Friday, February 21, 2014

Pistol Packin' Mommas

I don't like to think the sweet little old lady beside me in church is a pistol packing momma, but it's the truth on a number of Sundays. Colorado has a liberal conceal and carry policy. It's easy to get a hand gun permit. Colorado tried to tighten the state's gun laws last year. The restrictions seemed reasonable enough, but a real mess resulted.

One of the laws initiated by the 2013 Colorado Legislature bans the transfer or possession of ammunition magazines that hold more than 15 rounds. The other requires background checks of all private firearms transfers in Colorado.

The laws caused a huge uproar and the recall of two state legislators. True, the laws were nearly unenforceable when it came to background checks of private firearms transfers, but as to the size of ammunition rounds? Easy as pie to circumvent. Gun buyers simply drive to Wyoming and buy as many rounds as they like.

I'm very ambivalent about guns. I have a small collection of shotguns and rifles owned by my late husband. I don't have any handguns, but I believe I have the right, indeed the obligation, to defend myself if someone breaks into my home or intends to do me bodily harm. Still...I simply can't bring myself to buy a hand gun or get a license or whatever is required for a conceal and carry permit. 

Bottom line, guns make me nervous. Kind of like snakes. I simply edge away from the darned things. A couple of years ago, a man came to a 4th of July fireworks celebration in one of our local parks. He wore highly visible six-shooters. A number of families objected. So a cop investigated. Then the man sued the city for violating his constitutional rights. I do not care to stand next to such people and I sure don't want my grandchildren around him.  You never can tell what will set that kind of person off.

Nevertheless, despite my jitters, I plan to learn to handle guns for the sake of my mystery series. Research takes us down funny paths.

But here's the thing. Recently a man shot a car load of teenagers because he didn't like their loud music. In another incident a father was killed in a theatre for texting his kid. The idea that a person has license to shoot someone because he finds the other individual annoying is ludicrous. Can you imagine how this might affect the typical family reunion?

Guns and alcohol have never mixed. Not ever. In the Old West there was a gun rack in the sheriff's office in Dodge City. Wyatt Earp made every stranger that rode into town park his gun.

For Lottie Albright's sake (protagonist in my series) I'll learn to shoot. But as Charlotte Hinger, I doubt that I'll ever learn to like it.



Irene Bennett Brown said...

Shoot, Charlotte! (No pun)You're scaring me with that reunion remark. My husband and I attend two family reunions every summer, his and mine. I had him read your post and he informs me that his older brother (now deceased) always brought a handgun, hidden away in his pickup, to reunion. Now I wonder how many other relatives bring hidden guns and whether the annual argument about what time to have the reunion raffle might explode in carnage. Godamighty, woman!

Charlotte Hinger said...

Irene, the Smercheks were very peaceful, but the Hinger' were always engaged in some sort of siblings warfare. However, they would unite in a flash against outsiders. There was also a priceless underlying sense of humor.

A sister-in-law (who shall remain nameless) told me once. "Shut up, Charlotte. You are not entitled to an opinion until you have been in the family for ten years."

I don't know. Do you think I was dissed? Was I entitled to shoot her?