An Open Letter to the Anti Gun Folks

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To those who are against gun ownership,

In the self-defense industry, we speak of an action called othering. This is an action, deliberate or otherwise, where we separate our humanity from that of someone who is different from us. We classify ourselves as the ins, and those other people are the outs.

And never the two shall meet.

You think that I am different from you. That there is possibly a bloodthirst in me, or that I am itching for a chance to kill someone legally. You seem to think that I can look past the actions of a mass shooter because I only care about muh rights.

And it makes me sad that you think of me this way.

Yes, I own guns, have a license to carry one, and I carry whenever it is legal for me to do so. I also get resentful when politicians blame me for the actions of the mentally unstable. I do speak up in defense of the Constitution and the Second Amendment. I go to the range as often as finances permit in order to be an accurate shot, and I do practice drawing from my concealed holster in order to be quick and have the muscle memory to take action while undergoing adrenal stress.

But my motivations are not the evil garbage that I am accused of.

Those mass shooters, they are not me. They are the ones your anger and hate and othering need to be directed towards.

My job, as a man, is to provide for my family and to protect them. I have trained in martial arts for more of my life than I have not. Much of this training involved the use of sword, staff, and spear. And a metric ton of empty hand fighting. I don’t necessarily need a firearm in most situations to defend my family.

But even the best kung fu doesn’t stop bullets. And while it is technically legal to carry a sword in public in Texas now, that sort of behavior tends to scare people. I can carry my firearm concealed, and no one is the wiser. No one gets scared, and I am able to take on any threat my family might face.

Maybe you believe that people should not be allowed to own firearms. Maybe you think that firearms are dangerous and something to be afraid of. That is fine. I would recommend that you do not own firearms if you do not want to. I would never insist that people who are against owning firearms own them. I think that it is pure foolishness to insist that the person trying to harm your family be better armed than you are, but your choices in this matter are your own. But can you leave me to my own choices when it comes to how I choose to protect my family? I am not the problem. Guns are not the problem. Stupid people are the problem!

This isn’t about my rights. This is about defending the safety of those who cannot defend themselves. It is about right versus wrong. I am not that different from you. I want my family to be safe, and I am willing to take the steps necessary to make that happen. If an active shooter event were to happen while I am out and about, I am not going to ask your opinion on gun rights before I defend you and everyone around us and stop the threat. You and I are not that different. We love our Families, and we want them to be safe. A difference in the details about precisely how we will keep them safe doesn’t need to turn into vitriol. Stop pretending that I am your enemy. You certainly are not mine. Don’t believe the hype. These differences are small, and if we ever sat down and had coffee together, you would find that I am not what you are told people like me are like. Neither are the other pro-gun people that I know. I have faith that the same holds true for your side of the debate.

I believe in my heart that you are not my enemy. I would only ask the same consideration from you. We aren’t that different.

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