I have found that there is way too much disinformation being peddled by the Anti-Gun, Gun Control, Gun Grabbing, Anti-2nd Amendment lobby. And I am no one, and hardly expect you to read my blog, but I’m tired of the lies. If their cause is so noble, then groups like Coalition Against Gun Violence, Moms Demand Action, Everytown for Gun Safety, etc. should not have to inflate or misrepresent their statistics to generate support. But they can’t stand on their own so they count on misperceptions of an uninformed public to facilitate an emotional response to get you on their side. The real problem for them is that their entire argument falls apart when confronted with facts, research, and logic. Every once in a while, you will see them find one study that supports their worldview that guns are evil, horrible things that must be outlawed. They then milk it for all its worth, even when countered with other research that found the exact opposite of what they claimed.
While I am not an expert, or a researcher, I am passionate about the topic and will do my best to ensure that I have good references for what I say. Otherwise, I would be just as bad as them. And we can’t let them win.
I was taught to shoot by my grandfather. I learned in a controlled environment at a range in Western Kansas. Back then, I was horrible, and only had a passing interest in shooting. Then I decided to join the US Marine Corps. Everyone knows the Marines train the best Rifleman so I had to get better, right? At the KD range at basic training, where they will gave you credit for a close shot, I scored a 186 out of 250. 185 would have been an UNQ. Over several years in ROTC, I got overconfident, attributing what was luck to skill.
Then a lot changed about how I viewed guns. I was afforded the opportunity to work in the sporting goods and automotive section at the Bi-Mart in Ellensburg, Washington. A few of the individuals there took the time to show me guns, and I of course looked at several of them on my down time and breaks. I learned a lot about guns, ammunition, and hunting regulations. I also got good at looking up car models in the book to see what kind of motor oil their engines needed.
I bought my first gun in from Bi-Mart on an employee discount. It was a Rossi matched pair break action in .223 and 12 gauge. I would go shooting with my friends on a hillside. We had a Ruger 10/22 and a Henry .22 lever action. Not a golden boy, the action cover was blued, but the mechanics were obviously the same. I got good at hitting clay targets and cantaloupe with a rifle from 10 meters away. It was nothing special, but it was fun.
As I came to the Army, I realized that I wasn’t a great shot, but that I would always qualify on the first time. Not much changed between 2003 and 2012. Needless to say, I didn’t practice much. In May of 2012, that all changed. I decided that I wanted to get better at shooting. I had gained enough rank to transition to an M9 permanently in 2009. It turns out, I was worse with a pistol than with a rifle. For the first time ever, I had to shoot multiple times to qualify. It was embarrassing, but I did nothing about it.
Finally, at Fort Riley in 2012, I decided that it was time to do something about it. I bought my first pistol, a Ruger SR22. I finally practiced my stance, my sight alignment, and overcame my left eye dominance. My shooting slowly got better. I felt like it had paid off in Korea where I qualified 39 of 40 at my first range there. For my next three ranges, I shot 40 out of 40 each time. But these were ranges where the target popped up sequentially. So even though I could hit every target, I could anticipate where the targets would be.
I arrived in Alaska in 2016 and at my first range, I found vindication. I shot back to back 40 of 40 qualification ranges, with random targets, on two different ranges, with two different pistols. One had even had the magazine release reversed for a left handed shooter.
Today I own multiple rifles and pistols. I love target shooting as a hobby. My favorite guns are my Henry Big Boy .44 Magnum, my Beretta M9, S&W M&P 40, and my AR-15. I love shooting, and have become very familiar with firearms, gun safety, and the various laws associate with them. I have now taken it a step further. In March I completed my first AR Build. I don’t shoot professionally, and have not taken any courses to qualify myself as any kind of firearms safety instructor, but I feel like my life has given me enough qualification to write on the topic.