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Ramble with Storm: Gun culture

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stormtight.jpg Mulling things on my morning ramble

with Storm, the family's mixed Lab.

I hope Bob Costas has the balls to speak out again tonight on the gun culture.

Because it is a discussion we damm sure better get to.

He had some missteps last week discussing ``gun culture,'' but overall I thought he nailed. it. Bottom line is that the gun culture in America is something harder to control than guns themselves.

The problem isn't the guns as much as the ideas and values associated with them.

The reason there hasn't been a Ramble with Storm the past three days is that I am trying to sort out my thoughts on the gun culture in America. Difficulty in forming those thoughts was only made harder by the massacre of children on Friday.

I was hoping to do a Sunday column on it, but I still can't put my thoughts together coherently enough.

So this is a work in progress. Take it that way.

A great horned owl flew out of the tree behind the backstop at the ballfield on the edge of town. That was the second owl I have seen on rambles in the past week.

This after only seeing something like two in some 12 years or morning rambles with the meathead and before him, the late much missed Flash. Now two owls in a week.

Guns and the gun culture in America are complicated for me. Always has been, probably always will be. I own and enjoy guns. But they also don't define my life or my politics.

I refuse to allow my life to be defined by arms manufacturers themselves or their paid parrots in the outdoor media.

Much opinion in the outdoor media comes from people whose web sites or wire services are paid for by advertising from arms manufacturers or they are actually working in public relations roles for arms manufacturers or advocacy groups backed by them.

My point is take opinion with a grain of salt. Or more to the point, think your own thoughts. Don't just parrot those of gun advocacy groups.

For the life of me, I don't understand defining life or political views on guns. I have a long list of things that are more important to me. In nearly four decades of voting, I have never went far enough down on that list of important issues to base a voting decision on gun control.

The belted kingfisher was raucously working the eastern shoreline of the town pond, flying between both old clay pits. I think he has another week, then I think the ice will finally begin building.

What set me to trying to sort out my thoughts on gun culture was my weekly call to my dad. He told me he sold his deer rifle to my younger brother.

After deer hunting this fall, he realized his knee and hip replacements can't take crawling around the mountains any more.

So he sold his deer rifle to my younger brother, on the condition that the gun stays in the family. Dad wanted to make sure it was all right with me.

The reality is that I don't have a lot of use for a rifle. Most of my hunting is done in Illinois, where most hunting is with a shotgun.

More immediately and more importantly, I didn't have the money to buy it any way and my brother did. A little advice for all you youngsters out there (thank you Steve Stone), ``Writing software is more lucrative than writing.''

Put it this way, if you have utilized an ER in a major city, there's a chance you benefited from my brother's work.

I find myself with no satisfactory solution, other than thinking the discussion better be beyond just gun control and go on to include a discussion on the gun culture, too.

A gray squirrel scolded Storm and me as we came back into town. I finally found him on the corner of the roof at the feed mill. I have never seen a squirrel up. My guess is he ran down the wires and jumped.

Just another oddity.

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But there is more than one "gun culture" in this country. The one you grew up in, I believe, is akin to the one I have found in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, where hunting is a family tradition and the weaponry involved in that, be it firearms or bows, is part of that. Guns are simply a part of the family, which is very different from the gun culture I grew up in, which was Bonanza and Gunsmoke and hearing of shootings in the big, bad city, not to mention the shootings of Kennedy and Kennedy and King. Then there is the gun culture associated with gangs. To name a few. From the perspective of someone who did not grow up with firearms in the closet, I respectfully suggest that perhaps guns are indeed the problem, simply because they can be thought of and used in so many different ways. But the only thing they are designed to do ... well, isn't it to kill or maim? I do not know the answer either. But certainly there is a huge question.

I think American culture in general is the more important topic for discussion.

We are bombarded daily with violence of all types in the media. Often the violence is glorified. You can rarely turn on the TV, radio, watch a movie, or play a video game and not be exposed to death and violence. The guy that kills the most people, in the most horrific ways, is often the hero. It has had a desensitizing effect on us all.

Mentally disturbed individuals that decide to go on a killing spree cannot comprehend reality from fantasy, They cast themselves as stars in their own violent video game, and then horror ensues. Victims are not considered live innocent humans, just make-believe entities that increase their score with each shot. What new law will prevent that? How do we regulate this kind of insanity?

It comes as no surprise that those with a political agenda will try to take advantage of the situation to further gun control. As Rahm once said, "Never let a good tragedy go to waste".

Blaming the so-call "gun culture", restricting and banning firearms, are nothing but cheap, "feel good", knee-jerk responses that may gain lost political ground on gun control, but do nothing to prevent sick individual from creating havoc.

Until we as a society begin to value the sanctity of human life, and restrict the glorifying of death and violence in media, these tragedies will certainly continue

mr goosepit writes the truth.

well done sir.

Beyond that, it all seems right out of Orwell's "1984".

The desensitized children of today will grow up to be ruthless soldiers in the imperial wars of the future. Rahm's philosophy is not by accident.

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This page contains a single entry by Dale Bowman published on December 16, 2012 8:51 AM.

Ed Mullady: An appreciation was the previous entry in this blog.

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