In modern America, every issue has become divisive – religion, sexuality, abortion, and our personal favorite – guns. Debates about these important issues should be honest and rational discussions, but instead, they’ve become shouting matches with 10 second TV clips, nonsensical marketing buzz words (“GUNSENSE!”), and bad stereotypes. It’s very disappointing. The mass media itself tends to promote the most extreme and terrible stereotypes of gun owners. Oh, you own guns? You must be a racist, fat, old, uneducated white guy… or a tacticool wannabe who’s played too much Battlefield or CoD… or the bloodthirsty redneck who poaches anything on four legs and yells YEE-HAW, I wish I could meet the people who subscribe to these ridiculous stereotypes of gun owners so I can tell them that the gun owning community is far more different than they could imagine. I wish I could introduce them to my father . . .
My father was raised in a working class household in Oakland, California, the great-grandson of an immigrant railroad worker. No one in his immediate family owned guns. The youngest of 3 sons, he grew up like most city kids in his rough neighborhood, doing everything from playing stickball in the streets, and to scrounging glass Coke bottles to recycle so he could get a few cents to see a movie with his friends. A young hooligan in public grade school, he straightened up in high school and later attended a small college in the Midwest. He became a Christian, met my mother at church, got married, and a few years later, they had me and my little sister. After he took an offer to serve as youth pastor at a large church, we moved to the city of Seattle, in beautiful and green Washington state.
Dad had a demeanor that alternated between smirking humor and pensive seriousness, a combination that served him well, first as a Christian advocate doing prison ministry, to later doing outreach to young people as a youth pastor. He loved books, our house was filled with them, and he loved music, being a self-taught guitar player with a large collection of classical, jazz, gospel, and folk music records. He was a peaceful person, though he wasn’t above spanking either myself or my sister when we got out of line. The meaning of “respect” was taught very early on to both us.
If you were to follow gun owner stereotypes, you might be tempted to believe that my father wasn’t a gun owner. You might even believe that my father, a very spiritual man devoted to the “hippie” work of working with felons and youth, while reading books and playing the guitar, would never touch a gun. And you’d be wrong.
My father was an avid firearms enthusiast. According to family legend, he first became interested in guns through his uncle, who had served with honor in the Army during the Korean War. Being in ROTC in high school, going to school in the Midwest and later Texas only intensified his interest. He became friends in seminary with fellow students who owned guns. He meticulously organized his back issues of Guns & Ammo, and saved targets from his shooting range trips, with hand-written notes about date, ammo and gun used in a file folder. Pistols, rifles, shotguns – he enjoyed shooting them all, and from an early age, he taught my sister and me the 4 safety rules so that we could share in his passion. We looked forward to family trips to the range on his days off from work. His gun safe was well-stocked with his favorites, such as this 357 Magnum Colt Python:
My mother was never into guns. Like any mother, her primary thought was always about protecting her kids, and though she didn’t interfere with my father’s interests, she didn’t particularly encourage us (my sister and I) to love shooting like my father did. It’s only in later years that I would understand that part of her negative reaction to guns was her experiences as a student at Berkeley during the turbulent 60s. Though she was never a part of the protest movement, she had enough bad experiences with police and National Guard units that seeing guns was something that still made her uncomfortable.
Guns however, were more than just a hobby to my father. He would often quote Scripture and point out that he was compelled by faith to not only do everything possible to protect our family, but to protect the people in his congregation at the church. Working as a pastor in an urban church, there was always the threat of crime like robbery – most of the congregants still carried and gave cash for offering. During community collections for programs like feeding the homeless or providing English/citizenship classes for the community, donations would number easily in the thousands, a tempting amount for any criminal.
Our church had open gym at nights on the weekend to provide a safe place for the local kids to socialize and play basketball – sometimes these gym nights attracted rough characters (such as gang members) from the neighborhood. My father always seem to win them over with a “love them like Jesus would” approach, but he didn’t take chances. He would often be the last to leave at night, locking up a church that had been a target of burglary. Cars in the church parking lot would also get broken into too. With his concealed carry license, the only thing at night my father carried with him at work more than his Bible or sermon notebook was his SIG P226.
