By Coyote Black
I am a 23 year old guy and I identify as “liberal” as there is really no better term for where my political mindset would fall. I don’t trust any governing body to be quite honest. I am also heavily tattooed including most of my face. I work full time as a body piercer and wear skinny jeans with motorcycle jackets. I’m not super tall, I’m not very athletic and I usually write for one of the most popular body modification websites out there. I am quite possibly, at first glance, the last person you may think would read TTAG . . .
If you look at the things I listed above in a different light, my story will start to unfold for you. However different I may look, I’m a business owner, husband, father and hell of a good friend. I have about a million good reasons to be a gun owner, and I’m sure you do, too when you really think about it.
I wish my journey into gun ownership would have started earlier. I have a horrible anxiety disorder where I fear irrational and impossible things as if they were actually right in front of me. After getting married and becoming a father my anxieties were only amplified tenfold. I talked to a good friend named Sean about deciding to carry/own and he referred me to a few articles on this very website (thanks dude, seriously!).
I visited a few local gun shops and felt completely confident in what I wanted. I got a few weird stares, visited some bum shops, but eventually got to where I needed to be. I knew I was stepping out of my usual comfort zone and the gentleman who ran my background check seemed a little too surprised that I “passed with flying colors.” As did the police officer who gave me my CCW permit.
I’m not an expert on firearms or anything and I can’t in good faith tell you that I’d fit in at a gun raffle. I can however tell you that the scope of gun ownership is so much bigger than what many people may think or bicker about daily. I don’t believe that everything is as black and white as I see it made out to be, and it certainly hasn’t been for me.
I go to the range once a week, I carry, and my anxieties have been cut down to a fraction of what they once were. I’m not saying owning a firearm “cured” my anxiety disorder, but it has been better therapy for me than I ever thought it would. I love shooting, and I love the feeling of security that I’ve been missing my whole life. I don’t feel my gun is a crutch, it’s a tool that I can use responsibly and properly. I’ll say with 100% certainty I would fight with all my power to continue owning and carrying my whole life — “liberal” or not.
I encourage everyone even remotely curious about gun ownership to visit your local shop and ask a ton of questions. I don’t care what “demographic” you fall under. Fear frequently comes from not understanding, and the best way to understand something is to dive in and learn everything you can.
The range/shop I go to (shout out to A&S in Youngwood, PA) as well as many others offer gun rentals to try out a broad spectrum of firearms before buying. Get comfortable with shooting, listen to advice, and be confident. A lot of people are excited and happy to get you where you need to be, regardless of your social status or appearance. I hear all too often “I could never see myself carrying a gun”. I thought the same thing for a long time, but a lot of that was stemming from the fear of the unknown. When you get familiar you get comfortable, when you’re comfortable you can handle your firearm safely and with purpose.
I’d like to sincerely thank TTAG, my buddy Sean again, and every single person who has helped me without even a split second of judgement based on my personal preferences or appearance. I have been welcomed into this group with more open arms than dirty looks and I feel like we could all use a little more of that mentality. Sure, I’ve faced a bit of adversity here and there…but overall I’m more than pleased to be part of the community and the community seems to be happy to have individuals like myself.