You know them, I know them, we all know them. The person who likes to shoot but doesn’t talk about it for fear of repercussions from friends, family, the kids’ school, or the media. They act like they are doing something dirty and should hide it when, in fact, it’s perfectly normal, common and acceptable. They’re in fear of discovery because they feel they will be ostracized or shunned. Sounds pretty horrible, doesn’t it?
It’s more common than you think. With the demonization of weapons by those who fear them, and publications such as The NY Times calling gun owners, essentially, barbarians, not to mention well funded political groups blaming tools for human acts, some people feel like hiding the fact that they own guns and shoot.
Firearms ownership is not uncommon. There are, by conservative estimate, 420 MILLION guns in the United States. Essentially, one per person. Likely two because records before 1968 were less exact. There’s also, by actual count, 8% of the United States population with concealed weapons permits, as well as a significant number of law enforcement officers and retired Leo’s who carry all the time. Let’s call it 6% of the population, and it is steadily increasing.
You’re not alone. Not only is firearms ownership common, it is acceptable, legal and enjoyable. What needs to happen is to reduce the stigma that some have placed upon it. And those of us more out in the open? We need you who are not. We’re all around, we’ll help and support you.
So come out. Speak up. Tell your friends and neighbors you’re a responsible and safe shooter and you are not ashamed of it. You’ll probably gain a range buddy or two. And you will fight the false idea that gun owners are freaks.
Note: This was original an editorial for a FB page I administered, posted October 4, 2015. I believe the page is long gone, but I felt the content was worth getting back onto the ‘net.
Gun owners, it’s time to “come out.” by Jerod J. Husvar is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.