He didn’t parade around the church with his pistol out like a 2013-style open carry event, but it was an open secret to those that knew him well in the congregation. A few deacons and trustees of the church were also gun enthusiasts; they formed an informal circle of friends that would often go to the range together, or go out hunting. Owning a gun wasn’t an awkward facet of my father’s life; it was as natural as owning a lawnmower or a tire gauge. Contrary to what the mass media says about gun owners, having a gun didn’t turn my father into an evil man – it was in fact his concern for others and his sense of duty that was part of the motivation that made him choose to be a gun owner.
I mentioned before that my mother wasn’t into guns, nor was she always comfortable when my father having a concealed carry license. She did however understand the precautions my father took to protect the safety of our family and his safety when he worked at night. Their relationship had enough built in respect and love that she was able to see past her personal reservations about guns to make a conscious choice to always allow my father to make all the decisions about when and where to carry.
It would later turn out that this was a wise decision – a decision that protected both her and the lives of her children, me and my sister.
It was Mother’s Day, circa 1986, and I was a young kid excited for this thing that I had just learned about called a “buffet”. Normally, on Sundays, my family often ate lunch at the church or in Seattle’s International District, but my mom wanted to have something different – brunch at a popular local restaurant. The Mother’s Day family special was brunch buffet of all the usual breakfast standards – hash browns, bacon, sausage, pancakes, waffles, fruit salad, omelettes, soup, sandwiches, etc. As soon as we entered the restaurant, the smell of food off the griddles was amazing.
Unfortunately, the restaurant’s popularity and the Mother’s Day holiday also meant it was packed with people. After my family was seated by our waitress, she told us that the buffet line had bottlenecked at the omelette table, which had unwisely been put near the front of the line. Her manager had put the word out to all the waitstaff seating people that it was strongly suggested that all new patrons skip past the omelette table, get their other food items first, and come back later if we wanted an omelette. It had been a long Sunday morning and we were all hungry, so my father led our whole family pass the omelette table to get the other food items.
As my family and several other families passed the crowded line by the omelette table, I could hear a murmur pass through some people in the line and caught some people giving my family dirty looks. I was in the middle of getting a pancake and piece of bacon on my plate when a man stomped out of the omelette line yelling loudly,
“WHAT THE HELL DO YOU PEOPLE THINK YOU’RE DOING?”
The man was in his mid-late 40s, tall, heavy build, with large arms that stretched the sleeves of his shirt like shrink wrap around a ham hock. He was directly addressing my father, pointing an accusing finger at him. He towered at least a foot or more over my father, who was only about 5’7. The man’s grey eyes had an icy glare that was oddly framed by his messy white and brown hair. His breath stunk of alcohol, and there was an emphasis on “YOU PEOPLE” that I didn’t understand then as a kid, but I understand (unfortunately) now as an adult.
My father tried to calmly explain that our waitress had suggested that we skip the omelette table, and that our family was just following her suggestion. Some other families who had skipped ahead as well nodded their heads in agreement, but none of them spoke up or chimed in. Maybe they were too stunned or scared of this angry man, who seemed to grow even more upset as my father talked. He cut off my father mid-sentence, hissing,
And then seething, he turned and walked back to the omelette table.
I knew what cussing was (thanks public school), but I had never heard before the other word the angry man had said. But judging from my mother’s sad expression and the way my father’s face tightened, I knew it couldn’t be good. My parents attempted to hurry my sister and I through the rest of buffet line, when I saw the angry man stomping toward my family again.
In an instant, I felt my father push me back and to the side as he moved to face the angry man, placing his body directly between the angry man, and the rest of the family. As the angry man stomped toward us, my father changed the way he was holding the tray with the plates of food from a two hand grip, to holding it only with his left hand, as his right hand slowing floated down toward his right hip, his suit jacket still immaculately clean and pressed from Sunday morning service. My Dad’s face looked calm and determined, his eyes unblinking behind his glasses. When the angry man was just about 3-4 feet away from my father, he yelled loudly,
“YOU MOTHERF*CKERS THINK YOU’RE BETTER THAN US? YOU THINK YOU OWN THIS COUNTRY?”
