Ryn: Beware the giddy gun owner

Right beneath Arizona’s unofficial nickname of the Grand Canyon State, there should be another moniker, perhaps in festive italics: the Land of the Gun.

The latest movement in the gun orgy is a bill Gov. Jan Brewer signed into law Monday that allows concealed weapons in bars and restaurants that serve liquor.

Say cheese!/Ryn Gargulinski

Say cheese!/Ryn Gargulinski

We’re not sure how many lives will be saved by such a move, but we have a feeling the wait staff and bartenders may become a tad more attentive to their customers.

Anyone who has stared down the barrel of a gun knows how quickly you learn to move.

My stare-down-a-barrel moment was when a crackhead robbed the Ben and Jerry’s ice cream shop where I worked in Manhattan.

He had the weapon hidden in a folded newspaper he laid on the counter when he ordered a vanilla cone with chocolate sprinkles.

I turned around to get the sprinkles and turned back to the unfolded paper and the barrel of a handgun.

The man never got his ice cream, since I promptly dropped it when I noted the gun pointed at my face, but he did get all the money out of the register. He also got all the money under the register, as the airhead with whom I worked called him back into the store with, “Wait, don’t you want the big bills under here?”

There’s no doubt guns can do a good job of getting what you want by intimidating bartenders, bank tellers and poor little ice cream girls.

On the flip side, guns can also protect the law-abiding folks.

Many of us give a nod of “he-got-his” approval when we hear of the homeowner who shot the home invader, thereby saving the dwelling’s occupants as well as the giant TV and stereo system.

Yes, guns can protect you, but they can also be mishandled, abused or fall into the hands of kids who end up shooting each other “just to see how it works.”

While permits are required to carry handguns, folks don’t need a permit or any training to buy one. Gun shows and private sales don’t even require background checks.

Instead of making some regulations more stringent, the laws seem to keep getting less restrictive.

I’m not sure if that should make us feel safe, or very afraid.

I’m also definitely undecided when it comes to owning a gun. I’m jaded by too many horror stories about guns being turned on their owners or folks accidentally shooting their faces off.

Wonder if they own a gun?/Ryn Gargulinski

Wonder if they own a gun?/Ryn Gargulinski

In addition to being banned from watching “The Love Boat” and “Three’s Company,” my brother and I weren’t allowed to play with toy guns as kids. We were taught fear and loathing of these deadly weapons and had to sneak around with our bright pink water pistols.

The only time I shot a gun was at the Tucson Police Department’s Citizen’s Police Academy, under the supervision of a highly trained officer, so I felt pretty safe.

It was also fully exhilarating. Especially since I managed to clock the target square in the forehead with every single shot. Well, I think the last one hit him in the chest.

Shooting the thing made me giddy, which is where the real danger of guns comes in.

How many others, like the father and son duo I saw shooting off a rifle in the Rillito riverbed on New Year’s Day, get the same kind of thrill and want to go shooting for the heck of it?

Never mind the crackheads, bank thieves or restaurant robbers, it is guns in the hands of the giddy that should concern us.

No law can conquer that. For that we should be afraid.

Ryn Gargulinski is a poet, artist, performer and TucsonCitizen.com Ryngmaster who doesn’t have a gun but has two big dogs, a meat hook, a machete and a medieval mace. Listen to a preview of her column at 8:10 a.m. Thursdays on KLPX 96.1 FM. Listen to her webcast at 4 p.m. Fridays at www.Party934.com. Her column appears every Friday on Rynski’s Blogski. E-mail rynski@tucsoncitizen.com

logosubjpegDo you own a gun – why or why not?

Have you ever had a gun pointed at you?

Did you ever point one at someone else? What happened?

Did you rob a Ben and Jerry’s?


