By Logan Parenteau
As many of you have probably experienced, it’s been a long and hard road for our rights, especially in the aftermath of Newtown. Many of the people we either assumed or knew to be on the side of the Second Amendment suddenly had the opinion of “well I support the 2A, but maybe there oughta be a law”. We’ve all heard the same tired arguments and maybe even attempted to combat the Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt that seems to be such a hallmark of our day and age. Here is one short tale about teaching one young mind to think for himself. About dispelling the Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt that surrounds the simple machines of metal, wood, and plastic that we choose to include in our lives . . .
Not long after that horrific event perpetrated by a very disturbed mind, I had the opportunity to have a discussion with my lady friend’s oldest offspring. I had recently taken him out for his first range trip, where he fell in love with my old Savage 62 .22LR.
As we sat cleaning the various pieces of hardware that received a bit of work that day, a discussion about future additions to my collection took place. When I brought up the subject of building an AR, he responded with “I thought AR-15s were illegal?”
“Not at all. Did you mean an M-16? They’re very hard to get and cost a lot of money, but they’re not illegal either… They’re full auto. Anybody who basically isn’t a felon can own an AR, which is only semi-auto anyway,” I answered.
“Oh. But, we talked about Sandy Hook at school, and [name/position withheld] said that semi-autos are illegal because they’re assault rifles.”
“Well she’s wrong, dude.”
“Well I don’t think they should be legal,” he parroted.
For some reason, this jarred me quite a bit. I suppose, with myself and my girlfriend being firearms aficionados, it never occurred to me that another member of our household would disagree with it. My bad, I suppose.
“Why’s that?” I asked.
“Um,” and here the young man paused – I suppose he really hadn’t given it much thought, as I assume most of his peers hadn’t either. “Well, nobody really needs one, I think.”
“And why does it have to be illegal then?”
“Um… well, I dunno. That’s just what I think.”
“So…the .22 you shot today? That should be illegal?”
It appeared I’d confused him a bit with that. “No. Why would that be illegal?”
“For starters, you don’t need one. We live in town, there isn’t a whole lot up here you could hunt with it, and it’s semi-auto.”
“But it’s not an assault rifle,” he responded. “It’s for fun.”
I could see the confusion in his face and the start of some slightly angry independent thought creeping into his young mind.
I decided that was a good time to bring the lesson home. “Well, let me stop you there man. First off, you now kinda see my point. I could come up with any reason for you not to have a .22, just like [name/position withheld] apparently came up reasons for semi-autos being illegal. What you’re calling an assault rifle right now is pretty much the same as that .22. That’s not really the point though, it boils down to this: who gets to decide what I can or can’t have, whether I need it or not? I have no reason to own that XBox or that TV you use so much. They’re just for fun. An AR would be a lot of fun, not to mention very useful if I ever did need it. So if I’m not intending to murder people with it, why shouldn’t I have it?”
“Okay,” he said as he took it all in. “But you don’t need a long clip for it.”
I shake my head slightly at this and ask him, “So? I don’t need to let you play XBox anymore either.”
For some inexplicable reason, that last statement of mine was what finally seemed to change his mind. This year he’s going out deer hunting with a Mossberg 930 which, as many of you may know, is a semi-automatic shotgun… and he’s quite interested in an Arsenal SLR-107. Sadly, he has to wait until his mother gets her GLOCK.