The tension in the room made it feel like time had stopped. I was scared, and confused. Once again, as a kid, I had no idea why this man was angry. It’s only in hindsight that I as an adult, I can speculate about what might have set this guy off – everything from 1980s Japan-US trade tensions, a veteran suffering from PTSD, or just being a drunk jerk. It didn’t matter because he obviously singling out our family, the only Asian-looking family in the whole restaurant. It didn’t matter that our family was 100% American (both my parents were born and raised in the US), because he clearly already perceived us to be the enemy, an unwelcome presence. He was acting physically aggressive with my family and my father, a gun owner, was the only one able to protect us from this potential threat. My father tried to once again reason with the angry man, and he gently repeated again what the waitress had told us. The angry man, his rage boiling over, interrupted my father by saying,
“F*CK YOU. WHAT SHE TOLD YOU WAS BULLSH*T!”
With spit flying out of his mouth with that last word, the angry man was gesturing wildly with his hands and with a clumsy sideways slap, he knocked the tray my father was holding in his left hand. Dad immediately dropped the tray and stepped back, still shielding us. His left hand was now held out straight in front of him, palm out, while his open right hand never left the spot he held it at, hovering discreetly over by his right side. Hash browns, pancakes, and bacon went spilling across the floor. People around us gasped.
Now, the mass media would love to fool you into thinking that the next thing that happened is that my father, another “reckless” gun owner, draws his SIG from a concealed right holster. That my father wants revenge against this angry man for yelling racist slurs at him and his family (on Mother’s Day, of all days). The mass media would say that my father is going to escalate a verbal, aggressive argument into a deadly shoot-out in a crowded restaurant. That my father is going to spray a hail of fifteen plus 9mm bullets at this angry man because no one can be trusted with a tool as deadly as a gun. But nothing like this happened. My father, thankfully, did not live up the mass media stereotype of who a gun owner is, or what a gun owner does.
No sooner had the plates clattered to the floor when 2 huge line cooks, come running out of the kitchen behind a man whom I could only guess was the manager. These guys were big and burly enough to play the offensive line of any football team in the NFL. The crowd, who had up until now remained mute, now all pointed out the angry man as the aggressor and source of all the angry shouting. Cowed by the presence of the cooks and the stares of the crowd, the angry man shrinks, as he and his family are firmly escorted out of the restaurant by manager and the cooks. My mother, now in tears, leans again my father as he wraps his left arm around her, and walks our family back to our table. My little sister starts crying because my mother is crying. I eat awkwardly and half-heartedly, while my father sips a cup of coffee quietly, still scanning the restaurant to see if the angry man comes back. The manager later comes by with our waitress to apologize and comps our whole meal. We don’t come back to the restaurant until years later.
I didn’t understand at the time how my father could be so calm. It’s only now that I understand that part of it was his own self-discipline; the other part was despite the physical advantage in size that the angry man had, my father probably carried with him the tool that would equalize the odds and protect his family – his SIG. He had practiced and trained, and he was ready. But he never drew it. He was ready to do anything to defend us, but he never had to fire a shot, and that’s a good thing – guns have saved countless lives without ever a shot being fire.
Whenever the topic of gun owner stereotypes comes up, I think about that day. My father has since passed away, and unfortunately, I never did get to ask him in detail about what was he thinking on that day. Would he have really drawn his gun and shot the angry man if he had attacked? How did my father manage the courage and self-control to keep trying to talk to that angry man, rather than doing what the mass media claims all gun owners do – shooting recklessly at the first possible moment.
I think of the time of the first time I went hunting with my father and how he once mercifully killed a wounded, suffering pheasant the bird dog had mauled with a quick grab and twist of his hands – would he have been as quick if the angry man tried to hurt me or my mother or my sister?
My father’s love for us was so strong, I don’t doubt it for a second.
How I often wish my father were still alive today to speak out against the lies that are regurgitated about gun owners. How I wish he could remind people that 99.9% of the people in America who own guns don’t fit into neat boxes like “crazed maniac” or “cop” or “OFWG.” The vast majority of gun owners are good, decent women and men who come from every race and ethnicity, every job and background, and with every possible difference common and uncommon in America today.
But in a way, my father’s story doesn’t end there.
