The Palestine Herald, Palestine, Texas

November 24, 2012

BEHIND THE PINE CURTAIN: Gun collector called by different names

Palestine Herald-Press

EDITOR’S NOTE:  Behind the Pine Curtain  is a series of anecdotes collected and edited by Herald-Press Publisher Gary Connor.

You may have heard on the national news about a Southern California man put under 72-hour psychiatric observation when it was found he owned 100 guns and allegedly had (by rough estimate) 100,000 rounds of ammunition stored in his home. The house also featured a secret escape tunnel.

By southern California standards someone owning 100,000 rounds would be labeled “mentally unstable.” That terminology is far from a universal assessment. Just imagine if he lived elsewhere:

In Arizona, he’d be called “an avid gun collector.” In Texas, he’d be called “a novice gun collector.”

In Utah, he’d be called “moderately well prepared”, but they’d probably reserve judgment until they made sure that he had a corresponding quantity of stored food.

In Montana, he’d be called “The neighborhood ‘go-to’ guy.” In Mississippi, he’d be called “a likely gubernatorial candidate.”

In Wyoming, he’d be called “an eligible bachelor.” In Arkansas, they’d say he is “under armed.”

In Georgia, he’d be called “a deer hunting buddy.” In Alabama, he’d be called “Bubba.”

In East Texas, we would simply call him, “Peaceful, but Prepared.”

“The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.” Thomas Jefferson