This article belongs to War Inc theme.

My love of projectiles and guns began as a child with a slingshot, bean blower, and an air pistol. Soon I had an air rifle, and then a .22 caliber single shot rifle to keep in the closet with my bow and arrows. When I got to high school, so long ago, I joined the rifle team. We practiced target shooting in our school basement firing range. The presence of such weapons in public schools today, of course, is forbidden.

My brother gave me a nickel-plated German Lugar for my twenty-first birth day

My brother gave me a nickel-plated German Lugar for my twenty-first birth day
For three years, as I served in the Pennsylvania National Guard, we learned to use and care for all kinds of guns and explosives. My own side arm was an M-3 .45 caliber automatic machine gun. It could cut down a small tree, was wildly inaccurate, but light and compact making it easy to carry around. What a joyful chatter it could make!

We learned how to toss grenades, use and maintain the trusty M-1 Garand rifle, and the .30 caliber carbine. These great guns served our troops in World War II, Korea, and Viet Nam..

One really thrilling weapon was what we called a “quad mount,” four machine guns on a single small turret that we used to fire at drone aircraft.

Biggest of all were the four 90mm antiaircraft guns that were our primary duty as an anti-aircraft battery. Although we never went overseas, our unit went on active duty during the Korean war and we got a chance to practice on a regular basis spending hours and days out in the field with our cannon..

Once our cannon were in place, oriented and synchronized with our radar fire control, we were ready for target practice. When an airplane towing a sleeve appeared, we went to work. Our cannon fired in exact unison, and what a satisfying boom they made. The projectiles made the sound of a freight train as they rushed up, and soon a perfect pattern of four black puffs appeared around the target tearing it to shreds.

I loved the sounds and smells of gunpowder, the huge explosions of guns around me, the clank of brass shell casings dropping out of the breach, the rush of departing missals,

They never got around to sending our unit to Korea because that war ended before they could give us modern equipment. We’d been using left over World War II equipment.

Years later, when I lived in Las Vegas, I had a small arsenal of guns that included a twelve-gauge shotgun, a .45 caliber revolver, and an automatic .38 caliber pistol. That little .38 traveled everywhere with me in my truck. I often went with a friend"an avid gun collector"out in the desert to practice shooting at bottles and cans.

I understand and love guns of all sorts, but as I grow older, I realize how much I hate what guns are made to do: kill people. The fun is on the surface, the truth that guns are deadly weapons is easy to ignore.

I loved the sounds and smells of gunpowder...
Sadly, in America today, guns are killing innocent people. America is an armed camp with almost every household having a deadly weapon of some sort. The job of the police is made deadly when anyone can get a gun, commit a crime, and then shoot the officers who come to arrest them.

Should our civilian police have to face combat conditions as they go about keeping the peace and protecting the people? I think not. Hundreds of them die or are wounded every year.

Our schools, our streets, our work places, even our homes are no longer safe from sudden violence.

Gun lovers, gun manufacturers, and the American Rife Association effectively control our Congress when it comes to making laws to restrict or control guns, and it does not seem to matter that the majority of people are in favor of greater control. It is even against the law in the United States for the Federal Bureau of Investigation to keep any records of total gun ownership, so no one really knows how many guns there are in private hands in the United States. About ten years ago, it was estimated that 40 percent of homes have at least one gun, but there may be as many as 300 million firearms in this country. Some collectors have an arsenal of weapons that often includes rapid-fire military assault weapons.

Gun lovers sweep aside the daily news of deadly shootings in schools, hospitals, robberies, post offices, and on the streets. More people in the United States are killed or injured every year by gunfire than by auto accidents. Many gun owners have never had any formal training in the use of guns. (See, chapter 11 for more information.)

Home defense is often the excuse offered for keeping a loaded gun in the home, but we seldom see stories of a successful defense against home invaders using firearms. We do see many stories of accidental shootings in homes.

Amendment II of the United States Constitution famously reads: “A well regulated militia, being necessary for the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

This Amendment is the foundation of all objections to gun control in the United States. But, I was a member of the National Guard militia for three years, and gun control was the rule at all times. The government supplied the guns, we never took them home with us, and we were never given ammunition except for a specific purpose each time. It all worked very well.

Few gun owners in the modern United States today belong to any formal militia. Most would probably not respond to a call to arms short of an invasion by a foreign army.

Are we saying we have to be ready to defend the country against revolution or invasion? Most successful revolts in other countries in recent years were, in fact, rebellions by the local armed forces themselves. An armed militia could be as serious a threat to our democracy as it was to English rule when England held us as colonies. If we had a true civilian militia, well trained and organized, we might, in fact, be in great danger of take-over by authoritarian rule from within the militia.
Sadly, in America today, guns are killing innocent people.

Revision of the United States Constitution will not happen in the predictable future, but it is time to put away childish things. Deadly as they are, guns in the hands of those who have no rational use for them are childish symbols of personal power. In the United States they go far, far beyond sport and hunting, or even simple target practice.

So, I say farewell to arms. I no longer have any guns, nor do I think I need one. I happened to grow up in a society that is tolerant of gun ownership. Many other very successful and orderly societies around the world do not tolerate guns in private hands. As long as guns are legal, people will own them. It may take fifty to a hundred years for The United States to eliminate all its home-based guns, bur it will happen bit by bit. People will go on dying needlessly, but eventually we will grow up and learn to live as a less violent nation. We will learn that a gun is not a path to personal happiness, that having a gun does not make one a better person.

So, with love and fond memories, I let go of the right to keep and bear these deadly weapons.

(Julian I. Taber, Ph.D. is author of Addictions Anonymous: Outgrowing Addiction with a Universal, Secular Program of Self-Development. ISBN 978-1-60145-647-2.
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