Those of you who are regular readers of my blog here at ScottASavage.com and of my previous blog on Mexijew.com probably have conjured the image of me as some hardcore far-left liberal. While I am, at my core, a very liberal person I have in recent years started to shift some of my opinions a little more towards the middle of the road. One thing that has, recently, become a huge change in political and social perspective for me is gun laws.
In April I purchased my first pistol, a Glock 17 (pictured right) – a .9mm pistol. It’s one of the most reliable, highly-rated guns out there. Several major police departments use it, or a similar Glock model (the 19 and the 23 specifically) as their standard issue sidearm. It’s consists of a polymer frame and metal slide. It’ll shoot underwater. It’s not prone to jams. This is your ideal handgun for those new to handguns and for personal and home defense. I love my Glock. I enjoy going to the range every other Saturday and shooting at paper targets. It’s a great hobby and it’s really made me interested in other aspects of shooting like hunting for game and “plinking”, which is shooting at small metal targets (which make a “plink” sound when struck), typically with smaller caliber guns (like .22LR pistols and rifles).
As I’ve enjoyed my Glock 17, I’ve had the opportunity to shoot other pistols at the range I go to. They rent out guns that you can use on their range for a very minimal fee. You basically are just paying for the ammo to shoot it and your time on the range itself. I’ve really enjoyed shooting .22LR pistols – specifically the Ruger Mark II 22/45 model and the Walther P22 (pictured left). The Ruger is a larger handgun with a 4.5” barrel and is considered to be one of the top plinking guns out there. The Walther is one of the most popular .22LR semi-auto models out there. It’s the next gun I want to purchase.
Maryland, like many states, has a seven day waiting period from when you apply to purchase a gun to when you’re approved to take said weapon home with you. Maryland has some of the most stringent gun laws of any state. For instance, in Pennsylvania and Virginia you can walk around with a pistol on your hip – “openly carry” – without a permit. In Maryland, you can’t carry a handgun at all on your person unless you’ve got a Concealed Carry permit, which you can only get in one of three instances: You’re a current/former police officer, a current/former military serviceman, or you can prove that there’s a true, valid threat against your life in which carrying a handgun could be all that stands between you and certain death. Maryland is also one of the few states that does NOT recognize out-of-state carry permits. While I have no reason to carry a handgun on my person and don’t feel threatened in the least, I feel a bit put off about not even having the option.
It’s frustrating enough for me to not be able to get “instant gratification” and take home a firearm the day I want to, but it’s even more frustrating to know that the only place it could be useful to save my life is at home. Don’t get me wrong – I get the reasoning for the seven day waiting period and the background checks. It makes sense. It keeps people from buying weapons in anger and using them immediately. It prevents those with violent criminal records or major neurological issues from purchasing a firearm. And I’m all about keeping the bans on assault & automatic weapons – no one has a good reason to need to personally own an automatic assault rifle. It’s overkill for hunting AND personal protection. I just find it frustrating that, if you’ve already purchased a handgun within, say, six months you still have to wait a week for a background check to come through.
Maybe one day Maryland will relax its gun laws a bit, but I doubt it. I suppose I could write my congressman but we all know our political representatives don’t speak for us anymore – they speak for whichever organizations and PAC’s fill their coffers the most for the next election. Oh well. Here’s hoping.