Why It’s Not Just About Guns

Being that I work at OOW, a manufacturer of firearms, I am constantly surrounded by “gun guys”- dudes who love firearms and make it both a passion and a profession.

Some people just plain don’t like guns. That’s fine… firearms, like anything else in life, aren’t for everyone. In fact, I am even more okay with people that don’t like firearms not buying, selling or carrying firearms around. Why should they?

So you have your “gun guys” (or girls) and those less enthused about the whole gun thing. In a strange way, they are two well defined groups.

Guns have become so pervasive in American culture that taking them away by trampling on the 2nd Amendment would be removing more than just the pieces of metal- even more than the loss of jobs, paychecks, and benefits- it would be castrating a part of who Americans are.

I can think of two good examples just outside my office door.

There’s Steve, the charismatic ex-Marine who just doesn’t know how to do things the wrong way.

Then there’s Chris, the good-‘ole-boy with a twang in his voice and a twinkle in his eye.

Both men come from different places in life, but both are merged personally and professionally because of firearms. Each of them reached their passion in their unique way, but both can revel in it because of the freedoms that Americans have to buy, sell, own, and in some cases, manufacture firearms.

I cannot imagine how different these men, both licensed firearms owners, would be if these freedoms weren’t available.

Would Chris have applied his technical savvy and mechanical expertise to say, the automotive industry?

Would Steve have taken his by-the-book, rock-solid consistency to the health care field to improve lives?

It’s difficult to imagine the doppelgangers of these men without a handgun neatly cradled in a holster on their side.

It truly would be a parallel universe.

But some people still want to take these things away.

The truth is, gun dudes like Steve and Chris are the norm, not the exception.

A few bad apples here or there cannot underscore the fact that both men would, in an instant, help a stranger in dire need or a life-threatening situation, even if it meant drawing their firearm.

What makes them good men is that they would loathe doing so.

This is what you get by keeping firearms legal, and keeping the red tape from destroying the chance for good people- gun people- to arm themselves.

The gunmen that commit heinous shootings and senseless acts aren’t good people like Steve or Chris in the down home sense of the word… they are the people who, if a gun wasn’t available, would find another way to cause destruction. Their goal for causing pain supersedes the vessel in which they choose to carry out their endgame.

The resourceful nature of a mind bent on violence cannot be eradicated with legislation against firearms… no way, no how.

Yet gun opponents don’t realize that putting more barriers up to keep good people from arming themselves handicaps those same people in a game where the stakes can quickly be calculated in terms of life-and-death, against an opponent that sometimes doesn’t care about winning or losing.

Every time I pass a “gun guy”, I shudder at the thought of that parallel universe- one ruled by fear- where the wicked have a red carpet rolled out in front of them to terrorize good people.

The fact is I would feel much safer roaming the streets knowing that guys like Steve and Chris are out there with the means to protect themselves and each other. It’s because I know a bit about the character of these men that I can say something like that.

And that’s the overall point- people who take the time to lawfully arm themselves- to go through the process- are more often than not people of character. Every time I meet another “gun guy”, the point is driven home further.

These men wouldn’t just draw down on anybody- only those that want to use weapons as a tool for doing very, very bad things- because such a scenario represents something more than just a criminal act.

It’s an attack on a way of life.

The men that have holsters on their hips or a license and a concealed weapon are protecting more than just their lives, or the lives of the innocent- they are making a case for the preservation of the good things about this great country.

Take guns away and America is different- much weaker in a profound way.

Some of the fabric of this union is woven with the individual that adds to the collective strength of the community, not stands apart from it- the individual that says “I am going to protect myself and those I love” and arms themselves to do so.

How docile would the other scenario be?

It would be a paradigm shift from “I am going to protect myself and loved ones” to “somebody else protect me”.

This is the critical crossroads of the issue, and in a larger scope, a fulcrum for where America will soon be headed. One tilt in the wrong direction and the freedoms that make the “gun guys” the good guys can quickly vanish.

