Monday, December 17, 2012

The one thing the good guys and the bad guys have in common: They all love guns.

"Mom!  Mom! 
Can we shoot the ornaments off the tree?"
"No shooting in the house honey!
You know how your dad gets"

They all love guns.

I remember when my brother Skip got his first gun.  I know!  My crazy family really had guns!  Skip went hunting with a neighbor guy, and sometimes I could even go along.  I was actually trained to shoot.  I know! 

It all sounds so crazy today, doesn't it?  The Nelson family armed?  But times were different back then.  I know, I know, my mother threatened to kill me holding a butcher knife to my throat, and my sister had to pull her off - but I was whining about something... I think I was hungry.  "Okay then mom, I'll wait until exactly 5 PM to eat."  And then life that day returned to normal.  Things were different by high school of course, as a convicted felon, I'm thinking my dad no longer could own a gun, so I'll never know if he would have used it on me instead of chasing me out of the house with a meat clever one evening before super.  We Nelson's were so darn dramatic, weren't we?  I just have to laugh now.  The good old days!

Seriously, they were - in a way.  Back in the late fifties, early sixties, we never would have thought about shooting passerbys on the street, much less one another, or even shooting noisy planes down from the backyard.  It just wasn't done.  We had respect for our weapons, we used them legally and appropriately, for hunting, target practice, as well as protection - although , come to think of it, my dad did threaten us once...  But that was unusual, an exception... and it was a squirt gun anyway - though it looked like a real gun. 

Anyway, real guns were for protection.  As dad always said, "If you gotta shoot the son of a bitch and he's still on the doorstep, drag him in the house so you won't be charged - that way it's self defense."  Guns were treated with respect.  My mom wouldn't touch them, and my dad never threatened us with real ones.  He might beat up mom or one of us, even bad enough to be hospitalized, but no guns were used in the process.  They were just for hunting, target practice, and protection.  It was an Ozzie and Harriet, Leave It To Beaver idyllic life.

Things are much different today.  People have great 'blow 'em up good' 'exterminate the bastards now' video games the whole family can enjoy.  It's a new mindset these days.  Killing is taught at an early age.  Guns are the source of power and control - and of course, protection.

Mrs. Lanza was a gun collector and was convinced she needed them for protection - she and the boy might one day have to defend themselves after the inevitable collapse of the United States.  How ironic, the guns she collected and practiced self defense with were the same weapons her kid used to shoot her face off.

Not that many days ago, a grandfather in Minnesota shot his granddaughter believing her to be an intruder.  He was simply protecting his castle.

Shortly before that incident, two little boys found their dad's gun - he kept it in the headboard of his bed for protection.  The older boy shot and killed the younger boy.  They were both under the age of five.

Guns are legal, and that's just fine with me. 

I just don't want one.  I don't trust myself.

Here's an interesting factoid:  The original rule of St. Francis forbade tertiaries from carrying weapons.  Of course, Francis talked a wolf out of eating the populace of Gubbio too.  So I highly doubt he would be a gun advocate.

That said, I still can't get over the irony of Mrs. Lanza having all of those guns for protection, only to become a victim of matricide.  I suppose it's not all that unusual these days - it's happened before and will happen again.  New laws won't change anything.
A king is not saved by his army,
nor a warrior preserved by his strength.
A vain hope for safety is the horse (gun)
 - despite it's power it cannot save. - Psalm 32

Cigarettes don't kill - people do.



  1. I just bought a gun to protect myself in the rectory. ;-)

  2. The thought of consecrated hands extinguishing human life repels me.

  3. Thom, my consecrated hands also tells me to defend and take care of myself so that I can continue to serve the people of God rather being maimed or cut short by an armed intruder or a burglar.

  4. I sleep with a shotgun near because a career criminal threatened to return and kill me with a pistol after I defeated him in a street fight after he robbed my house. Mrs. Lanza may have been most motivated by the Petit home invasion in Connecticut several years ago when the lack of a gun got a mother and two daughters raped and burned to death while the father was tied up by two criminals. The last two Popes have decried violence constantly to the media but their papal guard have exactly the guns being complained of....Sig Sauer pistols ( 15 round clips) and Heckler and Koch armor piercing MP7's....pity the innocent person behind a perpetrator when that machine gun goes off...30 round clips...probably three person penetration. Neither John Paul nor Benedict switched the papal guard to anything lighter.

  5. "Mrs. Lanza may have been most motivated by the Petit home invasion in Connecticut several years ago when the lack of a gun got a mother and two daughters raped and burned to death while the father was tied up by two criminals."

    Bill - I think you are right! I completely forgot about that horrible crime.

    Thanks for the reminder.

  6. Terry,
    That incident haunts me more than my own breakin....and makes me thankful I have the holy paranoia of locked doors and alarmed windows...of Sirach 6:13 " Keep away from your enemies, be on guard with your friends". And that's Catholic canon only although Eccelesiastes says "the number of fools is infinite" which amounts to a similar guardedness. Although my relatives are tiring of the airport scanner I use on them and on their gifts at Christmas...just kidding. :)

  7. A pistol or even a shotgun is one thing, though I would never in a million years allow one in my home. No civilian needs or should have access to the kind of weapons Mrs. Lanza kept and apparently taught her disturbed son how to use. The question I keep asking myself over and over is why it took the slaughter of 6 and 7 year olds for this country to wake up? A yahoo's right to own a Bushmaster ends where the right of our children to go to school or the movies and not be massacred begins.

    The Rosary and the Brown Scapular are the only weapons permitted in my home.

    1. "The Rosary and the Brown Scapular are the only weapons permitted in my home."

      Me too - along with Holy Water and exorcism salt!

      God bless you and keep you!

    2. I thought I'd throw in a "me too," as well.


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