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German rifle c.1790 Hi-res

People adorn what is important to them. It is no surprise that this shotgun sports fine engraving, marking it as a prized, if utilitarian, possession. Swords, suits of armor and personal firearms have always been adorned for their significance in preserving their owners' lives.

Weapons have received the benefit of decoration since the dawn of history. When hand-held firearms became relatively common during the 16th century, the wheel-lock pistols and carbines often had ivory or rare-wood stocks and lavishly engraved barrels. Today's replica arms often have engraving or inlays that cost far more than the gun itself.

Antique collector
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Antique user
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Target pistol
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Many people keep firearms just for the joy of looking at them. Much like classic cars or old cameras, custom guns are finely crafted instruments. Working on them or shooting them is a matter of enjoying the process the way fishermen or music lovers do.

Shooters who enjoy re-enacting the Late Unpleasantness or Wild West events often feel immune from gun control legislation. In fact, a single-action replica revolver readily fits under most "junk gun" descriptions, while faithful reproductions of 1860s crank-operated Gatlings are prohibited by the 1994 Crime Bill.

Old Webley

Respect diversity Hi-res

Readers of classical literature would be well-served to understand the references to specific weapons mentioned in the books. They might observe that a child in Kipling's or Orwell's time had more rights than a modern British subject.

Target pistol
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Target pistols, such as this .22 caliber Mitchell, are meant for competition or recreational shooting. The process of fine-tuning a gun involves tightening tolerances of the mechanism, with the reduced reliability in dirty conditions as an unintended by-product. Such guns also have specialized stocks, light triggers and precision sights. They tend to be impractical for combat but excellent for punching holes in paper.
Your birthright!
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Arms, be they Kentucky rifles that ushered in the Revolution of 1776, percussion sixguns that won the West or submachine guns used to defeat the Nazis, are part of our cultural heritage. Elimination of collectors' guns does nothing to keep thugs, freelance and government-employed, from abusing the weapons that they have. The convoluted web of regulations, the use of public funds for the destruction of valuable historical artifacts are reprehensible acts. That such tactics are employed by the supposedely "culturally sensitive" media is merely ironic.
Let the 2nd amendment look after the first
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In the face of the numerous assaults on liberty, we might want to exercise our rights, lest they be lost though inaction. Re-read the US Consitution and other original documents to see what this country is about. Re-read "1984" to see what it may become if we all stay silent.

Owning a gun is among the many ways in which you can assert your rights as a citizen, rather than timidly use your privileges as a subject. Doing that is especially important in the states that actively try to limit firearms ownership. People around you need to know that smart, law-abiding citizens like them are gun-owners, too.

Kill Your Television!
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Finally, many people enjoy plinking just for the fun of the process. Just like those who play golf recreationally, shooters hit clays or pop cans while chatting with friends. Such people may use anything from an airgun to a .50 machine gun. The rate of accidents, by the way, is extremely low - lower than for most other sports.

Gun control advocates would cite recreational shooting as something that "no one needs." True, no one needs baseball, either. After all, baseball bats are often used as weapons - so let's ban that sport while we are at it.

Why people own guns

Fight, flight or surrender : Depending on others : Wearing arms : Homedefense : Real guns? : Martial Arts

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