Wednesday, January 9, 2013

There Are Things That Make It Worth It...

I got an e-mail yesterday that really lifted my spirits. With the news filled with rumors and rumblings about the gun control measures coming down the pipe, it's been getting harder and harder to feel optimistic about being a gun owner right about now. Trying to find parts, ammunition, or a rifle that's not magically quadrupled in asking price over the past month has been difficult. Listening to the news do their full court press for something approaching a full repeal of the Second Amendment gets old quickly, especially when unhinged leftists call for NRA members to be killed or that all gun owners are @$$holes.

And then I get this e-mail:

I'd just like to say, 'Thank you for your writing.' I'm a long time lurker; without the gun blogosphere, I wouldn't have a permit, any experience with guns, or finally a gun of my own. Although I have always been a firm believer in the Constitution; the 2nd Amendment was an abstract, a piece of rational, political philosophy that I agreed with in a disinterested way without personal investment. It was only over a number of years, and severe annoyance about being completely defenceless while living in cities outside of the US, that I began to pay any attention to it. (Though I had a long aesthetic appreciation of weaponry of all types) When I moved back to the US, I was ambivalent about it but felt that the only responsible thing to do was to learn more. I duly went through the permit process because I felt that as I could, I should, otherwise how could I honestly decide who had the right of the debate? (This was just after the Heller case went to the Supreme Court)

The first time I touched a gun was during that training session. I've had my permit since 2009, I can't say I've had the occasion to shoot much, a few revolvers and rifles chambered in .22LR is about it. But I can say that I was hooked from the first time, which is saying something, I don't hook easily! Following a summer of annoyance caused by groundhogs, a generous birthday/Christmas present, your blog post about .22LR rifles a week or so ago, and irritation over this latest political nonsense; I finally own a gun. A very nice (in my uneducated opinion) lever action .22 rifle. I'd have been shooting it all day, if my hands hadn't gotten cold. That rifle will probably only ever kill paper targets, but I think it will get a lot of those!

So thanks for your writing. This over-educated (Ph.D. in history), young, female, east coast native is a supporter of the 2nd Amendment.


I confirmed with Acair, it's a Henry lever action rifle, one of the most consummate American brands out there. And it's in her hands - in some small part - because of a post I wrote. That's humbling.

The forces aligning against those of us who love freedom - especially as defended by the Second Amendment - would have you believe that all gun owners are white male inbred rednecks who want to keep women barefoot and pregnant (and hate minorities) while compensating for their inadequate sexual organs. I'm sure I've missed a derogatory stereotype or three - while they praise "diversity" as an abstract concept, they simply cannot abide it in practice, at least when it comes to groups they don't like.

Acair is one of the last demographics the gun-grabbers would ever consider as a gun owner. Female. Advanced degree. East coast denizen. That's not a cousin-humpin', NASCAR-followin', chaw-spittin' good ol' boy! That's... suspiciously like one of them! How on earth could she be seduced by the evil allure of a firearm? She's supposed to know better!

Well, she does know better. She recognizes that - in the abstract - firearms represent freedom. Our Second Amendment recognizes that all men wish to be free - and that the best way to keep men free is for them to be armed. "An armed man is a citizen. A disarmed man is a subject" - truer words have never been spoken. Once a government stops recognizing the right of her citizens to keep and bear arms, they become subjects quickly.

When the people cannot be trusted with the best tools for keeping themselves safe and their country free, tyranny always follows. It's not always the fascist tyranny associated with Stalinist Russia or Nazi Germany; sometimes it's the soft tyranny of the nanny state that dictates what lightbulbs you can and can't buy or the amount of water your toilet can use.

In a more concrete way, though, Acair has learned the dirty little secret of all gun owners: guns are fun. Read that sentence again: "But I can say that I was hooked from the first time, which is saying something, I don't hook easily!" Shooting *is* fun; shooting stuff is fun; the people you go shooting with are fun. I don't think I've ever gone to the range and come away in a worse mood that which I started.

This is how we win: one convert at a time. One new shooter at a time realizing just how enjoyable it is to punch holes in paper, or bust orange clays on a berm, or make metal cans dance around a dusty field. Guns are not scary, they are not evil, they have no mind of their own - it is solely the intent of the person wielding the gun that determines the outcome. When you stop viewing the gun as an evil totem and start seeing it for the simple machine that it is, that is the first step towards enlightenment.

Thanks for writing, Acair, and if you ever want to shoot more than .22s let me know!

That is all.


