Hiking with guns

10 11 2009

Since I’m here to write this, I clearly survived yesterday’s two exams.  Considering the lack of sleep and overall lack of preparation, I think they went pretty well.  Besides, I had more fun over the past five days than I would have studying, so it’s clearly all worth it.

I didn’t really intend for it to be so, but the past week became kind of an all-out 2nd Amendment Celebration.  Wednesday, the College Libertarians gave away a gun (well, actually a $250 gift certificate for a sporting goods store, but…) at our annual gun raffle, along with training courses and other goodies.

Leon Drolet of the Michigan Taxpayer’s Alliance was kind enough to come in and speak to the crowd of 30-40 people who attended the raffle.  The focus of his mini-speech was on the great expansion of 2nd Amendment rights since the early nineties.  Just two decades ago, a map like this:

Blue states/green states are shall issue; yellow are may issue; red states suck.

…would have been unimaginable.  We usually think of rights as things that exist only to be diminshed by the government, and these days, that might be starting to look more and more like the case.  But the successful push for greater firearm freedom has allowed law-abiding citizens in nearly every state to carry a concealed weapon.  So far, we haven’t been turned into Somalia.

Leon’s broader point was that dedicated, principled people can eventually have an impact on policy and completely change the status quo.  Support for increased firearm legislation is at a historic low.  There’s no reason that support for more government intervention and control can’t be at a historic low in four or five years as well.

Thursday, the College Libertarians et. al. went to a shooting range in Westland.  I was able to fire a variety of different handguns, something I hadn’t done at a range before, for a very reasonable rate.  I particularly liked the Beretta 92, which just seemed to fit my hand really well.  I’d still like to try a CZ-75; I checked out one from behind the counter, but there wasn’t one available for rent.  Since I’ll be 21 shortly, I’ll have to start looking into handguns more closely.

Everybody had a great time, and we were all stunned to see that none of the hundred-plus guns in the store jumped off the shelf and shot anybody (cops and babies included).  It’s bizarre how that works.

Friday, me and a friend from my fraternity headed up to Naubinway.  While we saw a lot of ducks, we didn’t manage to shoot any.  I’m referring to the experience as “Hiking With Guns” since we walked a few miles down the beach both Saturday and Sunday morning (and Saturday evening as well).  I’m not really bummed about it, though, as it’s one of the few times I’ve been awake early enough to see the sunrise over Lake Michigan.  I’ll have to try getting up early more often.

We saw plenty of ducks, but way out of range.

If nothing else, I now know what I need to do to get ducks next season (blind, decoys, etc.), since I’m more familiar with their flight patterns.

All in all, it was a valuable experience, and I don’t regret not studying for my exams.

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