Every time I step outside of my office, I appreciate men like Steve and Chris more and more. I would trust these men with my safety if the need called for it.

Can I say the same about some faceless government goon charged with my protection?

Here’s toasting the freedoms of America, and the hope that I never have to answer that question.

-Sean

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52 thoughts on “Why It’s Not Just About Guns”

  1. My hat is off to you all! You continue the good fight manufacturing great products from years gone by. Without them we would be in a sea of polymer guns. Walnut and blue steel would be a thing of the past. Back on topic, it’s my opinion that we will never change the way people think and feel towards firearms. There are too many politicians that make their way in life ranting against them. The media does not help. It is us as firearm owners and enthusiat’s that must keep the flame alive. I am the father of three son’s and proud to ba a grandpa to my grandson with another on the way. They are our future. They must carry on the traditions. God Bless this wonderful nation and all of you that keep the tradtions alive.

  2. Nice read but it won’t change the mind of anyone who wants to take away your rights. They see the 2nd ammendment not as a right, but as a mistake in the consitution. In those cases, I have had a lot of success with a simple argument: We don’t agree on if its a right or a mistake. So lets do a fair trade – you take my right away, and I take one of yours. Then pick whichever right that the other person feels the most strongly about and just say its not important, so you give up the 2nd ammendment, they give up their right. Freedom of press works really well. Our newspapers, TVs and blogs should all be under government control so we don’t have to worry about someone without a clue publishing nonsense. We can all trust the government, right? Nobody ever agrees to that of course – but it shows them that even they don’t trust the government 100% to do the right thing. And all you’re asking for is to keep your guns, so you can defend yourself against those the government can’t defend you against. Suddenly people are much more understanding to your request :)

    Peter.

  3. You are preaching to the choir. Everyone who reads this blog is a champion of the 2nd amendment and wholly agrees with you. It is the bureaucrats who have never held a firearm, much less fired one, that thinks yet another law will “fix” everything. I was at a neighborhood party this weekend when the conversation turned to handguns and a vociferous advocate of gun control admitted that she had never seen or touched a gun. How can a person make an informed decision without being intimate with all the facts, which in this case included actually seeing a gun up close and personal? We can make the arguments put forth in this blog all day, but, understand that we are arguing the point with people who are completely set in their opinion regardless of not being in possession of any factual evidence.

  4. Well Said, As a person who carries on a regular basis I appreciate the fact that there are people who realize that there are real reasons to do so, Thanks.

  5. I believe that someday people here are going to have to defend their families and their neighbors first and then maybe the ones that think we can be free without weapons !

  6. Just as a note, there’s no such thing as an ex-Marine. Former Active Duty? Yes. Nit picky, I know, but as a prior Active Duty Marine, I will always be a Marine. I earned my Eagle, Globe, and Anchor; Once a Marine, Always a Marine.

    Good blog, look forward to more.

    1. CK-

      I was just reprimanded by Steve for the “ex-Marine” reference, and shamefully apologized. I meant no disrespect, and I can only hope my Former Active Duty Marine father doesn’t read this article (yikes!)…

      Sean

  7. Sean, are you ready to take out DHS goons when they set up VIPR units to restrict your movements? to illegally search your vehicle, your person with no probable cause? to interrupt your freedom to travel unless you submit to absolute violations of our 4th amendment? Unless you and many more citizens are willing to put it on the line, we are doomed. the 4th reich has arrived.

  8. I too am a “gun guy” and due to the crime rate here in the south getting outta hand I carry my pistol more and more these days. I hate the thought of being forced to use my weapon because of someone thinking they need something I’ve got or wanting to cause harm to someone I love, (not afraid to use it , just don’t want to). With that said, I enjoyed the blog and keep up the good work.

