Monday, June 17, 2013

Not Everyone Should Have A Gun

By Dave Dargo

At Condition Ready we believe that all Americans have the fundamental right to self-defense and that handguns play a critical role in that right. Integral to the right to use handguns for self-defense is the responsibility to be properly trained in the modern technique of the pistol.

I have mixed feelings about requiring training in order to exercise a fundamental right and I've written previously about how much training you should have or if it should be required; my first reaction is that while it shouldn't be required I do think training is the responsible thing to do.

Then I run into an article like this one, "My Month With A Gun: Week One" written by Heidi Yewman and I start to rethink a lot of things about guns.

The biggest conclusion I can draw about Ms. Yewman is that she probably shouldn't own guns, though I do have hope that even someone as hoplophobic as Ms. Yewman can be turned to the good side.

In her article, Ms. Yewman, who has a history of anti-gun advocacy, decides to strap on a gun and go about town. It is clear from the article that she is neither prepared nor capable to carry a gun around town and began the exercise with a strong anti-gun agenda.

Some of the comments praise her courage in being able to actually step forward and wear, shudder to think about it, a gun in public and demonstrate just how silly and irresponsible a thing to do it is.

I've seen many a person go through training and make a responsible decision that they shouldn't carry and probably shouldn't even own a gun. I've seen more people go through training where the training class is the very first time they ever fired a gun and emerge at the other end at the top of their class. Friends who don't own guns ask me about training all the time and I tell them one of the great things about training is that one can make an objective decision afterwards as to whether or not they should own or carry a gun.

Ms. Yewman, on the other hand, has gone about the entire process without any shred of evidence towards objectivity. I could, perhaps, be wrong. Maybe part of her exercise will be to get training and learn if she's capable, mentally and physically, to carry a gun. The first article doesn't set the stage for such a conclusion, though.

I think an important thing any of us can do is to invite those who have never shot a gun to go out and safely shoot. We should give them a positive experience and allow them to learn about guns and about themselves. They may very well find that they like guns, are competent and would like to confidently carry a gun.

I have such hope for Ms. Yewman.

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