Dear Mr. Farago,
I suspect that my firearms experience is not atypical. I grew up in a small coastal city in California. My father had been an officer in the Marine Corps, and a veteran of the Korean conflict. When I was about 8 or 9 years old he started to teach me about guns. My father learned about firearms in the Marine Corps., and passed what he had learned on to me. When I was younger we would hunt together. As I grew older, my father and I grew apart, and my interest in firearms waned. That was over thirty years ago. In that time, I got married and pursued a career. I’ve had little if any interest in guns or hunting . . .
My wife and I now live in a middle class neighborhood in a large metropolitan area of California. About three years ago we started to see a dramatic increase in crime in our neighborhood and surrounding areas. Mostly violent assaults, burglaries and home invasions. My wife suggested that we should consider buying a gun. At first I was hesitant, and frankly not very enthusiastic about the idea. However, as I thought about it more, and the incidence of home invasions increased, I weighed the consequence of my wife or I being defenseless victims. I was resistant to the idea of a handgun, and instead focused on a rifle. I narrowed the choice to a Ruger Mini-14.
My wife and I went to a “local” gun shop, actually some distance from where we live. For the most part, local politicians have driven firearms businesses out of the area. The salesman showed us the Ruger. My wife is small, and it was immediately obvious that the Mini-14 was too long, and too heavy. The salesman suggested an AR, and showed it to my wife. She collapsed the stock all the way, and with the pistol grip was able to get a comfortable handle on the rifle. We eventually settled on an AR platform rifle because it fit both my wife and I.
After some additional research, I determined the AR might not be the best option to defend against a home invasion, and later purchased handguns for my wife and I. We’ve since taken several firearms classes, go to the range on a regular basis, and do dry fire/snap cap exercises at home. We’ve invested in safe storage devises, and have implemented procedures we follow daily to safely store the guns when neither of us are at home. In short, we’ve invested time and money to be responsible gun owners.
Today, I read the piece about the Southern Poverty Law Center tracking an up tic in “Patriot” groups, tying it to recent “gun-control” politics, and asking for the US DOJ’s involvement. I then went to the US DOJ website and reviewed information posted there related to the proliferation and increasing sophistication of criminal street gangs throughout the US and internationally. (I assume the SPLC does not track criminal street gangs, and does nothing to address violence related to the illegal activities of street gangs.) Later, I read an article on the FOX News site about a Florida lawmaker that wants to require anger management courses as a prerequisite to purchase ammunition. At that point I could no longer hold it in.
I, like the millions and millions of responsible gun owners, feel under personal attack for doing nothing more than owning a gun. My guns, like those owned by the millions and millions of responsible gun owners, do not commit crimes, do not threaten anyone, and do not belong to any criminal, or any criminal street gang. I am angry, upset and frustrated that lazy politicians do absolutely nothing to address crime and violence in this country; and instead waste so much time and valuable resources attacking an issue that has no problem connected to it.
I am tired of listening to the Piers Morgans’ and Bob Costas’ of the world; tired of Mayors Against Illegal Guns; tired of demanding plans; and tired of “common sense” attacks on fundamental constitutional rights. Where were any of these people when Reginald Denny got his head crushed by a block of concrete at the intersection of Normandie and Florence, and the LAPD made a conscious decision to stay away?
Ms. Feinstein, Mr. Bloomberg, what’s your plan to stem the tide, or at least put a finger in the dike to abate in any appreciable manner the tidal wave of illegal drugs that flood this country? What is your plan Piers Morgan to curb the murders, assaults, mayhem and violence incident to the mega billion dollar illegal drug trade? What do you plan to do Mr. Costas to protect the millions and millions of honest, hardworking Americans that are the victims of violent recidivist criminals?
Until any of you have a real plan that addresses the cause of violence in this Country, I suggest you put a sock in it, stand quietly in the corner, and think about it for more than a microsecond.
Thank you for listening to me Mr. Farago. I feel a little better. Maybe now I can take an anger management course, and buy some nonexistent ammunition.