Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy earlier this month told parishioners at St. Sabina’s Church that federal gun laws are akin to “government-sponsored racism.”
Yes, I agree! The racist roots of gun control are well documented. But wait, there’s more…
“I want you to connect one more dot on that chain of African-American history in this country, and tell me if I’m crazy: Federal gun laws that facilitate the flow of illegal firearms into our urban centers, across this country, that are killing black and brown children,” he said according to an WMAQ-Channel 5 story that aired Thursday.
Yes, I agree. The BATFE shouldn’t be doing that! And it’s absolutely immoral to make it difficult for the victims of these thugs to defend themselves with proper tools.
Somehow, I don’t think that is what this ignoramus meant…
I’ve tried, over the years, to articulate the hostility that we gunnies get from the anti-rights crowd. But I’ve never done as good a job as Sean. Go read.
“The details of my life are quite inconsequential…”
Jennifer has asked for the story, and all the cool kids are doing it, so why not?
I grew up in a household of non-shooters. As a boy, guns weren’t much of a part of my childhood. I lived in Chicago when they instituted the gun ban, and it seemed like a good idea to me. (In my defense, I was six at the time. Unlike some folks, my thinking has evolved since then.) I wasn’t anti-gun, but firearms were not something that I spent much time thinking about.
I shot my first .22 at camp when I was about 11 or so. I hated that camp, and shooting was a welcome distraction. I wasn’t very good. I had just started wearing glasses, and I hated wearing my glasses, and I hadn’t learned about eye dominance yet. (Now that I think about it, I’m not sure that we wore eye or ear pro.) We single fed .22 rounds into a bolt action rifle. I remember that if you had brought your own rifle to camp, then you were allowed to use it, and that some of the kids had semi-automatic rifles. Man that seemed like a lot of firepower…
It wasn’t until I got out of college and had my first place that I started thinking about getting a gun for self defense. I decided to get a shotgun. Not knowing anything at all about firearms, I started visiting the web pages of all of the gun manufacturers that I could think of. I ended up getting a Remington 870. I remember calling around to all of the shops I could find looking for a short barrel and finally calling Remington. Forget ghost-ring sights or any of the other modern defensive additions. You could send the gun off to a smith, but nothing came out of the box. I still have that shotgun.
It was about this time that I started looking into getting a pistol. I was living in New York at the time, and the process was…byzantine. You need a pistol permit in order to even touch a pistol in New York. The exact process varies by county, but in Westchester where I was living it involved no fewer than three trips to the county office building, getting multiple “letters of good character” from other county residents, fingerprinting, training classes, and finally submitting the whole thing to a judge who would sign your permit when he got around to it. By law, the judge *has* to respond within 6 months, but that doesn’t matter. They routinely ignore that part of the law.
NY doesn’t have carry permits. A pistol permit is a carry permit, but the judge who issues your permit can “restrict” it. How it is restricted is up to the whim of the judge. Some judges, in some counties, routinely issue “unrestricted” permits. In Westchester…no way. I got a “target” permit, which allowed me to posses my firearm, and then carry it to and from the range, but nowhere else.
One more quirk of NY law: your pistols have to be listed on your permit by serial number. So consider the purchasing of a pistol in NY: You have to find the gun you want. You have to buy it. You can’t have it yet (it’s not on your permit), so you have to leave it at the gun shop. You bring your receipt to the county office building, fill out your paperwork, pay your fee (there’s always a fee), wait for the judge to sign off (again, they have 6 months, but in my experience it took 4-6 weeks), then go back to the shop with your amended permit and pick up your gun.
I also decided I wanted to get an AR-style rifle. I didn’t need one, but it made me mad that someone told me I couldn’t have one. A little research on the ‘net revealed that people…made their own? You could start with parts and put it together yourself? The geek in me was hooked. I learned more about the intricacies of the law than I cared to. I learned about how Josh Horowitz wrote a report in which he conspired to lie to the American public to create the myth of “Assault Weapons.” And I got mad. Really mad. Who in the hell did these guys think they were? And the more I researched, the more I thought that the way the laws had been passed was…sneaky. Sleazy. Why would you have to lie in order to get your way? Why in NY were carry permits denied, unless you knew the right judge?
9/11 convinced me that New York wasn’t safe anymore, and we moved to Connecticut. For the first time, I could apply for a real carry permit. For the first time, I could walk into a gun store, pick out a pistol, and take it home that very same day. Unbelievable freedom! And I could carry my gun with me….just about anywhere? I spent the first couple of weeks with my shiny new carry permit carrying a gun with nothing in the chamber. After a while, I became comfortable with carrying, and then finally uncomfortable when I *wasn’t* carrying.
Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans. I was shocked and outraged by the way that citizens were forcibly dragged from their homes and disarmed. And I was outraged that it wasn’t being reported truthfully. And I was shocked at the absolutely bald faced lies being told by the officials from New Orleans weeks later when they said: “Guns? We didn’t take any guns. Wink, wink.” It was this event that really cemented in me my passion for individual self-defense.
I discovered the gun blogosphere, and decided to become a gun blogger. Granted, I blog barely enough to be considered a “blogger” but that’s another story. I decided I wanted to help other folks get into shooting and became an NRA instructor. I resolved that I needed to work on my training, and try to attend at least one training school per year.
And finally, most recently, I had the best thing that has ever happened since I became a gunnie. I got to take my daughter to the range, and got to see her pick up a gun for the first time. I got to help her take her first shots, see that new shooter grin, and her her berate me for not bringing enough ammo.