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Gun People

By Larry Gross · August 24th, 2011 · Living Out Loud

This took place maybe five years ago. I consider myself a writer, but my business background still occasionally brings in consulting work. I was doing this for a company located in downtown Cincinnati. I’ll say downtown — maybe it is, maybe it isn’t. I’m going to change a few facts around as I don’t want anybody to recognize themselves.

While talking with the owner and some of his employees, I couldn’t help but notice that the owner of the company, an older gentleman, always wore a suit. It was mid July and hot outside. He never took off his jacket. Never. When I mentioned this observation to some of the employees, one of them told me the business owner kept his jacket on because he was carrying a gun inside it.

This confirmed my belief that it’s always good to learn as much as possible when dealing with someone. The guy who owns this business also has a bad temper, so I told him in writing that his business basically sucked and would be better off to close its doors. Saying this in writing instead of telling him face to face was better than running the risk of getting my brains blown out.

Gun people: I don’t pretend to understand them. I don’t relate to people who carry guns, collect them or shoot them. To me, guns encourage violent behavior and are a danger to society.

I shot a gun once back when I was 11 or 12 years old. Living in the country, my father let me shoot his gun into a field. I remember the shot being loud and me falling down as the gun went off. It was scary.

I don’t think my grandfather owned a gun, but he did own a rifle. Back in the 1960s and living on a large farm, he would go hunting for deer or rabbit. I understand this. He was shooting for food to put on the table. He wasn’t looking for a fight with another human being.

In urban society, guns kill people.

I don’t go along with this bullshit that guns don’t kill people, that people kill people. If a regular citizen wasn’t allowed to carry a gun, then the temptation wouldn’t be there to pull the trigger when tempers flare. This especially holds true in bars.

I don’t get why Ohio Governor John Kasich signed into law late last June that it’s now legal to carry a concealed weapon into a bar. Commonsense says that guns and alcohol don’t mix.

I don’t buy into the fact that gun-carrying patrons aren’t allowed to consume alcohol while carrying their concealed weapon. What’s a bartender suppose to do — check a customer’s pockets for a gun? Not all guns are concealed in pockets. You can put a gun in your sock, in your underwear or even up your ass.

When this new law starts to become old hat with bar owners and bartenders, the checking for guns will become lackluster. That’s when people will start getting shot. This law should go away. Until it does, you won’t ever find me in a bar late at night. I want to die from natural causes, not get shot by a person who’s had too many Budweisers.

In case you haven’t guessed by now, I don’t own a gun. I don’t even own a ball bat to protect myself or my belongings from intruders. However, I do own a pretty mean walking cane and I know how to use it — not only for walking but for beating up anybody after me or my stuff. I don’t need bullets and a gun for protection.

I’m for gun control. Yes, I want to take away your gun. I believe only a few people should be allowed to have them, and if wishing could make it so, here are some gun laws I’d like to see.

It goes without saying our military needs to keep their guns. It also should go without saying that we need less military.

I can go along with a person getting a hunting license and carrying a rifle. I don’t see the joy in killing animals for pleasure, but if that’s your hobby, so be it.

Police officers should, of course, be allowed to carry guns. Probably not all cops should be gun carrying cops, but that’s an argument for a different day. In general, police need to protect us from the bad people, and if any of these bad people get caught with a gun — assuming the rest of us citizens can’t own one — then that person should be put away for a very long time even if his or her original crime is jaywalking.

We need to become a more civilized society. We need to respect life and not allow ways to damage it. Some people understand this, but some will never be able to figure this out — like that business owner I did consulting work for.

A couple months after I got canned for being too honest, he got arrested in a downtown bar for pulling out a gun and almost shooting a guy. Following the case, I learned that charges were dropped except for one. He lost his gun license. He wasn’t allowed to ever carry a gun again.

End of story? Hardly. Only three weeks later, he was arrested in the same bar, this time for carrying an illegal gun. He couldn’t stop carrying a damn gun.

Gun people. I just don’t get them.

CONTACT LARRY GROSS: lgross@citybeat.com



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