Brad_in_MA said...


Just like Lissa from years past, we MUST get Acair to a bloggershoot. If transportation were an issue, I would kick in a few schekels to get her to an event. Moreover, Acair should consider looking for the next meeting of The Second Amendment Sisters or the next Women on Target event. It is a moral imperative.


libertyman said...

I agree with Brad- look at the group we had for our Blogger dinner -- if there is a stereotype demographic there I can't figure it out. She will be in good company. Please let Acair know she is welcome at our get togethers, and yes, they are fun and informative.

Ancient Woodsman said...

I had a professor at UNH who was not ashamed to admit that in his early years he was both anti-gun and anti-hunting. He would then tell about how, in his process of becoming educated, attaining a Masters degree and eventually PhD. that his view changed. He originally took up hunting as an intellectual exercise "to see what all the fuss was about" and seemed to share that his first use of a rifle caused a bit of nausea. His scientific curiousity got the best of him and in the end he became not only pro-hunting but pro-gun.

These are the folks we need to atract. Frankly, I'm one, too. I was raised in a very liberal, anti-gun home that was not exactly anti-hunting but close.

I like to remind my sisters that they and folks like them are precisely the reason why I am a conservative now.

Brad_in_MA said...


You want to talk odd-ball demographic? I'll give you odd-ball demo -- ME. I fancy myself a fiscally moderate, get-out-of-my-bedroom socially liberal, gun-owning JEW. I suspect there aren't too many of me in this neck of the woods. None the less, for me, NEVER AGAIN really means NEVER AGAIN. To borrow from an interwebz buddy, THIS JEW SHOOTS GUNS.

- Brad

Ancient Woodsman said...

Mr. G, I was wondering if you knew this person enough to ask her to maybe post a similar sentiment on her blog?

Looking at the blog, I get the impression that she is either from Conecticut or perhaps is a post-grad in CT?

A highly educated young female in or from CT and who is pro-gun might mean a lot if she could post as such on her blog.

Not asking for her real name or address or anything stalker-like, but if she could discretely hint about her background & location - especially the closer to CT as possible - it could be an eye-opener to the liberals that we could share this with.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the invitation, Jay! Brad, I'll definitely be looking into those two groups.
To be fair; I have never fit into any of those nice demographic boxes, this makes jumping out of them rather easy.
As an historian, I've always been baffled by how people always believe that This time around handing control to the government is a good idea. You would think that people would learn that it has never worked out well in the past and it isn't going to work out well this time.

Anonymous said...

Ancient woodsman,
Just saw your comment. Northwest CT, I am a writer, architectural historian. Ph.D. from the University of Edinburgh, but I got fed up with academia (I am not a patient teacher) and for family reasons moved back to CT. That is the short version! The blog, which gets very little traffic, is essentially a work blog for a National Register of Historic places property for which I am the keeper, so posting overt political or personal commentary isn't entirely possible...but isn't entirely forbidden either.

Mopar said...

Well, acairfearann, if you ARE in CT, we would love to have you as a member of the Connecticut Citizens Defense League. it's free to join. We had 150+ people at our monthly meeting last night, and I can tell you that while yes, there are some camowearing rednecks, they were far outnumbered by the accountants, doctors, teachers, and business professionals from all races, gender, and sexual orientation. We'll need all the help we can get in Hartford this year.

Mopar said...

And Acair, I just clicked over to your blog and when I saw the name on the photos I realized I have been to your blog before. Cant remember why or how I got there, but I did.

Mopar said...

One last thing, my wife and I will second Jay's offer to shoot something other then a .22 rifle. We belong to a private range about 25 miles from where I suspect you are. You're more then welcome to be be our guests for a day and we probably have or can borrow almost anything you might want to try out.

Erin Palette said...


Welcome to the tribe. We have a few assholes, but by and larger we are a tolerant, welcoming group.

May your shot groups be small and your ammo capacity large.

wandering neurons said...

Acair, welcome to the dark side. We have better cookies!

Erin, you stole my phrase! Darn you to heck. :-P

Brad, take a number on that gun-shootin' Jew. My father, a WWII vet, still alive, still shoots trap, skeet, had a .22 range in the basement of his house where he grew up. Jewish from birth. And has passed the shooting bug to his son (me) and step-son as well. I'm the Jewish son, my step-brother is a goyim.
And even stranger, my father, his father, and I have all served in the US military! I have dog tags to prove it.

JayG, thanks for keeping the spirit going. Lots of depressing news out there...