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What My Father Taught Me About Guns

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In the past month the Post has published a number of other articles with detailed, useful information on this topic which should be of interest to anyone who would like to see a little less gun carnage in this country, and does not believe that the blame lies with "gun-free zones," Hollywood or an "elitist hypocrite" --NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre's term for President Obama.

Of particular interest to me was Joel Achenbach's series, which began with "How NRA's True Believers Converted a Marksmanship Group Into a Mighty Gun Lobby."   

Even the very basic idea of universal background checks before gun purchases makes Wayne LaPierre see red. He says it's because "criminals will never submit to them." Ever notice that the NRA gets a lot of their ideas by studying things criminals won't do? With these guys it's always more guns, bigger guns, guns everywhere, all the time." 

I welcomed Achenbach's well-researched series, as I have wanted to write an essay like this one for some time. I particularly welcomed his explanation on how the NRA became so radical and intractable, because in years past, it wasn't an evil caricature, a sad, bizarre cartoon. Have we mentioned the fact that Ronald Reagan favored gun control, or that George H.W. Bush was so disgusted with the NRA he tore up his membership?  Charlton Heston stuck with "em, but God bless the old toupee-topped Moses, at that point in his career, he wasn't exactly being inundated with other offers.

Good investigative journalism has already been done by others, so I wanted to say something about my father the simple common sense and sense of class he embodies for me. In a way I hate to repeat his admonition about being careful where your gun is pointed, but seriously, I'm sick of the NRA and gun-weirdos pointing their guns and their hysterical fears at the rest of us.  

This gun was taken from a bad man. by Jesse Sublett

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A few years before he died, my father gave me an early heirloom, a Colt .32 revolver. Although not as striking as some old revolvers, it's a neat looking gun, and it gives off a nice frontier vibe.

The gun came to my father, and his father before that, from the collection of my great uncle William Winthrop Sublett. He was born in Texas and later migrated to the mining communities of New Mexico and from there to Redding, California, where he was a miner and rancher. He also served as sheriff of Shasta County from 1922-1943. I like finding stories in archives that mention him, like the one about a car chase and shoot-out with armed bandits in 1925, and apprehending escaped convicts from San Quentin in 1939.

I also like the story of how Sheriff Bill got the gun. He confiscated it from a bad man and never gave it back. They didn't call it "fascism" or "communism" back then. They didn't even call it gun control.

They called it common sense.

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Jesse Sublett is a regular contributor to An author, ghost writer and musician in Austin, Texas, he has published crime novels, eBooks, true crime, memoir, essays and journalism. His work has appeared in New York Times, Texas Monthly, (more...)

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