Sunday, January 28, 2007
Beware the Man with One Gun
Before I got involved with guns myself, I thought people who had large gun collections were even nuttier than the typical gun nut. I didn't understand why anyone would want an arsenal of weapons, other than survivalist paranoia or a need to compensate for inadequacies.
Gun owners themselves recognize that collecting guns can be a little silly. They have a saying: Beware the man with one gun. The man with one gun has mastered his weapon of choice. He knows exactly how to draw it, what sight picture he needs at various ranges, how much pressure to apply to the trigger, how to absorb the recoil, and how to prepare for the next shot. Most importantly, the man with one gun didn't buy it to fill a space in his gun cabinet or to impress his shooting buddies; he bought it because he wants to be ready to use it.
There is another kind of "man with one gun:" this is the person who buys a gun and then sticks in the night stand, briefcase, or purse without really learning how to handle it safely. We all need to beware of such a person, but this is not the person who inspired the saying.
Despite the saying, lots of gun owners do buy lots of guns. There are some good practical reasons for this. You might want a small .22 pistol for target practice, but something bigger for self-defense or home-defense. You might want a bigger handgun that you can carry under a coat or jacket during cold-weather months, but a smaller gun that fits in a pocket during warmer weather.
Some people want to stash weapons throughout their homes or places of business. This strikes me as a bit paranoid, but I guess it's reasonable if you've concluded that it makes sense to have a weapon within reach at all times, just in case. For an example of a person who was wise to use this strategy, read the story of Lance Thomas
But lots of gun owners will admit that they have several guns because it's just fun to collect them and try different models. I'm beginning to understand this myself. As I shoot more often, I see guns less as "things that could kill me" and more as "gadgets." From the simplicity of a revolver to the timepiece-like complexity of some semi-automatic pistols, there is a wide range of mechanisms to investigate, analyze, and argue about. I find myself spending an increasing amount of time at gun manufacturers' web sites and kneeling in front of gun-store display cases.
Most gun owners are hoping to eventually stumble across The Perfect Gun: a gun that always hits the center of the bullseye, feels comfortable on the hip, and looks like a work of art.
I am currently a man with one gun, but I don't think anyone needs to beware of me. Only the bad-guy silhouettes on paper targets need fear me.
Good informative posts. I've often thought about getting a restrictive weapons permit which would allow me to purchase handguns for sporting purposes.
It's hard for me to fathom the level of fear and/or prejudice that would lead one to be afraid to go to the county courthouse during daylight hours.
John Anthony MN age 21