I did not grow up around guns. I lived in urban areas and I think my dad had a pellet rifle to shoot stray animals, but that is about it.
I currently live in a rural area. We keep a few weapons in the house to use against pesky beasts. In the time we have lived here we have had skunks and mangy foxes in the yard where my children play. We have a .22 to use on small varmints if necessary. Also in the area we have coyotes, timber wolves, linx, cougar and bear. Some of these animals we or others have seen on or adjacent to our property; others we see within a few miles. We have a shotgun to use against these if necessary.
My kids are of an age to learn to hunt. Two of them have taken firearms training and my 13 year old, Matt, has purchased his own shotgun and was given one by his great-grandfather. If my children are handling weapons, I want to have more than a rudimentary knowledge of what they are doing.
So I have decided to learn about guns. This is something I have wanted to do for as long as we have lived here, but never knew where to start.
But thanks to the fictional Stephanie Plum and company I now have a starting point. In these humorous books that are set in Trenton, NJ, everyone carries. All the old ladies in the beauty salon haul out their guns to compare what they are carrying. The various other characters' guns are mentioned. But when I began reading these books last spring, things like semi-auto, .38 special, .9mm, .40cal. and .44magnum, meant nothing to me. Smith and Wesson, Glock, and other company names were just names.
But one thing I like to do while reading, that is so easy with internet access, is to check up on those things about which I am in ignorance. I started looking up each gun that was mentioned.
And lo and behold, pretty soon I had an adequate base from which to branch out. I have found a few web sites that are especially helpful for someone who is totally green with regard to weapon stuff. My favorite is Cornered Cat. It is put together by a woman who has many of the same thoughts I have. She addresses concerns regarding weapons safety in a family home and how to raise kids with guns. These are things with which I have no experience .
Soon we are going to purchase handguns. Both Joe and I have our permits to purchase. We have done our homework and gone to lots of gun stores handled many guns. We have spoken to handgun users. We have talked to friends and acquaintances with military and law enforcement experience. We are ready.
It is fun to start a new hobby.
But since beginning the research on this new topic I have become more aware of how guns are portrayed in the popular media. I will periodically post on something I've read. I feel like I should start with something from the Stephanie Plum books, but I don't have the books here for either of my favorite quote. They will have to wait.
Instead, here is a much different quote from the book, Final Jeopardy, by Linda Fairstein.
I never had a gun when I was in Hollywood. I always had gofers to handle my drug transactions. I never carried. But I moved to Maine when I detoxed--it was easier for me to stay dry in a new environment. Now I live on one of those primitive little islands off the coast--no highways, no airports, no police department. Just beautiful vistas and lots of wild animals. The island is crawling with moose and deer and woodchucks and skunks. I started hunting with the guys who live around me--not for sport, but when the animals got destructive or like the time a rabid woodchuck attacked my golden retriever.I had to chuckle when I read this, because the kind of gun use the speaker engages in would hardly be called hunting in my book. It would fall under pest control or even self-defense depending on the situation.
And the other thing that got my attention was the contrast alluded to between this pest control thing that is viewed as acceptable, and all other hunting which is apparently merely for sport. I guess if you killing wildlife to eat is ethically inferior to killing a an animal that is bugging you.