Kid With a Gun : Gun Control and Traditional American Values

United States Rifle, Caliber .30-06, Model 1903
United States Rifle, Caliber .30-06, Model 1903
   I have always been a gun enthusiast and these days I collect mostly older military rifles and pistols, looking for relics of the past intrigues me. I mostly have pieces from WWI, WWII, and the Wild West.  These are the weapons that helped forge our nation and protected our way of life. Without these tools of liberty there would be no America. The craftsmanship and ingenuity involved in making these guns is an art form. The lives of the brave sons and daughters who fought for our nation relied on the genius of their design and the quality of their workmanship.

   My tastes weren't always so symbolic. Ever since I was a kid and graduated from an air gun to my first .22 rifle and shotgun I have been interested in firearms and shooting. I grew up in the rural Moreland, Georgia and hunting and shooting was just a normal and almost required part of every young boy’s life. I think I got my first .22 rifle for Christmas when I was maybe 13 or 14 and it was my constant companion on my daily treks into the woods. It was an inexpensive FIE copy of the Remington Nylon 66, I think it came from Otasco or maybe K-mart. The next year of course I had to have a shotgun to keep it company, it was an old Deerfield 20 gauge pump my father found at a pawn shop, but it functioned flawlessly. I always kept them both loaded in my closet in case we were invaded by those pesky Russians or a gang of outlaws. Times were different then and nobody thought anything much of kids owning firearms. Of course the adults constantly drilled the safety rules into our heads at every opportunity and made sure we were instilled with enough sense and morals to be trusted with one. The latter lesson was the more challenging and time consuming part but parents did it because as parents that was their job and responsibility. It was a job not to be taken lightly and involving sacrifice and commitment.

Model 1897 Winchester Pump Shotgun
Model 1897
   I used to go “hunting” a lot which was really just an excuse to get dressed in camo and explore the forest with my friends or on a solo adventure. I never really shot a lot of game; pine cones and mistletoe were my favorite quarry.  Of course I had that one friend who wanted to shoot everything that moved, snake, squirrel, lizard, blue jays…. Fortunately for them he wasn’t a very good shot. There was no need for recycling as any tin can or milk jug we got a hold of was shot up until it was reduced back to its base minerals and redistributed throughout the countryside. Maybe it wasn’t as cool as playing Grand Theft Auto or watching trash TV, but it got us out of the house. We got lots of fresh air and we learned responsibility, marksmanship, and camaraderie. We also picked up a lot of knowledge of nature and the world around us off the beaten path. We learned the importance of cleaning and maintaining our weapons and to respect other peoples land.

    For boys pocket knives were a necessity at school in case you needed to cut something for your teacher and of course as a last line of defense against perverts, ninjas, or parachuting commies. Seriously those were the days of the Atlanta child murders and we were just a stone’s throw down the road from there.  Common sense told you a sharp blade would probably be more useful in fending off an attacker than one of those plastic whistles they used to give us.  Those events were splashed all over the local channels on the evening news which was required viewing back then for most families. It instilled fear in parents and kids alike and was maybe my first memory of senseless violence and of murder for no reason. Something that has become all too common place in today’s society.

   “Zero Tolerance” hadn't been invented yet. People and events were actually judged individually on their own merit and with common sense. You were also allowed to have personal values and express them without ridicule. We had heroes and celebrities we looked up to. Not because they were outrageous or did crazy stuff but because they were good honest people and they did good things. People who worked hard and were rewarded for their efforts were respected and looked up to. You didn't have to be afraid to have an opinion or take a stand on something you believed in.  Things have changed and somewhere along the way we lost our perspective and took a wrong turn onto a very dark path.

   If we as a society and a nation think we can’t trust our citizens to have firearms then there is something desperately wrong that has nothing to do with gun control. Add to this the fact that our government passes out weapons to the barbarians in the middle east and other volatile regions like they were government cheese and it doesn't take a genius to figure out there’s a problem. Most of these people would just as soon kill us as they would shoot the other idiots they are fighting. Our commander in chief is more like the celebrity in charge. Washington’s “leadership style” has become a joke and an embarrassment.  It’s a constant game of, what can we talk these idiots into believing this week. The task of diverting attention from their own screw ups without taking any responsibility for anything is also time a consuming endeavor. And of course they have to figure out how to best use the latest savage’s senseless actions to further their own idiotic agenda. Most of the news media are the ultimate enablers acting more like publicist and promoters for their favored politicians and twisted agendas.

     Looking closer to home a strong family structure is almost non-existent these days. The Leave It to Beaver Days of family values and parental role models are all but over. Kids are often left to learn their “values” from TV, video games and music. More often than not what they learn is to do whatever you feel like and you are entitled to be happy and be provided for. And bad behavior is often not only tolerated but rewarded. Anyone who tries to tell you otherwise is either a racist, bigot, or just clinging to their foolish religion. Of course “foolish religion” translates into Christianity, all the other religions are free from ridicule and anyone who criticizes or dares to disagree with them is horrible and prejudice.

   What does all this have to do with the gun control movement? The point is guns or even gun control is not the problem at all. We need search a lot deeper if we ever hope to find answers to what’s wrong with our country and why senseless violence has become so commonplace. Maybe we need to look to the common sense, beliefs and values of our past. Whether you are a Christian or not, our entire society, our system of values, respect for ourselves and others and the respect for human life is all based on Christian beliefs and the Bible. Without having these foundations in our past we would have nothing and without them today and in the future soon we may be left with nothing.                                                                                                                                                                                               Anthony Cox
Here's an interesting footnote to this story. I regularly publish articles on the Yahoo Contributor Network and this article was the first one they ever rejected. Yahoo tends to be extremely liberal, and they love Obama worshiping articles. Here was the response I got from them on my publishing this article.   "Thank you for your submission. Unfortunately, we cannot publish this content, because it contains language, references or ideas deemed inappropriate by Yahoo Contributor Network" Thanks for proving my point Yahoo!