The responsibilities of gun ownership

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Updated Nov 6, 2012

GlockI come from a long line of individuals who take their second amendment rights very seriously. My Dad was never without a pistol either attached in some way to his body or within arm’s reach. I have two cousins who are poster children for clean-scrubbed Christian mommies (they are some of the finest people on this earth), and it’s a good bet both of them are carrying something big and hairy under the seat of their soccer mom vans that would put a giant sucking hole in the chest of anyone who dared make a threatening move toward their children. We’re not paranoid, and we’re not trouble makers, we just love our guns.

I spent my entire childhood watching my Dad, Grandad and Uncles shoot, clean, and trade their guns. Daddy had his own press, and many was the afternoon I would spend helping him cast bullets. All of the children were taught at a very young age how to use and respect guns — it was truly part of our heritage. We never touched a gun without having an adult present. None of us would have ever considered playing with a gun — they were for hunting, target competitions and protection only.

My Dad always told me if I ever pulled a gun, I’d better be in a life or death situation and prepared to use it. In my entire 44 years, I have only had to open the case of my weapon in fear once. It was late at night, I was somewhere I shouldn’t have been and a guy came out of nowhere and tried to open the door of my car, which was locked. I slid my butterfly case out from under the seat and unzipped it. About a millisecond after I flipped that case open and he got a good look at what I had in it, he disappeared. I have never been so thankful for my right to bear arms.

Regardless of your position on guns, the fact remains that it’s our right as American citizens to own them. As with any right, there are responsibilities. Personal accountability goes hand in hand with rights. If you choose to have guns, you choose to be responsible with them, teach your children to be respectful of the power they have and know how to use them properly. Otherwise, you have no business having one. Nothing is more dangerous than someone with a gun who doesn’t know how to use it. Unfortunately, you can’t regulate stupid, so there will always be idiots who own guns, just like there will always be idiots with driver’s licenses. A vehicle traveling at a high rate of speed is as dangerous as any firearm. The best we can do is the same thing we do on the highways: try to steer clear of the dummies.

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Be safe out there, and thank God you’re an American, because I sure as hell do.