It’s no big deal. Keep ’em.

Years ago on my 16th birthday, I received an Ithaca single shot, short, long and long rifle, rifle. It could shoot .22 caliber rounds in three sizes. When I opened the box, I was surprised, saddened, disappointed and confused. I said, “Grand Funk-Closer To Home. Grand Funk, not ‘gun.'”

Never wanted it, didn’t like it, had no desire to buy bullets for it. I played with it for the summer of 1970, never shot a living thing aside from a tree with it, but it never made me feel safe or grown up or even cool. Less than a year later, I gave the gun away. I bought the Grand Funk-Closer To Home album with the earnings from my grocery bagging job at Swanson’s Supermarket at $1.85 per hour. It  ran around $4. I don’t remember the exact cost, but the math told me I would have to work at least one shift/day to be able to use just three hours worth of wages to get my fix. As I said, I did it. Got that baby in my hands, headed home, closed the door to my bedroom, slipped the On switch of my tin box record player, stuck that 12″ platter on the turntable, laid back on my bed, planted my headset, goodbye.

Well, it is has been 43 years since that day. I am now 59 years old. I still have a CD copy of the album, never have purchased another gun. Most guys my age own at least one gun and others own many more. Good for them. Some call them protection, but I really think they are just adult toys.

Every time there is a shooting in this country, I think of that cock action single shot rifle and how dangerous it was, at least the way I saw it, it was dangerous. One shot, that’s some bad ass action.

Just yesterday, the senate in America refused to put in place a law, or set of laws, which would enact the procedure of imposing mandatory universal background checks on people who attempt to buy a gun regardless of the type, size or caliber. In my view, this would be a good idea, although, I am not a gun owner. If I ever decided to own a gun, I would hope that I would be subjected to all of the rigors and requirements everyone should be subjected to. I’ll repeat that, EVERYONE. I wouldn’t be bothered with such things at all. I would welcome the feeling of knowing that my gun belongs to me, it is legal and I can choose to use it as I please as long as I operate within the law that is attached to responsible gun ownership and the powers above us have no issues with me owning that gun.

I’m just a meek guy. When I was a boy, I got into fights. Three fights. I ‘won’ all three fights. I started none of them. I was bullied during my childhood.
The first one was when I was just a boy, maybe 12 years old. I lived in Cosmopolis, WA. and was at my aunt and uncle’s house one day. I was spending the summer there and was riding my bike in the neighborhood. Cosmopolis isn’t a very big town. In 2010, it had 1,649 people, 677 households, and 463 families residing in the city. Just slightly more than 1.5 square miles in size.

Well, there was a kid in the neighborhood who picked on kids, including me. I was meek then as I am today. I never fought back but always avoided trouble as soon as I saw it on the horizon. When I saw Robbie Bell, the kid I mentioned, I always ducked for cover. Robbie picked on everyone. One day, I saw him picking on a kid, I think it may have been my cousin Loren Jr. I rode over to Robbie, dropped my bike and jumped into the fray. I beat Robbie’s butt. I didn’t bloody him, but because I stood up to him, he became afraid of me. I felt bad about that. My aunt made me go to his house and apologize to him for beating him up. Imagine how I felt. She had no clue.

The second one was in Jr. High in Hoquiam, WA. Around 1967 or 1968. The kid I fought was Wayne Heikle. We threw down in wood-shop in the stock room. I didn’t want to fight Wayne, but he cornered me and I had to defend myself. We squared up, I threw one punch, Wayne went down, I helped him up and then I walked away. We never spoke again. I have always felt bad about that day. I saw him again in a cafe’ in Everett, WA. many years later in 1998. I didn’t approach him. I felt bad again. I saw the whole encounter from years ago flash before my eyes. I felt bad again.

The third fight I was in I don’t remember much about. It was after work in Seattle once. One of the other employees where I was working walked up to me and told me he didn’t like me. I said, “Sorry about that.” He took a swing, missed and I walked away. I never saw him again. I figure he had quit his job that day and just wanted to take a jab at me on his way out. He’d probably been putting it off for some time. I was employed at this place for a month I think. Like I said, I don’t remember much about that job or confrontation.