Fast-forward a few decades, and now I myself am a married father of 2 wonderful children, and one of those odd Christians who has good friends of all beliefs – yes, even atheist and Muslim. I’m highly educated, with 2 bachelor degrees from a big state college, a master’s degree, and I am national board-certified in my chosen profession. I’m an elementary school teacher who works in public education who watched in horror at the events of Sandy Hook while simultaneously shaking my fist at the stupidity of “GUN FREE ZONE” signs that don’t allow teachers to choose how to best protect their beloved students, let alone themselves. I cringe at the coverage of open carry dudes at Starbucks and Chipotle, sipping coffee and munching burritos with rifles in hand, locked and loaded with magazines. I take friends out to the range, especially if they’ve never been before, or they happen to come visit from places like Chicago.
Mostly, I try to share what my father so wisely shared with me.
I love food trucks, Youtube videos, books, movies, indie music, and board games – though not necessarily in that order. I’m a 4th generation American of Chinese descent who has had the privilege of traveling and living abroad, yet still returned home to Seattle with the strange hope that life here in America is still better than anywhere. I refuse to vote for anyone named Clinton or Bush, just as I refuse to vote blindly for a person just because of the R or D by their name – where do they stand on the issues of human rights and liberty, especially the Second Amendment right of people to defend themselves with firearms if they so choose?
I’m just one person, but I’m a part of a growing generation of people that embraces guns for a variety of reasons beyond just the natural right to self-defense. I’m a part of a generation that believes owning and using firearms is representative of universal values such as self-reliance and personal liberty. Values that we want to pass on to our own children through owning and learning to respect guns. And we’re outraged at the BS pushed on us by a mass media that misleads, misinforms, and misinterprets who gun owners are or what they’re really about.
But most of all, I’m a just a regular guy who owns guns, who doesn’t fit the media’s stereotypes of who a gun owner is, or what a gun owner does. Just like my father before me.
Outstanding story. Just the kind that needs to circulate to fight the stereotypes that the grabbers attempt to adhere to the people of the gun.
Thank you G. Sure wish I could have met your Dad.
Damn good piece of writing. Your dad sounds like a heck of a guy. And it sounds like you are doing his memory and legacy proud.
Wow. Best thing I have read anywhere for a long time. For me, your father represents what I call a real American and he is what the founding fathers had in mind.
Agreed. I call a winner.
Thank you for sharing your perspective and experiences in this very well written piece.
I’ve been reading this website for a long time and never thought of anything I felt was worth writing until now.
This is the story people need to hear about gun owners in America. I’ve been in the Navy for a nearly 5 years, and even amongst some of my peers I need to defend my love for firearms and everything they represent. I, too, am a father. My children’s safety is paramount to me. I’m sure it is to the anti’s also. But I would rather my children’s safety be up to me and my wife, just like G.’s father.
Fantastic article. Thanks!
I hope one day we get open carry in Texas because if we did, I’d have to get one of those black-chrome .357 Pythons. That gun is beautiful.
I could be mistaken, but I believe that Python has the exquisite Royal Blue finish that Colt used to be known for on their premium firearms, not black chrome. It is the kind of finish that none of the major manufacturers es today, too costly in prep work polishing everything up like that.
Damn, either way that gun is a show piece and author’s dad had great taste.
This is the kind of stuff we need to see more of. Seriously.
I really enjoyed reading this. Thanks for sharing.
One thing though: Don’t make the mistake of thinking divisiveness over “religion, sexuality, abortion, and our personal favorite – guns”, is “modern”.
But what IS modern is the fact that now the government touches upon all of those subjects and has become a useful tool for enforcing one’s beliefs upon others so long as one can get 51% of the voting population to agree.
The growth of our democratic government is what is dividing us. In a free society, if you want something you must work for it; this usually entails providing a good or service that your neighbors want; it also requires good relations with one’s neighbors. In a democratic society, if you want something, you just need to get 51% of the population to agree with you; this usually entails vilifying the person you want to take the thing from.
As democratic government grows, so does the incentive to be the loudest and pushiest little piggy at the trough.
Excellent work and message!
Great article! And frankly, I’d be proud to call you my friend should we ever meet.
I wish the manager had thrown that slobbering idiot in jail instead of just kicking him out.
Bravo. I’d be glad to lose the SIG p320 contest to you. (Assuming my entry makes the cut…I’m not so confident about that at the moment, but there’s still a week+ to go.) The world needs to hear more personal stories like this.
Just came back for LGS, Looked at a new SIG pistol 9mm, I could only get two fingers on the grip, it held 12or 13 rounds, had about a 4 inch barrel. Anyone know what pistol this is? Price was about $860.
