Mason County News
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Kendal Hemphill
Wednesday, October 19, 2011 • Posted October 19, 2011

Garry James writes for Guns & Ammo magazine, and he’s not bad. I enjoy Garry’s articles, and he usually comes up with something worth reading, so I’m kind of glad he writes for G&A. But then, I don’t think they tried very hard to get hold of me, if you get my drift.Recently Garry wrote a piece about the five most beautiful handguns ever made, which was a pretty popular column. And then some readers asked him to write up his pick of the five ugliest handguns. Which he did. Which is kind of silly, I think. Because ugly is in the eye of the beholder.There’s an old saying that all women are pretty, some are just prettier than others. I wouldn’t argue with that, and I think the same thing applies to guns. Which is bound to make some woman, somewhere, angry with me, even though I haven’t said anything rude about women. I don’t think. But she won’t agree, so I’ll share her letter with you when I get it. I just hope she doesn’t get real mad, because women are naturally better pistol shots than men.The point here is that there’s no such thing as an ugly gun, especially when you’re using it to defend yourself. Some firearms instructors ask, “What’s the best gun to use for home defense?” The answer is ‘the gun you have.’ It’s a trick question. And that gun, no matter what it looks like, is not ugly.Matter of fact, if you pick up an issue of American Rifleman magazine and flip a few pages in from the front, you’ll find a pageful of stories about beautiful guns. It’s called ‘The Armed Citizen,’ and it’s one of the most popular regular columns in the magazine. The Armed Citizen is a monthly collection of true stories about people defending themselves with firearms. It’s an ongoing list of reasons why the Second Amendment to the constitution should be defended at all costs.There was a story going around a few years ago about a fellow who walked by a marked police car to enter a gun store, and when he got inside he pulled a gun and announced that he was robbing the place. The cop at the counter, the clerk he was talking to, and several customers all pulled legally owned and carried guns and started shooting. The would-be robber ended up with enough lead added to start his own fishing sinker business, although he was in no condition to run it. Or anything else, for that matter.I don’t know for sure if that story is true, but a similar incident occurred at a San Antonio pawn shop recently. And I know this story is true, because it was included in The Armed Citizen, not to mention that it was reported on KSAT-TV in June.A fellow walked into a pawn shop full of customers, pointed a gun at the ceiling, and announced his intention to rob the store. One of the customers happened to be a Concealed Handgun License holder, and he pulled out his pistol and shot the robber. Not very exciting, unless you happened to be involved, but at least the good guys won.Then there was the diminutive female clerk at the Days Inn in Columbia, South Carolina, who was going about her business on morning in July, when a recidivistic criminal more than twice her size grabbed her and held a knife to her throat. Police believe the motive was robbery and sexual assault, but when the attacker put his knife down to tie the woman up, she pulled out her pistol and put one through his radiator. You don’t get over those radiator shots. And you don’t bother anyone else after that, either.Attackers, however, are not always human. Tim Lewis, of Kirkland, Washington, was at a park last May throwing a frisbee for his German shepherd, when three pit bulls attacked his dog. Lewis and the pits’ owner pulled them off, but then the most aggressive one attacked Lewis. Whereupon Lewis pulled his legally carried gun and wounded the dog.Nearly the same thing happened to my friend, Chester Moore, who is an assistant editor at Texas Fish & Game magazine. Chester was filling a deer feeder during late summer when a wild rotweiler attacked him. If Chester hadn’t had a pistol on his belt there’s no telling what might have happened.There’s also no telling what would have happened to Jeremy Hoven, a pharmacist at Walgreens in St. Joseph, Michigan, last May, when two masked gunmen burst into the store and ordered the employees into a back room. Jeremy pulled his concealed pistol, again carried legally, and shot at the attackers, possibly hitting one. Both fled.The sad part is that Jeremy was fired by Walgreens for carrying the gun. Which is why I won’t ever darken the door of a Walgreens again, unless they change their attitude and hire Jeremy back. And buy him some ammo to replace what he used, at his own expense, protecting their store and their employees.Some people.But then, as they say, no good deed goes unpunished. Which is why I enjoy reading The Armed Citizen. It proves than there are still regular folks out there who believe that no bad deed should go unpunished, either.And just for the record, Garry, none of the guns used in any of the stories here were ugly . . .

Kendal Hemphill is an outdoor humor columnist and public speaker who doesn’t have any guns that are anything short of gorgeous. Write to him at PO Box 1600, Mason, Tx 76856 or

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