So, now that we’ve covered that you do, indeed, have the right to own and bear weapons, we need to address the issue: why you should own a gun.
To a certain extent, I have to catch myself here. The reality is that a lot of people are frightened of guns. They find them scary additions to their homes that would only serve to increase the amount of danger were an intruder to invade your living space. Why, you’d just shake like a leaf until the intruder took the gun out of your hands and then shot you dead, destroyed your children, and poured sugar in the gas tank of your ’68 Mustang. Or, maybe you’re afraid that, armed with a gun, you’d turn into a nightmarish gun-toting vigilante worthy of a late 80’s movie staring Sam Elliot’s mustache (and possibly Sam Elliot).
Yeah, I have to respect your fears. At the same time, I have to remind you that you’re making your decision because you’re afraid, and if there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that facing your fears can make them go away. So let’s set aside your fears for a moment and talk about why you should own a gun.
First, there’s the most basic purpose under our constitution: the right to stand up to the government. As discussed on Monday, the second amendment to the constitution was written both to protect our ability to form militias to defend our nation, and to remind the government of who really holds control. Some people may disagree with this, but that’s only because they didn’t read my first entry.
Second, there’s the other obvious point: self-defense. Despite what others may tell you, the world is not a happy place where people hug all the time. There are bad people out there who want to take your life, your liberty, and your property, and while negotiating really, really hard is one method to deal with these people, a more effective method is to own a gun, train on how to use it, and then use it properly.
Third, there’s the collector value. While cars lose half their value driving off the lot, guns hold their value pretty well. Sure, you may not be able to get as much as you want at the pawn shop, but if you sell it privately, you can usually retain between 60-75% of the value of the gun – and some guns continue to increase in value based on age, manufacturer, uniqueness, etc. This can come in handy when the chips are down and you need some cash to make ends meet.
Fourth, you can hunt. Now, I’m not one to scream yee-hah and then see how many small critters I can slay on my path to filling my Taxidermical Room of Death back at the Elephant Stomping Grounds, but reasonable hunting can be a good thing. For one, it can provide your family with a source of meat that’s as organic as it gets? Grass-fed cattle have nothing on a deer that’s spent its life running from predators like mountain lions and SUV’s. Additionally, hunting can help to keep animal populations under control, keeping those surviving animals stronger and healthier. In North Carolina, we have a deer population of over 1 million, which sounds awesome until you realize that our state’s natural resources can only support around, I believe, 275-300,000. This means more animals competing for fewer resources, being less healthy, and creating traffic hazards for drivers on NC roads. Hunters are currently helping out by harvesting about 150,000 deer a year, but this is barely holding the population at its current level. Simply put: we need more deer hunters in North Carolina.
Finally, there’s the fun factor. Taking guns to the range and using them in sport shooting is a great way to spend an afternoon (and to spend old ammo). Getting a tight grouping is a thrilling experience, and practice just means your groupings get even tighter. One fun idea is to take your significant other to the range and challenge them to a points game, where the highest-point partner gets to pick where you have dinner after you’re done.
Plus, you’ll look cool. And ladies, let me tell you: there’s no perfume on the planet that’ll attract a man like the smell of burned gunpowder on a chick who knows how to properly handle her .45.
Even better, if you have kids, take them to the range. Teaching kids about using guns responsibly is the first step to ensuring that they don’t pull a Columbine. Take your youngin’ down to the range with a .22 and teach them how to peg the bullseye from further and further distances. Start with a BB gun when they’re 8, move up to a .22 when they’re 10, and by the time they turn 12, they’ll have the knowledge and skill to be a solid gun user.
And again, I can’t emphasize enough: education, education, education. It’s not just for readin’ and ‘rithmetic. It’s also for our next entry.