In light of your recent letter advocating for the right to carry concealed weapons into Legislative Plaza, the better to protect the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens, I feel compelled to exercise my First Amendment rights a little…
Lets be real about this for a minute, okay? Seriously, all of this high minded talk about Constitutional integrity has little to do with this proposal, or with any of the ridiculous gun laws enacted here in Tennessee. What the grown-ups know is this: you and too many other men still have a childish fascination with guns. I get it, I really do. They are beautiful things, aren’t they? All shiny and phallic and powerful. Western pop culture has convinced you all that all your tiny fears will end if you are armed with The Right Gun. I saw Dirty Harry. Wasn’t it cool when he had a bead on that bad guy’s head and asked “feel lucky, punk?” Then BOOM! BOOM! No more bad guy. Awesome.
As I said, the grown-ups know differently. We know that if someone is intent on taking you out, it won’t be at 20 paces in some pasture. They won’t seek to exchange gunfire. They will either put you in the crosshairs of a good scope, and take you from a safe distance, or, they will simply walk up and pull the trigger so fast that you will have no time to react. That is the real world of gunplay. I’ll bet dollars to donuts that if some deranged gunman walked into your church service and opened fire, (which, if memory serves, happened to a bunch of nice folks in Knoxville recently) your first inclination will be to seek cover, not return fire. That takes a set of balls, and quite a bit of training. Everyone ain’t cut out for that. Inviting guns into Legislative Plaza, especially given the state of politics around these parts, is beyond irresponsible. Ask Harvey Milk’s family. Or Bill Gwatney’s.
Look, Josh, I have some guns. Periodically (once a year or so) I take them out, fire them at targets, then lovingly clean them, apply a thin coat of oil, and I put them away. Its a fun two hours or so. Heres the thing, Sport. I also periodically go around and start all of my small engines during the Winter. I apply lube to the working parts of my tractors. I change the oil in my vehicles on a regular basis. These are important tools in my life. Yes, including the guns. When I travel with my family, I carry one in the car. (I don’t give a rats ass if I have a legal right to do so from State to State. If I point and fire my weapon at someone to protect me and mine, I’m well past the point of worrying what law Enforcement might do to me.). A few years back, a wounded buck showed up on the property and I had to put him down. I am thankful that I wasn’t forced to do this with a machete. Messy as hell, huh?
So, I firmly and completely side with those that believe we have a right to own a gun. Then, if y’all don’t mind, I’m pretty much done talking about them. Sure, every once in awhile, someone will be over that I think might appreciate a well made firearm, and I will show him or her my stuff. Thankfully, in my life, I have more friends that will show real appreciation for a 18v cordless drill, or a bad-ass chain saw, or tractor implement. Because those things have way way way more real life applications. The grown ups can relate. My friend Rock Solid has a lawn tractor with fucking front end suspension, dammit. It has a heavy metal deck, a long, thick, black roll bar, and a cupholder. I covet this machine. I could care less if he purchased an Uzi. Even still, Joshie, him and I don’t meet three days a week to practice mowing stripes in our lawns. We haven’t formed a political PAC or organization that makes sure we have a right to own these tools. The thing is, you can have my mower without prying it from my cold, dead fingers.
Josh, my boy, I have a little secret to share with ya. An obsession with guns doesn’t make you appear more manly. The women aren’t impressed. I promise you that. A good sense of humor will get you laid long before displaying your arsenal will. A paycheck helps too, btw.
So, what else you got? See, we have quite a few well-armed, unemployed people here in our County. We have terrible issues with drug and alcohol abuse. We aren’t attracting employers or encouraging entrepreneurs that can make a real difference to the quality of life here. We have way too many single moms, that, if asked, would sooner claim a right to affordable medical care for their children than to own a 9mm handgun. Our farms are disappearing, and our brightest children move away to make their living. Your constituents need you. They need you to know what their priorities are, and they would appreciate it if you worked hard to make their lives a little easier.
It truly is time for you to man up a little.