Thinking about how I became a gun nut for the last post has got me thinking about the ride in general and how it has changed me . . .
As I said in the last post my trip to a Northeast Blogger shoot is probably what got me really into being a gun nut. It was a very interesting day. I packed up the guns I had and some ammo and headed to this shoot. . . probably a bit nuts but I did it. I didn’t know where I was going in the woods of NH, didn’t know any of the people I would meet, and I did know they would all have guns. . . . what was I nuts or something???
Anyway it was a great time and I met a bunch of great folks. The best part was not the guns (but that was fun!) The best part was the friends I made and that they challenged my thinking on many things. Up until this point I did not carry a gun, I had my permit to but didn’t. I had also not really thought too much about buying more guns beyond what I had.
All this changed that.
These folks were mostly into carrying, and they had good reasons to – self protection, protection of the family, and support of our rights. . . .
This started me on a new way to look at many things. Now I have a second degree black belt in Shotokan Karate and I have spent years studying other martial arts as well, I never thought I would need a gun. Then I went to a blogger dinner. Again great people, thoughtful conversation on guns, hobbies, family and politics that made me think more. Then on the way to my car I attracted the attention of a bunch of teens hanging out late night . . . I gut lucky and ignoring them worked but it made me think – 5 on 1 was not good, and even with Karate I was going to get hurt or loose that one. . . . . ever since I have been carrying whenever I can.
But I have been saying they make me think. . . . and that has changed many things.
As we discussed politics and gun rights with these folks I found that they were looking at a much bigger picture than I was. Gun rights are great on their own, but they also show you where a person stands on many things. These folks were pro gun but they also made a good solid argument that to support our right to bear arms against the liberals we also had to support all of the Constitution from government infringement, not just the Second Amendment. This was a new idea to me and lead to much thinking on my part.
I rather quickly realized that they were right. I could not pick and choose what rights I would support out of the Constitution or all would be lost. This lead me to shift from being rather conservative to being more of a libertarian/Constitutionalist. I went from being against things like Gay Marriage to saying I had to support their rights and protect the Constitution. If I supported the government getting into Gay Marriage then what else would they get into? I took a new look at what the government was doing on the drug war, and how they were treating our kids in schools with No Tolerance rules and laws. . . and I didn’t like what I was seeing.
My eyes were starting to open as to what the Constitution said and what the government (both Parties) were actually doing. I could see how they have for years been slowly moving away from our Constitution and our founding fathers ideal of what the USA was and pushing us toward bigger and bigger government, more and more government control of our lives. I could also see how this was a big contributor to the mess we are in now.
Big government, more control of our lives, more taxes, more jobs lost and more jobs moved over seas. . . . More spending on welfare, more lack of any personal accountability or responsibility. More poor, more division between have and have not. None of this was good and we have to get involved, vote, and make sure our elected officials know we are watching them and we want our country back – No, we are taking it back! They work for us, not the other way around.
Another change in me from the gun nut exposure is I am now more aware of what is going on around me all the time. I no longer wander through life lost in my own thoughts. I pay attention to what is around me. This has changed many things down to what I put in my pockets on the way out the door. I now won’t leave the house without my knife, a flashlight and my dad’s old lighter. I also carry a multi tool and a gun when I can. I have tools on me in case I need them. I no longer assume all is well so it will stay that way. I prepare for what if’s. I can’t tell you how handy that knife, light and multi tool have been.
And I blame all of this on becoming a gun nut. It has made me a better person and a better citizen. And I credit this on the gun nuts I have meet – some on line and some in person - who have shown me how to be that better person. . .