- Posted July 24, 2012 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Gun ownership in America
Why I switched sides
'My view point has obviously changed that I was pro-gun control but now I believe there's a place for gun ownership, but I think there’s also a place for legalized control and carry. I'm not one of the diehard NRA members who are completely rabid about the situation. I would be willing to discuss if there is a place for AR-15s or 100-round magazines,' he said.
'I've spent my whole entire career assisting, protecting, riding the ambulance, treating gunshot victims,' he said over the phone. 'I'm a veteran; I was trained to use a weapon. I'm a husband, a father, a grandfather. I have never been in one minute’s trouble with the law. To think I’m not responsible enough to own, train with and carry a weapon is short-sided.'
- zdan, CNN iReport producer
For decades I supported gun control and voted for legislators who felt the same way. Less than a year ago, and after much deliberation, I changed my opinion. In the last year, I have purchased a couple of guns, taken numerous classes, practiced endlessly, and obtained my concealed carry permit.
It was not a single incident which finally pushed me across the line, but merely watching, reading and listening to the everyday news. Crime has changed in America and is now, not only rampant, but extremely violent. The people committing these crimes will stop at nothing to get what they want, and they put no value on human life.
I also started realizing there was far too much crime, and few too many police officers available to protect the public. It became obvious that, in most cases, if we are to be protected, we will have to do it ourselves. The police are simply outnumbered. The biggest, and most pleasant, surprise to me about entering the gun community was the people. Yes, of course there are zealots, but by in large, the people in the gun community are everyday citizens like you and I. In fact, if you didn't personally know someone was involved with guns, you're not likely to suspect it through their actions. Additionally, I have never seen a group so concerned about safety! Everyday, all the time, with no let up - it's very comforting.
It's my opinion, that the facts will support the claim that where guns are allowed to be carried, serious crime goes down. It makes sense if you think about it. If you were going to rob a convenience store, would you rob the one with the police car outside? Not likely. Same philosophy with citizens carrying guns. If you think the clerk, or the customer next to you, might be armed, you might choose to go elsewhere. Without belaboring the point, most everything I previously thought about the gun community was wrong.
I have been a firefighter and EMT for decades. I'm a husband, father & grandfather, and I'm a responsible, law abiding citizen. Allowing me to carry a firearm not only allows me to protect myself, but my family and the community at large.