Another fine article by James Rummel at Carnival of the Shooters. Where has this website been all my life?
A few weeks ago I was at an outdoor arts festival when someone asked me what the logo on my shirt meant. I explained that I was a firearms instructor, and that the logo stood for "Rummel's Gun Group". Before I was done I could see The Fear start.
Yes. I stopped at the grocery store/deli last night. Picked up 2 Logic Puzzle magazines, American Handgunner, and a Philly Cheese sandwich. So I'm flipping thru American Handgunner while they make my sandwich, the lady behind the Deli sees the magazine and gives a little gasp. Her smile when I walked up was open and welcoming; her smile when she gave me my sandwich was a little timid & probably due solely to Customer-Service Rules. When I checked out, the cashier scanned American Handgunner, sighed, and shook her head.
People, really, it's okay. I'm not going to shoot you over a sandwich & a puzzle book; really, I promise. Not even if you forget the mayo.
When I run into such people, I try to put extra warmth into my smile, extra gentleness into my manner, and extra innocence, sweetness and light on my face. I'm thinking maybe I should dress up professionally when I buy gun magazines etc in places like grocery stores. Just a hope that I can plant a seed into these minds, that says "well, that lady I served today, she's interested in guns but she didn't behave like a raving lunatic." Gun owners have a special obligation to behave like gentlemen and gentlewomen.
On reasons why people go to the range:
Finally there's the grim ones, the serious ones. They're friendly enough if you talk to them, but developing and maintaining their skill is a responsibility. They get in some range time because they think they have to, a burden that they shoulder because they think that they should.
That's me. If you have a gun, it's best to know how to use it. My level of sophistication is not high, and probably never will be, but I can, I think, do what I must with the gun(s) that I own. Pray God I am never put to the test.
I joined the NRA around '96. I bought my 1st gun in '97, when there were talks of a Gore/Reno ticket. Both actions were purely political - a way to vote my belief in the Bill of Rights with my dollars, if you will. Then, of course, once one has a gun it's best to have some vague idea of how to use it, so off to classes and the range I went. I don't expect I'll ever be a gun enthusiast. I don't really care if a round (or is it a bullet?) leaves the chamber (or is it the bore?) at 1156 fps or 1550 fps or whatever. I just want the bullet (round?) to leave the gun when I pull the trigger, go where I want it to go, and seriously destroy whatever it hits.
& maybe just a quick question for people who say "the odds of your needing a gun are so low, you shouldn't even have one."
Do you have fire insurance on your house? Do you have a spare tire in your car?