Even anti-gun propagandists get it right every once and a while.
Dec. 4, 2015
Around 10:30 a.m. Thursday, Vanessa Nesic, a stay-at-home mom, walked into Get Loaded, a gun shop five miles south of the Inland Regional Center, where 14 people were slain Wednesday in yet another horrific gun attack.
“I want to protect myself,” said Nesic, 31. She has a handgun at home, and wanted to talk about modifying it with a lighter trigger. “I don’t have that much strength.”
Her mother’s neighbor, she said, was shot in the rampage, and remained hospitalized. Nesic said she plans to apply for a permit to carry a concealed weapon.
Gus Zaharopoulos, a 68-year-old crane inspector who lost the tip of his right trigger finger in an industrial accident, was shopping for a handgun he could shoot left-handed. “I used to have a strong hand and a weak hand,” he said. “Now I have a weak hand and a weaker hand.”
Zaharopoulos moved to San Bernardino County from Greece at age 5 and grew up shooting rabbits in wide-open spaces now crowded with homes. He bought his daughter her first rifle when she was 3.
“Last night on the news, Scott Pelley called San Bernardino a ‘quiet little town,'” said Zaharopoulos, who worked as a San Bernardino police detective until a medical retirement in 1990. “It’s not. For years, it was the murder capital of the country.”
As anguished voices call for policymakers to do something, anything to rid us of gun violence, the respectful conversations I had at Get Loaded demonstrate why eliminating guns is a nonstarter. For gun enthusiasts, the answer to the kind of tragedy that has become all too commonplace is more guns, not fewer.
“The biggest problem is that it was a gun-free zone,” said Get Loaded owner Terry McGuire, 49, a bald, burly guy who looks as though he would be right at home among the many cops and deputies to whom he caters. “You aren’t allowed to carry guns into county buildings.”
McGuire makes no apology for his business, and unlike other gun shop owners I have encountered after tragedies, was not defensive, angry or wary of a reporter holding a recorder.