I'll preface this with the following: guns scare the shit out of me. As they should, right? I also am a marksman with a .22, which means out of 200 attempts, I'll hit the bullseye over 170 times. Handguns? No. Fired them a few times, and the awesome power makes me need to pee and tuck my prehensile tail between my legs. (I don't actually have a tail. Hee!) I also grew up in a family of girls, and my father (who had enough of guns and death in Vietnam and while growing up on a farm in the mountains with black bears and coyotes) didn't have any guns in the house.
My husband has a rating of sniper with all guns. Meaning, the target thing? 198 out of 200. He has a concealed weapons license. He had to go through several courses to learn gun laws, responsibility, a psychological background check, yadda yadda. He hunts, he goes to the gun range for fun, and he has guns in my house. At first I yelled, cried, screamed, "there will be NO guns in my home." And he bought a gun safe with a keypad and keylock. And then he bought locks for the guns. They fit on the trigger, so you can't squeeze off a round without the tumbler combination selected. And we've educated our kids about gun safety. They have no idea how to get to dad's guns. Ammo is in our separate fire safe.
But I'm still scared of guns. As I should be.
That being said, my thoughts about accepting guns in my home is that regionally, guns are okay. This is Texas, after all. My dad was a farm boy from Utah, so what the hell did he know about "prying it from my cold, dead fingers?" I have Alamo blood in my family line. He grew up with a shotgun and rifle to protect the cattle from wolves and coyotes. Or to put an animal out of it's misery, should the need arise.
But I live in the city. According to recent stats on Dallas, TX, we are the crime capital/murder capital of the US. Yay, team! Lots of gun-for-hire kind of murder around here. Lots of folks with money that other people want. In our old neighborhood close to downtown, it was a weird hodge-podge of houses: million dollar mansions and run-down 100 year old bungalows. Very distinct line between the haves and the have-nots. I remember sitting in my living room late one night, reading by the window when I saw a face in my window. (MY god, I just got chills remembering this.) Very calmly I called out to my husband, as if I was telling him something interesting from my book. He walked out the side door with his shotgun and threw on the porch light. He stopped this man from breaking into our neighbor's house. But he could have been killed, as I frantically and emotionally yelled at him.
So there is this vigilante, this man who lived by the "cowboy code" who tried to stop a slaughter. If he hadn't wounded the gunman, the gunman may have killed more. BTW, the gunman had an assault rifle, which I am VEHEMENTLY opposed to. They (and handguns, for that matter) are designed for one thing, and one thing only: killing people.
Now we get to the Buffy portion of this ramble. Buffy was obviously opposed to guns. "These? Never useful!" But they can be. But they should be in the hands of people who are trained and people who are aware (and RESPECTFUL) of their awesome and frightening power. And there's the rub, right? You have Wesley who IMMEDIATELY turned to guns in a crisis. When he shoots the intern's knee for questioning his dedication to the "Burkle case" and when he unloaded his gun into his "father," for starters
I guess what I'm getting at is that it ISN'T black and white. We don't have slayers defending us with their fists and cunning. Guns can save the lives of those being threatened...by...guns. [/irony] There are also five year olds who pick up daddy's gun when he is coming off the shift at the Penn and shoot through the wall and kill their mom. (Happened the same time as the courthouse shooting.) And I'm wondering if we are even having this discussion because ultimately, I'm Texan, and I have the "Rugged Individualism" ideal pounded into me from birth. Is this a regional topic? Outside of the Grits Line is this even a topic? Are people from, say the Northwest, automatically going to shout down any and all gun use? I ask because I want to know. Have any of you had any experience with firearms? Good or bad? Spam me with your insight, your fervor, your questioning of it all.
And I leave this with my Deadwood icon, and if you haven't discovered this show, you are REALLY missing something earth-shatteringly phenominal, and is very relevant to the "cowboy code" topic of discussion.