Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Don't be Crazy...or Ignorant!

Well, My Hillbilly has something on his mind, which is nothing new, so here he is:

I catch myself watching the news and becoming verbal about what is being said.  I say things such as:
"This guy is an idiot!  These guys have no idea what they are talking about!"  And I say other such intelligent thoughts that come to mind. Yes, hillbillies occasionally have intelligent thoughts.  And yes, in finding that out, you have also become more intelligent!

Growing up as a hillbilly and being made hillbilly tough, I am not afraid of a whole lot of things.  However, I am afraid of a few things.  One of those things is ignorance, and the other is crazy people!

Ignorance frightens me because it causes us to do stupid things.  For instance, I have seen people pick up a chain saw and begin using it with no knowledge that things can cause it to kick back into their face.  Trust me; it makes for a bad scar if you survive it.  Or you see them using the chain saw to cut a tree with their body positioned in such a way that the tree might kick back and kill them.  Again, trust me, most people who have this happen, don’t do it more than once!  And yes through ignorance about various things, this hillbilly has been injured and about killed.   Besides making us look stupid, or in my case, more stupid, ignorance can hurt us or cause us to be killed!

Crazy people frighten me too.  Like many people, I enjoy scary movies!  I have had a blast with vampire movies, zombie movies, Frankenstein movies, werewolf movies, ghost movies, witchcraft movies, etc.  However I have never enjoyed movies with crazy people.  Play Misty for Me with Clint Eastwood, scared me to death.  The thought of a screaming, crazy woman with a knife attacking me in the dark is a little too realistic.   I have known crazy people.  I have been around crazy people.  Intelligent people, even we hillbillies, know enough to not hang around them.

Now,back to the news people. Due to various shootings around the country, they were talking about guns and gun control.  In my younger days, gun control would have had to do with how steady I could hold the gun so I could hit that at which I was aiming.  Of course that wasn’t what these men were talking about.  These were news people who were debating both sides of the issue and they were equally ignorant.  These are people who sway our opinions one way or the other and they didn’t have enough knowledge about guns to fill up a thimble, much else a teacup!

As to guns, I grew up around them.  They were a tool we rarely used.  I was taught to respect them and to beware of their danger in the same way I was taught to use other tools that could be harmful.  We used guns to kill animals that were injurious to our live stock, were damaging our farm, or to put down an animal that was suffering and could not be saved.  As I grew older, wiser, and gained my parents trust, they began allowing me to use them to hunt.  We really didn’t think of them as being for protection.  That just wasn’t something we thought much about.  In fact, when I was growing up, we rarely locked a door while home or when we were gone.  Things have changed even in Missouri.

As for death, statistically, the number one accidental killer is from auto accidents, the number two killer is gun accidents.  In murders, a little less than 60% are by guns.  The big majority of the gun murders and accidents are from pistols.  Rifles are rarely used.  True assault weapons are almost not used at all.  What the news anchors have been calling assault weapons are not, but instead just semi auto weapons that have the same appearance.  An assault rifle is fully automatic.  In other words, you can hold the trigger down and it just keeps shooting like a machine gun.  Very few people have them and to have them, they have to obtain special permits from our government. Probably about two thirds of the hunting guns and pistols are semiautomatic.  In other words, you aim, and pull the trigger.  With a fully automatic weapon, you hold the trigger down and sweep the gun over multiple targets and put off a constant stream of bullets.  Hopefully those are mostly used by our military!

One of the things brought up as if it was a bad thing, was the fact that people had multiple guns.  Yes, most hunters do.  If they are much of a hunter at all, like using certain tools for certain jobs, they will have a shotgun for bird hunting, (quail, turkey, duck, pheasant, etc).  They will probably have a 22 for small game.  They will probably have a larger caliber, (bigger bullet), rifle for big game such as deer, and possibly even an elk, and even a larger caliber rifle for moose, bear, or dangerous game. They may have black powder rifles for special seasons where only they can be used.

If in the home, there are women or children that hunt, there may be lighter caliber rifles or rifles  made  with smaller stocks to fit their smaller statures.  Some may have a pistol for protection.

Many times they will have old guns that have been in the family, perhaps their father's, or grandfather's.   Many people love and collect guns.  Though I don’t use those particular ones, I have a rifle that both my uncle and my Father, (both now deceased), once owned. I still have my first 22 rifle given to me for my 10th birthday.  These old guns aren’t worth very much but they bring back memories and mean something to me.

Another thing that bothered a pro-second amendment news man, was the "large caliber bullets" that some of these crazy mass shooters used.  He made a statement that they shouldn’t be available for us (the regular guy) to purchase and no one needed them unless it was for military use.  The fact is, most all of these bullets used, have been very small, with bullets weighing about one third to one half of what most deer hunters use.  If you tried using them on a bear, you would just make him mad and you would become bear food and eventually bear scat.  Scat is bear poop for you who don’t know.

Almost all gun owners are law abiding!  Some use them for protection, but most are used for sport.  Like most of us who play and enjoy several sports, many gun owners enjoy hunting, competition, and target shooting.  And as with many things, there are also those who enjoy collecting rare and valuable guns.

Without hunting, animal populations would get completely out of control causing them to damage even more of our farmers' crops than they already do. This would lessen food supplies of grain for both livestock and human consumption.  It would also cut down the meat gained from the hunting of the wild animals.  Without control, auto-animal accidents would jump immensely, causing even more auto deaths (human and deer!) than we now have.  I could go on and on about unintended consequences.

Skittish Deer

Back to ignorance and craziness, craziness though not exactly the same thing, could be compared to being mentally impaired.  In the United States, approximately 11,000 people are killed each year by drunken drivers who are mentally impaired by drink.  That is almost 2,000 more than are murdered by guns.  Fifty-eight percent of firearm accidents are due to a combination of ignorance, (people who don’t know anything about guns), and or by those who are drunk, (mentally impaired).  All of these large shooting sprees seem to be by people who are crazy!

As I said in the beginning, crazy people and ignorance frighten me!  In my opinion, many of the news anchors are either ignorant, or dishonest. Either of these is frightening.  More frightening, is the question that comes to mind, how much other stuff do they put out to us that is the same way?  They owe it to us, to take the time to investigate and become knowledgeable enough to give us facts.  No news anchor or pundit should just start spouting preconceived notions or ignorance.   We depend on them!  A lot of our opinions and decisions come from what they tell us.  We in the real world would have a hard time holding down a job if we approached it with the same ignorance and in the same lackadaisical manner.

 And with their ignorance or ????? whatever, they are beginning to drive me ----- nuts!  Never crazy, insane, or mentally impaired because those are more refined words.  And hey, I am still a hillbilly!

From the Hillbilly’s corner!