One time way back in the early 1990s I drove a cab for nearly two years. I took a bell one time and picked up my rider. About five minutes into the ride, I felt a gun against my lower neck behind my head on the right side. I heard the words, “This is a robbery.” I pulled over, stopped the cab, told the guy “Right jacket pocket.” He said, “Give it to me.” I gave him my cash. He took it and the cab. The cab was located three hours later, no gas but not damaged. I don’t like guns. I doubt that the robber had a concealed/carry permit. I don’t know that he actually had a gun, but I wasn’t going to argue with him.

Well, today I am still a meek man. I don’t find myself in any situations which may lead to any undesired encounters, but I don’t back down or encourage any either. I don’t have any children. I am married and love my wife deeply. We are happy together.

I don’t own any legal or illegal weapons of any sort. I never will. I haven’t seen any need to own anything that is a weapon which I would ever need to use to protect myself, my wife or my belongings. Other people feel they need to do just the opposite of what I do for myself. I’m ok with that. I can even say I think it’s a good idea. Some may say, “You own a car. That’s a weapon.” Yes, it is, when used as a car incorrectly. Did you know that cars were originally invented and designed to move people from one place to another? Cool idea. “You own a hammer.” Those were originally invented and designed to drive nails into wood, like when a house is built to shelter a man and his family. It is also a weapon when used incorrectly. There are a lot of household items that were designed not as weapons but can be used as weapons. The unique thing about a gun is that it was invented and designed to kill British people. Some have used them as a hammer, as a paperweight and many other things, but it was first designed to kill people with. So killing people with a gun is the correct way to use a gun. By the way, I have yet to see a car used as a hammer or to hunt deer with.

I don’t abuse animals. I don’t abuse people. I don’t abuse my wife. I take care of the things I own. I polish my brass and/or silver when they need it. I lead a fairly uneventful life. I play music, drums, when I get the chance. I enjoy my life. I don’t speak out about too much for fear of being assessed as a nut-job. I do as I please and I take advantage of no one. I walk the straight and narrow. I obey the law. I do ALL of these things without any effort at all. I think I’m a nice guy. I don’t have a temper. I don’t get angry. I don’t throw things at people. I don’t break things. I don’t do anything that will infringe on other people’s rights or privileges. It’s all good. It’s all easy.

I don’t care if you want to own a gun or do own a gun. Use it responsibly. Be kind to others. Use your gun in accepted areas. Please don’t bring your gun in my house. If you do, don’t let me know you have it. I don’t like guns and will never own one. If you own one, just be responsible. Owning one doesn’t make you cool, nor does it impress me that you own one. You own a gun, I don’t. Neither one of us is better than the other.

One last thing. If I were to ever change my mind about gun ownership, I hope I am subjected to a background check and/or mental evaluation. I hope my identification is inspected. I hope that the person or business where I choose to acquire my gun has a clean record, has a responsible owner/proprietor and a kind and informed sales staff. If I am not asked for these types of information, I won’t complete the deal. I most certainly would not be inclined to buy from a private owner/seller. I really doubt that they would want to subject me to all of the requirements I have stated above, so I would avoid a private seller. If I’m wrong about that, I’m wrong about that. If I am subjected to the requirements everyone is subjected to, the odds are good that I will re-evaluate my desire and the reasons that I think I need a gun. I certainly would discuss it with my wife. If I had children, they would be in on the discussion as well. If there were any ideas why I shouldn’t buy a gun, I would most likely resign and not pursue the idea any further.

I am also a registered non-partisan voter. I don’t claim to belong to a ‘party.’ I vote for the principle, not the party or the person. Oh, my mistake, I meant if the candidate has principles and ideas which are good for everyone, even people I don’t know or never will meet, then I vote for them. From this seat, it seems that gun owners are really more concerned about themselves more than everyone else around them. Too bad. Again, I could be wrong on that. Nyuk, nyuk.

I’m one of those people current gun owners are afraid of and consider an obstacle to the process. I can live with that. Honestly, I can. I sleep well not being pre-occupied with the second amendment and it’s implications.

One thing I have noticed is that many owners think those who do not own a gun need to be pointed at and ridiculed. I see it on the Facebook site all of the time. I guess that’s part of responsible ownership. Somewhat like religion. “Don’t tell me about Christ but make sure you hear me and listen to me when I preach about gun ownership to you.” Weird, isn’t it?

Well, listen, I have to go feed my dogs, sweep the floor, wash a few dishes and work on a client project. Oh yeah, I have to clean my weapon…..silly me, I meant wash my car and clean my hammer.

Have a great day and thanks for looking,
Kelly J.


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