Sam Bauman
For the Nevada Appeal

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July 22, 2013
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Do not get me wrong, I love guns

I usually write about things that concern me and seniors, but at times I want to have the fun that political columnists such as conservatives Chuck Muth, Bob Thomas and Guy W. Farmer enjoy. So here’s a modest political jibe.

The absurdity of gun control has reached a new something or other with four states enacting laws that prohibit doctors from discussing handgun safety with patients. No gun talk with stethoscopes!

But gun control should really be a minor altercation of words since the U.S. Supreme Court in 2008 ruled the Second Amendment was in two, unrelated parts. The militia part did not have anything to do with the “right to bear arms” part. Which should have elated the National Rifle Association, but it didn’t because it took a chief fund-raising program away from the NRA. No longer could it proclaim that gun ownership was threatened by the do-gooders, long its cherished cry.

So nine seniors in black said guns were ours to keep, no matter what opponents said. The court did allow us modest tampering with the good old Second Amendment, such as barring felons and mentally ill people from gun purchases or running a registry of gun sales at gun shows.

You would think that would satisfy the “gun fanatics” (I stole that line from a guy who blamed bicycle riders for blocking Carson City traffic with “liberal fanatics’” on bikes) who feared black helicopters would swoop down with shock troops to take away our guns.

That was always a funny fantasy — where would any government get enough choppers and troops to grab the 300 million guns floating around the USA?

But gun fans have a reasonable point, if they just wouldn’t let the NRA guy rave about keeping “our” guns. We’re one of two countries that specifically make sure citizens have arms. Switzerland (my family homeland) is the other.

So one would think the NRA and the arms and ammo makers could relax. Their guns and profits are safe. But it was kind of overkill to browbeat four U.S. Democrat senators to vote against the modest gun control measures that reached the Senate. The four obviously weighed the desires of their party, their president and an estimated 90 percent of Americans who backed modest gun controls against the might of the NRA’s four or five million members. In my opinion, never in history have lawmakers caved in so easily when it was a choice between what was good for the country and what was good for them (continuing to enjoy the perks and vast benefits of a sitting senator). Senate seat ahead of country, one might say.

But the NRA isn’t happy about things, since they don’t have much of a fiery slogan to enrage members anymore. That guy still rants about keeping guns safe from zealous do-gooders. I’m not about to go after anyone’s guns, except those who presume to know how to use them but don’t.

Readers may think I bear a grudge against handguns.

No way! As a firing range officer in the U.S. Air Force I would fire a hundred rounds a day with the 1911 (or was it 1912?) Colt .45 until I was putting 10 out of 10 in the tiny circle. We didn’t wear ear protectors in those days so don’t be surprised when I ask, “What did you say?”

Like any sharpshooter, I turned my skill into free drinks at the officers’ club. When someone would complain that no one could hit anything with the Colt .45, I would demur and offer a wager. Naturally, I would win, which may be why I enjoy a chilled martini these days.

No, my gun days are over. But I remember them fondly.

Sam Bauman writes about senior issues for the Nevada Appeal.

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The Nevada Appeal Updated Jul 22, 2013 11:19PM Published Jul 22, 2013 11:19PM Copyright 2013 The Nevada Appeal. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.