My main claim to national – and international – fame is the ownership of slightly less than half a chapter in Claire Wolfe’s book, Don’t Shoot the Bastards (Yet): 101 More Ways to Salvage Freedom (1999) (ISBN 1-55950-189-8), appropriately entitled “Hobbit and Parker Talk Guns.” Claire’s earlier work, 101 Things to Do ‘Til the Revolution: Ideas and Resources for Self-Liberation, Monkey Wrenching and Preparedness, Breakout Productions; Revised edition (January 1999) (ISBN 1-893626-13-X) (And if you don’t have both of these, why not? Get them. Read them. Now. I’ll wait) had a chapter on firearms and, upon reading it, I had no choice but to send Claire an email which boiled down to a polite form of, “You’re a girl and don’t know nuffin’ ’bout shootin’ arns!”
In whatever form I actually said it in that note, it must have been polite (or funny) enough that email conversation ensued and culminated in a series of questions that she used as the meat of the gun chapter in the subsequent book. Though I believe Parker’s responses were funnier and more informative, I think that I managed to hold my own sufficiently to not embarrass Claire for her generous offer.
Since this is my blog and my interests include firearms, that means that my demented scribblings will, of necessity, include commentary on gun related issues – legal, social, and mechanical. In fact, deep and eternal questions will be asked – and answers given – in regard to those issues! As long as we’re here, let’s start off with some of the most common:
1. What’s the best gun? Great question! Given, though, that guns are simply tools this question is akin to asking “what’s the best screwdriver…?” The answer may well be “none” if the rest of the question is “for hammering nails.” And that doesn’t even begin to address your own personal levels of skill, training, and interest or the ever-necessary response question of “for what?” The best gun for concealed carry is not particularly ideal for taking cape buffalo in the brush, and the shotgun good for quail is not going to be making headshots on gophers at 500 yards. There is, however, an answer (I promised answers, after all), and the answer is “The best gun is the one that you have with you at the time you need it, if it can do what you need to have done within most likely operational parameters.” In other words, the .32 you have with you is better than the .45 at home on the nightstand, though you’re still not going to be using it to do headshots on gophers at 300 yards ’cause that ain’t what .32s are made for.”
2. Fine, smartypants, “What’s the best gun for concealed carry?” “Do not teach your grandmother to suck eggs, grasshopper, the above answer is still perfectly applicable.”
3. Oh, for cryin’ out loud. “What gun do YOU like, Mr. Blog Owner, for concealed carry?” “The one that I have with me, because within the most likely self-defense parameters it will do what I need done.”
4. SWEET BLOODY MARTYRED GHU, WHAT IN THE NAME OF DOG ARE YOU CARRYING RIGHT NOW??? You know, typing in all caps on the Internet is like yelling and there’s no reason to scream at me just because you have difficulty formulating a simple question. Sheeeesh. But, at the moment, it’s a Kahr MK9, 9mm in a pocket holster because spring is here and I’m not wearing a coat around the office. Cooler seasons or casual wear might see either a higher capacity Smith & Wesson such as the S&W 5906 or the SIG P220.
5. You seem to like double action pistols. That’s not a question, that’s a cogent observation.
6. Isn’t the double action pistol an ingenious solution to a nonexistent problem? I’m not a Marine Colonel, I’m a lawyer. I am not concerned only with winning any shootout, but with making sure to win any possible criminal or civil litigation later. Should I have to consider that? No – but until the law on shooting criminals rolls back about a hundred years or so I am stuck with that as being a possibility. A double action handgun removes, for the most part, any allegation that the shooting was accidental or negligent.
7. What’s better, 9mm or .45ACP? Oh, gee, look at the time and the wordcount. I guess we’ll have to leave that for a later date. I said I’d give up answers – but there was no promise of immediacy. Nor, for that matter, of universal accuracy. These are, after all, demented scribblings.
