I was born into privilege. I bet you may have been too. I am not talking about race, or gender, or even socioeconomic status, rather I was privileged to be born into a family that understood their natural rights and was taught from an early age about freedom and the constitution.
I will never forget that warm afternoon that my father took me out shooting for the first time. I was barely 5 years old, and there we were in the desert. He took his time explaining firearm safety in general and how to operate the revolver he had brought for the day’s lesson. It was a Ruger Super Single Six with interchangeable cylinders. One cylinder was for .22LR and the other for .22WMR. We set up our targets about 25 feet away (soda cans of course!). My father took 6 shots and hit everyone. Then it was my turn.
The wooden grip felt smooth in my hand, and after a few dry fires, I was ready for the real thing. I carefully loaded the 6 rounds and closed the loading gate. I checked my target and beyond, and with a nod, I carefully lined up the front blade with the rear sights, cocked the hammer and pulled the trigger. I did it 5 more times. I missed every single one of those cans! And yet, I was smiling from ear to ear. I bet you can remember the first time you fired a gun too.
Over the years, I got better, and began shooting all types of handguns, shotguns and rifles. Without fail however, my father AND my mother discussed safety as well as the role an armed citizenry played in the creation of our country, and the need for good people to be armed. Those lessons have been a part of my being ever since. I’ve done my level best to instill the same lessons in my children. I think it has worked, as they begin dropping subtle and not so subtle hints about gift ideas for this or that gun leading up to their birthdays and Christmas. I’ve lost more than a few guns and even more equipment that way. But, having those kinds of heirlooms in our families is part of a beloved tradition that dates back as long as human beings have been making tools for self-defense and otherwise.
Unfortunately, many of our fellow citizens did not have those experiences. They were never taught by the parents or family members about firearms, firearm safety, and their role in our lives as individuals and as citizens. I shared with a co-worker once that my teenage daughter, McKenna, is a competitive shooter. My co-worker said that was too scary for her to contemplate and that the idea of my daughter learning how to safely handle firearms caused her to be “scared for my daughter”. I assured my co-worker that through the shooting sports my daughter is learning discipline, focus, diligence, maturity, leadership qualities – and is a darn good shot, regularly besting her competition on the range! How would this wonderful lady even begin to understand the truth if I didn’t take the time to have the conversation or shied away because of political correctness?
Despite our PC culture, I believe now more than ever, that those of us who were born into privilege have a duty and responsibility to educate those around us. It is incumbent upon us to talk about our rights and firearms with our less fortunate friends and family. Its time to take our co-workers and friends to the range. Its time to talk about firearms safety. Its time to talk about self-defense, our Rights and what the 2nd Amendment is really about. While I don’t expect all of us to be powerful and evangelical teachers and advocates like Maj Toure, I do believe we can make a difference one person at a time. So grab a friend and head out to the range and share your privilege.
Our society, and our country will be better for it.