Saturday, 22 December 2012

Guys with guns

I know nothing about guns, have never touched, let alone fired, one, and never had any desire to. Yet it strikes me, at first sight, as odd that even in a society like the US, for all its history, there are so many guns in private hands - apparently there approaching an average of one for every man, woman, child and old age pensioner. No doubt quite a few people don't possess one - and quite a few people possess several, or even many. No doubt quite a few guns are never fired. No doubt many gun owners, whatever their abstract fears and feelings about their rights, never in practice find themselves threatened by burglars or bears or the storm troopers of oppressive government.

The array, number and variety of guns available to the consumer seems to be vast and the sophistication of some weapons beyond any actual need. It seems to me that they may be a little like smart phones, in that they are things that people actually like to handle, almost compulsively, even if at the time they have no particular need to do anything with them. There is a satisfaction in touching, in running through the features and capabilities of the object, in having the latest version. The more features it has, or could have, the more satisfying it is. The naming of parts. So many guns.