Guns, Guns and More Guns

We Americans sure love our guns. Big ones, small ones, single shot or semi-automatic, antiques or shiny new ones. This year’s Black Friday gun sales set an all-time record (The FBI said it received 154,873 calls for background checks for new gun purchases on Nov. 23, a marked increase over the agency’s previous record number of calls: 129,166 last year. The bureau was so overwhelmed with calls that outages occurred at some centers). Americans’ infatuation with guns takes a back seat only to that which they have for cars; and as you would expect, the homicidal havoc wreaked by firearms is second only to the body count chalked up to automobile accidents.

With so many avid gun hoarders out there, the rest of us would have to amass a small arsenal to try to keep up with the Joneses. It seems U.S. gun owners so outnumber those who conscientiously object to personal weapon stockpiles that non-gun owners are about as few and far between as vegans at an NRA potluck.

But while keeping a pistol or shotgun in the home to dissuade intruders is innocuous enough, this excerpt from my book, Exposing the Big Game: Living Targets of a Dying Sport, is a good example of the obsession some folks have with guns:

People in “cattle country” often entertain themselves by using the beleaguered prairie dogs as living targets, taking all the more sick pleasure in shooting an attentive mother as she pops up from her burrow to see if it’s safe for her youngsters to come out. Hunters glibly assign the term “double tap” for a shot that kills both the mother and her adoring baby. “Tap” is a particularly perverse moniker considering that the hollow point bullets they sometimes use cause their victims to literally explode on impact—a sight that must really get the shooter’s blood up. Ladies beware: there’s a demonstrated link between cruelty to animals and domestic abuse, assault and other crimes on a killer’s violence continuum [including, school-shootings and the mass murder of Christmas shoppers at the mall].

One thrill-killer describes his sport this way: “Prairie dog hunting is a blast, on both private and public lands. I like to start by clearing everything within 50 yards with an AR-15, then switch to my .223 Remington for anything out to about 150 and finally trade up to the bull barrel .22-250 for the longer shots.” The only thing stopping a sportsman with this much bloodlust is the melting point of his gun barrel…

Coincidentally (or not), an AR-15 was also the weapon of choice of Jacob Tyler Roberts, the 22 year old Portland mall gunman, and a .223 was the assault weapon used by the Connecticut school shooter, 20 year old Adam Lanza. The .223 was also the semi-automatic rifle used by the D.C. Beltway snipers, John Allen Mohammed and John Lee Malvo. While there’s truth to the saying “Guns don’t kill people, people kill people,” the fact is, those who kill the most are the people who’re the most fixated on their guns, i.e: hunters. The Columbine mass-murderers, the serial killer known as Zodiak, and untold others practiced on killing animals before graduating to people. Chances are good that when we learn the backstory of the mall shooter and the Connecticut kid-killer, we’ll find that they were quite the little nimrods as well.

Text and Wildlife Photography© Jim Robertson

Text and Wildlife Photography© Jim Robertson

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27 thoughts on “Guns, Guns and More Guns

  1. “Hunters” should also remember the massacre in McCarthy, AK where the man used animals before moving on to people. They all walk a thin line.

  2. We need to get serious about the worldwide ‘macho culture” that encourages settling problems with guns, killing “games”, my god is bigger/better than your god, and bullying “for fun”

  3. It is unfortunate that we live in a violence obsessed country. Plus in light of the recent shooting massacre in Connecticut, you just know The NRA will be johnny on the spot where this tragedy took place having a gun meeting. They do this everytime a mass shooting happens. I find the actions of The NRA very disgusting and disrespectful. I am pretty sure the families of the victims at this time don’t want to hear about guns. I also would like to say that The NRA has literally taken and bastardized The Second Amendment. They use it to scare people into membership and also twist and exploit The Second Amendment to defend and keep the disgusting sadism known as hunting and trapping going on in the country. You would be surprised how many people think hunting is a right under The Second Amendment. I think they need to go to Washington DC and read the original print of The Constitution. The Second Amendment in our Constitution states that Americans are guaranteed the right to own guns and that Americans can use those guns to revolt against its own government should they become a tyranny. It does not say people have the right to hunt and kill animals and it does not say psychos have the right to massacre innocent people!

  4. Imagine that: another mass shooting and slaughter of the innocent in the good, ole USA. Maybe they should just keep the flags at half-mast all the time now instead of having to continually raise and lower them again and again. Didn’t some wise man once say something about “that which a man soweth, so shall he repeath”?

  5. Pingback: Guns, Guns and More Guns « danielleriggens

  6. Pingback: Hunting Humans | Exposing the Big Game

  7. Jim, great writing as usual.
    Regarding AK-15′s, just want to mention that the coyote killing contest sponsored by GUNHAWK FIREARMS of Los Lunas, New Mexico this past November was offering a rifle of some type as a prize IN ADDITION TO “a pair of AK-15′s”. So that should say something.
    Also, those little prairie dogs are annihilated by those psychopaths…they have commented on the thrill of seeing what they call “the red mist” when their little bodies explode.
    I was thinking how many thousands upon thousands of them they must kill for “sport”. And what would be a primary source of food for coyotes in these areas? So, they obliterate a food source, for fun then set the coyotes up as “vermin” on the relatively few occasions when they actually do resort to going after livestock. This is one sick segment of our society that I have zero compassion for and never will. Pics on a coyote kill website the other day of a few guys in camo gear with two tiny boys, maybe 2 and 3 years old… also dressed in camo….all smiling over the dead bodies of coyotes. The caption was “Killers in Training”. I truly do not understand how they are permitted to continue this.

    • They wouldn’t care if they’d killed off the entire web of life (except for those species whose ears they’ve tagged and slated for the slaughterhouse. I talked about the NM coyote contest and the free gun “prizes” in today’s blog post…

  8. The best way to stop mass shootings is stopping or controlling very efficiently firearms sales. It seems obvious…well, from an European perspective ! It requires a strong political will…but from now on Obama has nothing to lose.

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