Reader Brent writes:
I’ve noticed an aversion by some readers of TTAG to Facebook and other social media. This seems counter productive to me. Whether we like it or not, we’re all going to die one day. Eventually, the next generation will take over and they use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social media outlets. Avoid those outlets and we avoid the very individuals we need to reach. These outlets may not be as good conversing over a coffee, or taking someone to the range, but they provide the next best thing – they give every user the ability to highlight something personal. They humanize, putting things in a personal context. That includes firearms . . .
Following is a post I wrote on Facebook about my father. The point is that in addition to getting folks to the range, we need to use every outlet available to us to humanize guns. As long as politicians can point to the big, bad NRA (and other straw men), they will be able to demonize firearms. However, when your friends and neighbors know you to be a reasonable person who owns guns, the straw man argument is harder to sell. Here’s the post:
About a year before my Dad passed away, we were in the Kittery Trading Post and spotted a Colt Model 1911A1. For those who aren’t familiar with it, the 1911 was the standard issue sidearm for the U.S. military for more than 75 years. My Dad had carried one when he was in the army.
At $2,400 it was out of my price range and even farther outside his, but neither one of us expected to buy it. He didn’t say it, but I knew that Dad would appreciate getting a closer look and holding it.
I asked the clerk if we could look at it, and he pulled the pistol from the case and handed it to me. I handed it to my Dad and his eyes welled up as he explained to the clerk that he’d carried one during his years in the Army, “You’ve made an old man very happy.”
Back in the day, Dad was a marksman with small arms, and while the feel of the 1911 was clearly familiar to the veteran, the heft was a surprise to the old man who’s strength had long since departed. He held it for but a minute or so before we handed it back to the clerk.
A local gun shop had this 1911 under the glass. It had had one owner, a vet who was liquidating his collection. Previously, I had no desire to own a 1911, but there’s a part of us which seeks connections to the ones we’ve lost.
And so I purchased it – the day before Father’s Day – in memory of Dad.