I haven’t always been a gun advocate. If you were to call me anti-gun for much of the first half of my life, you would not get any objections from my end. It was not until halfway through my university stint that my attitudes towards firearms changed.
One particular weekend, a friend I met during Freshman year in the dorms invited me home with him for some R + R before finals rolled around.
Brad was one of those guys you would want dating your sister; intelligent, grounded, and from a good family. Weekends could get lonely at my Big Ten school, so when Brad offered an invite, I jumped at the chance.
The drive was three hours to a blue-collar town eighty miles outside Chicago.
Brad was one of two boys in a family of four. His mother was kind, a tremendous cook, and welcomed me with open arms; his old man, a little harder to win over.
A grizzled veteran of Chicago Law Enforcement, Mr. B. was one of two homicide investigators responsible for catching serial killer John Wayne Gacy. That’s right. I was spending the weekend with the man who put the Killer Clown behind bars.
When we first met, Mr. B. hawked my every move. His eyes were lasers. His Sam Elliot mustache furrowed every time he had a thought. He didn’t speak much. Trained to observe, he took his time inspecting my every tick, my every idiosyncrasy.
By the end of the night, Mr. B. decided I was on the level (much of which I attribute to good manners thanks to my parents). After dinner, his wife excused herself, and I found myself in the study with Brad, his father, and a bottle of top-shelf cognac. My real education was in session.
Mr. B. shared countless stories about life in law enforcement. He was one of those people one perks up around. I knew I was in the presence of someone knowledgeable and that it served my interests to shut up and listen while he spoke.
The bubble I lived in day-in, day-out at college did not apply here. Very quickly, I gathered that in this world, there are victims. There are survivors. Which side one finds themselves on is often defined by one word; preparation.
Most of the crimes Mr. B. divulged about had one constant variable; the victim had no way to defend himself.
Gun-totting Americans are violent, paranoid individuals who make our country look bad. Something to this effect is a contention one can hear on most University campuses, and mine was no different.
“Son… education is important, but don’t devour every morsel they throw your way ”, Mr. B. instructed as he sipped from his spirit.
The following day, Mr. B. took Brad and me to a local gun range. I’d never fired a gun before. I was excited and nervous. I did not want to disappoint my host.
Mr. B. filled me in with some basic gun technique etiquette. The more he divulged, the more I realized my beliefs about gun owners were falsities.
The range had varying types of individuals. A few of Mr. B’s colleagues were there brushing up on their marksmanship.
These men were nothing like I expected; educated, soft-spoken, well-mannered. They kept to themselves. The only thing they demanded was respect.
My performance at the range was acceptable. The first time I squeezed that trigger was nothing short of exhilarating. I had won over Mr. B. by being humble and respectful.
Twenty years later, I still have contact with my buddy from University. Brad’s old man retired about a decade back and now calls Jamaica home with his lovely wife.
Brad says that now and then, his father asks how the skinny Armenian kid is doing [I am paraphrasing him].
The moral of the story – be keen on how your core beliefs and contentions have taken foot throughout your development.
Our school systems are left-leaning and imbed certain attitudes towards guns and gun owners. These views are political and are often outright lies.
The gun owners I know are intelligent, responsible citizens. They refuse to be victimized by anyone, whether it be opportunistic criminals or bought politicians.
Sign up for K-Var’s weekly newsletter and discounts here.
Kalashnikov Dude says
“Gun Owner” Haha! That’s a loaded term. It comes with the ability for the user to define a class of individuals in whatever way they choose. In a Republic with 300,000,000 people, and at least a third more guns, it’s a broad brush. We have a long tradition with our 2nd Amendment. Also with well armed criminals police and citizens. How much any of this has actually changed with government intervention since 1791 is not even a debate. Gun control hasn’t done a thing to make us safer in 230 years of knocking down the letter and spirit of our 2nd Amendment. I get supporting it by pointing out that good folks make up the majority of gun owners. But the point of our 2nd Amendment is that bad people own guns, and our founders intended to ensure that We The People are armed and understand how to defend ourselves, loved ones, and communities against insurrection, even our US borders from invasion. Funny how the same people bleating about fairness and equality, “leveling the playing field” through social engineering, demand the state be the only armed authority. It comes down to simply telling these folks no. Shall not be infringed is the law. Don’t like it? Sorry Ara Sagherian, Don’t like it, move to Canada…..or Mexico : )
WTH, Dude? That last line was uncalled for, he said, “The gun owners I know are intelligent, responsible citizens.” He is being complementary toward the people he knows, obviously he doesn’t know you.
Kalashnikov Dude says
Well, if he knew me well….Look, Nothing I said here was designed or intended to deride Ara Sagherian’s words or intents. Only just to add my two cents.
Ara Sagherian says
Gravy, Moonpup. I take zero offence. This country is mostly free and I value others views + contentions. Most of the time me and K-Dude are on the same page.
Ara Sagherian says
Always an interesting take, K-Dude. I will have to let your words marinate before I respond to your take.
The father moved to Jamaica, west Indies?
Jamaica has every gun law the liberals want.
Guns are basically outlawed.
To own a pistol legally, you have to apply with a letter from a senior police man, officer rank soldier, or medical doctor.
License cost $82 U.S., It has to be renewed every year.
Jamaican is “may issue “which means they will not issue a license.
Since it is a corrupt country, I assume you could pay a massive bribe and probably get the license.
I don’t know for certain.
In spite of being an island, with draconian gun control, the place is awash with illegal guns.
There is a secret gun court where you you can be given a life sentence with no evidence at all, just the word of a policeman.
And yet Jamaica has one of the highest gun murder rates in the entire world.
47 per 100,00, nine times higher than the US rate of 5 per 100,000
So I hope he and his wife stay safe in a country where they are not permitted to be armed and only criminals have guns.
Interestingly enough, if he had moved to Jamaica, Queens, NY, the situation will be almost exactly the same.
In New York City he could have a gun ( with a license to own permit ) in his house but that would be it.
He could try carrying it under the LEOS a federal law, but New York city routinely arrests retired law enforcement officers using that law to concealed carry.
They routinely lose in court, but they keep doing it anyway.
The process of hiring a lawyer and going to court is an expensive punishment by itself.