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As a younger man, I was no stranger to the evil weed. I reckon I’ve done everything high that I’ve done “straight”: eat, sleep, fornicate, study for exams, etc. I might have done all of them at the same time. Who remembers? But I’ve never smoked a bone and then fired a gun. While dope makes some people meticulous—an excellent attribute for gun handling—meticulousness often brings a friend. Paranoia. A paranoid pothead holding a loaded gun does not a safe shooter make. Besides, there’s no guarantee that smoking a doobie and grabbing a gun won’t expose you to the other side of the cannabis equation: over-confident inattention. Also not good. And another thing: why would any responsible gun owner want to encourage gun crime?

That innocent little joint between your lips is an herbal cog in a massive illegal drug machine. The people who grow and import marijuana do so with guns. Lots of guns.

Men with guns guard the growing fields. Men with guns accompany the drug’s transportation. Men with guns enforce the integrity of the distribution chain, all of whom use guns to protect themselves against each other and rivals.

Lest we forget, law enforcement authorities trying to stop the whole business also have guns. Oh and customers. Some of them, like you, have guns.

In fact, dope and guns go together like a joint and junk food; they’re separated more by distance than time. And not much of either.

The vast majority of these guns are illegal, carried by felons who are prohibited from even touching a weapon. And? The marijuana trade creates a huge, deep-pocketed market for illegal guns. Have you seem what the well-dressed Mexican drug lords are shooting these days? What about that shoot-out in Hermosillo that killed 21 people? It’s not all cocaine, you know.

There are a relative handful of people who grow their own marijuana for their own consumption. Here’s a word of advise: get a gun. Here’s another word of advice, don’t smoke dope. When the bad boys bad boys come for you, you will not be in what Utah concealed carry permit trainers call “the combat mindset.” Which really is the best mindset for the job.

Is getting high even necessary? Whenever I touch a gun, I feel myself slipping into an altered state of consciousness. I’ve trained myself (however inadvertently) to become hyper-altert. Time slows down. My senses are heightened. The ear protectors add to the buzz; I can hear myself breathing. I adjust my breathing. I go into trance.

Not zombie-hood. Trance. A focusing of the mind on the task at hand. Suddenly, there are no groceries to buy. No kids to pick up. No website to maintain. No bills. No income. Nada. Just me, the gun and the target.

If you’re not thinking “this guy is psycho,” then you know what I mean. Sometimes the trance is fueled by adrenal rushes. Sometime not. Either way, mental acuity is all. Bonus! Experience gun zen often enough, and it eventually becomes second nature. You pick up a gun, you zone in. Stimulus – response.

Not only do you not need Mary Jane to help you achieve this highly addictive non-drug altered state, weed simply isn’t helpful. Whatever else you can say about marijuana, the drug slows down reaction time, degrades memory and clouds judgement. (That’s before you crash like a mother-hawmper.) This not a recipe for gun safety.

Whoa, dude, did I just do that? You forgot to put on the safety, dude. Sorry about that. You owe me for that hole in the wall . . .  I wonder where that bullet went . . .

Dope smoking and shooting fails on two counts: the practice encourages illegal guns (increasing opposition to legal gun ownership) and it screws up your gun safety. Don’t do it. If you feel the urge to get high, your local gun range is ready to give you a ballistic fix.

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