My Biographical and Demographical Information

Published by the LearnAboutGuns.com Author on May 1, 2008 at 10:29 pm
LearnAboutGuns.com > Contact the Author > My Biographical and Demographical Information

I’ve noticed that some people tend to buy into the propaganda released by the anti-gun groups or those who just seem to not know any better, and believe that gun owners are uneducated and violence prone. This is plainly untrue, so I thought I would give some of my biographical and demographical information:

A picture of the author of learnaboutguns.com

My name is Eric Puryear.  I’m an African American male who was born in the mid 1980’s, and I grew up in a suburb of Chicago, IL.  I live in the Quad Cities (about 150 miles West of Chicago, near the IL/IA border). I’m an Attorney at Law (licensed in IL an IA), who holds a Bachelor of Science  in Computer Science. Jessie Jackson certainly does not speak for me. I currently work as a lawyer, but have worked for software firms before beginning my career in the legal field. I am law abiding, peaceable, and generally a soft spoken person. I own multiple firearms, including my favorites which are pump action shotguns. I enjoy firearms, but they are not my primary hobby. I grew up in a family that was ardently opposed to guns, and it was not until I was about 22 years old that I really began to think about guns rights as a good thing.  If you want to read my opinions on abortion, gay rights, and other social issues, you can go here (spoiler alert: I’m quite liberally minded and support all of our basic rights, even those that I don’t personally exercise).

In short, I don’t fit the inaccurate stereotype of gun owners that is portrayed with depressing regularity. Neither do these gun owners, or countless others. I have also found that the gun owners I have met in Chicago area or Iowa gun stores and shooting ranges are just as racially tolerant as any other people, despite that anti-gun-owner stereotype too.

ALSO READ:  Dissecting a Brady Campaign Propaganda Email

If you wish to contact me, you my email address can be found here.  Please note that I do not provide online legal advice, for the reasons discussed here.


If you are seeking an attorney in Illinois or Iowa, I can be contacted at (888)919-3719. My law firm’s website can be seen at PuryearLaw.com.

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  • Ari

    As an individual who is from an ethnic/religious group which predominantly votes and supports Democrats (I'm Jewish), I can't understand why you're still a registered Democrat and have expressed remorse that Democrats are completely uninterested in protecting your 2nd amendment rights. They don't care about your rights and seem to have a generally negative view of the Constitution and the freedom of the people to chose, both well and poorly, the way they want to live their lives.

    I've also read a number of your "random tangents", and though I enjoyed most of the ones I read, I found one particularly out of step with the others. You support well-funded public schools, but you are against unions. It’s late and I'm too tired to write about this issue in detail, but I will provide you with these questions to contemplate: what major industries in American are both heavily unionized and globally competitive? Automotive manufacturing? Steel? Textiles? Education? The teachers' unions are more interested in preserving their near monopoly in primary and secondary education and the results are evident. The US public school system lags behind most of the developed world and some parts of the non-developed world. Vouchers anyone?

    You seem like a nice thoughtful individual who has obviously decided to deviate from your peers in some very significant ways. Why not go all the way and become a Republican (albeit a libertarian one like myself) and leave the Democratic party to the socialists, unionists, terror apologists, and class/race baiters?

  • http://www.learnaboutguns.com LearnAboutGuns.com

    Ari,

    You do raise a good point with respect to the waste and corruption that is present in some public schools and their teacher's unions. However I still believe that well funded public schools are essential to ensuring a well educated populace that can grow up to be responsible citizens. The issues within public education certainly need to be addressed, however I don't see defunding public schools as the answer. This answer is admittedly a bit brief but, I may respond more fully on MyRandomTangents.com in the future.

    I continue to vote primarily for Democrats because they seem to advance most of my political goals, other than gun rights. I wish that the Democrats would embrace gun rights, and try to persuade my fellow Democrats and elected officials to do so. Overall, it seems that I will have better luck getting the Democrats to support gun rights than to get the Republicans to support all the other rights I believe in. Also, it is worth noting that there are plenty of pro-gun democrats and anti-gun republicans out there.