About Rynski

Writer, artist, performer who specializes in the weird, wacky and sometimes creepy. Learn more at ryngargulinski.com.
This entry was posted in Crime, danger, death, life, Police/fire/law, politics, Rynski Column, Stupidity and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

44 Responses to Ryn: Beware the giddy gun owner

  1. radmax says:

    “Wait, don’t you want the big bills under here?” Mornin’ Rynski!-I saw a good bumper sticker: Guns kill people the same way spoons made Rosie O’Donnel fat. PS-your co-worker sounds like a couple of guys that work for me…. 

  2. ldonyo says:

    I’m curious about something with regard to the new law. Just who is going to check the patrons drinking alcohol to see if they are carrying? The law states that those carrying cannot imbibe, but I’ll bet it is depending on the citizens packing pieces to obey that portion of the statute.

  3. leftfield says:

    Based on your experience, do you think the situation at Ben & Jerry’s could have been improved if you had reached under the counter, pulled out a gun and the two of you had begun to blast away at one another? 

    • Rynski says:

      good question. I can only speculate, and I’ve speculated on several outcomes:
      1. Since crackheads are often jittery and paranoid, the sight of a gun turned on him may have made him flee the scene.
      2. Since crackheads are often jittery and paranoid, the sight of a gun turned on him may have made him shoot everything in sight.
      3. The airhead could have grabbed the gun, in which case I most likley would not be sitting here today and several gallons of Chunky Monkey, Cherry Garcia and Heath Bar Crunch would have been riddled with bullet holes.

  4. Rynski says:

    Mornin’ RadMax – What a hilarious bumper sticker! So true, too. Guns in the hands of rational and not drunk people should not be something from which we need to cower. I hope my former coworker, and those like her, however, never get a chance to own a gun!
    Idonyo – You pose a very good question. I got the feeling the drinkers would be on the honor system, you know, just like none of us speed or walk our dogs off the leash because it’s against the law, those who imbibed would voluntarily go put their gun somewhere safe.

  5. radmax says:

    Lefty, just cannot picture Dirty Rynski shootin’ it out to protect somebodys, ice cream cone…we have the right to possess firearms for very good reasons. Now, if we could only legislate against stupidity….

  6. sechem says:

    so worried about the CCW holder carrying.

    where is your worry about the people that have been carrying illegally into bars?

    CCW holders are law abiders and hey, if the owner does not want a CCW holder to carry……….. post the sign. then the CCW holder has the option to comply or go elsewhere.

    and btw, if you don’t see a sign restricting guns, you too can go elsewhere until you find a nice, safe place where there are no big bad gun owners to hurt you. A place where you will have total security or at least you can tell yourself that.

  7. A.Farley says:

    Hitchiking thru New Orleans underpass a Lincoln Continental  stops to pick me up and I’m looking down the barrel of a .44 and the guy sez, “My names “Shaky”, do you know why they call me Shaky?” I didn’t have to tell him and gave him my wallet, he takes my seven dollars and throws me my wallet, drives off.
    I got hooked on antique firearms long ago and have a great time doing that. As a matter of fact, I’m receiving one today in the mail, an 1860 3RD generation Colt Dragoon, Black powder .44 cap and ball revolver

    • Rynski says:

      Hey A. Farley,
      If I knew anything about guns, I would say your new firearm sounds quite fetching.
      That was nice of “Shaky” to give you your wallet back after pilfering the $7. And thanks for sharing your barrel of a gun story. You’d think Shaky would find better targets, however. Hitchhikers are not known for having lots of cash on hand, at least the ones I’ve met.

    • leftfield says:

      Would seem to me that people who are hitchhiking are generally not carrying a lot of money on them.

