Essays

Why I own a gun.

(An old essay that I wrote, I decided to put it here)

My path to gun ownership did not follow the traditional route. We did not live in a crime ridden area, when I was growing up we never locked our doors. We never had guns in the house, my mother hates guns, and feels they have no value except maybe to hunters. I do not have parents that hunt. My mother and I both find hunting objectionable, killing for sport is something I cannot justify to myself.

I grew up in a blue collar home, my father a UAW member working for GM and my mother a union member working for a community college. We lived in a trailer park in rural Highland Michigan, my father driving to Pontiac everyday to work. My family was religious, however our church attendance was a sporadic one, attending regularly when my parents felt convicted, and not so regularly at other times. As a teenager I found myself to be a moral conservative, no doubt as a result of my religious beliefs.

Attending high school I was extremely interested in US history, which was sparked by my history class. I studied early US history intently, especially the revolutionary period. I was astonished at the amount of religious conviction our founding fathers had, something mostly left out of school textbooks on the subject. I was also extremely interested in the most important documents that these men produced, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights. It was during this study that I had my first notion that guns may not be as bad as my mother had taught me. Here were men that I deeply respected, starting a revolt against their country, they where still English subjects, because their country wanted to take their guns, unbelievable!

I did not go out and buy a gun after this eye-opener, after all I still lived with my mother, and I did not see a need in a civilized society to own one, and frankly I did not care for them. I finished high school, went to college, got married, and got a job. Seven years after my small revelation, the assault weapon ban of 1994 is enacted. I take note of the flawed logic, basically if a gun looks like a modern machine gun, it should be banned. And that an assault weapon was the preferred weapon of criminals. Which I thought was an odd statement, since most of the crime committed with guns in Detroit involved hand guns. But I do nothing about it, in fact my wife and I even agreed that we would not buy our children toy guns fearing it would corrupt them somehow.

Then five years later came the tragic events at Littleton Colorado, I mourned for the children. But somehow, as much as I wanted to, I could not see the logic of the attacks on guns that followed, I could only find blame with the ones who carried out the attacks. The gun control lobby took advantage of the tragedy to push their agenda and played on the emotions of the citizenry to try and advance it. The rhetoric was extremely harsh, the logic still flawed, and the media was on board with copious amounts of one sided coverage of the debate. There was talk of more gun bans and registration, it was like I was in another country.

It was in this environment that my attitude completely changed, after much thought I decided to go to Bass Pro Shop with my Father-in-law (a hunter) to buy my first gun. I bought the gun strictly on the grounds that I thought the government was going to make it impossible if not exceedingly difficult to obtain a firearm in the future. That was it, no hunting, no self defense, no collecting, I bought it solely on the grounds that the government was going to try and stop me from exercising my God given, and Constitutionally recognized, right to own a gun.

The gun control lobby should be very proud of themselves. They single handedly made a gun owner and gun advocate out of someone who had not given the subject the time of day before. I am now the owner of an all black, read scary looking, Remington Model 870, 12 gauge shotgun.

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