Monday, January 14, 2013

A Message for All New Gun Owners

According to news reports, guns and ammo are being bought up at historic rates.  It's not known, and is probably very difficult to really know, how many are first time gun owners.  Based on what I heard at our gun show, the weekend before New Years, many of them are new.  I just wanted to take a moment in hopes that new gun owners would find this and stop by to read it.  

Congratulations on getting your first gun.  Whether you know it or not, you've just joined a community.  The online gun community represented by my reading list of blogs and many, many others, is a vibrant interactive community, just as real as any physical community.  When one of ours recently had a skin cancer diagnosis, the community leapt into action to help out with outright monetary donations and raffles.  When one wanted to buy her first handgun, many donated money - to a stranger they've never met and likely will never meet in person  - so she could have one.

More than just a community, you've just joined a whole culture.  Media and the left (but I repeat myself) use the term in a pejorative manner, but there really is a gun culture; in fact, there are probably several gun cultures. There's the culture of most of the country - the west, the south, the "flyover" parts that one flies over to get from New York to El Lay - it's full of people who grew up with guns.  Hunting and target shooting are a deep part of the culture - Gun Culture 1.0. The opening day of deer season is almost a formal holiday.  There is the dark side of guns, the thug culture that glorifies violence and crime - possibly the very people you bought your gun to protect you from.  And there's what's most often called "Gun Culture 2.0"; the modern gun buyer who doesn't come from a home where they grew up with guns, but bought a gun for effective home defense, to protect themselves on the road, or even to protect themselves from a stalker.  For these folks, the entry into gun ownership is often concealed carry.  Often, people become members of this gun culture after a crime against themselves, a friend or family member - I sincerely hope that is not the case, and that if it is, everyone is well.

Gun Culture 2.0 is men, women, old, young, business owners or delivery guys; black, white, Hispanic, Jewish and every other ethnic group.  They're dedicated to personal responsibility, self-protection and self-reliance.  They're dedicated to safe and responsible use and storage of their guns.    

Guns are popular!  You'll find plenty of examples online of "motivational posters" ("I Carry A Gun Because a Cop is Too Heavy") and plenty of excellent commentary ("Why the Gun is Civilization" and "On Sheep, Wolves and Sheepdogs").  If you haven't seen the stunning art photography of Oleg Volk, you're missing a visual treat.  Much more starting here.  

Whether you know it or not, when you decided to go down this road, you've enlisted in or been drafted into a war.  There is a struggle to keep that right to your gun from being regulated into non-existence by the governments: Federal, State or local.  Simply put, you frighten some people with your self-reliance and independence.  They have a hard time thinking anything other than "GUN!!!!" and not that you had to get a criminal background check, maybe take tests, and are probably the best person they know to be around.  (The term for this abnormal reaction to a hunk of metal and plastic or wood is hoplophobia).
While I hate political activism, you need to join one of the national gun rights organizations to add your voice to the crowd wanting to keep the 2nd amendment.  The NRA - an organization unique in being reviled by both its members and its enemies - is the 800 pound gorilla in the room.  They are currently signing up new members at $25/year instead of $35.  Some gun makers include a free year or discount coupon to join the NRA when you buy one of their guns, and one TV Host offers a discount offer.  I've heard they've signed up a rather large number since the current gun control/gun ban talk started.  If you're going to join one (and I'm going to get a lot of flack for this), they seem to be the only organization talked about by politicians.  I'm a member of all of them, but while I've seen Larry Pratt (GOA) on the tube once or twice, he's the only guy I've seen who isn't NRA.  Contact your two US senators and Representative, as well as your state representatives.  

The price of freedom is eternal vigilance.  Part of that is the handgun on your hip or the shotgun near the bed.  Part of that is letting politicians know "Don't Tread on Me".  


  1. You can sign up for a paltry $10 if you click on a tab halfway down on their signup sheet that I think is called "other options" or something like that. The $10 membership gets you everything but the printed magazine. It's just that the $25 level is the cheapest one presented on their first signup page, and most people don't notice there's other tabs to that page.

  2. Don't forget about the state-level organizations, both in your state and in states on the front lines.

  3. Thanks to both of you for the input. Don't forget your state organization either (we have Florida Carry). No telling if that could have had effects in New York.