There has been a great deal of outrage in the past few days, in the wake, as it were, of the one year mark of a terrible day in Tucson, AZ. Certain people, or groups of people, attempted to capitalize on the tragedy, suborning the day to push their personal views. A very disparate group of people took umbrage at their actions, and staged a counter protest, mostly on the internet, but in some cases in person, both privately and publicly.
The truth, as usual, is down a few more layers. The Brady Campaign staged a candlelight vigil to... well I'm not sure. Certainly to draw attention. Ostensibly to combat violence through legislation. Possibly to bid for a shred of legitimacy, as their movement seems to be faltering, based on record gun sales and the plethora of new shooters we have seen in the online gun community. That very same gun community responded with a counter vigil; many shooters posted pictures of the candles they hold against the dark. That is to say, photos and messages about fighting back.
There are people in the world that intend ill things happen to good people. There are two ways to combat this: 1) remove the ability to do harm and 2) make the situation untenable for them to continue. The Brady Campaign believes in the first. There is no level of stricture too extreme to endorse, if it 'saves a single life.' The problem is, it doesn't. Even were the law of the land to remove all private gun ownership, then all knife ownership, then all bat, ax, and stick ownership, they will not have removed the impulse to do harm. What they will have destroyed, however, is the ability to pursue the second option. To make the situation untenable is to fight back, to defend; to deny, in the moment, their ability to victimize.
A person who intends harm trains for the moment. They make themselves into a weapon, and avail themselves of the tools of their trade. If not a gun, they rely on a knife; if not a knife, they rely on a bat; lacking that, their own muscles. A person who would defend must train just as much, with the same tools. The best way, the safest way, is to carry the finest of them, the tool that requires the least strength. That tool is the great equalizer. The one tool, of those listed, that can enable a physically weaker woman to defeat a criminal in his prime. The gun.
I choose the gun. To defend myself, to defend my wife, to defend my family. I am a gunnie.
I am not alone. I am part of a community, a community based on shared respect. Its not just the gun that unites us. Its the worldview. The view that we are our own first responder. The view that if we can't rely on ourselves, how would anyone else be able to rely on us? I am a gunnie.
I am a carpenter. I am a husband. I am a son, a brother, an Uncle. I hope, one day, to be a Father. I am a gunnie.
We are accused of being ignorant, of being illiterate, of being fools and hillbillies. We are much more than that. We are engineers, scientists, geeks, nerds, professionals, tradesmen, librarians, soldiers, farmers, pilots, and performers. We are gunnies.
We are not always right, but we admit our shortcomings. Its easy to join us. We make it easy. We welcome new members to the community. Its fun. Its freedom. Its liberating in a way that cannot be defined. Come see. You may like it here. If you don't want to stay, that's fine too. If that's the case, just leave us alone.