- Posted January 13, 2013 by
La Crosse, Wisconsin
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Gun control debate: Background checks
Why I own my gun
I cringe every time someone asks that question. Most times I spout the usual replies, for sport, defense, self-sufficiency. But that's just because I know they aren't listening. Most people who ask “Why?” already know how they feel and are determined to shoot down (pardon the pun) any reasons contrary.
“for sport” - why not BB guns or 'safe' alternatives
“defense” - then join the police
“self sufficiency” - are you going to hide in the woods then?
There are others, but to be honest what I tell people usually isn't the real reason I own a gun.
I own a gun because I don't have to. Sure, it sounds ridiculous, but let me explain. I had the luxury of being born in a country where I have rights. A gun was not forced into my hands as a child. I was not made to work in a factory or mine. I had people tell me they loved me, protected me and raised me to act with honor, humility, and thought. I was taught skills from the manual to the intellectual and given opportunity to use them. I may speak freely, assemble freely, bear arms in accordance with restrictions, I am free from illegal search and seizure, I do not have to quarter soldiers, and I am entitled to a trial by a court of law. And in return for all these and the other freedoms I enjoy my country asked of me only that I carry a piece of paper, saying that if the need was truly dire I would defend my country with all that I had.
My piece of paper is worn and old, those days have long since passed, but I still have it. It reminds me of all that I have, given to me by the chance of my birth, and all that I might never have known. I was never asked to defend my country. I was kept safe by better men and women, from the soldiers who gave their lives throughout history to the lowest embassy worker in the distant parts of the globe. They gave me peace and security and asked for nothing in return. I volunteer, I give back what I can. But it will never be enough. So I own a gun. I train with it, clean, care, accurize it.
I may not have been chosen to serve my country, but I still feel that obligation to stand ready to defend it, for myself and for all.