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Wednesday, Apr. 16, 2014

Flossie on gun control

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Hi neighbors. Other than the weather, the big talk in my neighborhood is on gun control. Flossie was over the other day for coffee and cake, and she had -- as usual -- her own opinions about gun control.

"First and last word on gun control," Flossie took a bite of cake, munched a while and took a sip of coffee. "is NO."

She sipped again and continued, "You have to remember that the founding fathers came from countries with gun control; and they were against it. That ought to tell you something's wrong with it." Flossie took another bite so I thought I might get a comment in if I acted quickly.

"But we don't live in the same world the founding fathers did. They lived in isolation in a wilderness where people had to hunt to put food on the table. They needed guns. We have supermarkets." I took a quick breath and another bite of cake myself.

Flossie snorted. "Again, the majority of the people of Philadelphia, or any other city in early America, didn't come here from a wilderness, now did they? If having guns only for hunting was their main concern, they would have said every citizen could have a squirrel gun."

I grabbed our cups and headed back to the coffee pot. When I returned, Flossie took her filled cup and started adding the sugar and cream. She started stirring.

For those new readers who might not know, Flossie's degree of annoyance can be gauged by how quickly she stirs her coffee. The stirring was not too frantic, yet, so I took another bite of cake to give her time to finish her thought.

"When the Revolutionary War broke out, the young American government expected and relied upon the fact that every soldier would bring his own gun to the fight."

The stirring continued long past the time needed to dissolve sugar in hot coffee. "How about some more cake, Flossie?" She nodded and I put another slice on her plate. Before taking a bite though she continued.

"That is the main reason citizens continue to fund the US military: to make sure they'll have guns and ammo to give to the unarmed citizens to defend America if we are ever invaded by armed forces. I think it is every American citizen's duty to be ready to defend their own state, city, and neighborhood and home if called on to do so."

"So you think an armed citizenry will take the place of the military if we are invaded?"

"I think that was the original plan, yes. Of course, even criminals will fight invaders to protect their 'turf'. They fight each other all the time now -- at least localized organized gangs do. That's why they wear gang colors and paint graffiti all over every wall and fence -- to mark their territory. Governments use flags."

"Surely you agree that having gun clips limited to 10 bullets is a good idea, don't you?"

She added more sugar and kept stirring. "I think the number of bullets anyone has in their gun has no meaning in this matter. It only takes one bullet to kill someone after all."

"Well, what about armed people coming into public places and shooting people at random? Certainly having fewer bullets makes sense there. Someone could jump them while they reload."

"Sure, that might make some sense. But who will be the one to jump them? The third grade students? The teachers who are trying to get the kids to safety? If it's at a mall or a theater most people panic and run or hide -- which is probably the smartest thing to do."

"As far as having fewer bullets, as Dirty Harry said, 'are you feeling lucky?' Are you willing to assume the shooter is a law-abiding citizen who has limited himself to a 10 bullet clip?" Flossie took a deep drink of coffee.

She shook her head. "No, my friend, I think if the military, the crazy people and criminals can have guns, the real insanity is telling the sane working class citizens that they can't."

I sighed. "The thing is, if there were laws limiting how many and what type of guns we could have, or how many bullets we could have access to; how will they enforce that? Even if they make it a law that no manufacturer can make a certain gun, or a bigger clip; what about all those already out there? Will they come into our homes and search for them?"

We finished our coffee in quiet -- a strange thing for Flossie. Now that's something to think about.

Nancy Malcom
The Third Cup