- Posted July 24, 2012 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Gun ownership in America
What firearms are to me...
- Anika3, CNN iReport producer
I am one of millions of Americans that legally owns and possess firearms as we have been granted that right through the second amendment. As an American I exercise my rights on a daily basis, am a law abiding citizen, and feel it my duty to possess and yes carry firearms.
My reason that I personally have firearms has many answers beyond the fact that it is a right granted to me. I use my firearms for a variety of things; hunting, recreation, historical value, and most importantly protection.
Growing up I was always around firearms in my house, friends, and family. We were properly schooled at a young age the importance of safety, responsibility, and the use of firearms. This not only built trust, but helped built us as a person. Owning a firearm is not a right that I take lightly. I have attended numerous hunter safety courses, the peace officers training academy, various workshops for shooting, specific training for pistols, rifles, shotguns, concealed carry, and self defense. Why do that you ask? Well, if I want to be responsible and enjoy my firearms the most I want to be highly knowledgeable. If you enjoy football, do you not attend camps, practice, workshops, one-on-one training and continually work with it?
Hunting. Growing up in the country and having a family of farmers and friends that farm, the idea of legally hunting is something that has always been a part of the family. Whether it be to feed the family, hunt predatory animals, or to legally thin the population of certain species, it is something that is an important part of where I am. If you have never had to shoot an animal to feed your family because the times are that tough, then you will truly never realize the importance of hunting.
Recreational shooting has something that has always been an interest of mine. Loading the car or the truck up with ammunition, guns, targets of all kinds and a picnic, that’s a fun afternoon or evening. Spending that time practicing and perfecting the shot, adding challenges, competing against a friend or friends, family, or the spouse, that can turn firearms into a very enjoyable thing. The thought process behind that distance shot, the mathematics and the calculation put into what can effect it is intriguing to say the least. When you golf, for the real avid person there is calculation and thought that goes into the process, not just going out there and whacking the ball if you want to be the best.
Very high on my list of firearm ownership is protection. Protection of my self, my family, my friends, and should the need arise, someone else. I am authorized to carry a firearm concealed and practice this right on a daily basis where legally possible. I have a variety that I carry depending on the season, where I am going, and what fits the situation. Its not just going out and buying a handgun and putting it right into the holster to carry. For me it is doing that research, buying what makes sense, and then vetting that gun before it even goes into use.
I am a father. I have a two and a half year old son who I already talk about guns to. He doesn’t touch them, he doesn’t play with them, and there is no free-willy-nilly pointing toy gun at people. He has been around me in a safe manner when we have shot wearing his appropriate ear and eye protection and gradually will learn more. I intend to safely teach him how to properly handle firearms when the time is right so that he can pass on the tradition that was passed through our family. He asks questions when they are out or when I am cleaning and doing work on them and they are answered. Most importantly my guns are secured.
Should the time come when my guns will be needed to save a life, I have no doubt that anyone in my family will be able to bear arms and return with the appropriate action and force. What it comes down to very bluntly is that when seconds count, the police cannot be everywhere and are a reactionary force. Crimes occur in seconds and are over long before law enforcement can arrive. That is not a slap to our law enforcement that is just a cold hard fact.
We as a nation have many gun laws out there, many that don’t make sense and do little to prevent crime. Criminals do no obey laws and regardless of what is enacted, they will always find a way. Do we not have laws against murder, yet those are broken? Are there not laws against driving while under the influence, yet we still have repeat offenders? Is driving without a license illegal, yet many do? These are laws just like gun laws. A rock in the hand of a law-abiding citizen is a paperweight, maybe a piece of art, perhaps something to construct with. A rock in the hand of a criminal can be used for breaking glass, a lock, or even used to kill by striking someone. A firearm in the hand of a law-abiding citizen is a tool, a sport, something to teach with, and something to defend with. A firearm in the hand of a criminal can do nothing but bad. In the end it is up to the person holding the gun.