cars. For others, it might be guitars. For me, it is guns. I like them. I like them a lot. I like them as machines. I like them as ways of punching little round holes in paper targets. I like them as a means of procuring food, a way of making me equal to any attacker and as a restraint on governmental oppression. People buy guns for different reasons. I have met some people who buy them simply to have, with no intention of shooting them frequently, or even at all. This makes no sense to me. Why on earth would I buy a gun I did not intend to fire? All my guns are intended to be shot. I’d love to be able to shoot them far more frequently than time, finances and other life factors permit. Speaking of life factors, I have far fewer guns than I might have had if life had worked out somewhat differently. This puts me pretty far away from my goal of being able to provide a load out for a Marine Corps rifle company.
Here, then, are some of the guns owned by yours truly and his lovely wife.
30-30 or 5.56/223?
Aside from the caliber difference, there’s the difference in action. I like both (or all four, if you think about them that way). While I appreciate the improved accuracy and tighter lockup of a bolt-action, I always wanted a lever in .30-30 and have long preferred the looks of the Marlin over the Winchester. Besides, when I was a kid, my brother-in-law had a Winchester .30-30 and the top ejection made me crazy. Truth be told, the area I hunt deer lends itself far more to a lever gun than it does a bolt. My Marlin 336 has performed flawlessly.
The Ruger AR-556 is the one I chose. In the military, I grew up with the M-16, so the gas impingement system doesn’t bother me. The rifle is not hard to clean and I’m not going to be dragging it through the jungle, so I really couldn’t justify the added expense of a piston-driven system. Besides, I’m of Scottish descent and hate to spend unnecessary money (if you think guns themselves are unnecessary, you clearly do not understand Zen or something).
Did I mention I always wanted a lever gun in .30-30?
Squirrel and Rabbit Gatherer
My first “real” gun was a Glenfield version of the Marlin model 60. It was identical to this one, that I have now. I can honestly say I fired enough rounds through my first one to wear it out.
Everyone Needs a Shotgun
My oldest son is now in possession of my old Western Field (in 16 gauge) and my Browning BPS (in 12 gauge). This is my shotgun, a Winchester SXP 12 gauge. It lacks the charm of an old 16 and the beauty of the Browning. On the other hand, it has the fastest action of any pump gun I’ve ever fired and it shoots great. I like it.
Snakes to Wild Boar
I’ve not really fired the little Walther P22 (it is the little one on the bottom) very much. The little I have shot it, it was a blast. I love 22s. You can fire them all day for not much money in ammo and the skills you learn translate to larger bore weapons.
Top right is my Sig Sauer P250 Compact in 9mm. It got some bad press in its initial form, but the updated one has performed flawlessly for me. It is accurate, fits my hand very well and shoots everything without fail. It simply does not care what I feed it. I don’t know how many rounds I’ve fed through it without even a hint of a malfunction.
I’m not really a revolver guy, but I was looking for one as a backup weapon for when I hunt things that might be inclined to protest. The revolver on the far right is my Taurus Tracker in .44 Remington Magnum. Honestly, I was looking for a .357 when I bought it. If it wasn’t ported, I’d have left it in the gun store. As it is, I love it. It has offered no problems or issues and the porting virtually eliminates barrel rise when fired. While I load it with .44 Special when I carry for self-protection, the magnum loads are what I will carry when I take it along as backup for wild pig hunts and the like.
As it happens, the Lady Mustang also likes guns. As she says, “they make me feel secure.” How can a man not be attracted to that? Anyway, as promised, a few of her choices in boomsticks.
A Cooler AR
My wife’s AR is by Windham Weaponry. Due to a shoulder injury, she can no longer comfortably support the weight of many rifles with her left hand and arm. How cool was it to find this one for her in carbon fiber? I’m not jealous. At all. Not even a little.
She Shoots Handguns Too
She really likes the Walther PK380 on the left. “It’s a good little gun,” some people say in a condescending manner. Of course, no one ever volunteers to be shot with one of them. In her case it would a particularly bad idea. I’ve seen her shoot. I have decades more training and practice with guns of all sorts than she does – and she out shoots me at the range every time.
She also likes the Smith & Wesson Sigma in 9mm. I loathe the thing. I don’t think SW makes it any longer, at least with the Sigma designation. Good. To me the gun is clunky, ill-designed and no fun to shoot. And yes, she out shoots me with this thing, too. Every. Stinking. Time. Fortunately, as you may have noticed, I am above things like petty jealousy. It simply doesn’t bother me. At all. Ever.
These, then, are some of the weapons we have here on our little urban homestead. If you are reading this and are, perchance, a government employee in one of our “alphabet agencies” I should let you know a most amazing thing just happened. I had all the above mentioned guns out for cleaning and maintenance. It’s pretty warm, today, so I had the doors and windows open. A pack of wild or feral dogs came in through the kitchen door and ran through the house. Each one grabbed a gun in its teeth and ran out the front door. I have never seen anything like that. Amazing…
*NOTE: I have used the word “gun” here in its common sense of referring to virtually anything that has a barrel and goes bang. If you were in the military, especially the Navy or Coast Guard, you probably understand the conflict I have with this use of the word!