    • hicus

      Why don't you start a new political party, one that has some real meaning– A party that lets the slackers flounder and the diligent prevail. You are one of the diligent, why do you want to carry the slackers?

  • John

    I have to say, I find it very pleasing to run across an individual like yourself. Aside from being Caucasian and growing up in the suburbs of Baltimore, we essentially had the same upbringing and introduction to firearms.

    My main reason for commenting however, is that you mentioned the stigma associated with being a gun owner, something I myself know all too well.
    Between my upbringing and the place in which I live, owning firearms has always left me with the feeling that I am somehow doing something wrong. Obviously it does not prevent me from owning them, but there is always a voice in the back of my mind that makes me think I’m doing something “wrong”. I’ll occupy myself with worrisome thoughts of what my family and friends may think of me, as they all tend to be very liberal themselves. I fear they may see me as a “gun nut”. In fact one of my best friends is a Hoplophobic (suffers from a fear of firearms) and I can not even mention anything related to firearms without her becoming very agitated.

    At any rate it’s very refreshing to see someone else who has come from a similar background, and shares similar ideals. It’s nice to know that I’m not the only one of my find out there, and that I don’t need to choose between restrictive “left-wing anti-gun nut”, or trigger happy “right-wing pro-gun nut”… that people can actually be something in between.

    Thank you.

  • mightyjp

    Ari is way off. Gun rights activist are handicapping themselves by treating gun owning democrats as pariahs. By doing so, they are slamming the door of opportunity in their own faces, by cultivating relationships and and providing support we can encourage them to take on this fight. The old methods of appealing to the republican in everyone will not work anymore,this isn’t the 1990’s. If the democrats remove gun control from their platform it will be because of gun owning democrats, not because they woke up one day and suddenly recognized the “moral authority” of the republicans. I feel that people who share this attitude are the second biggest threat to my gun rights, behind the gun control advocates themselves. the national gun rights organizations are failing my generation by failing to capitalize on having an “inside man” in the democratic party or making arguments that non- republicans can relate to. Too often activist that get media attention act as if they think they are preaching to the choir. Democrat gun owners don’t speak up because they don’t have anyone backing them up.With proper support a solid movement can be born and nurtured, but then again, I’m sure they will sacrifice everything they believe in for this single issue, right? We have been fighting gun control for over forty years and I don’t want to fight for another forty. Is this a battle we want to pass on to our children?

    • Kenneth Dawson

      I just want to agree. I've been wanting to write about this, but haven't as of yet. I am a hard barked, bleeding heart, southern liberal who's belief system was forged during the civil rights era and Vietnam. I'm a vet, gun owner and shooter and think that the gun press and commentators, who do exactly as you say, are their own worse enemies. They talk and act like insane children calling names and refusing to listen to anyone. They present themselves as bloody-minded brutes and are then pissed when people think of them in that way. The American idea of shooters as red-necked, brain-damaged, drooling brutes is a self-inflicted injury.

      • hicus

        Gun nuts do more damage to the second amendment than anybody else.

  • http://www.lifeasatrucker.com Hervy

    Tell you what I registered as an Independent last. I am tired of both parties, lying and playing politics and pandering to those who don’t pay attention.

    You are definitely right. Education is key to an well informed and responsible public, but also something has to be done to educate the parents on effective parenting too because the school won’t be enough to do an effective job alone.

    Parents are simply not doing fulfilling their duties. Without that problem existing nothing else will have the desired level of impact because it can’t be effectively carried out.

    Glad to see young men like you rise well above the statistics and make moves to make a difference. Love the site and the attitude keep rising my brother.

    We shall meet again, I am sure.
    Hervy.

  • CathyS

    I am a woman in my 30's with two small children. My father was and still is not real keen on carrying guns although he does own one and his own father averted a criminal attack with a handgun. It's nice to know someone else out there has grown past what their parents believe and feels secure with gun ownership.