It felt great.
That’s $430 a finger!
Sounds like a P224, maybe?
Wow. I just read a winner
No sound bites there, just powerful context.
Thank you for taking the time to share.
Thank you everybody for the kind words. My dad, if he were alive, would have enjoyed reading about guns on the internet blogs like TTAG! I’m just a regular guy, same as most of you. =)
To answer a couple of questions: yes, both pictures are of my dad’s pistols, now passed down to me.
The P226 is a Western German made SIG and still runs great. The only thing I’ve done to it in the past couple of years is change the grips because the older ones my dad had on it had worn a bit out. Still runs without a hiccup.
The Colt Python is a 6 inch model with the Colt Royal Blue finish as another person commented. Trigger and action still are flawless too.
Hopefully my son and daughter will get to enjoy both some day too!
G, that Python may eventually have a timing problem. The Python needs a tuneup from time to time. Just like a Ferrari. The difference is that a Python timing problem is easily rectified by a Colt-savvy ‘smith for something less than a small fortune. OTOH, the cost to fix a Ferrari timing problem is more than the annual operating budget of several of the Stans.
Thanks for the tip, Ralph. Is this something that should be handled specifically by Colt, or can a “regular” gun smith (one that has a certain certification, I suppose) be trusted to work on it?
G, just make sure the guy is good with Colt double actions. And/Or be Colt certified.
You won’t go wrong sending it to Colt, except that it will likely have to go back to an FFL holder. So, paperwork and money.
That gorgeous piece is VERY valuable.
By the way. Excellent writing. Terrific background.
I like your dad.
Damn, to think this was from the ’80s and yet it might as well have happened yesterday. I’m second generation and grew up in the ’90s. I had to deal with similar things, though no where near as bad as yours. My father didn’t have a CCW but he did get a gun for home defense. Just recently bought a Sig as well. He is also considering getting a CCW along with me.
Top notch work, G. Just absolutely top notch.
Wonderful writing. I wonder if you could get it published on motherjones or huffington post or even dailykos. Lots of people on those sites that need to read this kind of thing.
Winner. Well said g. Thank you for sharing. You’ve just described the majority of the gun owners I know (including a few church leaders) who just want to protect their family and those around them.
This was the most heartfelt and sincere essay so far. Bravo!!
Thanks, G! I enjoyed reading that. Your story is spot on with why I carry. I understand that putting my body between my children and danger might not be enough to keep them safe. In some cases, the only option will be to use deadly force; otherwise, a madman might simply kill me and then move on to kill my family. The duty to protect is sometimes a duty to kill, however horrible taking a life might be.
I also love your Seattle perspective. Thank goodness Washington State preempts Seattle gun laws! Seattle is a great city; on balance, probably one of the safest large cities in this country. Still, when I was living there, I was glad that I had the freedom to carry a handgun in case of the worst. I had many friends of all sorts, whether from different racial backgrounds or very different from me culturally, and I am glad the law in Washington affords them the same right to protect themselves and their families. How many minorities (in particular of Asian ancestry) in Oakland or Los Angeles would love to have the same freedom as we have in Washington?
Anyway, all that aside, I enjoyed reading your article, and I’m glad we’ve got guys like you among the sheepdogs.
Thanks Adam, and I agree… folks in California should have the same rights! I still have lots of extended family and friends that live there even though I’ve spent most of my life in Washington state. I know Kaliforniastan can be a controversial topic here in the gun community – some folks say everyone should just quit and move, but besides my personal bias of knowing folks in the state, I think as Americans, we should be paying attention to ANYTHING that goes on in large states like California, New York, Texas, etc.
I relish the freedom of having a conceal carry permit in WA state / Seattle, and yep, even in “hippie” Seattle, there’s some rough neighborhoods. White Center, Rainier Valley, Central District, etc… these are areas I usually avoid at night.
My father was pastor of a small, church. We had a shooting range in the basement when I was growing up. My four sisters and I, downstairs with Dad, shooting my .22. He introduced me to guns and hunting. Some of our best times together.
He was also president of the ministerial association for a group of about 30 or so independent churches. Several times a year we would travel to Southern Indiana for workdays on the church camp owned by the association. The highlight of the workdays arrived when everyone began finishing up their projects about 3 or 4 and broke out the guns. Twenty to forty Pastors, elders, and deacons and their sons. From all over (Seattle, Wa. was the furthest any traveled – if you didn’t count the occasional foreign missionary.)
