Experiences of an American woman who was married to a Serb.

Friday, October 10, 2008

'Common Sense' & Your Gun

I am screaming with laughter. A letter addressed to my husband has just arrived from the state's Department of Fish & Wildlife, which apparently also handles local gun ownership control. "Thank you for recently taking the Handgun Safety Examination," it reads. "To pass this exam a score of 80 points or higher is required. This letter is to inform you that you did *not* receive a passing score."

My step-son comes running upstairs to see what's making me laugh so loudly. "Oh bummer. That means I must have failed too."

Turns out while I've been on my woman-on-her-own trip in New Mexico, the men in the household went on an afternoon's jaunt down to check out the merchandise at a local gun shop. Unlike what many Europeans think of the US, you can't buy guns like candy in many states. For example, in our state, you have to take an ownership test -- handily administered in the gunshop itself -- and wait for results to be mailed to you before purchasing.

According to my step-son, the gunshop owner had handed the test to them with the airy remark, "It's a no-brainer; all you need is common sense to pass this thing." And, unlike our local DMV (where you get driver's licenses), this guy didn't have any problem with my step-son and husband conferring lengthily in Serbian together as they attempted to figure out the most common sense correct answer to each question. I guess unlike driving, gun ownership could be considered a team sport.

Of course, this all makes me laugh even harder. The combined 'common sense' wisdom of not one but two Balkan men about what to do with a gun equals an American failing score. God only knows what the questions were....

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