    I am a Christian conservative mom who is planning on homeschooling so that my children won't be fed all that "lay down and take it" garbage I was fed in public school. I am not a right wing gun nut but I do believe in fully protecting my most valuable possessions – my babies. I have no love for firearms, they are just a tool to keep the wolves at bay.

    I have never thought about black people having to deal with stigmas and racism from carrying a gun. I can imagine it is difficult for you. Please try to get over your "right wing gun radical" stigma. Not all conservatives are gun nuts. Some of us just want to keep safe and could care less about the finer points of shooting.

  • Kenpai

    Make sure you've got a gun case to protect your Children. And I think it's better to teach children about guns, let them see it at a range, and understand its value and give it the respect it deserves, rather than simply hide it under a bed. Use hollow-tip rounds to increase incapacitation and decrease home damages. I guess you wont be reading this but maybe someone else will. Most if not all of this Eric has said before.

  • James X

    I am a green card holder and not yet an American citizen. However, I have a responsibility to protect my family.

    I was told (by a firearms dealer) that I am not able to own a firearm until I am an American and can exercise my 2nd Amendment right.

    Is this correct? And if so, what other non-firearms methods of protection do you recommend during this period of time, for home defense? (I have thought about pepper spray and tasers, for example).

    Thank you.

  • John

    Friend,

    As one of the many gentiles who compromise a large majority of this groups membership, I think you might wish to have a look at

    http://www.jpfo.org/filegen-n-z/ngn-download-view

    I will not proselytize as you are already of my faith : the faith of avoidance when possible, but reserving the right to defend yourself and your loved ones.

    I suspect we are both discriminating men; this is a laudable quality, as in discriminating taste. No person is necessarily a friend, or potential enemy merely on the basis of pigmentation, gender, etc. but rather by their thoughts, and certainly by their actions.

    Thanks for your time, and glad to have stumbled across your site.

  • John

    JamesX,

    I'm not sure if it depends on where you live, but in Virginia, greencard holders can legally purchase firearms.

  • Larry Farrell

    RE: Illinois FOID Issuance Abuse.

    NJ has the same mandatory waiting period, which also is routinely abused, and which abuse a NJ Superior Court has ruled is acceptable, because (I paraphrase) the authorities are busy and, thus, are permitted as much time as they use.

    This NJ ruling could, possibly as a "stare decisis" precedent, be used in Illinos against the interests of gun owners.

    Larry

    GONJ

    908-277-1111

  • http://www.learnaboutguns.com LearnAboutGuns.com

    Larry,

    Thanks for the comment, and that is disappointing to hear about NJ. But thankfully, the holding of an NJ state court is not binding on IL courts under stare decisis. IL courts could choose to adopt the same reasoning, but they are in no way bound by that out-of-state decision.

  • Jason

    LearnAboutGuns,

    I think the anecdotal summary is fantastic. Do you know if your summary is more or less comprehensive than the monthly summary produced by the NRA in its magazines?

    Regarding your view on education, I am Libertarian and feel education is possibly the most important issue out there. I find it amazing that the democratic party is beholden to a union that is arguably rotting the country from the core. It is incredible that Democrats are generally so complicit regarding support for a teachers union that fosters poor academic environments and results. A solid example of the road to hell being paved with good intentions.

    Therefore, unlike you, I have had a leaning toward the Republican party with its support for vouchers and resistance to unions generally.

    I believe handing education checks back to parents each year to spend where they choose (be it public, private, public across town) would quickly foster growth of the best schools with the best culture and teachers. Poor schools would wither away and bad teachers would not be hired by discriminating peers at quality schools. The best schools would reap the financial benefit to allow growth for construction, quality hiring, etc.

    At the same time I believe it is unfortunate that in the current system there is a 1st and 2nd class system of education. It is not legitimate to expect that everyone should go to college. Respect for trades and quality eduction in that area should also be widely available. The current system disenfranchises a large portion of students who are not offered a quality education outside the college track.