Our favorite sport was forming a progressive line for the clay pigeon thrower. Though we’d set up rifle and pistol targets too. And for two or three hours the campground rang with the thunder of the righteous!
My Uncle was pastor of the largest church (Sunday morning attendance of several thousand in Evansville, IN) was a great hunter, collector, and prepper! He had the proverbial “arsenal” and thousands of rounds.
And nobody thought any of this was weird. In fact we felt the few ministers who DIDN’T shoot were a little different. Guns were just one of the tools you used to put food on the table and protect your loved ones and your property. We need to keep pushing back to mode of thinking. Normalizing what has been demonized.
Always good to meet a fellow PK (pastor’s kid)! That sounds like a pretty awesome childhood. Definitely when you grow up with guns and responsible people, you learn it’s just a tool, and that regular people can use it and enjoy it the same as cars or guitars. I think my dad, just being who he was, helped a lot of non-gun people at our urban church to realize that.
During some summers, my father would travel for a few weeks to Dallas, Texas to attend classes at Dallas Theological Seminary, talk with professors (such as “Dr. P”, Dr. J. Dwight Pentecost), and meet with other alumni. According to my mother, more than a couple of times, part of these “educational trips” would also include hitting the range with other DTS folks. =)
When did he take classes there? My dad taught there from around 1970 to 1976.
Outstanding. Thank you.
Beautifully written and excellent message. Thank-you for posting this.
The contest as a whole has brought out some excellent entries. I do not envy those that have to pick “one.”
Wonderful essay, G – Beautifully written! I hope you win. I salute both your father and you.
Outstanding. Sir, you would receive both prizes if I was judging. Thank you and please continue to share your story.
Thank you G for posting such an inspiring story.
As a young Asian American born again Christian gun owner (Filipino) in his mid 20s, I am glad I am not alone in this world.I felt inspired as I was reading your article about your family’s history and background as gun owners knowing that there are others out there like me.
Unfortunately, I am here in this corrupt state of California with it’s stupid policies and asinine gun control laws. The hoplophobia here is at an all time high leaving me to resort to being in the closet about my gun knowledge/ownership from different friends, classmates, some family members, my boss, and co-workers. It also doesn’t help that I am an avid video game/anime nerd allowing hoplophobic people to make that stupid connection b/t gun ownership and how I consume my type of media (Thanks TTAG for recommending me Gunsmith Cats!).
So I am left to converse with other gun owners here on the vast Internets while watching YT gun personas like Hikock45 and Iraqveteran8888 in secret =/. Fortunately, I do vote and I am informed of what legislation is around via. calguns, local gun shops and sites like TTAG.
But anyways, I thank you for your story! I am glad to know that I am not alone in this world and that gun owners really are peaceful and diverse in this country despite what the mainstream media says. I hope you win the P320 because Sigs are awesome!
You’re definitely not alone in this world. Thank goodness for the internetz, right? Blogs, YouTube, forums, etc. have really helped the people of the gun.
Personally, I’m surprised their isn’t an Asian American Gun Owners group yet! At the time I was growing up here in Seattle, my family actually had a house in a mostly white suburb south of the city. Most of my friends growing up were white, but among my multi-gen Asian American friends (Filipino, Korean, Vietnamese, Japanese) their dads and uncles were huge gun people! I’m not sure why that was, but now that I’m older, I think it had to do with a lot of them being either military vets (trained and comfortable with guns), or small business owners (protection). Now that I’m a “grown up”, I have a lot of friends who are gun owners, but just aren’t very vocal about it. I think it’s a bit of a cultural thing… you know how it is. Work hard, take care of family and friends, and don’t draw unnecessary attention to yourself.
I still got lots of extended family and friends in California, so don’t worry – us West Coast folks are in it together! Instead of Oregon and Washington becoming more anti-gun like California, I’m hoping the reverse takes place – California adopting more pro-gun laws like Oregon and Washington (we just legalized SBRs this past year, we already have conceal carry and silencers). Stay in the fight!
