All of us have watched with interest the legal wranglings of the George Zimmerman trial and a little closer to home the latest filings of our very own Attorney General Jim Hood concerning Mississippi’s new open-carry law.
As a hunter, reporter, husband, father and red-blooded American, I have to say I am a little concerned with the direction gun control in this country is headed and that includes a lack of it.
The new open carry law concerns me. Events in the George Zimmerman/Trevon Martin trial concern me.
And last but not least, I can’t wait until the first day of dove season set for 2 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 1.
I am waiting for the first person to come traipsing in the good ole’ Chickasaw Journal with a six-gun strapped on their hip.
I’m going to point to one of the three girls that work in this office and quickly say “she did it!”
Chivalry just doesn’t mean much in today’s modern workplace and under the new open-carry law male pride might keep me from seeing grandchildren and drawing Social Security.
Over the past 25 years in this business I have seen a number of certified nuts walk up to my desk with an ax to grind. And under the state’s new open-carry there is nothing to keep those ax-murders from trading an ax for a revolver.
In Texas I routinely kept a shotgun in the office and often headed off to the grasslands for an afternoon of bird hunting. In deer season the guncase carried a high-powered rifle.
But Journal Publishing Houston has a policy that no employees are to bring a gun onto company property.
But don’t worry, we still have a back door and old Floyd can still do the 100-yard dash if he has to.
Do I have a God-given right to protect my wife and property with a firearm?
Well, technically, guns were not around in the days my Bible was written, so the ultimate law that I follow does not clearly address that. There are references to live by the sword – die by the sword, you reap what you sow and thou shalt not steal. There is also a story about turning the other cheek.
I will admit that if I found someone about to harm me or mine inside my house on the Ingram Plantation, I wouldn’t hesitate to pull the trigger. And then I would humbly stand down and place my life in the hands of a Chickasaw County grand jury and possibly a Circuit Court jury of my peers.
There is a similar case winding its way through the courts in Lee County.
It is something I have thought through. Yes, the consequences would – without a doubt – scar me and someone else for the rest of my life.
My father was career Air Force and I heard him talk about things that he did that he knew cost people their lives. As a crewman on a heavy bomber he had been trained to do a job and did what his country allowed at the time. But I’m proud to say it bothered him.
Spilling blood is bad news in any circumstance.
My first experience with a weapon was in a dove field in Western Clay County. I was about 5-years-old.
Each of my four boys pulled their first trigger at about that age. And their daddy was holding them and the shotgun at the same time.
I have always told my boys guns will get you into more trouble than they will ever get you out of. I have tried to raise them as responsible citizens and men who don’t hurt others, don’t trespass and steal from no one.
In today’s world there are still boys who think strapping on a gun makes them more of a man. Many of those boys have gray hair and spout about their manhood and their rights at local coffee shops.
And sadly, there are punks who tuck a gun in their waistband and think they have the power to take what they want.
Both extremes are eroding the edges of my freedom own a weapon.
To quote a local lawman commenting on the new open-carry law, “with freedom comes responsibility.”
Do we really want to create Wild-West type situations at the local McDonald’s? Is someone sitting next to you in the pew this Sunday packing heat? What about at the city Little League game?
Please don’t point to the U.S. Constitution and moan about your rights, when punks in Houston point guns at mobile homes and randomly shoot them up.
Guns in our society are an issue that all of us must address.
When it comes to weapons and guns, level heads and carefully thought out laws must prevail.
As Americans, Mississippians and God-fearing men and women we need to cherish life and act responsibly in every situation. Self control is gun control.
And last but not least we need to teach these values, these responsibilities and these rights to our children. If we don’t, there is not a doubt they will all be taken from them – maybe even at the point of a gun.
Floyd Ingram is Managing Editor/News for the Chickasaw Journal. He can be reached at 456-3771 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org