HOW IMPORTANT ARE YOUR GUNS TO YOU, AND WHAT IF YOU HAD TO GIVE THEM UP?
“Iwon’t be taken alive if you try to take my guns,” he said repeatedly.
We had a warrant for his arrest related to a domestic violence incident, and not only were we going to take him, we were going to confiscate his guns.
After a brief struggle, my partner and I wrestled him to the ground and took him into custody without further incident. All the way to jail, he went on a rant about the Second Amendment.
“My right to bear arms is too important to me. That’s the way I am,” he said, handcuffed behind the back in the rear of the patrol car. “If you try to take my guns, I won’t be taken alive.”
He said it over and over. After a while, if it hadn’t been so sad, it might have been laughable.
Finally, I turned to him and said, “Just so it’s clear, notice we already did take your guns, and we already did take you alive.”
This gentleman’s gun collection amounted to several old, rusty long guns, mostly single-shot shotguns and bolt-action .22s— the type his grandfather might have purchased cheaply at Sears or Montgomery Ward 60 or 70 years ago. But they were his prized possessions. The rural house at which we caught up with him had a dirt floor. Those guns were important to him.
At the time, it got me thinking: There were no collector-grade guns in my modest collection either. But if I ever fell on hard times financially, what would I give up before I gave up my guns? And if it ever came to give up some of my guns, which could I part with first, and which would I hold onto until the very last?
We were getting close to retirement, so we could probably give up the second car. And the kids were grown, so we could probably downsize and get a smaller house. Of course, my wife, Dawn, would have some say in the matter, and I could anticipate some resistance to those ideas.
And what about my guns? The Second Amendment protects my right to bear arms—but not my financial ability to buy them. My problem is that everyday carry for self-defense isn’t the only thing important to me. I love all types of hunting, too, and have dabbled in different types of competitions. Informal plinking has always been a recreation I’ve really enjoyed.
Okay; first, I’d have to eliminate duplication. Shh! Don’t let Dawn hear, but I don’t need a half-dozen deer rifles or as many shotguns. The same goes for my handguns. I could probably stay welldefended with one or two fewer carry guns.
So, after the first cut along this thought process, I decided I’d keep one centerfire hunting rifle, probably a bolt-action, for big game and one .22 LR rimfire for small game. I’d keep one 12-gauge shotgun with three interchangeable barrels: a short smoothbore for defense, a long smoothbore for birds and a rifled barrel for sabot slugs.
THE SECOND AMENDMENT PROTECTS MY RIGHT TO BEAR ARMS— BUT NOT MY FINANCIAL ABILITY TO BUY THEM. For handguns, I’d want to keep one each in .22, 9mm, .45 ACP, .357 and one long-barreled .44 Magnum for hunting. The trouble is that I would hate to give up all my lever-action and semiauto rifles, my single-action revolvers and my 10mm handguns (including that new long-barreled one). And I’d really love to hold on to more than one 1911.
I Little by little, pieces are being cut from the Second Amendment, so all gun owners, not just handgunners, should beware. If you don’t recognize it, this is what an AR-15 looks like in New York State now— no collapsible stock, no pistol grip, no bayonet lug, no flash suppressor, no muzzle brake, no threaded barrel, no suppressors and only 10-round magazines.
Whittling down his handguns and cartridges to just a few keepers, the author might select (starting at the top left) a Ruger Mark II .22LR; Ruger Super Blackhawk Hunter .44 Mag.; (middle left) Glock 19 9mm; Oriskany Arms 1911 .45ACP; (bottom) Ruger GP100 .357 Mag.