Saturday, September 7, 2019

Gun Fondling

Why do some people fondle their guns while they don't do this with other tools?

I've noted before that I'm not anti-gun.  Firearms have their place in our society and as long as they're handled responsibly they're not an issue.  Of course that's the real issue - that nobody handles them responsibly.

Well maybe not nobody, but there are a large number of people in the USA who not only enjoy owning firearms but have almost a fetish about them.  If you have some friends like this, no doubt you've been to their house and they've showed you their collection of firearms, even inviting you to touch or handle one or more of them.

I usually refuse such invitations. A firearm is a tool, and it's only be handled when it is needed or being maintained.  Fondling guns is just sick and stupid.  For some reason the gun nuts like to play with their guns and seem to derive some satisfaction from it.  To me, it makes about as much sense as playing with your circular saw.

I can only imagine the conversation that would take place if you invited your friends out to your workshop or tool room to show them your tools.  "Hey check out my new circular saw, it's a DeWalt!" you'd say, "Here, hold it - check out the heft on this baby!"

"That's nice," one would say, "I have a Ryobi, and those things are really built to last."

"Ah, you don't want that Jap crap," another friend would say, "I've got a Milwaukee, those things are built like iron."

"Kicking it back, old school?" another friend would ask, checking the action on the blade guard.

"What about you Tim, what kind of circular saw do you have?"

"Well," he would reply, "I have a Black & Decker!" - at which point all the rest of the men would start laughing uproariously.  They always thought that Tim was gay, but now they know for sure.

Of course, such a conversation is nonsensical, but then again so is passing out firearms and playing with them. And yet I have had this experience more than one time in my life, where gun enthusiasts have asked me to handle their firearms, which always makes me uncomfortable.  Not only that, but on more than one occasion, I've been handed a firearm and told it was unloaded, only to find that there was, in fact, a round in the chamber.

A responsible gun owner doesn't play with their guns.  For starters, when you hand them to people, they get their greasy fingerprints all over them, which can actually oxidized the finish.  Thus, you have to clean the firearm over and over again.  It is better to keep them locked up in a cabinet until they're ready to use.  If you're using one for personal protection, maybe you keep it in one of those rapid access safes.  Whatever the case, you don't leave them laying around loaded, or hand them out to friends to play with.

That is, any more than you ask your friends to come over and play with your circular saw.

P.S. - laying your firearm collection on the bed (WTF? sexual suggestion?) and taking a picture and posting it on Facebook or other social media counts as "fondling".    Responsible gun owners just don't do shit like that.  Little boys, on the other hand, do.

NOTE:  A reader chastises me for denigrating gun collectors.   Nothing could be further from the truth!  A true gun collector won't open up his gun case and pass around an antique shotgun for his friends to fondle, getting fingerprints and oils all over it - after he spent hours cleaning it.   Collectors and REAL firearms enthusiasts respect the hardware and know that guns are not toys to play with.

My brother-in-law had a collection of over 500 antique radios.  ("Do they all work?" I asked.  "Of course they do - I don't collect broken radios!" he replied).   And no, you could not even touch a one of them, much less play with the dials or buttons, or God Forbid, turn them on.

Does a philatelist let you handle his stamps?  A numismatist his coins?  Does a wine connoisseur let you into his cellar and pass rare bottles around? (they would sooner donate a kidney!).  Of course not.  Gun fondling is a sickness, not a hobby.

The gun nut?  He buys a Ruger-22 and then outfits it with "tactical" style accessories so he can play pretend Rambo.  It is no different that the guy with the Dodge Cummins pickup truck with the 10" diameter exhaust pipe, trying to play pretend trucker.   The guy with the Dodge is far less likely to go on a killing spree, however.

Gun nuttery is NOT being an enthusiast or a collector.  It is a form of mental illness.  The only time you should be handling a gun is if you are cleaning it or shooting it, or inspecting it for purchase.  Sitting in the dark stroking a firearm?   Passing them around for your friends to play with?  See a doctor!