By Jason T.
Does any of this sound familiar?:
- There are lots well-known people who don’t use or understand guns who wish to regulate or control them.
- As soon as violence occurs that can be linked (even tangentially) to guns, certain people will raise a media ruckus, using the tragedy to enact stronger laws against the types of guns they don’t like.
- There are people who make a living off of the fear of guns. They’ve been doing it for years.
- The gun community is a large, diverse group, yet the “average American” has a caricature in their mind of what a gun owner looks like.
- Guns can help start discussions of what beliefs we hold dearest. They can be used as tools to teach responsibility, our heritage, and can also be used as a catalyst for conversations with friends and family.
- When someone commits a crime with a gun, the gun community as a whole is often blamed.
- Those who enjoy guns in the US point to one of our first ten Constitutional Amendments as a clear reason why their legal ownership and use of guns is protected by the Constitution . . .
Now, all of those will seem pretty obvious to most gun owners. But you can take any or all of those points and replace the word “guns” with “videogames” and the points remain the same. For those who don’t know, gamers’ bete noir, their Dianne Feinstein, is a man named Jack Thomson, who’s tirelessly accused certain games of causing murders. Where gun owners point to the Second Amendment, many of those who play videogames point to the First.
As I entered college, I got into Fallout 3. The setting is a post-apocalyptic Washington D.C., and the player takes the role of someone looking to survive and ultimately find their father. And while some may scoff, it’s the reason I am so interested in guns today.
The game first taught me that people without guns tended to die much quicker than those with them. It taught me that after firing many rounds without proper care, your weapon will probably malfunction, and almost certainly break. After two hours of playing, I had added several weapons to my backpack. I had to make a decision which guns to sell. Two of the guns took the same caliber round, so I sold the outliers and learned a valuable lesson about caliber commonality.
That lead to reading Jeff Cooper’s thoughts on “Ballistic Wampum”, which (invariably) brought me to gun and survival websites. That’s where I learned how invaluable medical care is after getting shot, which got me to take an EMT basic course. There I met a future mentor of mine who talked at length about different weapons and taught me the skill of shooting. And I haven’t looked back since.
Many of us have been at the range and heard a young adult or two excitedly talking about how a certain gun looked like one in a videogame they had played. You might have even scoffed when they called the magazine a “clip” or dismissed using an AR pattern rifle past 100 yards.
While it might seem strange, these people who are new to the gun culture are some of our strongest allies. The newer generation (those born in the 90’s and younger) is strongly pro-freedom and generally wish those in power would quit mindlessly regulating things they don’t understand. They’re people who fought for freedom on the internet when the US Senate tried to enact both SOPA and PIPA. They argued against California regulating their pastime more strongly than any other state, specifically because they thought the manufacturers did a good enough job self-regulating. Imagine if gun companies were supported in the same way. Magazine capacity restrictions might be manufacturer-dependent and you would hardly see state-specific guns being made (like the Seecamp .32CA).
Guns, like videogames, are mere tools. We who enjoy them responsibly should make it a point to teach as many young newcomers as we can. The alternative is even more laws made by those who don’t understand what they’re regulating.