My Turn, Roger Barbee: Tools advance from rocks to bricks to guns

Published 12:00 am Sunday, September 22, 2019

By Roger Barbee

During one seventh-grade recess in about 1958, I was playing second base. In those days, we did not have gloves or bases, and one bat sufficed.

The softball was old and worn and may or may not had a cover securely attached, but it was frayed at the seams, allowing the wound string to show. We used anything to make a base, and that day my base was a large brick that we had found near the school building.

Sometime during that recess, a classmate ran over and tried to take the brick base. I yelled at him, “Roscoe (not his name), that’s our base. You can’t have it.”

He responded, “I’ll bring it right back. I just need it to bust … in the head.”

The Sunday following the shootings in Odessa and Midland, both in Texas, two other church members and I were discussing the latest mass killings. When I mentioned that it was ironic that this event and the one in El Paso occurred in a state with liberal open-carry laws, I asked, “Where was the good guy with a gun?”

Both of my fellow Christians seemed to stiffen, and one (a hunter) said, “No one is taking my guns.”

The other asked, “What I can’t understand is where did all these crazy people who commit these shootings come from?”

My patience runs thin with folks who think that any gun control means they have to forfeit gun ownership and with the ones who hide behind their misunderstanding of the Second Amendment. They use both their ignorance and the amendment for their selfish gain.

A lone person with a collection of whatever magnitude is no militia that can protect me from a hostile government. He or she would need an arsenal to be an honest militia. 

I am most interested in the second response about “crazy people.” As my seventh-grade anecdote shows, people with emotional issues, anger issues or plain meanness have been with us forever. Remember the brothers in the story of creation — where a rock served a hideous purpose. Man has always killed. But his methods have become more efficient than that first rock.

Any gun that has the capacity to carry a large magazine and shoot to kill without having to aim has no place in any society. Those types of guns are for one use — to kill other human beings.

My friend the hunter does not use such a weapon for deer hunting. But it is a great weapon for a maladjusted person to use for human hunting.

And it is, unlike the rock of Cain, convenient and easy. Just squeeze the trigger and float the barrel across the crowd. It is a rush of power and control for the warped mind. And bloodless, because there is little or no bodily contact. 

Depraved and ill people have always been with us.

My answer to my second friend is that the availability of  weapons of mass destruction is here, and it gives those people a means of striking out and hurting others. You don’t even have to pull the trigger. It is so easy.

My reply to my hunting friend is that no one that I know of wants him to forfeit his guns. However, the purpose of the Second Amendment is to maintain a militia for common good, not an individual.

Roger Barbee is a retired educator living on Lake Norman with his wife, five cats, and three hounds.