I didn't grow up as a shooter or even a big gun guy. My Dad used to take me hunting once or twice a year between the ages of 6-12 . I got a 20 gauge shotgun when I was 10 which I still own. I used to shoot some clays and some rabbits but that was about it. My Dad started traveling a lot in my teenage years so with the exception of a .22 rifle I used to shoot the ground squirrels in my yard I didn't have much to do with guns. I think growing up I developed a normal relationship with firearms. I learned to view them as a tool much like a hammer or a car. I went to hunter safety class and was instructed in the proper handling of a firearm. But firearms were not the end all be all of things. Some days I would shoot my .22 and some days I would ride my bike. They had equal importance. Guns were not a scary thing anymore than Dad's power tools were, but I knew you treated both with respect and that there were safety rules that needed to be followed.
Then I joined the military and over the next 22 years I was taught to use a weapon for self defense. I shot a lot of rounds and became very proficient with a handgun and a rifle among other weapons. I shot bolt action, semi automatic, and automatic weapons. I became a weapons specialist in the US Army Special Forces. Weapons of all types were my job from a pistol to anti aircraft missiles and everything in between. They were still tools, tools I could use to accomplish my mission. It was my job to advise the commander on what tool to use and to train my team and our allies on the use of these tools. I am comfortable with things that shoot pointy bullets. They are not a mystery because I am properly trained in their use and confident in my proficiency.
OK so here we get to the meat of the issue. I fail to understand and no one can explain to me why it is a good idea to take the tools I need to accomplish my mission away from me. The mission I speak of is my human right of self protection and the protection of my family. All the arguments I have heard on gun control usually involve controlling me. Why must I be controlled? I have previously been deemed a responsible armed citizen both by training, proficiency and aptitude. Why do the gun grabbers need to penalize me to secure our society? I would think the more prudent and economical approach would be to utilize individuals like me to help solve the problem. We are being treated as if we are the problem. Gun grabbers get hissy fit mad because I don't see weapons as an issue, but I really don't see that they are any more an issue than an automobile. Both have the ability to injure or kill. I don't see anyone seriously looking to ban cars that drive faster that 65 mph. Why, because it is ridiculous just like this debate on "assault" weapons is.
Those who want to eliminate or severely restrict the ability of citizens to obtain and utilize firearms are deluding themselves. Just like Al Pacino said in "Scent of a Women" " I have been around ya know." I have seen evil, I have seen things outside the insular little world that I currently live in. Trust me sunshine, the United States is not normal, we are not like the rest of the world. We are the exception. American exceptionalism is a real thing. But it works both ways, we must be vigilant so the attitudes and habits of the evil that is in this world do not destroy that exceptionalism. That is where weapons and specifically guns are needed. Based on my personality, experience and training I cannot ignore this evil, because I know it is out there. And we will not know when it will manifest. I am not speaking only of terrorism although that is part of it, I am speaking about criminals and other evil as well. we need the tools to combat this evil.
Folks I have a strong libertarian streak. I truly believe that no one should be able to impose their will on another without consent. So to me this gun control cacophony is nothing more than a power grab. Those that are scared of weapons or do not understand them want to take them from those that are not scared and do understand them so as to weaken them and make them more vulnerable. Because hey this is modern society anyone that wants to defend themselves is a nut. they must have a screw loose right? Isn't that what the police are for? I am a reserve peace officer, I also have my own ideas on what police should and shouldn't do. One thing I do know for a fact though is their are not enough police to guard every citizen and they are purely reactionary. By nature they have to be, there just aren't enough of them. To me taking away my right to defend myself is very serious business, I do not fall into the trap where I let someone else be ultimately responsibility for my safety. I will use their help but the responsibility belongs to me and its is a responsibility that can not be abrogated to others.
Debate this issue all you want, this is America and healthy debate is good. However lets elevate the discourse above the tawdry journalism and name calling that I am seeing. Lets not shout down others when they are trying to make a point and lets get together on this issue. Just so you know however I will never give up my weapons..never