|Tara Fox Hall|
Being American—and a former member of the NRA (National Rifle Association)—I admit to being pro-gun. In most of my works, my hero or heroine has a working knowledge of guns. Sarelle, heroine of the Promise Me Series, shoots and kills an average of at least 1 bad guy in each book, as do heroes Danial and Theo. Lash, my antihero of the Lash Series, has a far higher shoot and kill rate per book. I have used guns in real life, and view them as necessary tools for rural living, as do all of my neighbors. So it probably comes to no surprise to you that I am against the recent gun control measures passed in my home state of
I am very bothered by the issue of gun control in the
in terms of mass killings. My gripe with the measure passed regarding guns in
NYS is that:
a) It was done on the sly, i.e., I went to bed with one set of laws and woke up to another;
b) While some measures do close important loopholes in the law, like rules on waiting periods and background checks on gun sales, others like reducing clip size from ten bullets to seven does NOTHING. (All mass murders as a rule bring large number of clips with them to their massacres, and they never expend all of them. The only thing changing clip size really did to stop massacres is…NOTHING. Criminals won’t care if their clip has a few more bullets than is allowed! All the better to kill you with! But it sure will prompt a rise for the gun manufacturing business when everyone who cares about being legal has to run out to get new clips to be compliant.);
c) NYS already HAS strict gun laws. Pistol permits in NYS take at least 6-8 months for processing…and it takes a few months just to compile all the data needed for application.
See a sample copy of a pistol permit here: http://www2.erie.gov/clerk/sites/www2.erie.gov.clerk/files/uploads/PISTOL%20PERMIT%20APP_%202012.pdf
Even if you do all of this, you may have a licensing judge in your county who frowns on pistol ownership. Or one of the four references you have to provide as character witnesses may say they are not comfortable with you having a gun. In that case, you may be denied out of hand for a permit, and that $20-115 you paid for photos, processing, and other fees to apply is gone. Yes, that amount of cash is not a misprint: http://www.gobroomecounty.com/sheriff/id. In
, pistol permits run $150: http://www.rocklandcountyclerk.com/pistol_license.html Rockland County
And guess what? Even if you go through all those hoops above to get your permit, you still aren’t allowed in
New York City—probably the most dangerous
city in NYS—with your pistol:
In order for an upstate licensee to lawfully carry a handgun in
, he/she must first make
application with the New York City Police Department to have their permit
"validated." An investigation will be conducted to determine the
authenticity of the license, after which a "needs assessment" will be
conducted to determine whether the applicant has sufficiently demonstrated a
"need" to possess a handgun under the circumstances provided. The
simple desire to possess a handgun while in New York City , without some other extenuating
circumstances, will not serve to present a "need" suitable to receive
authorization. In cases where "need" is sufficiently demonstrated,
permission will be given, usually for a specific period of time, after which
the process would start over again New York City
A recurring NRA argument for less gun control is that any laws that are made to increase gun control affect only the people that obey them. It’s reasonable to think that criminals who have illegal guns are not going to rush out to buy legal clips, or hurry to sell any illegal rifles that the new law mandates are assault rifles (which are now illegal to own in NYS). While there is truth to this argument, it is not a measure for advocating against all gun control measures. Rather I present to you that some gun control measures ARE needed, especially to close loopholes in current law, such as making longer wait times, requiring background checks, and requiring sellers to keep records at all gun shows, which before the new law took effect were exempt from many laws that gun shop owners had to comply with. I just believe that measures legislated in the dead of night in order to be the first state to comply with the president’s new hard line on gun control is not in anyone’s best interest, especially the law-abiding gun owners of
. New York State
Here is a passage from my vampire romance Promise Me’s first chapter, in which the human heroine Sar goes out to confront someone trespassing on her land:
I cursed aloud and decided I’d better take a look. Whoever had decided to take a little side route to adventure had first gotten through the heavy steel chain that blocked the access road. Bolt cutters would have been needed to cut through that thing, and who carries bolt cutters in their car? Someone had planned this, and if they were willing to cut a chain, they might be planning worse than some drinking and partying.
Throwing on some clothes and collecting my waist-length hair in a plastic clip, I gathered a flashlight and my keys. I debated taking a weapon, but I talked myself out of it. Then, on the way to the door, I talked myself back into it, and got my .38 Special revolver. It was loaded. Depending on the size of the car, there could be six people at the most. Six bullets were enough.
I buckled on my gun belt and knife and went out the front door. Walking to the barn, it occurred to me that I might be overreacting. But I wasn’t one for hiding in the house, waiting to see if someone would leave me alone. It wasn’t my way and had never been.
The first fall I’d owned the farm, I’d seen a hunter parked by my barn during deer season. I hadn’t called the police, hoping they would show up before he either left or put a bullet through one of my windows. I’d loaded my shotgun and walked over to his truck. I’d racked the weapon within hearing range, and when his head had whipped around, I’d asked him what the hell he thought he was doing. He’d been properly apologetic and left. More importantly, he’d spread the word, and I didn’t get many trespassing hunters anymore. People who wanted to hunt on my land respected me enough to ask me, and if I thought they hunted with care, I let them. That was that.
Tonight, I hoped I could just ask them to leave nicely and have them agree. Most times, despite my worries, that’s exactly what happened. But I didn’t hear the usual sounds I expected: loud talking, music, the sort of giggling that meant sex was a definite possibility but not a surety. Odd that whoever was in the quarry wasn’t laughing it up.
I got to the barn. Its outside light was on and welcoming. I slid the door open and walked into the darkness inside. I knew the barn in and out, and I wasn’t afraid. There was nothing that was going to hurt me in there. I’d never been afraid of ghosts. I believed in God, and I had faith. And what my faith couldn’t handle, my .38 Special was sure to be able to take care of.
Now, in reflection, is Sar being a little reckless going out to handle things on her own? Possibly. Most women would not feel comfortable going outside in the dark to confront someone, even if they were armed, myself included. However, if this situation occurred in daylight, it would be a normal thing that you’d do if you lived in a rural area. Just as the passage above states, most people who trespass will leave if you ask them nicely. But in the event that someone does something unpredictable—such as the hunter that killed several other hunters who attempted to kick him out of their tree stand a few years ago in the U.S.—it’s good to have backup in the form of a gun. A gun is not something to wave about, or idly threaten people with. It’s a tool that can be useful when you’re living out in the country by yourself…and it’s something that you hope you never have to use on another human being.
Jenny Twist's argument will follow in a few hours' time.
Promise Me is available from the following sites:
Amazon Link: http://www.amazon.com/Promise-Me-ebook/dp/B0086G4GDC
Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/tara-fox-hall
Melange Books: http://www.melange-books.com/authors/tarafoxhall/index.html
Jenny Twist's argument will follow in a few hours' time.