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I'm worried that I'm addicted to guns. Not that I own any, mind you, it's just that flashy cinema and violent video games have given me a fear-inspiring amount of respect for guns. I also have a disturbing amount of knowledge about guns, having handled only a few.

For example, at a glance I can identify a Colt .45, a Beretta, an AK-47. But any adolescent male might be able to recognize such notorious cinematic weaponry. Anyone who's seen a gangster film or lived in 1920's Chicago knows what a tommy gun is and have a good chance at describing what it looks like. Less people would be able to correctly point out the Steyr AUG, the FN-P90, the PSG-1 Sniper Rifle; still less might be familiar with historically significant weapons like the M1 Garand or the ugly-yet-functional British Sten. And how many of us can correctly distinguish between the Heckler and Koch MP5, MP5K, MP5 SD, MP5K-PDW, and MP45 submachine gun?

It's obviously an issue; whether it's right or wrong is just something I worry about. All I know is that if I was old enough to have kids, I wouldn't feel comfortable with them knowing the kind of firearms trivia that I do.
This is one of the reasons I am so pro-gun control. They are fascinating. So many different designs, some look "cool" and are common in movies (eg. MP5, Uzi), others are of an older vintage (Bren gun) or are downright peculiar (FN P90). Some are so devastating as to be almost ludicrous (MAC-10). But they are fascinating - even to an avowed pacifist and all-round harmless guy like me (yeah, I rescue spiders from the bathtub, so what?). I would never think of using a gun in anger against another human being, and even if my life were in danger I'd have great difficulty shooting a bullet into somebody, watching as they fell back with perhaps a strangled cry and a gush of blood.

If they have this effect on me, I damn sure don't like the idea of anyone with more violent tendencies having access to anything more powerful than a rubber band.

The interesting thing is that when I got the chance to fire a military-grade automatic weapon on the shooting range, it really didn't do much for me. I was a mediocre shot, and I didn't get a sense of power or confidence from it. Only fear, that I was holding something that would allow me to maim or kill everyone in sight in seconds. I prefer Counterstrike - it's much safer.

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