Many of my friends consider me a leftist. As evidence, they point to the fact that Barack Obama was my choice in the last two presidential elections. I certainly am left enough to think that crime has paid – and paid well – for many unprosecuted executives of corporations, Wall Street and the banking industry. I think Obamacare does not go far enough to provide health insurance that is the right of all. But the only way the government will ever get my gun is, as Charlton Heston so famously said: “You can have my guns when you take them from my cold, dead hands.”
I am a hunter and enjoy shooting skeet and at targets but that is not why I oppose additional controls on firearms ownership except, perhaps, for expanding the requirements for background checks. My constitutionally guaranteed right to own a firearm and, for that matter, equip it with a 30-round magazine if I wish is integral to my status as a free citizen of a free country. There is no right more important to me than that granted by the Second Amendment because, philosophically at least, unfettered gun ownership truly represents power to the people. It signifies that my government recognizes that it is aware that the responsible and able citizen has the right and wherewithal to protect his or her rights and, if necessary, protect the nation. Trite, perhaps, but true is what a bumper sticker popular among gun owners proclaims: "If there was gun control in 1775, we would all be British subjects.”
Speaking of Britain, it is virtually impossible for the ordinary subject there to have a firearm for self-defense. But you can bet your boots that the lords and ladies and other persons of privilege can pack heat if they wish. That is usually the way it is in countries with tight gun control. I am not adverse to the requirement that I have a permit for carrying a handgun on my person. I will not register long guns and the government has no business knowing what guns I own, period.
Not all law enforcement, by the way, favors stronger gun control. I think back to a dark, snowy night where there was a disturbance on the woods road near my home and a lone trooper who responded asked me to grab my shotgun and accompany me while he investigated.
I am sick of smug liberal commentators, who could not survive outside of their comfortable urban cocoons, smirking at gun ownership. They betray woeful lack of knowledge about firearms and firearms laws, such as equating a carry permit with a license to have a gun. They inhabit an elitist, urban bubble that leaves them culturally deprived when it comes to how the rest of us live. I stopped watching Fox News eons ago. Since the Newtown tragedy, I no longer watch MSNBC, either. I am tired of wealthy oligarchs like Mayor Bloomberg telling the masses how to live, what soda to drink and crying about how guns create crime in his city. If he wanted to walk his talk, he would disarm his bodyguards.
I am against virtually any new gun control measures because they are only the beginning. The gun grabbers do not want control. They want elimination of private firearms ownership. There is no better example of their intent than the bill proposed by Connecticut State Senator Ed Meyer that would limit gun ownership to single-shot firearms, making possession of guns that fire multiple rounds a crime. Meyer needs to add provisions to his bill providing funds for more police to enforce it and more prisons to house me and the others like me who would defy it and thus be classed as felons if it became law. His bill only provides fodder for extreme right wing visions of jackbooted enforcers breaking down doors to seize the guns of law-abiding citizens. It irks me no end that I voted for the guy.
I am secretary of a rod and gun club, many of whose members think President Obama has horns, to put it mildly, and not only because they view him as anti-gun. Since Obama first ran for office, I have argued with them his case for greatness. Now, I fear I will have to consume my own words in front of my fellow sportsmen. I pray that Vice President Biden and President Obama realize that, like me, many of their supporters revere the Second Amendment. I was a Democrat who turned Republican because my party had fallen under the rule of special interests. I quit the Republicans because the party is dominated by oligarchs using Tea Party dupes to work their evil. I should note that I have allowed my NRA membership to expire because I believe that that organization now exists to promote right wing causes and is no longer focused solely, as in the past, on keeping America a “nation of riflemen.” I hope my president does not create a situation that will force me to pay dues to the NRA once again.
Edward R. Ricciuti