  8. pitchfork says:

    Gotta agree with sechem.  We’ve had a couple of recent (last few months) attacks in churches, an immigration center, and so on where the nutjobs clearly expected no retribution or armed resistance.
    I used to be kind of a city slicker too, Ryn, regarding my views on guns, but after spending some time in Wyoming on a ranch, practicing shooting, and learning how to shoot, I see that we are our brothers’ keepers and since it takes several minutes for police to respond to any crime (once it’s reported, mind you), I feel good knowing that there’s someone who is responsible enough to get a CCW permit out there looking out for the little guy.
    Does this create more problems for law enforcement?  Maybe so, I guess, but there are great courses like Front Site in Vegas that give you the education it takes to be a smart cowboy.  Agree with you on the kids being looked out for (didn’t we just have a kid in Sierra Vista shoot his step-sister by accident when playing around?!).  Some folks shouldn’t be parents–they’re too irresponsible and give gun owners a bad name.
    You need a license to own a gun.  You need a license to kill a deer.  You need a license to drive a car, but you don’t need a license to have a kid.  Scary?  Dunno.

    • Rynski says:

      Yes, sechem brings up some valid points, too. I also agree that training is a MUST for anyone wanting to cart a gun around town.
      Two more points:
      Even though I “risked my life” pushing the little police alert button under the Ben and Jerry’s counter while the gunman was there, police didn’t show up for at least 30 minutes, perhaps more. I think ice cream shop robbery gets a fairly low priority in NYC.
      Training, licensing, child abuse prevention and classes on how to change a diaper and not leave little babies in a hot car should all be mandatory before folks have kids.

      • pitchfork says:

        So true…”but I only went inside to get some milk!”

      • A.Farley says:

        Nothing would make me more happy than to show Ryn basic gun safety and training and get her past the “Giddys”. But then again, An armed and dangerous Ryn, maybe some folks should never own guns.

      • Rynski says:

        Would LOVE to do gun safety/training…I could do a blog about it. aww, c’mon, i can’t be all that dangerous with a gun. after all, i’ve managed not to hurt myself with my machete, meat hook and medieval mace for all these years…

      • I wanna come to the training with you Rynski. I have all the same feelings you do against guns and yet …. this last weekend, all alone in a too big house, my bat laying next to me in bed and my dogs out of their kennels and on my floor for “protection” I thought, “I need to get a gun.” Never had that thought before – but then again, never had my daughter tell me that when she got home at 1:30 a.m. the prior night a big white truck was idling across the street from our house, two bald guys inside with a laptop. Maybe “mature age” is making me paranoid? either that or all the hours you and I sat together listening to the stream of crimes from the police scanner…

  9. sechem says:

    gun safety is always an issue. kid safety …….. how many child drowning have there been already this summer. 1000 fold more than killed by guns. so let’s out law pools. same reasoning and a lot more justification.

    guns are the focus of anti-gunners, who for whatever their agenda, spread lies and manipulate facts. as they say, figures don’t lie but liars figure.

    i have trained and carried for 10 years ……… so far I have managed to not shoot anyone by accident. By training, I mean on a constant basis with reputable organization, such as Maricopa Tactical here in Phoenix.

    law abiding citizens who hold a CCW and carry are NOT THE PROBLEM AND NEVER WILL BE.

    anti-gunners, whines and the cowardly will always be around ….. like flies.  

    • Rynski says:

      like flies on dog poop! (which is also ILLEGAL if left in the yard more than 24 hours within city limits)…
      good point on the pool.

      • A.Farley says:

        Good, we’ll start with turn of the century black powder muzzle loaders, move up to 1887 metallic cartridge, on up to revolver, black powder of course then to a “modern” 1933 slide action pistol with smokeless powder finished off with WW2 era .308 semi-auto, and I’ll pay your dues and all you have to do is show up, in your fatigues, no lace.

      • Rynski says:

        throw a bayonette in there just for kicks and you’re on!

