Thursday, June 5, 2014

Let’s Get Together With Guns

Weren’t those Sunday Seattle Times pictures of women and their concealed weapons wonderful? Photographer Erika Schultz captured them well, as did the reporters in their story, “Pistol permits skyrocket, especially for women.

I thought they were a lot better than the Washington Post photo that accompanied a story earlier this week about ‘open carry’ demonstrations in Texas, “Assault rifles at the neighborhood Chipotle? Even the NRA thinks it’s ‘downright scary.’

“Downright scary,” “downright weird,” “downright foolishness,” the NRA said about the demonstrations. “Using guns merely to draw attention to yourself in public not only defies common sense, it shows a lack of consideration and manners. That's not the Texas way. And that's certainly not the NRA way," the NRA said, as quoted in “NRA Calls 'Open Carry' Rallies 'Downright Weird.'

Nothing weird about our Washington women with their concealed weapons.

What was weird was that the politically ferocious NRA was taking such a — how to say it?-- moral position on the ‘open carry’ demonstrations, calling them lacking in “consideration and manners.”

This week’s  weapon stories brought to mind how guns can bring us together. Take this year’s state legislature with a deeply divided state senate basically unable to move any legislation forward. Neither House nor Senate, however, had any difficulty passing SB 9556, which legalized owning a short-barreled rifle (one with a barrel shorter than 16 inches). Federal firearms regulations still apply, and the measure had nearly unanimous bipartisan support and the Governor signed SB 9556 into law on April 2.

At a legislators’ meeting with constituents, the question of what is the public good in legalizing short-barreled rifles was met with silence, then finally answered with the reason: elected officials are afraid of the NRA.

That was a refreshingly candid answer but sadly depressing. Elected officials aren’t afraid of teacher unions, they aren’t afraid of environmentalists, they aren’t afraid of Native American tribes. They oftentimes can’t enact legislation because they are deadlocked politically--- but they are able to work in a bipartisan fashion to legalize owning short-barreled rifles. Ultimately because they are afraid of the NRA.

But who is the NRA afraid of? The NRA got a blistering volley back from demonstration organizers Open Carry Texas. And, a few days after taking such a statesman-like moral position on ‘open-carry’ demonstrations, it reversed itself in “NRA Retracts Statement Calling Open Carry Rallies 'Downright Weird',” claiming that its statement wasn’t an organization position but that of a rogue staffer.

The NRA, Open Carry Texas and gun owners and users across the land closed ranks. Another good example of how people can get together with guns.

And seeing all these pictures this past week of women with their concealed weapons and demonstrators with their ‘open carry’ weapons made me think about a way I could get together with folks who liked their guns. I don’t think I’ll ever have much to do with the NRA but I like to see pictures of people holding their guns and it seems like people are happy to be seen holding their guns.

If you think it’s a good idea, we can set up a web page where folks can share their picture of them with their gun. No names, just a photo of you and your gun.

That’s one way I can think of how we can get together with guns. What do  you think?

--Mike Sato

1 comment:

  1. Me and my gun . . . . So comforting, especially if I'm afraid of "wildlife" (we're not talking when the bars close at 2 ayem), and bears and cougars, oh my. Bear and cougars attacks seem pretty rare around Granite Falls these days. How about something less rare, like raccoons raiding cat food left on the back porch and open garbage cans? Or even going to the range to see if you can get on the paper at 25 yards. I mean, actually shoot the darn thing.

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