Lost words

To Shoot Or Not To Shoot

Monday, 23 July 2012, 15:03 PM





To Shoot Or Not To Shoot

Back in the old west, a cowboy could count on two things.. His horse and his gun. His horse might run away but his gun would always have his back.. So began America’s love affair with the gun.

There were guns on the Mayflower, in the form of a modified .66 caliber Italian single-shot wheellock carbine carried by a guy named John Alden. It didn’t take the Indians long to learn how deadly guns were, they bought, stole and traded for this firepower from the Gods. Guns were so important that our forefathers included the rights to have them in the second amendment. America, it can be argued.. Would still be a British colony if it were not for guns..

Personally, I remember watching “The Lone Ranger” as a child and wanting so much to have a toy gun to play cowboys and Indians with.. This desire of mine was ignored by my grandparents for two reasons.. #1- I was an only child on the farm, who would I “shoot” and #2- guns kill.. I know we had a gun somewhere on the property because I remember my Uncle going to the pond to shoot at the turtles that were drowning the baby ducks but I never once saw it.. Then.. When I was around 12.. I was given a B.B. gun for Christmas.. I felt like Ralphy in the movie “A Christmas Story”.. I felt very strongly that this was the first sign I was becoming an adult.. I was so thrilled and soon everything and anything on the farm was my “target”.. I’m also sure that was the year the cows really started hating me.. They didn’t have to worry for long, however, because this new toy was taken away from me after I accidentally shattered a large solar panel behind the house. Still that didn’t ruin my love for guns..

When I was 17, I tried to hang out with the “wrong” crowd. Yes, it was an attempt to be someone “cool”.. One of the people who I knew at the time thought it would be funny to give me a real gun and tell me to go to the convenience store with it.. And I did.. Nothing happened and I went home thinking how powerful I was.. However, all these illusions were shattered only six months later when I lived in Houston, Texas.

It was very late, around midnight, and I was parked in front of a club that had a restaurant next to it. I was enjoying a snack outside, sitting on the hood of my car, with friends when suddenly we heard what sounded like fireworks going off.. I didn’t think nothing of the noise but I did find it odd when everyone around me hit the ground.. After a couple minutes, everyone except one man stood back up.. He had been murdered.

I didn’t know the guy or even, to be truthful, see who shot him.. But it did for the first time occur to me how deadly a gun can be.. I vowed at that moment that I would never want to own one.

But this is just me.. Allow me to introduce you to Andrew Lee Scott..



Andrew has a real job but to earn some extra spending money he sells drugs on the side. Not exactly an income you would want to tell your parents about but still something that many people do.. I’m not here to judge him for that.. However, Andrews problem became deadly when someone knocked on his door last Monday night in Lake County, Florida. Andrew was sure it was someone after his drugs and he wasn’t going to allow that to happen so he thought it would be a good idea to get the jump on someone before they got the jump on him. He asked “who is it” but there was no answer.. Yes, it has to be someone after his drugs..

So Andrew grabs his gun, points it at the door and opens it..

I doubt if he lived long enough to realize he was standing in front of four or five Sherriff’s, weapons drawn, looking for an attempted murderer who happened to have parked his motorcycle in front of Andrews house.

Yes, they had the wrong house.. The guy they were after was across the street, but in that split second when the door came open and they saw Andrew’s gun.. They had to act. I don’t blame them at all, the guy opened his door with a gun. Sure, they could have identified themselves as the Police but remember, at that time, they thought the person behind the door was someone who was wanted for attempted murder and would have tried escaping out the back window.. They still had the element of surprise and to have identified themselves would have given it away.. Besides.. Who would have imagined that the person opening the door was not only someone else, but someone else with a gun..

I feel Andrew was one of those people who would have worn that shirt that said “you can have my gun when you pry my cold dead fingers from it”.. After all, Andrew was inside his rights to own the gun.. . American’s have had guns so long there is no way we could ever give them up.. People would die for the right to hold onto them.. So getting rid of guns isn’t the answer..

Gun control perhaps? In 198, our President was shot by a crazy man who was trying to impress Jody Foster. The only good thing to come out of it is something called “The Brady Law”. It requires background checks on anyone buying a gun plus a five day waiting period. We can still have the guns we want, we just have to wait a couple days plus hope we don’t have anything in our records that would make people wonder what we would do with it..

Then this week, at a midnight showing of “The Dark Knight” in Colorado opened our eyes to one mans evil. 12 people lost their lives to a guy who is probably a lot book-smarter than me. This guy trapped people in a theatre and shot them as they tried to escape. It turns out he followed all the laws on owning weapons by the book, he waited his time and allowed the background search.. His worse offense? A speeding ticket.

I’ve read some people who said “If I would have been there with a gun, I would have stopped him before his second victim. “ I fail to see how a shootout inside a crowded theatre would be any safer but perhaps it might have been.. The sad thing is this guys motive.. Which I have yet to hear from the media but it is clear to me.. The same reason Mark David Chapman shot John Lennon.. To be famous..

In conclusion.. I don’t believe we can spot people like this guy.. He showed no signs before and , like Ted Bundy, will probably impress the judge that gives him the death sentence.. “If only you would have used your talent in a good way”..

So this brings up the issue of why are guns that can fire 100 rounds a minute for sale to the public? What are we going to need that sort of firepower for? Killing squirrels? To me a gun is just like a car.. Both can kill people depending on who is in control.. There are cars that can go 150 mph but we are not allowed to buy them.. They are reserved for “professional race-car drivers” but we can buy a normal car that will do 80.. So why can we buy such guns? Why are they covered by our second amendment?

I want to wish all the families and survivors from the shootings in Colorado the best.. The road to recovery will be uphill but you will not have to walk it alone. I do hope that perhaps, somehow, something good can come from this.. America needs better gun control laws to keep people from attempting to find fame thru the barrel of their gun..

~ Daniel

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