Monday, April 23, 2007
Don C. (my Dad) worked most of his oil-field career on off-shore drilling platforms in the Gulf of Mexico.
For lots of years he would have to drive to south Louisiana and work on rigs off the coast of Louisiana. During those years, he mostly worked with Cajuns. They were some crazy characters and he had a million and one stories to tell about them. Plus he learned to cook most Cajun dishes like they did at home. Good stuff.
But for a number of years he worked off the coast of Texas in the Gulf. Most of his coworkers were from Texas. They were more like Don C. in their eating choices, and they were also a hardy, salt of the earth bunch too.
He once told me about a man he was friends with out on a rig off the coast of Corpus Christi, Texas. I'm going from memory here, so I don't even know the guy's name.
The man lived in west Texas somewhere. He loved to hunt. He had a top on the bed of his truck, that was strong enough of a platform to sit or stand on.
Certain places he liked to hunt deer, there were so many snakes, he would park his truck, climb out onto the top of his camper top, and sit up there to hunt. At least that's what he told my dad, and having been far enough west in Texas to be amazed at the different landscape, I can understand his respect for snakes. I believe him too.
Anyway, the man also told Don C. about being on the way home from hunting one day. In the distance, he saw that a Texas DPS officer (state trooper) had someone pulled over.
As Don C.'s friend got a little closer, he saw that a plain clothed man was standing over the State Trooper who was on his knees, and was firing a pistol at the cop.
My dad's friend pulled off the side of the road, opened his truck door and stood in the crack of the open door and aimed his hunting rifle at the situation, to see it better via his scope, mounted on the deer rifle.
There was indeed a man shooting a cop, so the man took aim himself and put a couple of 30.06 rounds in the man's chest. When the man went down and didn't move, he pulled closer and got out and checked. Both men were dead.
He used the DPS car's radio to call it into the police, this was years before folks started carrying cell phones in their cars, and waited.
Later, the man was asked to a ceremony. The Texas Department of Public Safety awarded this man some sort of civilian honor, for trying to help a lone Trooper and killing the Trooper's killer.
I know that things are getting crazier by the day in this country, but I sure think back on that story Don C. brought home and told us, and I still like the man's style. And I admire the style of the Texas Department Of Public Safety for acknowledging the man's actions in that situation. A common man, with a gun, aiding a state trooper, even to the point of killing someone.
When Lovely Wife and I went back to Louisiana at the end of this past December, one of the things I noticed, not having been back there in several years, was gun racks mounted in the back window of pickup trucks, with a gun or two in some of them.
It reminded me that, although this is far from a perfect country, there are still pockets of people who take quite seriously the right to own and use a gun. I miss that, because I don't see that in Florida. Someone who is not familiar with, or ever used guns, would probably be appalled to see guns carried openly in a truck, but to me it's reassuring. By and large, those people are some of the most dependable people you'll ever meet.
I have valliantly fought the urge to read, watch, and listen to all of the news since the Virginia Tech shooting.
Thing is, I can't avoid it altogether, we live in an era of twenty four hour news.
And I've come across news stories and blog posts about guns. Now I'm not going to preach at y'all about guns, you've all probably made up your mind about them anyway, so I'd just be wasting my breath trying to argue about it.
Hammer posted some of the most common comments to his blog posts about his being a licensed gun carrier. This post of his give and take with commenters, pretty much sums up what I believe about guns.
But something I've only seen once or twice in many years was on the news this week.
An 82 year old woman, the former Miss America from 1944 (!) helped stop a scumbag near her home with her pistol by shooting his tires out.
I'll just say that I'm really glad that our right to own and bear arms was written into the constitution. The powers that be, both Republican and Democrat would have taken them all away by now, had it not specifically been written in the constitution.
This is just one of those subjects that is a hot point among people. People who believe we should not have any access to guns think people like me are crazy. And of course, my attitude is, "takes one to know one."
I also don't mind people having completely opposite positions on everything in the world that the positions I hold, but I sure want you to at least be able to articulate what you believe and why you believe it.
P.S. I have a 45 caliber single action Colt Army model, much like the one pictured at the top of the post.
Woops. I accidentally turned off the comments. It's back on now.