“What’s Up With the Guns?”

During a recent conversation with one of my adult students, there was a question that came up. “I saw the change in the title of your Facebook page. ‘Martial arts, sharp things, and guns.’ What’s up with the guns?” Now, my student accepted my answer and moved on to another topic without missing a beat. I have had other conversations that did not go so well.

As is common in America, many people become concerned when a friend purchases a gun, or as in my case, a few guns. Due in no small part to the news media’s constant barrage of slander against anyone who might actually *gasp* like guns, well-meaning friends can become genuinely concerned, and sometimes even frightened by your decision to buy a gun.

For people who are considering making a firearm purchase, it should be known that some of your friends will react to it in a way far removed from how they would act if you were to purchase a fire-extinguisher. If you tell a friend, “Hey, I just bought my first fire-extinguisher!”, they might praise you on the wisdom of the decision. “Wow! That is a good move! You know, if you set the kitchen on fire, you might be able to get the fire out before the fire department is able to get there. Very good move!”

With a gun purchase, you are sure to have some friends who are against it. “Hey! I just bought my first gun!” Your response is likely to be questions about your training in gun safety, lectures on the dangers of having guns in the house, and even questions about your state of mind.

To me, the worst is when they start with their own short-comings. “I could never own a gun, I know I would end up killing someone the first time I get mad.” This is a subtle hint that you share this mental deficiency, or even that all people are deficient in this same way.

You might encounter guilt trips from people who lament the “gun culture” of America. I even had one person who told me that liking guns was “typical white person behavior”. Whatever that means.

In the end, for as long as we are able to maintain the right to do so, owning a firearm is a choice. If you are anti-gun, don’t buy one. If you are pro-gun, buy one. Just as I will not go out and demand that everyone own a fire-extinguisher, I will also not demand that everyone own guns. But if the option is there, if you want to take that option, by golly do it!

I want to have the best possible option when it comes to defending my Family. I would never willingly defend my Family with the least effective weapon I can think of. I want to, at the very least, be on a comparable footing with the bad guy. If I could have him outgunned, awesome, but if the contest has to be equal, then I will accept it and rely on training and motivation to make me victorious.

In the end, please understand this; a friend who decides to own a gun is still your friend. They made a personal decision. This does not give you the right to label them a gun nut. It does not mean they want to kill people. I can tell you truly, I hope I never have to point a gun at another human. If I have to, I will not hesitate, but this does not mean I want to or am eager to. I like peace and happiness. I study violence, and train in the application of violence, but if a problem can be settled with a conversation and a cheeseburger, then I am taking that option. Even if it takes two cheeseburgers.

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