    ProChoice, ProPot, ProGun, ProLiberty

  • craig

    I like the website, especially the links to the disabled and women that have been able to defended their homes from intruders with handguns.

    I am gone frequently and worry about my family's safety. My wife was raised around guns (rifles, shotguns) but unwilling to shoot either a handgun or a shotgun that would be sufficient for home defense. By researching and trying out differt handguns I now feel confident that she has the right pistol (one that she will shoot and will {hopefully} stop an intruder.

    We reherse home invasion senarios to point that my kids think I am crazy, but it provides them with a good base to act on as well as giving me peace of mind.

    We live in Georgia and although a permit to carry is not difficult to obtain if you qualify, the gun laws are overly complicated and need explaining in some circumstances (i.e. Ask 2 cops if you can carry in a theater and you are likely to get two differnt answers)

    Gun control will never apply to the criminal.

  • http://www.learnaboutguns.com LearnAboutGuns.com

    Jason,

    The armed self defense examples I discuss are in no way comprehensive. I only write about a tiny fraction of the ones that make the news, and the ones that make the news are in turn only a tiny fraction of the ones that occur.

    More on that can be seen here: http://www.learnaboutguns.com/2009/01/30/examples… and here: http://www.learnaboutguns.com/2008/08/01/every-13

    Craig,

    I think your actions are wise and prudent, and the mark of a good father. If more parents took time to prepare, I'm willing to be we would read about fewer tragedies in the newspapers.

    I would just note that cops really aren't the ones I would ask for clarification on gun laws. They are not lawyers, and I've found that cops often give bad legal advice. Saying you relied upon a cop's legal opinion won't get you out of trouble when that opinion turns out to be inaccurate.

  • Ridge Runner

    I live in a rural community where most of the people I know live in armed households. My neighbors are polite, ethnically diverse, and mostly solve their occasional disputes in a non-violent manner. The exceptions generally involve substance abuse of one kind or another.
    Your defense of 2nd amendment protections is appreciated.

    Your enthusiasm for public education might be less fervent if you were familiar with its origins and purposes. I recommend you read John Taylor Gatto's book "Underground History of American Education". It's available free online at:
    http://mhkeehn.tripod.com/ughoae.pdf

  • Bobby

    I am in total agreement with your article. I have a non-violent felony 27 yrs. old and have been turned down on the purchase of a handgun and my CHL in Texas because of it. Is there any chance that the law will change regaurding this issue? Thank you ,Bobby

  • http://learnaboutguns.com Leroy

    I must say it is nice to see another Black man who is a firearms advocate. I consider myself Independent as far as political views. I own 4 firearms,shoot at my local gun range and attend gun shows whenever possible. I live in NC, when I attend gun shows I notice the there are not that many Blacks there, but I have noticed an increase. I look forward to reading more on this site.

  • Leroy

    Like the author of this website, I am also African-American. I own 4 firearms, have a conceal carry license, practice at the local firing range and attend gun shows. It is my experience in attending gun shows I am one of few Blacks there, but I am noticing an increase. Many "typical gun owners" are racially tolerant as the author has said. I look forward to reading more on this site.

  • Harry J Reeves

    I am a 73 year old ignorant red neck male who has no use for guns unless someone is trying to hurt me. I don't give a hoot about democrats or republicans and if someone thinks they are an Afro American then they should go live in Africa. But if they happy with just being plain American then they are welcome to share a beer with me on my front porch any time and I will furnish the beer. Have a good day and don't forget, we all bleed red.

  • Leroy

    I don't like the comment that anyone who thinks they're Afro American should go live in Africa. If someone call themselves Asian-American should they go to Asia, Hispanic-American live in a Spanish Speaking country ? Why would you consider yourself ignoram? Yes we all bleed red and an ice cold beer would be nice.

