Who Am I?
- Bob Barbanes:
- A nobody; a nitwit; a pilot; a motorcyclist; a raconteur; a lover...of life - who loves to laugh, who tries to not take myself (or anything) too seriously...just a normal guy who knows his place in the universe by being in touch with my spiritual side. What more is there?
18 December 2012
On Guns and Shooting
I own a gun: A .40 caliber Glock model 22. It holds 15 rounds in the magazine and I can have an extra one in the chamber if I choose, for a total availability of 16 bullets. Over the years I have put a lot of bullets through this gun at the range. I am not afraid of it; I don’t see it as a horrible device for human destruction. I am comfortable and proficient with it. I pray to God that I'll never have to use it in anger. But if I do, it will do what I ask of it.
I have carried it – both on my person at times but mainly in my car. I have taken it camping and hiking. I have a shoulder holster for it, but honestly the Glock is so bulky that it’s hardly concealable. I could wear it in an ankle holster…if bellbottom pants ever come back into style, and dear Lord we hope they don’t. Otherwise, the only other option is a small-of-the-back holster, but even then you have to wear a jacket or an untucked puffy pirate shirt. And let's hope those never come back in style either. If I am ever carrying it when we are together you will probably never know for I will not tell you.
The Glock does not give me a sense of invulnerability or power, and it doesn’t turn me into Dirty Harry, but it does give me a tool to use if something really, really bad happens. Something to level the playing field, if you will.
Do I seriously expect that something really, really bad will happen? I’m not sure. I wonder if those people in that mall in Oregon recently ever thought about it. And I wonder if those people who had merely shown up at a movie theatre in Colorado to see the latest Batman movie ever thought about it. Lastly I wonder if the teachers at the school in Newtown, Connecticut ever thought about it. Bad stuff happens. I’d rather be prepared than not, thank you.
With all that’s been said and written about the tragedy in that school in Connecticut, I can’t help thinking that if *I* had been in the building that day with my gun, I would have at least had a chance to do something before that Lanza kid could kill 27 students and teachers. In other words, I would not have had to be a victim – at least not initially. And I think the odds would have been pretty good. He, with his larger and bulky semi-automatic rifle; me with my lighter and more maneuverable semi-automatic pistol. Unless Lanza was really proficient in the use of that Bushmaster rifle and the two pistols he carried, he might have been an easy take-down. But yeah, I know, that’s pure speculation, isn’t it?
I’m not being overly macho or pompous here. I have a gun and I know how to use it, simple as that. Could I have shot Adam Lanza with it? Yes, without hesitation, yes. In the head. Does that make me a horrible person…because deep in my heart I know that I could take the life of another human if it came down to that? Does that make me as bad as him? I don’t think so. I had to wrestle with that issue when I bought the gun. I had to ask myself: Could I really kill someone with it? I think we have a fair duty to protect the lives of others, to not merely lie there and be a victim, to do what’s necessary to eliminate the threat, even if it means taking the life of someone else to do it. You may think it makes me a bad person, but I can live with that, no pun intended.
What happened in Connecticut on Friday, December 14, 2012 was a terrible, unspeakably horrible tragedy. I wish it had never happened. I wish that Lanza kid’s mother had the common sense God gave a flea and would not have had guns in the house with that emotionally disturbed child of hers. Sometimes I wish that guns had never been invented at all. But they were, and they’re not going away anytime soon. And as long as there are crazy bastards like Adam Lanza out there, random shootings will happen again. I go to the movies…I go to the mall. So…how would you want to prepare for such an event?
posted at or around 11:32 AM