On the occasion of TTAG’s second birthday, I recently found a draft of my gun-writer resume in a dusty folder of my gmail account. I wrote it back in August of 2010, hoping that RF would let me write for his new site once in a while . . .

Mr. Farago,

I thoroughly enjoyed reading TTAC while you were at the helm, and I’m delighted by your new choice of subject matter.  I hope, in fact, that I’ll be able to contribute the occasional useful article to TTAG, which is why I’m looking for suggestions about the kind of articles you’re looking for, and what you want your articles to say about your site.

But first a word or two about me: I’m a criminal defense lawyer in Washington state, and I’ve been (as they say) ‘into’ guns and shooting for the last twenty-five years.  This gives me about a quarter-century less gun experience than most old salts, but I’ve owned and handled a lot of shootin’ irons over the years, and I’ve sent a lot of lead downrange.  I haven’t hunted in ages, mostly because I can’t find the time.  I reload for my rifles and pistols, and I used to reload shotshells back when I hunted ducks and geese.  I have a concealed carry license, but I’m not a Zen Master of defensive shooting tactics.  I was never in the military, although a great many of my friends have been or still are.

My family and my law practice, as a small-town solo practitioner, don’t leave me as much trigger time or fun money as I used to assume I would have by now.  My gun tastes, accordingly, have run toward the cheaper and simpler end of the shooting spectrum.  (It’s kind of like the year or so in college when I was so broke I nearly became an economic vegetarian; I was saved by generic hot dogs and Spam.)  I have a few attorney friends, either luckier or harder-working than myself, through whom I can vicariously satisfy my cravings for Heckler & Koch, Trijicon, and other top-shelf gadgetry.

In my beer-budget quest for cap-busting Nirvana, I’ve bought and shot (and not infrequently gotten rid of) a lot of guns and accessories.  I’ve found diamonds in the rough and I’ve sifted through mountains of low-quality, cynically-marketed crap.  I’d love to help guide your readers to the one and warn them away from the other, without becoming a “this sucks” cesspool of vitriolic critique.  I do hope that TTAG will continue your remarkable editorial policy of calling a spade a spade, however.  I always particularly enjoyed that.

You may be deluged with proffers similar to mine thus far, but I think I bring a little something extra: I’m a lawyer, and I can deliver legal commentary and analysis.  It is, in fact, my daytime job.

I am very careful not to give anything that sounds like advice, except when I am speaking to an actual (read: paid) client.  This is a habit instilled by blackboard-thumping law school professors and perfected by 12 years of deflecting cocktail-party requests for free legal advice.  In case anyone doesn’t get the hint, there’s always the “THIS DOES NOT CONSTITUTE LEGAL ADVICE (ETC.)” disclaimer I always have to append when I’m writing about legal matters for non-lawyers.  You need not worry that any part of TTAG will degenerate into an agony column of amateur AK hobbyists hoping that their homebuilds are 922(r) compliant.

So, what nature of submissions are you looking for?

Sincerely,

Chris Dumm

August 19th, 2010

Those of you familiar with my work will notice that this email was remarkably short and to-the-point, compared with Tolstoy-esque treatises such as my TTAG debut, a history and guide to the Mosin-Nagant.

Even though it was only slightly shorter than War and Peace, RF seemed to like it anyway. It was my entre into what’s been the coolest writing gig I could ever have dreamed up: shooting other people’s guns and bragging about it. Over the last year and a half I’ve been privileged to shoot and review the good, the bad and the just plain ugly.

Everything I’ve written has been the honest truth about guns, and in the happy-talk world of buff-book gun writing I know I’m damned lucky to have been allowed to write and publish it at all. I hope I’ve made a contribution to TTAG’s un-effing-believable thirteen million page views.

It’s been a hell of a ride, and the best part is that it’s just beginning. Here’s to many more anniversaries, and here’s to the armed intelligentsia who make it worth doing. Feliz cumpleanos.

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