Reporters & Guns #2:
Idiots Shouldn't Own Guns


Illuminant by
Scott Farrell


August 1999

The blameful advocate as a dangerous child

In the continuing parade of Nit-Wits Advocating Gun Control Based On Their Own Poor Judgement, there is an article from the July 20, 1999 edition of the Los Angeles Times entitled "A Game of Bang-Bang, You're Dead". This article was written to support the passage of a proposed gun law which would have required dealers to sell a trigger lock with every firearm. The article graphically "demonstrates" the inherent danger of firearms by explaining how dangerous the author was as a child.

He begins by explaining that he was raised in a house with guns and with a father who tried to encourage him to enjoy shooting:

I received my first firearm, a 20-gauge shotgun from Sears, when I was 10 years old. I loaded it with shot for the first time on the same night the Beatles went on the Ed Sullivan Show. I stuffed cartridges in and out of the gun while trying to catch glimpses of the show, but I had to be careful Dad didn't notice I was interested in the British pop group. He said they were sissies.

When I took the Sears weapon outside to break it in, Dad and Granddad encouraged me to shoot some birds perched on a fence. I pretended I couldn't see them. They pointed and instructed me [but] I squinted and played blind. A few days later Dad sent me to the doctor for glasses. I guess the last thing that he could imagine was that his son had no guts to kill. But I got over it.

Apparently he did "get over it", because this timid young fellow who couldn't bring himself to do harm to a bird had a very different attitude regarding human beings. He goes on to relate how, one day, he found a Luger pistol his father had brought home from World War II. He assumed the gun was unloaded, so he decided to play a joke on his young friend, Calvin, by putting the gun to the boy's head:

I teased Calvin for a while, and he smiled and kept saying, "Don't do it."

I waved [the pistol] in front of his face.

He turned his head away slowly. "Don't do it." Calvin understood how lethal guns could be. His dad was a county sheriff.

"All it takes is just one squeeze", I reminded him. I delighted in his obedience. I was a god with the pistol in my hand.

I pressed the steel barrel against his left temple and ordered him not to move. He froze. I fingered the deadly little trigger.

"Don't do it", he whispered again.

So I didn't. When I pulled the magazine out to show him it was empty, there were eight bullets stacked inside, with one poised in the chamber.

Deranged child, unbalanced author?

Needless to say, this narrative is disturbing at best. A boy who would take such delight in frightening and intimidating a friend — regardless of whether the gun was actually loaded — needs more than just a trigger lock, he needs immediate counseling, either by his parents or by a professional psychologist. To blame the presence of a pistol for such behavior is idiotic to the point of criminal negligence. This kind of deranged behavior could have been perpetrated just as easily with any hazardous household item — a knife, a razor, poison, chemicals, matches, scissors, etc.

The implication in this article is that every child is as mentally unbalanced as the author was when he was ten years old. Fortunately, that's quite untrue. Most children are taught to respect the dangerous items which they see every day — fire, water, electricity, tools and even guns — long before the age of ten, for their own safety as well as the safety of those around them.

Discretion, good judgement — & liberty

Ironically, the bill requiring gun dealers to include a trigger lock with every firearm — and subsequently raising the price of guns even higher — died in Congress just after the publication of this article. Instead, a much more reasonable law was passed in its place requiring dealers to simply stock trigger locks in their stores, thereby giving gun owners the option of locking their guns up if necessary. Perhaps after reading the Los Angeles Times article, the more reasonable members of Congress realized that, for a family with a disturbed child, discretion and good judgement must go hand-in-hand with liberty, and thus they chose to put the tools of discretion in every gun shop.

It is an ugly fact that a small percentage of people will become dangerous criminals, and for them, the blessings of freedom must be curtailed for the safety of all. Fortunately, not everyone would rob all Americans of their liberty just because some do not have the mental capacity to safely enjoy their Constitutional rights.


© 1999 Scott Farrell

Law at Troynovant
legal institutions, juries;
lawmen, law enforcement

Weapontake at Troynovant
weapons, martial arts;
gun rights, freedom of self-defense

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