Last time, I wrote about my really fun field trip to the NRA Annual Meeting in Atlanta. It really was huge fun. As a gun guy, I really enjoy hanging out with other gun guys (and gals!), talking about our shared passion for firearms. Some people don’t get that. Some people want to vilify us. Some people claim we’re worse than ISIS. Which is weird because there wasn’t a single beheading at the NRA show. But, as I said last time, I believe the gun community is just that; a community. And it’s a good one.
As I was driving home, I had about three and a half hours to mull over the experiences of the previous forty eight. I began thinking about all new guns I now want to own. Some I wanted to own prior to the show, some were added to the list. Some I have a use for, some I want just because I want them.
For example, I now really want to build an AR (or an AR upper) in .25-45 Sharps. I don’t really have any need or use for one, I just kinda want one. Having talked with one of the creators of the cartridge for a while, it seems like it would be fun to reload and shoot. Then there’s the .22 Nosler. Again, it seems like it might be fun to have an upper for that round. Since I’ve gotten into reloading, I’ve started to have all kinds of fun tinkering with various rounds, just for fun.
Then there are the high-end custom 1911s. Again, I don’t really need one. I have wanted an 1911 for a solid 15 years, and two years ago I finally bought one. It’s a cheap GI model Phillipino gun, but it shoots OK and has become a fun project gun. Then I bought another one, this time in 9mm. It’s a better gun, but still on the low end. It is quite accurate and fun to shoot, however. So do I need to spend $3,000 on a Republic Forge or Carolina Arms? Not really. Do I want to? Yes! Pick one of those guns up, work the action, feel the slide to frame fit, pull the trigger and you’ll know why. The older I get, the more I appreciate quality, and the more I appreciate craftsmanship. And I want to enjoy that.
As I drove home, pondering my AR collection growing into the half-dozen range, I thought of a Colion Noir video I watched earlier that week. As an aside, I got to meet Colion and chat with him for a few minutes. He’s a super-cool dude and I would totally hang out with him on the range or that eclectic restaurant he’s always filming at in Dallas. Anyway, in the video, one of his anti-gun friends was telling him that it was OK for him to own one AR, but five was “just excessive.” I loved his answer, “According to who?”
Some people out there have not picked this up, but we live in America. We don’t have to justify our purchases. To anyone! Well, maybe your spouse or significant other if you’re spending their money, too. But I don’t need to get permission from you or from the government to own 5 ARs or 50 ARs. Except for all those 4473 forms I’ll have to fill out. Moreover, absolutely no one’s life is any more in danger whenever I buy or build another AR, or 1911, or striker-fired WonderNine. Your life, the lives of my neighbors, friends, colleagues or clients is in no way impacted by how many guns I own.
I’ve had friends tell me that they don’t have a problem with me hanging on to some of my family’s shotguns, but they really question why I need to own an AR. The complete and total justification is very simple: Because I want to. And that’s it. It’s completely legal for me to own them, I enjoy shooting them, building them, modifying them, upgrading them and looking at them. The fact that someone else buys the mainstream media’s lie that they are designed for killing as many people as possible as quickly as possible is not my problem. This may come as a shock to some of my gun-fearing friends, but none of my ARs have ever killed anything! And unless someone needs to be shot, they aren’t going to.
This irrational fear that the mere existence of more guns makes people unsafe is completely unfounded. There were easily 10-15 thousand guns on display at the NRA show and it’s highly likely another 40,000 being carried by attendees. And no one got shot.
Again, this is America. We don’t have to justify our purchases to anyone. I don’t require a woman who has 37 handbags—any one of which certainly could cost more than some of my guns—to explain why she needs that many. I don’t understand it, but I also don’t care. I don’t ask anyone to justify why they own more than one car. Though I actually do understand that one.
Some may say, “Well, a handbag isn’t a deadly weapon! We have to get rid of guns because they kill people.” First of all, in the right hands, a handbag can absolutely be a deadly weapon. So can a car. Or a bottle of alcohol. Or a hammer. Inanimate objects don’t kill people. They are mere tools in the hands of killers.
But acknowledging that requires we take responsibility and require others to take responsibility for their actions. And that is uncomfortable. But suck it up, buttercup. This is still America. If I want to own 37 ARs and 25 custom 1911s, by golly, if I can find a way to pay for them I can and I will. And I don’t need your permission. But you’re welcome to come shooting with me any time—I’ll even pay the for the range fee and the ammo!