Fayetteville, AR –-(Ammoland.com)- In a recent discussion on Twitter (@gregcampnc), I was informed that anyone who has more than two guns is gearing up to commit mass murder. Now I’m willing to allow for some measure of exaggeration, given the nature of the medium, but as I look around at my personal armory and contemplate my plans for the new year, I have to say that one of us does not understand the other.
For purposes of this article, I am going to focus only on handguns. That’s to give my opponent’s argument the best chance, but also because the weather where I live—and in most of America—has turned cold. More on that in a bit.
First, consider the variation in power among the cartridges used in handguns. The weapon that you choose for going after squirrels would be a poor choice for dealing with the bears in Alaska, for example. That’s obvious to my readers here, but gun control advocates rarely trouble themselves to learn the subject they wish to regulate. In the case of handgun hunting, a person would be able to name a requirement for at least two and more likely three firearms—a small-bore rimfire, a medium piece, say .357 Magnum, for much of the U.S. wilderness, and something .44 Magnum on up if you’re going among the bigger Ursidae. Hunting in Africa may add a new need, depending on your big bore choice here.
Yes, I left out the typical semiautomatic pistols in the preceding. And that gets us into the magazine capacity debate. Do I have to explain that hunting and self-defense are different actions? To some people, I do, it seems. A hunter has a duty to make clean shots that minimize the suffering of the prey and also has the luxury of choosing to shoot or to refrain. In self-defense, good people have to react to violence that someone else has brought to them, needing to stop that violence as quickly as possible. Criminals can come in plurals, and sometimes—especially if they’re chemically enhanced—stopping them takes several shots. In this as in many other areas, Hollywood—with so many scenes of bad guys spraying to no effect, while good guys score one-shot stops—has done us a disservice.
But what about the weather? Read gun discussion boards for a while, and you’ll come across comments about carrying different guns when it’s hot or cold, since lots of clothing will conceal more than shorts and a tee shirt. A snubby revolver will fit into pockets that an M1911 will flop out of. It’s cold outside right now, though, so would one full-size handgun be enough?
I mention the temperature because when I go outside at present, I’m wearing gloves. I ask my fellow Glock owners to consider the trigger safety and trigger guard of our pistols. When my index finger is wrapped in a layer of leather, I want more resistance on the part of the bang switch—even understanding that my finger doesn’t go on the trigger until I’m ready to shoot. That’s because there should be enough room for getting my finger in place and because circumstances might change enough to tell me not to shoot. For days like this, a gun with a generous guard and a trigger that takes more time and intention to let go makes sense.
All of this isn’t to say what you should have or what best fits your requirements. It is to say that arbitrary limits on what everyone may own make no sense. Having the right tool for the job is what freedom allows us. These things, again, will be obvious to the usual readers here, but we have to be ready to explain to others the logic of what we do if we are going to preserve our rights.
About Greg Camp
Greg Camp has taught English composition and literature since 1998 and is the author of six books, including a western, The Willing Spirit, and Each One, Teach One, with Ranjit Singh on gun politics in America. His books can be found on Amazon. He tweets @gregcampnc