Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Goldilocks Has A Gun?

I saw a bumper sticker the other day which quoted John Lennon: "You May Say I'm A Dreamer, But I'm Not The Only One."

I knew what John meant. I knew what the driver of that car probably meant. Nevertheless, my first thought was that having a crowd of people in agreement does not guarantee the idea is any good. Take, for instance, our community's reaction to Sierra Stiles.

Sierra Stiles was the first person to kill a bear during the first hunt of Maryland's Bear Hunting Season. You may be wondering why this is news. The story has been all over the radio and television because Sierra Stiles, bless her heart, is eight. Not 'feet tall.' Not 'years experienced.' Not 'dress size.' No, Sierra is eight years old.

Eight years old. Killing a bear. With two bullets. Shot. From. A. Rifle.

Does anyone other than me have a problem with this? Why is an eight year old girl roaming the back Maryland woods hunting bear? On a school day? What, is her father a man named Jed barely keeping his family fed?

The WTOP news item does mention a minimum age for hunting in Maryland. As in, there is no minimum age. You could happily put a double gauge rifle in the hands of your toddler.

Don't get me wrong - I'm not a tree hugging, anti-arms, gun control person. I don't personally like guns, but I don't believe people shouldn't be allowed to own them. I am perfectly fine with the notion of blowing to itsy bitsy bits a person who would otherwise harm someone I care about. When it comes to guns, I am a Ronald Reagan Republican, save for the tiny little matter of not wanting to ever shoot one.

My mother, on the other hand, has shot a gun. And a rifle. Two different things (if you don't understand the difference, toss Full Metal Jacket into your netflix queue). My mother told us that the recoil from a rifle is enough to land a grown man on his back, if the weapon isn't being held or discharged properly.

Apparently, little Miss Sierra is a mighty durn good shot. She was left standing up, while 211 pound Yogi did not fare quite as well.

Nevertheless. Sierra Stiles, eight year old child, should have been in school reading about bears on Monday, not shooting them. If no one else believes that eight is too young to be pummeling bullets into bears, fine. I am quite comfortable being the only one.

1 comment:

Dilly Dilly said...

I heard that story too. It freaked me out as well. We have guns in my home, I know how to use them (though choose not to) though don't believe an eight year old should posess that knowledge. Frightening.

I then told my mom about it who claims she is too petite to shoot a rifle. "Mommy, if Sierra can do it, you can too!"