Let’s See If I Can “Germinate an Intelligent Thought” Here

A fellow Arizonan by the name of Jon Garrido has an, um, interesting site that goes by the name of “Out of Many, One”, and on that site, he waxes poetic about his growing up in rural Arizona and his love for firearms on the gun control page. (Edit 5/16/04: The site has moved, and these links have been updated to the new URLs. The site is no longer called “Out of Many, One, but now Jon Garrido Writes) Example:

I grew up in rural Arizona with a love for guns. I still remember my first gun. A thousand shot Red Ryder BB gun. I don’t remember exactly how old I was. Somewhere around 6 or 7 years old. I moved up quickly. My second gun was a Daisy pump 50 shot BB gun. I was the only one of my gang who had a Daisy pump, much more powerful than my Red Ryder. I was the envy of all my buddies. I think I was 7 or 8 years old. We went everywhere with our BB guns and anything that moved was fair game. I remember lizards. They were fast but they always came to a stop after a short burst run.

Pigeons were a lot easier. I guess that is where the term comes from. I cleaned my first pigeons when I as 8 or 9 and we roasted them in a fire. We all seemed to carry salt with us in those days.

At age 9-10, I moved up again. This time my parents bought me a Crossman pellet gun. It used CO2 gas to propel pellets and it was a great gun. I still have it. I gave it to my son once but now it is back home in my closet where it belongs.

It seem I would never be old enough but the time finally arrived. I finally got my 22. A Remington bolt action. Now doves, quail and rabbits were the targets of choice. I think I was 11 years old.

All my friends had 22s. We did not have to go far to shoot our guns. Just out the back door. All we had to do was go behind my grandparents’ house and shoot targets. When targets became boring, off we went to explore the hills and mountains around our little town.

A 22 was a great gun to start with but my hunting was limited to small game until the Christmas of 1955. That was the year I got my Winchester Model 94 30-30. I was 12 years old and I killed my first deer when I was 13.

In those years, there were deer everywhere. I remember shooting deer and taking them back to my grandmother who made the deer meat into jerky. It seems our pockets were always full with dried jerky. Her jerky dried with chili was the best. We probably shot more javelinas than deer but they were more trouble cleaning than they were worth eating.

I was born in Superior, Arizona, a copper mining town of 4,000 persons. Probably a lot less now because the mine has been closed for twenty years. Superior is two hours east of Phoenix. My mom was born there and my dad was born up the road in Jerome, then the site of the biggest copper mine in Arizona. Jerome is now one of Arizona’s ghost towns.

Nice, nostalgic stuff, no? Rural Americana at its best. He goes on to describe his experience with handguns:

Handguns were also used then for hunting but really weren’t made for out west. I had three handguns and my Dan Wesson 357 magnum with a six inch barrel was my favorite. I could hit a oil barrel one hundred yards away yet I never used it for hunting. Why use a handgun when a rifle is so much more accurate? Nor did I ever carry a handgun in the car. At home, it was always in one of my drawers.

(Just as an aside, oil-barrel jerky doesn’t sound too appetizing.) But here’s where it turns South:

I got rid of my handguns before I married and never bought another gun again.

But he doesn’t say why, and I find that interesting. Continuing:

While I still love guns, gun ownership today has certainly changed for the worst. I hate the way most guns are used today.

Non sequitur alert! Non sequitur alert! “…the way most guns are used today?”

What planet does this guy live on? We’ve got 280,000,000 people in the U.S. and over 200,000,000 guns, and he hates the way most of them are used? What, hunting and target shooting? I thought that was what he did as a kid? No, he means this:

I think senseless killings of innocent people is absolutely sinful.

Well, hell, who doesn’t?

I strongly favor total gun control of hand guns and automatic weapons. The National Rifle Association claims it is guns that kill people and not people. Such a stupid comment.

Pot? Meet kettle. Let’s look at reality here. (And remember, Mr. Garrido wrote his op-ed in 2000.)

According to the Department of Justice’s Crime Atlas 2000, the homicide rate in the 20th Century peaked first in 1933 at 9.7/100,000 population, then dropped to a minimum of 4.5/100,00 in 1957, then increased again in the 70’s, peaking at 10.1 in 1974, and at 10.7 in 1980, and at 10.5 in 1991. Since then it has been on the descent, reaching 6.3/100,000 in 1998. According to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reports, it continued its decline, reaching 5.5/100,000 in 2000, and it nudged up one tenth for 2001. We haven’t seen a rate of 5.5/100,000 since 1965.

Here’s a good graphic showing the trend over time:

It would appear that Mr. Garrido grew up during that low period between 1945 and 1960. Too bad he didn’t take some time while growing up to study history. And too bad that he hasn’t bothered to study current events, either. Ignorance is not bliss. Homicide rates are back down where they were when he was a young man, and there are a lot more guns, especially handguns, in private hands today than there were then. Looks like most guns are being used just like they were when he was growing up.

He continues:

As I listen to spokesmen of the National Rifle Association, I can not understand how supposedly intelligent rational men can make make such ludicrous statements supporting the sale of guns with out adequate controls.

I love guns but only as a gun lover using a gun to go hunting or for protection. I think gun registration is an obvious way of limiting gun ownership to sensible persons.

Really? And just who gets to decide who’s “sensible?” Is there a test? If so, administered by whom? I thought our system of government was based on rights? Since when are we tested before we’re allowed to exercise them? And what do we do about all those people who own guns now? Sorry, Mr. Garrido, but there’s a thing known as prior restraint, and another known as due process. The first says that you can’t deny a right because someone might do something wrong, the second says you can only strip an individual of any right through the legal process. Doing it to the population wholesale is unconstitutional.

It also makes perfect rational sense to make everyone wait at least one month to purchase a gun if it will lessen the amount of innocent killing. Why a person needs to buy a gun and be able to use it the same day is beyond any rational thinking.

Let’s see…could it be…for PROTECTION? And IF it will lessen the amount of killing? What if it doesn’t?

But here’s the kicker – the last line in his little holier-than-thou sermon:

Those that think gun control takes away any constitutional right are not capable of germinating an intelligent thought.

OK, now it’s obvious he hasn’t been studying current events.

England did everything Mr. Garrido thinks is a good idea – registration, restricting guns to “sensible people,” the whole nine yards. Now not one law-abiding citizen in England has a handgun anymore. And no one can legally use a firearm for self-defense there unless they’re a police officer or other government official. We’re supposed to have a constitutional right, but there are people – as I illustrated here who want to take that right away. And as I illustrated here, our Constitutional right to arms currently doesn’t exist in Arizona – the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has so ruled. More than once.

Mr. Garrido represents a large number of gun owners who think “they’ll never take my guns. I’m a sensible person.” Right, Mr. Garrido. Pay attention: Tell that to a few hundred-thousand Brits who have had their handguns taken, and their semi-auto rifles and shotguns taken. Tell that to a bunch of Australians that have lost a lot of rifles and shotguns and are about to lose a lot of handguns. Tell that to the Canadians who are, even now, fighting a “common-sense” registration scheme that has wasted a billion of their tax dollars.

Here’s an intelligent thought, Mr. Garrido: We’ve seen “total control of handguns and automatic weapons.” They’ve seen. Why haven’t you seen?

(Image courtesy of Oleg Volk’s A Human Right website. Go look. Excellent stuff.)

(All emphasis in the quotations from Mr. Garrido’s page are mine.)

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