Speaking of demented scribblings, let me offer in closing a fun essay by my friend L. Neil Smith. It’s been around awhile, you may have seen it, but if not, it serves as an excellent example of scribblings which are not demented and as such should be an excellent contrast to my own work:
Why Did it Have to be … Guns?
by L. Neil Smith
Over the past 30 years, I’ve been paid to write almost two million words, every one of which, sooner or later, came back to the issue of guns and gun-ownership. Naturally, I’ve thought about the issue a lot, and it has always determined the way I vote.
People accuse me of being a single-issue writer, a single- issue thinker, and a single- issue voter, but it isn’t true. What I’ve chosen, in a world where there’s never enough time and energy, is to focus on the one political issue which most clearly and unmistakably demonstrates what any politician — or political philosophy — is made of, right down to the creamy liquid center.
Make no mistake: all politicians — even those ostensibly on the side of guns and gun ownership — hate the issue and anyone, like me, who insists on bringing it up. They hate it because it’s an X-ray machine. It’s a Vulcan mind-meld. It’s the ultimate test to which any politician — or political philosophy — can be put.
If a politician isn’t perfectly comfortable with the idea of his average constituent, any man, woman, or responsible child, walking into a hardware store and paying cash — for any rifle, shotgun, handgun, machinegun, anything — without producing ID or signing one scrap of paper, he isn’t your friend no matter what he tells you.
If he isn’t genuinely enthusiastic about his average constituent stuffing that weapon into a purse or pocket or tucking it under a coat and walking home without asking anybody’s permission, he’s a four-flusher, no matter what he claims.
What his attitude — toward your ownership and use of weapons — conveys is his real attitude about you. And if he doesn’t trust you, then why in the name of John Moses Browning should you trust him?
If he doesn’t want you to have the means of defending your life, do you want him in a position to control it?
If he makes excuses about obeying a law he’s sworn to uphold and defend — the highest law of the land, the Bill of Rights — do you want to entrust him with anything?
If he ignores you, sneers at you, complains about you, or defames you, if he calls you names only he thinks are evil — like “Constitutionalist” — when you insist that he account for himself, hasn’t he betrayed his oath, isn’t he unfit to hold office, and doesn’t he really belong in jail?
Sure, these are all leading questions. They’re the questions that led me to the issue of guns and gun ownership as the clearest and most unmistakable demonstration of what any given politician — or political philosophy — is really made of.
He may lecture you about the dangerous weirdos out there who shouldn’t have a gun — but what does that have to do with you? Why in the name of John Moses Browning should you be made to suffer for the misdeeds of others? Didn’t you lay aside the infantile notion of group punishment when you left public school — or the military? Isn’t it an essentially European notion, anyway — Prussian, maybe — and certainly not what America was supposed to be all about?
And if there are dangerous weirdos out there, does it make sense to deprive you of the means of protecting yourself from them? Forget about those other people, those dangerous weirdos, this is about you, and it has been, all along.
Try it yourself: if a politician won’t trust you, why should you trust him? If he’s a man — and you’re not — what does his lack of trust tell you about his real attitude toward women? If “he” happens to be a woman, what makes her so perverse that she’s eager to render her fellow women helpless on the mean and seedy streets her policies helped create? Should you believe her when she says she wants to help you by imposing some infantile group health care program on you at the point of the kind of gun she doesn’t want you to have?
On the other hand — or the other party — should you believe anything politicians say who claim they stand for freedom, but drag their feet and make excuses about repealing limits on your right to own and carry weapons? What does this tell you about their real motives for ignoring voters and ramming through one infantile group trade agreement after another with other countries?
Makes voting simpler, doesn’t it? You don’t have to study every issue — health care, international trade — all you have to do is use this X-ray machine, this Vulcan mind-meld, to get beyond their empty words and find out how politicians really feel. About you. And that, of course, is why they hate it.
And that’s why I’m accused of being a single-issue writer, thinker, and voter.
But it isn’t true, is it?