Your father sounds very much like mine. However yours was a preacher, mine was a cop. I can remember quite a few times when he was able to dissipate volatile situations with a quietly spoken word and the act of unbuttoning his jacket. He never had to draw or let the other party see the Chief’s Special on his hip. I still have that gun today and I always think of him when I shoot it. He taught me to see situations for what they are and to measure my response. I’ll always be grateful for those lessons learned.
Inspirational story sir.
One of the best P320 stories I have read and I have read almost all of them. This one should be a winner.
Best entry thus far.
You, sir, just won a SIG P320, and rightly so. Excellent work!
Be careful that YOU don’t start using OFWG as a derogatory term. I am a guy who also happens to be old, fat, and white; and there is nothing wrong with that.
OFWGs happen to be a large part of the demographic in the American gun-rights camp, but only because they happen to be a large part of the people in America.
You’re just a regular guy that owns guns, just like the rest of us. Therefore, you DO fit the stereotype; the correct stereotype.
As a fellow Asian American, who lives in the Seattle area, this story definitely hits home on so many levels. It’s speaks on how we should live our lives. And how as gun owners, we need to carry ourselves each and every day. Well said my friend, well said.
The P320 entries have been outstanding. There are many who deserve to win the gun, but none more so than G. This was a gripping bit of writing, and I agree with another commenter that it would be interesting to see if this can get republished where more eyeballs can see it.
We are most of us children of immigrants. We should maybe use that to remind ourselves of what makes the US distinct. The US is a covenential country – it’s an agreement, specifically that you own your own life.
The US is a country where a restaurant manager and two line cooks will come out to face down the guy throwing abuse, and it doesn’t matter what anybody involved looks like.
I consider myself very fortunate to have been born and raised in America. I can think of no other country where the descendants of an impoverished and illiterate railroad worker can enjoy so much freedom and privilege. Every generation since has done its best to give back; I’m trying to do my part too.
God bless that manager and those two line cooks. I’m sure it wasn’t an easy or popular thing to do, but they stepped in and de-escalated a situation. Maybe that’s why I’m partial to watching football, even today!
I agree with other posters here—this is a great article. I also agree that it would be nice to see it published on other sites. If you decide to pursue that, however, have a good editor give it a pass first. There are probably a dozen grammar/English issues that could be cleaned up.
Agreed! Could use some polish. I leave it to TTAG’s illustrious crew to sand off the rough edges… LOL. =)
“I’m a part of a generation that believes owning and using firearms is representative of universal values such as self-reliance and personal liberty.” Exactly.
When I lived in NE California (Modoc County), the Sheriff there told me something when I was getting my carry permit – he said “There are two kinds lf people in the world. Forget liberal/conservative, Democrat/Republican, or any of those. There are people who take responsibility for themselves, and people who don’t. If you want a carry permit, you are someone who takes responsibility for your own (and your family’s) safety.”
Your father certainly fit that criteria. You are blessed to have had a father like that.
As an Asian CHL holder myself, I can only hope that should I find myself in a similar situation, I can handle it as well as your father did.
Thanks for sharing.
This is the kind of thing that I think should be submitted to the “Moms Demand Action” website, in their “Faces of Courage” section:
For those who don’t know about this, it a section of their website that asks people to submit a short story/personal experience of “how gun violence in America has impacted your life”. I’d like to see stories like this submitted to the site. Even if they never get posted, I believe that whoever reads them for evaluation has to be moved, especially with good writing like this.
My father wasn’t a large man either. He was a wiry 5ft 8in and never weighed more than 150lbs. A depression era kid, he’d grown up rough in red-neck country. Despite this, he was a kind and gentle person and a wonderful father. Except when he was threatened. I was about five or six when some drunks began hitting the back of our bumper. I remember my father, log chain in hand, standing in the middle of the street staring down a couple of much bigger men who promptly left. I’d never seen fierceness before and so I learned something that day: always be calm, always be ready, and don’t back down. But even more important, on that day I learned about responsibility and empowerment. And those are things, once experienced, you never forget.
When did your dad take classes at DTS? My dad taught there from around 1970 to 1976.
I think my father graduated with his M.Div from there in maybe ’71? I don’t the exact year, I just know he finished his first round before I was born. I’d have to ask family for the exact dates.
He started going back to school during summers in the mid-80s, working on his doctorate. Sadly, he passed away before he could finish it. A story for another time.
Well told, G. Thank you for sharing your story. I think we all miss your father now.