Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

How I Came to Accept Guns to a Point

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

How I Came to Accept Guns to a Point

Article excerpt

I never liked guns. I didnt grow up around them, and while I support deer hunting, I never saw a reason for anyone whos not a cop or soldier to have a handgun, or semiautomatic, or anything other than a hunting rifle. Those kinds of guns are made to kill people, and no one should be killing people, except in the line of duty.

Then I met my fianc. He didnt have guns, but he had knives mostly utilitarian, but a couple clearly designed for injuring people. He is a professional machinist, and hes interested in anything carefully crafted from metal. His most expensive knives were in a safe, and he certainly didnt carry them or brandish them or get them into any kind of situation where he would stab anyone. He saw them as a classic example of a machinists trade.

Its weird, I thought, but I get it. Well-made gear is a lovely thing, whether its camping equipment, or fishing tackle, or furniture. Theres an element of design and care, and in the case of Chriss knives, raw materials and handcrafting at the highest levels.

Then he bought a gun. A really scary-looking semiautomatic rifle like those carried by soldiers in Kevlar. And I was upset, for all the reasons I mentioned above. It seemed so unnecessary, and silly, in a way. And theres always a risk of an accident or a theft.

Chris uses his gun to go to the range and target shoot. Hes a good shot, and he enjoys it. And Ive gone with him, and it turns out Im a good shot, and I enjoy it, too. Chris is obsessed with gun safety: He never keeps it loaded, he always has the safety on, and he has drilled it into me to never point the gun at anyone even if its empty. Hes adamant that when we have children we will always have a proper gun safe and trigger locks, and that we will teach our child how dangerous guns are.

His affection for guns is just like his affection for knives. They are masterpieces of engineering and mechanical design, and the machining of quality guns is a real craft. For Chris, target shooting is both a sport and a way to appreciate his own machinist trade.

Im all right with his guns now, after a long period of discussion with him. He is not planning to use the gun for self-protection, he does not brag about having guns, he understands their potential horror, and strongly dislikes shooter video games and movies that glorify guns. …

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