Saturday, February 17, 2007

The "F" Word
Imagine I posted a blog about how I liked to float out on Lake Michigan amongst the ice flows and practice throwing a harpoon with a throwing stick. Imagine, too, that at such times I imagined myself living the life of an Inuit, feeling what they did. Imagine, finally, that I found the entire experience relaxing and that the focus it required took me away from the hurry-up life I experience ashore. In fact, imagine that I found it to be a form of meditation. Would that upset you? I think not. I suspect, in fact, that the traditionalists out there would feel a sense of kinship found in a common interest. So why, then, did yesterday's post get the reaction it did?
Via comments, e mails and personal conversations I have learned that my posting yesterday caused strong emotional reactions for some folks. One dismissed the whole idea as a male thing, another felt uncomfortable when she saw the picture of a gun, in this case a 9mm Glock (I suspect that just reading that name for the gun will cause a reaction for some of you...but I digress). In the first paragraph, today, I rewrite yesterday's experience but substitute a harpoon for a gun, give it a "righteous" context and get a different reaction. After mulling it over and over, I have concluded why the gun caused the stir it did, and it was the "F" word.
Fear. We live in a society that is violent. We watch TV shows like Cops and see that very same gun being fired at human beings. We read, almost daily, of people being gunned down on our local streets...and so on. We are afraid for our safety and, therefor, have an aversion for the object that represents and brings home to us that terrible feeling.
Yet, we are far more likely to die of hypothermia and even more likely to die of a heart attack. To avoid the former, we dress properly and learn how to rescue ourselves. To avoid the later, we eat properly and exercise. In other words, we learn how to handle those things that are a threat to us and debunk the bogey man involved. Well, I've done that with a fire arm and found a way to use it to relax.
You see, I don't consider it as a means of protection. At home, the clips are empty and out and the entire piece is locked up. I could teach a home invader how to roll quicker than I could get to, assemble and load the gun. I do not even belong to the NRA (National Rifle Association) or, for that matter, the NHA (National Harpoon Association).
So stop and think it over for a moment. After reading yesterday's blog, did you feel differently about me, even though most of you have never met me? And why was yesterday's photo disturbing and not today's? Did I touch your fear? The lesson here is to handle guns and harpoons in a safe manner and to...
Paddle safe...


Ron said...

I guess I've been known to go to the local range and "relax" with an evening of target practice. Firearms bring up strong feelings among people on both sides of the issue, it can be a touchy subject. I have no answers for you on this one, I usually tread lightly the subject.

Silbs said...

Thanks for the good thoughts, Ron. Your "advise" is too good to not be taken.

Capt'n "O" Dark 30 said...

Naw... walk briskly, speak your mind... it's youre blog!! Plus you're pack'n heat! :-)

The Capt'n