  10. kp says:

    This will sound a little callous, but why have we gotten to the point where training, licensing, classes, etc. should be mandatory for everything?
    I guess since people are trained and licensed to drive, and of course, no one ever has an auto accident, that means that everything people are trained and licensed for is now “safe”.
    People are substituting personal responsibility for gov’t restrictions, and when that doesn’t work, we’ll just restrict things a little more!
    It’s a cop-out. Plain and simple. Bad things happen, and they will continue to happen, despite restrictive legislation designed only to make you feel better. But, in our never-ending attempt to defer the blame, we will blame it on the fact that we have too much freedom, and over-correct, limiting ourselves even more.

    • Rynski says:

      hey kp – i see where you’re coming from but, despite the crappy drivers careening all over, i still feel a small shade better knowing they had to go through training, even if it didn’t stick. think how much worse they would drive if driver training we not mandatory? egads! it dents my bumper just to consider it.

    • Llew says:

      If you make the world fool proof, you will suffer from too many fools.

  11. sechem says:

    firearms training is essential for two reasons ……….

    1. many gun owners have no real idea how the weapon functions, i.e. mechanical safety, etc. just a fact of life, especially for the virgins. in addition, the understanding of factors such as sympathetic response just to mention one.

    2. gun laws….. shoot – no shoot scenarios …… where to target….. etc.

    ALL people wanting to carry need weapons training. does it eliminate all issues? no. nothing ever will.  

  12. MarcyMom says:

    Ryn, Where did you get that water pistol? You’re grounded! Guns on the street are a bad idea. There are way too many hot heads in the world and a few drinks can make them even hotter.

    • Rynski says:

      Water pistol?? No water pistol. You must have read it wrong. Maybe a water FOUNTAIN?? …and the only TV I ever watched was Little House on the Prairie.

  13. texaswyldfyre says:

    Gald you never took me up on the offer for me to teach you how to use a gun, ryn~

    Love ya!

    • Rynski says:

      i was fresh out of nyc when you offered – still smarting from the ben & jerry’s incident (haha). love ya back. beware of those rattlesnakes in your pickup truck.

  14. eldog says:

    Ryn , great topic. The responses are typical. Some are very experienced with guns and some know little about the subject . I have been around guns my whole life. I’m 51 . I’ve hunted since I was 10 years old with my grandpa and dad. I’ve never shot a sibling , or an innocent bystander, hiker, or next-door nieghbor.  The point is ; it takes supervised training to understand what guns are for and the right way to use them. I’ve had guns pulled on me 3 times. I’m a very slick talker, so I’m not dead  ; }  I don’t have a CCWP but know people who do and those people are very responsible. They don’t get loaded and stupid. If you take guns away from the responsible people , only the irresponsible ones will have the guns…then what?

    • Rynski says:

      thanks, eldog. it certainly is an interesting one. glad to hear you are well-versed in handling and guns and take them seriously. also glad to hear you’re a slick talker! you pose a good question at the end.

      • radmax says:

        Well, what’s the answer Rynski? 🙂

      • Rynski says:

        Dear Weisenheimer RadMax:
        Since my Magic 8 Ball is at the shop, I’ll have to wing it for the answer to this tantalizing question. I can only speculate, and I’ve speculated on several outcomes. We can:
        1. Buy only cheap TVs and turntable stereo systems so no one invades our homes to steal anything since they will not want this stuff.
        2. Wear lots of kevlar
        3. Paddle our way to some remote island created by a volcano in the Pacific that isn’t even on any maps and live a non-violent, weapon-free existence until, of course, someone invents the sling shot.

      • radmax says:

        Keep the guns and outlaw ammo? Excellent answers Rynski.

  15. pitchfork says:

    As a reformed gun-0-phobic who embraced my ignorance and learned how to shoot, care for, and be responsible for weapons, I don’t think that it’s as much an agenda anti-gunners are pursuing as much as they just haven’t ever related to or experienced a time when a gun would be a required tool.  Some examples beyond the whole ‘Baddies Beware’ scenario are rattlesnakes around a ranch, hunting,  a mountain lion on a running path, or even some moron’s escaped pitbull from next door that gets out and is coming straight at you.
    I’m not advocating vigilante justice like my Punisher avatar might suggest, I’m just advocating education like most of the ‘gun nuts’ here including myself are talking about.  I guess no matter what our experience, we all come from such different worlds so our opinions are shaped by them.  Since we’re supposedly the most developed species on the planet, maybe we ought to avoid generalized name-calling and just talk (or become slick talkers like El Dog!).

