An Appreciation of Guns: You Had to Have Been There

A reader asked why I am so leery about guns. He referred to my blog post of a few days ago giving statistics about guns in the U.S. The answer is simple: I’ve seen up close what firearms do to the human body.

I’ve written here several times about the ghastliness of combat. I witnessed and participated in events so gruesome that I still can’t talk about them. And each of them involved young fighters that I knew and liked. Those experiences changed me permanently. I know that as long as I live, I’ll never get over them.

So I developed a healthy horror of firearms and their lethality. They are designed to kill. If I had my way, all firearms—but particularly automatic and semiautomatic weapons—would be removed from civil society and banished to the battlefield.

The argument that guns are part of American culture doesn’t move me. Better to change the culture than suffer almost a hundred people a day killed by gunfire.

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