Monday, September 14, 2009


Until the day I die, I will not forget the look on a co-worker’s face recently when she found out I am a gun enthusiast. “You are the LAST person I would pick to be interested in guns!”

I think I was as shocked to hear this as she was to find I enjoy handguns.

I gave her time to get over her shock and then I went to her cubicle in a calm manner. I said, “Jane (not her real name), yes, I do own handguns and yes, I enjoy target shooting, and God forbid, the time ever comes, I am ready and willing and fully capable of defending myself with deadly force.” She was still a bit startled but she remained calm. I then told her that there are MANY people who are law abiding, mature individuals who carry a concealed weapon and these people are not radical trouble makers or hoodlums from the inner city. I also added that the overwhelming majority of responsible gun owners, prepared though they may be, will never be faced with defending themselves with a gun. It’s like having insurance. . . you may pay your premiums all your life and never need it.

I don’t remember the exact script of our conversation. She seemed to understand and accept my point of view. I told her I have been around guns all my life. As a teenager, I enjoyed going to the clay pits in my hometown, stacking up tin cans and shooting at them with an old .32 caliber revolver. There is family land in rural Alabama that has been in my family for close to 150 years where my grandparents once raised cotton. For decades, we have gone there and enjoyed target shooting.

Then she said something that surprised me. She said, “You know, it is a cruel world out there and I have often thought about owning a gun for protection but I just don’t know anything about guns.” I told her if she wants to do that, that’s fine. . . I would even be a reference for her on her pistol permit. I also told her if that’s what she wants to do, she needs to learn as much as she can about guns and take a course or two in the safe handling and use of one, adding that there are plenty of venues for appropriate gun training here in Rochester.

This woman is not an ignorant, narrow minded person. She is educated and holds a very responsible job. Yet, all too often many people like her have been duped by the anti-gun radicals out there that think people that carry guns are bad and should have their guns confiscated. Someone else who I work very closely with – no names and don’t ask! – once said, in reference to yet another gun crime in Rochester, “We need to get all the guns confiscated. There are too many guns out there.”

New York State, where I live, has some of the toughest gun ownership laws in the country. And I fully support those laws. It is a lengthy, time-consuming process to even get a pistol permit in this state. And to purchase a gun is a real pain! Awhile ago, as I was purchasing a new gun, I was standing patiently in the gun shop as the owner completed the mass of paperwork involved in transferring ownership of the gun to me. I commented to him, “Here I am, going through legal channels to own this gun and a thug in the city can go out and get a gun in half an hour and kill someone with it in the time it takes me to get a gun.” The man said to me, “Not even half an hour.”

I have a collection of guns that I value greatly. They are locked up and inaccessible. It is my hope they will be passed on to my grandsons when I die, assuming they will take the time to learn the proper use and handling of them.

Why am I writing this? Those who follow my blog know that I don’t venture into controversial subjects here. Jane’s initial comments to me made me realize that too many people truly don’t understand the whole issue of guns. I want to help set the record straight. Yes, Jane, I am a tax paying, law abiding homeowner and grandmother who goes to church on Sunday, practices my religion on a daily basis, and goes to work everyday to support myself. From the day they were born till they were adults, I took the time and interest to raise my two sons to be outstanding citizens AND I like guns!


  1. I grew up around guns.My dad was a shooter,we used to go pig and roo shooting,well he would...he didnt like his little girls seeing him kill things :0)We'd go camping with friends,and the men would shoot!But he also had hand guns,custom made grips,beautiful.He was the President of the Pistol club and a crack shot for many years.He also enjoyed clay pigeon shooting.I also had my gun licence afew years back,but let it lapse.So hard to get one these days with such strict laws in Australia now.So I am not shocked by your news..its not the honest,law abiding citizens with guns we need to fear :0)

  2. Thanks, granny. I thought long and hard before I posted this one. I just think it's time that decent people stand up for themselves.

  3. Totally agree with all that you said Sherry.I too remember growing up with a double barrel shotgun in our home. All eight of us children were taught to always respect a gun.I got my first hunting license when I was 18 and hunted right up until the last few years until I couldn't take the bitter cold any longer. I still have my 20 gauge and I will keep it where I know where it is for protection because though it is sad to say, this is a scary world and I live in a rural area so if I had to wait for the police to get here I'd be a goner. My husband carries a pistol and has for many years . He used to go out late nights to do towing on baren roads and decided it might be a good idea just in case he should need it. You just can't trust people like you used to be able to. He also likes to target practice with the young men in our family.
    We have a grandson in the Middle East right now on his second tour of duty and a son who came back from there in Dec 08 . We know the importance of bearing arms for protection. Guns don't kill people !People kill people! Enough said.


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