    • Harry J Reeves

      Ain't America great! You don't have to like my comment and I don't have to like any hyphenated Americans. I also think political correctness is an abomination of free speech. I can also say with out fear of retaliation from secret police [ at least for now] that the man that is running our country is unqualified for the job but not a whole lot more than his predecessors. I also don't dwell on gun rights but I do get rattled when people start telling me I can't defend my self and being 73, guns are my only recourse. Since you have brought yourself to my attention let me say that if you are an American who believes in our way of life, if the the time comes I will share my ammo with you. You a have good one.

    • hicus

      Why don't all these ethnic concerned citizens put America first and ancestry second? I love it it here and have no plans to retire to the land of my ancestors In fact, my ancestors are not in my mental frame of reference.

  • Leroy

    Yes, America is a great country. I am glad I caught your attention, hopefully I have earned your respect. We may not see eye to eye on everything (and that's fine) but we both beleieve in armed self-defense when one's life is in danger. You are wise in owning guns at 73 years old to defend yourself. A predator would see you as an easy target. I think that predator would be sadly mistaken and have a bad day. Be blessed and shoot safe, fellow armed citizen.

    • Harry J Reeves

      Hey Leroy you don't want to see eye to eye on every thing that I do or you would fall into the nut case category. For what ever it is worth I totally respect you even though you are an lawyer. For nine years of my life I was a rent collector in the black ghetto's of Houston Texas and never once do I recollect one of my tenants refer to themselves as an Afro American, they did refer themselves to a lot of other things but not that. As far as victim goes I do have three bullet holes in me and one bullet residing next to my spine, the result of an attempted robbery. I was pronounced DOA at the hospital, but refused to succumb because their was just too many girls left that I hadn't introduced my self to. I am reasonably handy with a gun, have owned a lot and shot a lot including some two legged snakes. The only thing that could have saved me from those two Honky hoods would have been a Taurus judge loaded with # 4 shot from waist high into the face until it was dry firing, they were only 6 feet away. A kevlar vest would have helped but they hadn't been invented yet. All this debate about bullet size and penetration is kind of like Law, a lot of hot air. One of the three grazed my heart on the way to my lung and another went on a safari through my intestinal tract and I still managed to drive my self to the hospital 5 miles away with no blood to speak of left in me, so much for 38 specials. The judge is the only self defense weapon I want and I have gotten quite proficient firing it under my left arm three times with only a slight glance over my shoulder. I have yet to miss at 30 feet. I do reasonably well hitting the target while falling, but it does hurt cause I am old and stiff and not in the fun way. You seem like a fun dude to BS with, please come back anytime. You can't hurt my feelings I don't have any.

  • Kittenfist

    Thank you for starting this blog, I live in Bronzeville and was raised mostly in Chicago and am also African American, I find it terribly annoying that black people not offended by having their 2nd amendment rights blocked but if the 1st amendment right is blocked there are mumbles and other mumbles.

    Having the president be who he is, is very cute but I'm not a full citizen of The United States of America unless I can exercise all the same basic rights as someone who lives outside the city limits. The presidents hue does not impress me one bit I was born here. He will be a wonderful president if he can make African American people take seriously our citizenship

    This is not a democracy

    -direct rule by the mob.

    This is correct me if im wrong A Constitutional Republic

    -representative government ruled by the law [our constitution],

    Im not a lawyer or anything but if the city council can take away our inalienable rights under the constitution then whats the point of the constitution?

    Im not a good republican, im not a good democrat, I try my best to be a good American, party politics are part of the old false left v.s. right paradigm, im not playing the hegelian dialectic game with these people anymore.

    I want the freedom to exercise the same rights as somebody living in Naperville or Wheaton or SuburbVille, USA and if those people sleep easy at night knowing I can have my rights taken then the loss of their freedom is imminent.

    btw, you are very brave, a lot of people I know feel the way you do but they dont say anything because of the whole omote/ura thing

    • Kittenfist

      when i said "i was born here" i meant, i was born in chicago, i dont put much hope in political people, i know some people have a whole born thing with the prez,

    • Harry J Reeves

      Dear Kittenfist, out of curiosity what part of Africa are you from? The reason I ask is I have ancestors from Africa and I thought we might have something in common.

