I spent my tenth summer on a farm with ducks, an old mare, a tree house, and a bolt action single shot 22 calibre rifle. For target practice I had a stack of old Caruso and Galli-Curci phonograph records. Not a one survived.
In Italy, after VE Day, I bought a Walther P-38 for no reason I can remember other than it felt good in my hand, then traded it for an even better feeling Italian Beretta 1934 which I had chromium plated. On the Victory Ship home, I sold it for 30 dollars to a soldier from Texas, where you can now carry conceled weapons to baseball games, super markets, and on college campuses.
I like the feel of a gun in my hand. It gives me the lethal power my Maker left out. Plainly put, a gun is sexy, although gun nuts yammering about "protection" will never admit to that.
I recall a New Jersey home owner who boasted about his M14 rifle. It was the late 1960s. He lived in Campgaw, a suburb 30 miles north of the Newark riots. "If they ever pull anything around here, I'm ready," he said menacingly.
"If they get this far, there will be lots of them," I said. "What if they all have guns? You ready to hold off a dozen, fifty?" He seemed startled. I don't think he'd thought of that.
The warm, confident dont-mess-with-me feel of a gun in your hand empowers the National Rifle Association and now few politicians dare oppose it. The wildly pro-gun Tea Party wants a gun in every rec room. With so many Radical Right Texans packing heat, their opposition will be packing too.
If your tool is a hammer, everything looks like a nail. If your tool is a gun, everything looks like a target. Think about that when you're mapping out the route of your next road trip.