In the post just prior to this one, I wrote up a list of calibers I’ve fired over the course of my life so far. It’s a rather eclectic collection, containing from the mundane to some of the more esoteric calibers. This is due to the variety of friends with unconventional tastes who by their generosity have allowed me to fire their guns and ammo. This list is a bit different, it’s one that shows some of the gaping holes in my shooting experience, holes that I hope someday to fill. Note that these are just some that come to mind. When visiting friends and family and the chance comes up to “burn powder”, usually I’ll give just about anything a try – once.
Over the years it has been my pleasure to shoot just about anything that comes along, my motto being “Almost anything once” when it comes to the delightful sport of shooting. Something sparked my memory and I put up a partial list of calibers I’ve fired over the years. Well, that lead to more cogitation and so here’s a list of calibers I’ve fired at one time or another. When comparing this list to “Cartridges Of The World” (ANY edition thereof) it’s a very small and puny list. But compared to the fact that most folks can’t name more than a half dozen calibers, it ain’t too shabby – especially considering that most of my life has been spent where the shooting sports are not exactly encouraged. The generosity of friends and family during our brief times of sojourning up North has allowed me to rack up an interesting (to ME anyway) list. It’s organized as follows – Calibers fired in pistols/handguns, Calibers fired in rifles, Shotgun gauges fired, Muzzle Loaders/cap and ball revolvers. If memory coughs up something more I’ll update the list. Note that the caliber designation does not necessarily indicate the type of firearm from which it was fired. A good example is the 50 BMG (Browning Machine Gun) which was actually fired from a Barrett semi-automatic rifle that belonged to a friend.
People are funny creatures. We are as consistent as our inconsistencies allow us to be. Up in arms over one thing, but in denial over another similar situation seems to be all to common.
Over the years I’ve watched the debate over firearms, a topic that seems to bring out the paranoid in many. Devoted bird hunters often look askance at modern semi-automatic rifles. Those who hunt with rifles may look with horror at those who shoot handguns. All the above sometimes shudder at the thought of light weight full automatic firearms and nearly pass out when crew served weapons are mentioned. Yet each of the little niches will fight tooth and nail to defend their own little specialty. This division amongst those who have a love of shooting sports of one kind or another is what has allowed those who abhor ANY type of firearm to write laws stigmatizing certain weapons and limiting freedom for all of us who enjoy one or more aspects of the shooting sports.
We must DO something! was the cry following the senseless slaughter of innocent people at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon on October 1, 2015 and immediately following the rampage of a muslim couple in San Bernardino on December 2, 2015, and again following the murder of homosexuals at a nightclub in Orlando on June 12, 2016. And I agree. Now WHAT that “something” is, well to say the least, there’s a huge difference between the outlook of this author and that of the current occupant of the White House. Shortly after these horrible events, the current occupant of the Oval Office went on TV to once more call for “More Gun Control!”. As many have observed, every time there is a senseless shooting, they seek to take away the property and freedom of those who DID NOT DO IT.
Hoplophobia – An unreasoning fear of instruments (weapons). Hoplophobia is a term that was coined, if I recall correctly, by the late Jeff Cooper. It is an excellent term and describes well those who fear instruments more than the hands that wield them. The very heart and soul of the anti-weapon movement revolves around the idea that individuals are not responsible for their actions, rather it is the object that spurs the criminal to commit the act of violence. Simply put, this is idiocy. It does not take into account the millions upon millions of owners of weapons who do NOT commit crimes of violence. Such an attitude is akin to looking upon all men as potential rapists – because, after all, they’re equipped to do so. Or considering all women to be potential prostitutes – because, after all, they are equipped to exercise that activity. And that’s not to mention the slap in the face of the billions of honest poor upon the planet when we are told that high rates of criminality are due to poverty. What about the billions of poor who do NOT commit crimes? Or the rich who commit crimes? What is THEIR excuse if it is poverty that causes crime?
The Merriam Webster dictionary defines a phobia as:
An exaggerated usually inexplicable and illogical fear of a particular object, class of objects, or situation.
In other words, a phobia goes beyond reason and causes a person to act according to the fear instead of pursuing a course guided by reason. There are many ways one can gain mastery of one’s emotions and fears, but they all imply placing ourselves in the uncomfortable position of having to reason through a situation instead of allowing a knee jerk reaction to dominate our life.
In the case of hoplophobia, at the current time an irrational fear is being generated by the mass media and politicians in order to drive the public to take certain actions out of irrational fear instead of acting according to reason and wisdom. But what is hoplophobia, you ask? According to the late Jeff Cooper, originator of the term, hoplophobia is the irrational fear of weapons. Right here is where some will stop reading, much like an arachnophobe might exit an area screaming in fear over seeing a spider’s web. There’s not much reason in attempting to reason with someone who reacts so irrationally. If you’re still reading then you show some degree of common sense and a willingness to consider facts instead of hype and fear mongering.
So, apparently “common sense” dictates that if someone is placed on a “watch list” by a faceless bureaucrat without benefit of a trial nor the opportunity question those placing him there, that person should then be denied their constitutional rights. Really? REALLY? Does “common sense” really dictate that much trust in nameless/faceless bureaucrats? Methinks not. Why?