Some friends and family members have asked me why I have a gun. After having answered this question several times, I decided to write an article that I can point people to in the future:
I have a gun (actually several guns) for a variety of reasons:
1. Self defense – I consider self defense to be the most basic human right, and I intend to be able to exercise that right, if the need arises. If a criminal breaks into my home to injure me, I will have the best tool (a gun) with which to defend myself, and therefore the best chance of surviving. My desire to be able to defend myself should not be confused with a desire to shoot a home invader or any person. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth, since I view *all* human life as precious and irreplaceable. Rather, if it came down to firing in self defense, I would do so in order to protect myself and my loved ones. The response time of the police (even when the 911 operator doesn’t fall asleep) is simply too long when there is already an attacker in one’s home.
2. Defense of Loved Ones – Just as I feel it is morally right to defend my own life during a home invasion, I feel even more strongly that it is morally right to defend the lives of my loved ones. Indeed, I believe I would be committing a moral wrong were I to allow preventable harm to befall a loved one, such as my girlfriend. To further that goal, I have taught my girlfriend to use my firearms, so that she can defend herself, rather than be a victim, in case I’m not home and a criminal breaks in.
3. Patriotism – Thankfully, the odds of a foreign power (or even terrorists) invading the U.S.A. in any significant way are pretty low. However, I still view gun ownership as a patriotic duty. The reasons for this are two fold. First, should my country find itself in a time of war when civilians need to be drafted, working knowledge of firearms may prove indispensable. Secondly, in that unlikely event that our country suffers an invasion or terrorist attack on the ground, I may be able to offer (some) defense of my home and the surrounding area.
4. Educational Value – Given the politically charged nature of gun control, and my interest in the United States’ laws and constitution, I feel that I should know and understand guns, just as I should know and understand other politically significant issues. I do not want to end up like Congresswoman McCarthy, who went on TV to argue in favor of gun control, but didn’t even know what the so called “assault weapon” feature she wanted to ban looks like or does. It is simply ridiculous, ignorant, and embarrassing to have strong opinions about guns (or any other issue) unless one is familiar with the issue.
5. Recreation – Guns are a great hobby. I enjoy the physics, the opportunity to interact with supersonic objects, and the skill required. This is true of target shooting, trap shooting, etc. Others prefer hunting, and still other prefer collecting guns. Many people enjoy it all. Regardless of an individuals particular interests, there is likely a gun related hobby that is right up their alley.