  • http://watchgreenzoneonlinenow.com watch Green Zone online

    seriously, this blog is jaw-dropping . I think im gonna stick around and read about 4 more of your posts. With gratitude

  • http://www.pantherprotectionservices.com Six

    Eric,

    I appreciate your polite and civil approach to discussing issues. Too many people on both ends of the issues allow unproductive rhetoric to cloud the real issues, thus never giving an opportunity to establish common ground required to find resolutions.

    Six

    • http://learnaboutguns.com Leroy

      I am glad I caught your attention. Yes, it is too bad people on both sides of the issues can't find some ground to solve problems. Stay safe. P.S. I haven't been on this site for a couple of weeks, now I'm going to spend hours on it (smile).

  • Bill

    Nice stuff enjoy your site(s) I'm a fan of the S&W as well. Unless you were born in Africa I'd be inclined to say you're an American of African decent -harder to say and most probably would not understand.
    If you have not, check out http://www.tammybruce.com I think you'll find like minded folks.
    -Bill

  • Kenneth Dawson

    This whole business is a puzzle. Pro gun present themselves as monstrous brutes to whom gun ownership is the ONLY question. Anti gunners seem to think that if they keep passing laws eventually criminals will pay attention. The gun control concept is magical thinking just like you are better due to your skin color. It's like trying to end avalanches by legislating against rocks and ignoring gravity. But then the pro gun activists chime in with a mind set that would frighten any reasonable man. There are crazies to the left and the right and the only difference I can find is that the lefties tend to be more polite about it.

  • Lloyd Booth

    Dr. Puryear, you have an impressive biography and philosophy. I congratulate your accomplishments as the struggles of life occupy your time. I thank God every day for being born in this great country of America. I do not claim to be African-American, Asian-American, White-American, nor Red, Yellow, or Blue. I am a visitor to this planet, which is only a temporary arrangement at best.

    The only decision we really need to make in our struggle is what we plan to do with our time remaining. We must plan this time well and with true meaning. Many people own guns, carry guns, and shoot guns, all of which have been the equalizing instruments for war and peace.

    Just in case an aggressive soul has a different program in mind, the instruments of equalization should always be kept in the ready.

    • hicus

      Amen Loyd Booth. I am not a hyphenated American nor do I approve of the use of it. One is either an American or not. I also believe that guns are the last resort of a civilized society and should be treated as such.

  • Tirador Negro

    Great posting, I am a Black American conducting research so I can eventually open my own shooting sports business. It is refreshing to meet someone with similar viewpoints. Take care and all the best. W

    • hicus

      You are an American whose skin is black. That should have nothing to do with your abilities to pursue your dreams for a better life. I do hope you succeed beyond your wildest dreams. This being said by an old southern man whose skin is white.

  • Bocaspbx

    Great site. I am US citizen, black and first generation immigrant from Panama. Thank you for this site.

  • Morgan

    Eric – Glad to have discovered your site. I am a mostly-white Southerner (I'm also a member of the Chickasaw Nation of Oklahoma) and spent 25 years in the Marine Corps, including a combat tour in Iraq. I have been around weapons enthusiasts of all races my entire life and, despite media distortions, have found most of them to be very tolerant of other races, political viewpoints, etc. (it's funny how sharing a fighting hole with someone can do that). Like you, I have some distinct political differences with many of our fellow firearms enthusiasts. I agree with your views on abortion, unions, heterosexual/hmosexual rights, partial legalization of (some) drugs, etc. I don't share your views on religion or the Democratic Party, but I respect your viewpoints. Keep up the good work!

  • John

    Gee guys (and gals)! What a pleasure to read a blog with numerous disagreements yet entirely lacking in vitriol.