Light Over Heat #11: Chainsaws, Guns, and the Rural-Urban Divide

In Episode 9 of “Light Over Heat,” I discussed guns as tools, and quoted a Forbes magazine writer who criticized guns by way of an analogy to chainsaws:

Some people say guns are tools — but nobody buys 10 chain saws in varying colors and speeds.

Elizabeth MacBride, Forbes (1 March 2019)

This brought the chainsaw nuts out of the woodwork! As a suburbanite who doesn’t own a chainsaw, I had no idea how many “Chainsaw Super Owners” there are out there.

This got me to thinking about chainsaws, guns, and the rural-urban divide in America, the subject of “Light Over Heat” #11.

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4 thoughts on “Light Over Heat #11: Chainsaws, Guns, and the Rural-Urban Divide

  1. The chainsaw argument is a bad analogy. Let’s look at some better ones: Did Julia Child own more than one kitchen knife? Does Tiger Woods have more than one golf club? I personally am not a “hammer nut,” but I own about half a dozen hammers, all different, and also saws and wrenches of various types, etc. As with the tools of Child and Woods, their varying designs serve different purposes. (And, for the record, though I am a suburbanite, I nevertheless have a smallish chainsaw in my garage for minor tree trimming and yard cleanup, as does at least one of my neighbors.)

    From a different angle, I’ll point out that most people only have two hands, so, at most, can only use two guns simultaneously, no matter how many they own.

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  2. As with Jerry H. I am a DIY guy and have many of the tools needed to do repairs around my house. I have at least 5 or 6 hammers, at least 9 hand saws, a table saw and an electric miter saw and so forth. That said I grew up in NYC during the 50’s, moving out in ’88. I belonged to a jr. rifle club sponsored by the local police precinct. Yes the police department sponsored us, in NYC. Also pretty much every college in NYC had a rifle team (through the 1970’s) and some of the local High Schools also. Pretty much every high school had a range and a team before and after WWII. It was no big deal back then but you started having a change in population in the city. Many were people who were very anti-war and saw guns as weapons of war only. Saw no reason that anyone would want to shoot one much less own one. Did I own a firearm when I lived in NYC – YES, several actually. The police precinct that sponsored us also helped us to on a thanksgiving trip to the Catskills to go deer hunting. We had to provide our own hunting rifles and it was not considered unusual for us to be able to do so.

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    • In addition to the chainsaw nuts, I was also surprised to learn how many hammer nuts are out there. So, they say if your only tool is a hammer then everything looks like a nail. But what if you have 5 or 6 hammers? What then?

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