How fitting that the same weekend the White House releases a photo of the president shooting skeet, the Washington Post publishes this fine Joel Achenbach profile of a gun nut, and yes, I respect our gun rights and so on, but this particular shoe fits:
(Rob) Farago didn’t used to be a gun guy. He was a car guy. He had a popular blog called the Truth About Cars. He sold it in 2009 and searched for a new consumer topic, landing on guns.
He bought his first gun a week before the debut of TheTruthAboutGuns.com. He took a firearms class. He filled out the paperwork and went through the background check to get a permit to carry a gun. He now owns 18 guns.
“Once you put a gun on, you gain situational awareness,” he says. After he bought his first gun, he says, “I felt grown up. It was like a coming-of-age thing. I felt like an adult.”
This guy, mind you, is 53 years old. But he didn’t “come of age” until he bought his first of 18 guns, maybe, what? Three years ago?
There’s lots more in the piece. It’s good to know guys like this think of people like me, who would not shoot an armed robber in a convenience store, who would not even shoot a person I caught stealing my damn TV set, as “sheep.” (They, of course, are “sheepdogs.”) And do check out this passage, when Farago goes out to eat with his buddy, another gun guy:
A couple of hours later, the two men dig into dinner at a swank Italian restaurant, both of them choosing chairs that let them face the entrance.
“Look at the way Robert and I are facing,” Kenik says. “Crime happens everywhere. There’s no place to feel safe.”
“That’s your opinion,” Farago says, distancing himself a bit.
“It’s in the back of my mind,” Kenik says.
No, I think it’s in the front of his mind. Show me a guy who feels he has to walk locked and loaded into an Italian restaurant in Providence, R.I., sit facing the door and give himself little tinglies thinking about his “situational awareness,” and I’ll show you a guy who’s going to shoot someone sooner or later, and probably sooner.
It’s more fun to laugh at how one little picture of the prez engaging in a gentlemen’s sporting activity sent the wingers into enough of a tizzy as to give Roy’s weekly roundup of the right blogosphere enough material to let him coast for a month.
Well, it was a bad weekend for shooters all around. Am I the only person who read that story and came up short with the news that the shooter, a Marine suffering from PTSD, was taken to the gun range by the deceased, who specialized in helping soldiers with PTSD. Why? Because firing guns is a good treatment for PTSD? I’d think yoga and long hikes in the great outdoors would be more effective, but what do I know?
Speaking of which, a change of subject is in order. Here are some tracks I found in my driveway after a very light snow last week:
Through some Googling, I learned this was a bounding animal, but the prints are way larger than you generally find on the suburban prairie. They were about two inches in length, which is how they caught my eye in the first place. The tracking guides suggest “members of the weasel family” as typical bounders, but again — unlikely this far from water. Thoughts?
Last bits of bloggage? Here’s John Carlisle on a typical crowd at a Detroit City Council meeting, bringing the crazy with both hands.
A cold, snowy week awaits. Let’s see how we can get through it.