Sunday, April 24, 2005

Gun Control and Democrats

Many of my friends who read this blog are, at best, ambivalent about the issue of gun control. It's not an issue that gets me going, either. The reason is that most of the people I'm closest with were raised either in a rural or semirural environment. There was a lot of space between people. I grew up with guns and frequent outings to the countryside with my dad, where we blew the heck out of refuse that had been left in the desert. As New Mexico has become more developed, those trips to the desert became trips to a shooting range and unloading on a target with the wildly inaccurate 38 snub nosed special that my grandfather carried as a sidearm while a member of the Albuquerque Police Department. Good times. Also, last time I hit New Mexico I visited two friends who live in the mountains and have built an arsenal that can't possibly have a non-military purpose, but, again, no harm done... they're not crazy and girls look cute when they're showing off their pump-handle shotguns. It's a western thing. Or, it's a country thing.

It's not the same in New York where the population density is so high. Sure, one could argue that you need the protection here (it'd be a false argument, New York is perfectly safe) but, even if that were true, stopping an apartment break-in with a gun is just a recipe for shooting the person who lives upstairs.

I'm basically a regionalist on gun control. New York City's strict gun laws make sense and New Mexico's more liberal gun laws also make sense. Seems the Democrats are realizing this, too. This could be a good thing. If Democrats want to better appeal to rural voters, they need to support rural voters making, and living by, some of their own laws. Gun ownership is a great point of compromise because I think even gun enthusiasts will acknowledge the rights of LA or NYC to have different laws than Santa Rosa, New Mexico. This seems like a point where the red state/blue state divide could find some common ground. I hope the Dems pursue it.


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