Not so Random Thoughts

Lately, if you’re connected to me on facebook, you’ve probably wondered what’s “wrong” with me, maybe considered unfriending me, or perhaps have hidden/deleted posts of mine from your timeline. If you have had such thoughts, then you are likely of a considerably differing mind-set than me from a political perspective.

Not all that long ago, I really wouldn’t have considered myself very interested or concerned with politics…for the most part, I found it dull, boring. What I realized is that I was simply uninformed. I felt I needed to do something about that, so I started paying more attention to what was going on in the world outside my door, beyond my family, friends and job.

What I found started to interest me, but more so, concern me.

I guess my latest “crusade” on facebook has been to share any number of articles related to the issue of guns, coming down soundly on the side of pro-gun-ownership and upholding the Second Amendment. Not everyone agrees with me. I completely understand that some folks are very afraid of guns. If you are, that’s cool. I am afraid of guns. I am afraid of what guns can do in the wrong hands. I don’t consider my hands to be “wrong.” I have a healthy respect for guns and the awesome responsibility that comes with owning one, not to mention wielding one. My Dad introduced my brother and I to guns at a relatively young age – well before our teens, though I couldn’t tell you my exact age when I first fired a pistol. My Dad was a firm believer that teaching us how to properly handle a gun would keep us from having stupid accidents with them later. We wouldn’t be “curious” about them, or believe that they were toys. And we didn’t.

I will admit that, when my children were young, my first husband and I had two weapons in our home – a rifle and a handgun. My then-husband opted to sell the handgun shortly after seeing some cop show on TV where the officer forgot to lock up his service weapon just once after a long shift at work; his children found it and one son accidentally killed the other. My ex didn’t even wait for the episode to end before he was emptying the clip, boxing up the gun and preparing to sell it. We knew that we never wanted such an incident to occur under our roof. (We did not own a safe back then).

Considering my own up-bringing, perhaps you wonder why we didn’t teach our kids about guns the same way. Well, it was a different world and our kids’ personalities and abilities were different as well. While one son likely would have taken such training seriously and not given us any concern, the other son was too impulsive and we couldn’t risk him lacking the necessary impulse control to keep a weapon around. (Surprisingly, during one target-shooting event later when he was in his teens, he did quite well for his first time with a pistol) Back then, both my ex and I were still in the military, ourselves, so we continued with our regular weapons training there and never shunned guns in general.

Fast forward to the present. My current husband and I have several various weapons in our home. Most are locked in safes specifically intended to store guns and rifles. My oldest son and I completed our CCW training, so I have a couple of handguns available at all times for protection. I live on a farm and am somewhat isolated from neighbors – I don’t think it is wise to NOT have a gun where I live. I visit local gun shops a couple of times a month hoping to buy just a couple of boxes of ammunition since some will obviously get used up with target practice and defense is still the need. One store we went to just today (well, Saturday evening) had maybe a handful of boxes of ammo on their shelves, and only in some odd caliber that most folks don’t need (because they don’t prefer the weapon that size bullet is for). There was not one round available for my 38 Special, my .380s, or my husband’s .44. Another shop had the .380 ammo but only in boxes of 20 rounds, and you could only purchase 2 boxes (per person per day). The cost of these 20-round boxes were equal to 50-round boxes I was able to get at Wal-Mart just last fall.

The general population who doesn’t own a gun hasn’t likely been paying much attention to where all the ammunition is going. They wouldn’t have any need nor any burning desire to check the ammo shelves at Wal-Mart or Dick’s Sporting Goods. They do not care.

If they were to ask a clerk why there is such a shortage of ammunition available on the shelves where, just 6 months ago, there seemed to be plenty, they would be told they cannot get the same level of stock in, partly because our Department of Homeland Security has bought up nearly 2 BILLION rounds of ammo. What little stock they do get in literally flies off the shelves within hours, sometimes, after delivery to the store. Some Wal-Marts aren’t even ordering new shipments of ammo anymore.

You may wonder why this matters.

Well, if you are on the side of those who would ban the average American citizen from owning a gun, you would think this is a great thing. You would believe unconditionally that the DHS really IS going to use all the bullets they purchased for “training.” (nevermind our crippled economy and it’s your tax dollars paying for them) You would believe that our president is trying to “protect” all of us. You would believe that everyone who wants to own a gun is some sort of dangerous wacko extremist. You would pray that somehow, some way, guns would FINALLY be banned so you could just go on about your daily lives in complete denial (or ignorance) of what is really happening.

I am no conspiracy theorist. I don’t consider myself an extremist about anything (okay, maybe about chocolate… and scrap-booking… and my dog!!).

I consider myself an informed American. It takes time to become informed. You have to step away from “Honey Boo Boo” and “Dancing with the Stars” and “American Idol” and you have to start reading and watching the news. Not just from the “regular” stations. You need to search for other sources. The articles I share on facebook are merely a starting point if you don’t know where to go.

Of course, many of those sources are right-leaning, some extremely right-leaning. Don’t let that be the reason you don’t even bother to read/watch what they have to say. Many of the losses of liberties that we are incurring started before Obama became president (though he is, by far, the worst freedom-crusher yet), so the “blame” for the mess America is currently in is laid at the feet of Republicans and Democrats alike.

I know this was long, involved, and perhaps boring. But I hope that, the next time you see something shared by me on your facebook newsfeed, you will think about reviewing the content rather than scrolling past (at best) or unfriending me (at worst). EVERYONE needs to understand that it’s not just about guns and the Second Amendment. ALL of our rights are eroding away into nothingness.

I haven’t even touched on what might happen to your bank accounts, 401Ks, pensions, and IRAs. Perhaps you will start to worry when it’s your money that could be taken away.

Perhaps when that happens, you’ll wish you had a gun.

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