Updated: Jan 21
You know what they say, the bigger the pickup the smaller the…well, you do know what they say.
They say that about guns too, or they used to, I mean I heard it in a movie once.
The bigger the gun the smaller the well, manhood lets call it.
You can use any number of euphemisms to criticize a man’s shortcomings and make him look like even the size of his desk is compensating for something. Lol Maybe it is.
Carry a bigger gun that makes you a bigger man.
Maybe that’s where this out-of-control “we have the right to bear arms” argument goes from the original meaning to the ridiculously overused statement by the NRA.
Uh oh, I just poked the bear and pissed of some people for sure.
“Here we go! Some goomer tryina take away ma guns!”
“What kinda man doesn’t want to protect his family!”
“I have a right to own my AK-103 Russian Assault rifle!”
Ok, like how did you even get one of those? Oh yeah. The internet.
So no I’m not trying to tell you not to protect your family and that responsible adults can’t appreciate guns. Plenty do and that’s not a problem for the vast majority. And Plenty don’t and that’s okay too.
I know a couple guys who work with or have to carry guns for their jobs and none of them carry, shoot or even own one outside of work.
My brother John is a retired Border Patrol Agent and former marine. He carried a gun for over 35 years. On a few occasions he took me to the shooting range at the station and showed my his superior talent with his Glock. But first he showed me how he holds it, how he places it when he puts it down. Where he points it when loading, and every other aspect of respect for a dangerous weapon he could before he even got into stance, stability and squeeze. He didn’t have an affinity for guns, he had a respect for them based on his job and his use. He’s also been on the wrong end of an assault rifle during a standoff in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom that almost claimed his life. Like I said respect, but not an affinity. Prior to the marines his, and my, only experience with guns other than our bb gun Dad got us, okay him, was my dad’s single barrel shotgun he showed us how to use. We took it target practicing a few times. I think John really enjoyed that and continued to up until he became an agent and actually had to use it. He never owned a personal weapon after that.
My brother stands tall and with a good size frame that started in his high school football days. Clearly not in the same shape and his injuries have slowed him down but he still hits the gym 3-4 times a week. Some might say he’s all man and he is. Varsity all-star, marine, US Border Patrol agent. You don’t get more masculine than that right?
He’s definitely the walk-it-off, suck-it-up, move-along type and you won’t see him cry ever, but he also does all the cooking, cleaning, baking, laundry, errands, shopping etc. His wife has had health issues and he picks up those duties without a blink of an eye. You’ll never hear him claim he’s doing women’s work. He just does what has to be done. That’s always been his line.
My good friend Chris is a forensic expert with the Boston Police Department. He doesn’t really have an affinity for guns either, maybe because he shoots them all day. Yup he’s the guy that says if that’s the gun that shot that bullet or not. Sounds like a cool job! But its not as hip as NCIS makes it look. He invited me to his office to come and shoot a few different weapons and I jumped at the chance. Not because I like guns either but because the experience was something I’d never have an opportunity to do again. So Chris picked out 3-4 different types of weapons, hand guns, rifles of various sizes. It was actually pretty cool! And interesting…and rather embarrassing. I’m not an expert like my brother, I wasn’t expecting the kickback on some of those lighter guns and it wasn’t at all like the movies. Okay so here’s the deal, hey are ALL plastic in the movies and a woman, or man, can’t hold a military grade shotgun in each arm and not get blown back 6 feet!
Chris is good size, about my height and muscular, hairy chest and tight haircut. He has a lot of the qualities of the younger guys I mentioned in my last blog The Millenial Factor, he’s just a bit older. He definitely has a sensitive side but my favorite quality of his? He knows what it means to be a friend, and he's a damn good one.
And then there’s my man David. Retired FBI agent. Definitely does not have an affinity for guns and maybe an ounce of respect. He’s had to carry one for work on occasion and has declared he has no interest in holding one again. But he doesn’t really need one. His deep voice and intimidating look just add to the fact that if you tried to invade his space or hurt his loved ones he won’t need a gun to fuck you up. And that’s a good thing because his Doberman is really no threat to mankind whatsoever! Say what you will about the cold ‘I don’t know you so why are you talking to me’ face he makes on the street. He balances that shade of his masculinity when he’s shirtless on the dance floor where he knows all the words to every Dua Lipa song. Regardless, his qualities and character make him the man he is, just like Chris and my brother John.
So is this this blog about masculinity or gun control?
These are three people who have used guns on a daily basis at some point but have no interest in them otherwise.
I’m not suggesting all agents and forensics experts want to leave their work at work. Just some examples of those I know. And examples of good men with my definition of masculine qualities who don’t rely on the size of their anything to prove what kind of man, or person they are.
Oh, so I also know a young muscle kid from the Midwest who loves his guns and has plenty of them. He has respect for them and keeps them locked and never loaded unless he’s using one of them. But he’s not nearly as outwardly ‘masculine’ as those three above. In fact he has more effeminate mannerisms (but he’s not feminine, there’s a big difference). I’m adding him here because his affinity for guns is not related to the masculine characteristics I admire, of which he actually has, well none. ‘Nuff said.
So my point is don’t go thinking you’re any more of a man than your neighbor just ‘cuz you’ve got a Smith and Wesson in your closet to protect your family. From what? Suburban blight?
I didn’t need a gun in my home to protect my kids I had my own secret weapon. Their mom. You knock on our door during dinner and she’ll tear into you so hard you won’t sell candy bars, cable tv, or solar panels for a 6 block radius.
But things are different today than they were when our forefathers wrote that second amendment.
“A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of the free state,the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed”.
I don’t disagree. But the Constitution was written in 1787 when the perceived threats were Outlaws and Native Americans pillaging your land or stealing your horses or unclaimed land. Deeds weren’t so tough to break in that time but today those same threats don’t really exist. Today we don’t even open our doors unless we know who you are and you texted us saying you just parked in the driveway and are walking up the steps.
What I’m saying is that I’m not against the right to bear arms but I am pro gun control. I think that right should include intelligence, well-thought out diplomacy and common sense. I think our current system has some gaps.
And I think, no I’m pretty damn sure, that if our forefathers knew what an AK-47 was they might have made that second amendment a bit more explicit.
Think about that.