It’s Fun

A response from TPM Reader MH

Quick response to SS. I am also a gun owner and recreational shooter with very liberal politics. But unlike SS, I have always loved what has come to be called “Tactical Shooting”, particularly the tactical handgun. I started out shooting customized 4″ .357 revolvers in the seventies. Then came Jeff Cooper, “Wondernines” and IPSC competition. I have always enjoyed it as a recreation, as something I found truly enjoyable. It’s not real – we’re not wannabe killers, any more than people who ride horses think riding horses is a practical real life skill.

One of my favorite guns is an old Cobray 9mm MAC 11 I’ve had for over twenty years. It’s pretty much the classic people talk about when they say “Why would you need a gun like that – it’s not good for anything but killing”. But that’s wrong – what it is is inordinately fun to shoot. Load up a couple 30 round mags with cheap 9mm reloads and blast away. Like I say, I’ve had it for years, never would even THINK about using it for some kind of “defense”, it’s just something that provides me with recreational pleasure, like golf clubs or a ski boat.

Does any of this mean I approve of our current firearms policy? Absolutely not – what we are doing is a gigantic, insane social experiment that is turning out quite predictably, and the Republican absolutism on guns, like their absolutism on taxes and abortion, is desperately destructive to our society. We must enact much more restrictive firearms regulations in this country, legislation that increased the scarcity and raises the cost of weapons. This could be done in a way entirely compatible with the Constitutional guarantee of the right to own firearms, while we reduced the incidence of gun violence in the US over time.

Mainly I guess I just wanted to push back against some of the rhetoric being used to describe gun owners as “fetishists” or killers. I take exception when I read somebody asking “why would you NEED one of those”. The answer, of course, is I don’t “need” it any more than they need that Porsche or those expensive golf clubs. But the fact that I want one doesn’t make me complicit, especially because I agree it is FAR too easy for me to get those guns…