  16. sechem says:

    anti-gunners like the brady punch and even the ama to have an agenda. they want all firearms outlawed for civilian ownership. they will lie like the low lifes they are and say they just want sensible gun control …… only thing is, their sensible is elimination.

    i cut my teeth on guns. i am a native arizonian …… desert rat through  and through.

    there is an agenda pitchfork and it has it sights on every firearm in this country.
    I keep asking the anti-gunner crowd ……… there are now over 90+ million gun owners. what are you going to do when and if you outlaw guns and even just 10% of the gun owners are willing to go to the streets to defend their 2nd amendment right? They just stare, blink and walk away. Not even a bloody clue.

  17. Marek says:

    MarcyMom: The “hotheads” you speak of typically don’t carry guns (legally at least) because they’ve usually already done something stupid and hotheaded in their younger years to bar them from owning guns. Any felony on your record whatsoever, even restraining orders are enough for one to lose their right to own any sort of firearm, nevermind carry. Also if you have a hothead that gets drunk and is carrying and the police get called to the scene, you can feel safe knowing he would probably lose his CCW and perhaps his guns as well.
    The fact is, out of the people who CAN carry, only about 5% do, and they know the laws and are serious about them and responsible in their carrying. If they feel like going on a bender one night, they’ll leave their pistols at home. If they are the DD, why not carry?

  18. Al says:

    As a cop I have never seen or met anyone that has seen a lawful Conceal Carry Holder comit a crime.  I’m not saying that it has never happened, in fact I’m sure it has happend.  My point being, I wouldn’t wory too much about conceal carry holders.  I would worry about people who unlawfully conceal weapons.  Why would someone go through a day long coarse, get fingerprinted, pay a fee and take an exam to lawfully carry a gun concealed and then go do something stupid.  The one I worry about is the person that just stuffs a gun in his pants and doesn’t know the first thing about gun saftey. You know that’s the same idiot that has commited a crime that doesn’t allow hime to own a firearm.  How about using common sense and real research when writing these articles!

  19. Ado says:

    Only the most ignorant gun grabbing radical liberal  *BIMBO* would put this kind of nonsense into print. Perhaps someday you will be completely defenseless and be robbed and/or sexually assaulted by one or a group of bad boys and only then will you understand why the founding fathers(namely James Madison) of this nation saw fit to include the provisions of the Second Amendment in our Bill of Rights.

    Exactly what is it about  “…the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed”  that you apparently don’t get, Ms. Ryn ???

    • leftfield says:

      I guess I was wrong – you have two tricks:  guns good, La Raza bad. 

    • radmax says:

      I happen to know that Ms. Gargulinski is preparing to go through a personal gun safety course. I don’t see this as an op-ed piece, more humor about a serious subject. Lighten up.

      • Rynski says:

        Thanks, RadMax. Guess some folks just need a lot of explaining to understand things…but then again, some folks may never understand….

  20. Ado says:

    It’s misleading to say:

    “Gun shows and private sales don’t even require background checks.”

    Only partially correct,  F.B.I. background checks are required of any handgun, shotgun or rifle purchased at a gun show. The overwhelming vast majority of gun sales at gun shows are done by licensed dealers.

    “United States federal law requires persons engaged in interstate firearm commerce, or who are in the business of selling firearms, to hold a Federal Firearms License and to perform background checks prior to transferring a firearm. “(This includes gunshow sales)

    Private sales are unregulated and  laws written to regulate  private sales would be unenforceable without including massive manpower and technology in an attempt to force compliance.

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