    Thanks

    Tony

  9. Sean
    Well thought out out and a great synopsis of why America is America. Lets all get out there and vote and keep America free.
    Alan Miller

  10. Great article, I couldn’t agree more ! As a former For/Recon Marine (63-69) and Colorado rancher I’m almost never without a firearm. Semper Fi.

  11. I absolutely agree with your point of view. It’s not the weapons that kill people, it’s people that kill people. Guns are inanimate objects that will just sit there. They can’t get up and shoot themselves. It takes a human to pull the trigger. I don’t understand how these people that want to take away guns expect to get them away from those that want to use them to do us law-abiding citizens harm. Statistics in Australia prove that taking away the guns causes the crime rate to rise dramatically. I’m sure it is the same in other places where guns are banned. Why don’t the good people tell these gun banners to go away with their ideas. This is the United States, not some pansy-a** european country that we have to go bail out every time someone wants to take over their country. Get off your behinds and vote these people that want to take our gun rights away out of office and tell the ones not in office to take their ideas elsewhere.

  12. A very thoughtful and insightful piece of writing. As another “gun guy”, the truth and logic of Sean’s points are self-evident, if I may borrow a phrase. To the point, I am scared to death of a future defined by a second Obama term. I suspect that virtually everyone reading this will agree. Already, enormous damage has been done to this country and to the Constitution. A second term will make this look like a walk in the park and it will likely be irreversable. I pray that more Americans will wake up, come to their senses and stop the madness. We DO NOT have to go down that road, but it will take a significant effort on the part of everyone that cherishes Freedom. Do YOUR part, support the NRA, support candidates that think as we do. DO NOT sit in your easy chair and hope for the best. We do not want the 7th of November to be the beginning of a very real nightmare.

  13. you think that’s bad, they just banned cup cakes and bake sales in Massachusetts… (No Kidding)

    But I bet they will let a cup cake marry a cookie….

  14. When I was a young lad, my cousin and I openly carried our .22 cal rifles to the other end of town (then wooded) to hunt rabbits, on a public city bus. The driver and fellow passengers greeted us every time and shared tips on what worked for them on how to flush rabbits. On the way home we proudly showed other riders the rabbits we got and explained how we were going to have our grandmother prepare them for dinner. This was in upstate New York in the late 1950’s, early 1960’s. Somehow the thugs in New York City, who never hunted anything except human victims caused all of New York State to have some of the harshest gun ownership laws in the nation. Many have to pay for the sins of the few. I moved to Tennessee and it’s like I am a respected and trusted individual again. Criminals, by definition, are law breakers and won’t respect laws. On the other hand I went through thorough training in the Military and CCP class’s to earn my right to carry. I would not want to ever shoot anyone but if the need arises and I am certain of that need, I am prepared to do it. It is better to carry a weapon and never need it than to only once need it and not have it.

  15. This is one of the most inspiring articles I have read in a long time. Being a CCW holder I lothe the thought of losing the right that the Second Admendment gives us. Keep up the good work.

  16. Spoken like a true AMERICAN! OOW should be proud knowing they employ men with your caliber (pun intended) of insight. My respect for your company has been moved up the scale quite a few clicks. Our country has experienced a soft take over by some very dangerous people.
    For them to be totally successful they have to completely disarm every citizen. Our Founders warned us numerous times that this could happen if we failed to protect our God given rights. After reading your letter and knowing that there are many more like you spread across this great country, I have no doubt that together we will turn back this red tide and return America to its rightful place in the world. Stay Safe and remember you’re not alone.

  17. After over 30 years in law enforcement I have learned one thing, that is I would much rather have the “gun dudes” out there having my back, then the “liberal” who wants the job done, but are ready to hang me if I don’t get it their way. What anti-gun people fail to realize is that the vast majority of gun owners are responsible law abiding citizens who would step to protect them if they were in danger.

  18. Well stated, we all are members of the same choir, and dinasours at the same time. The only way to continue our passion for freedom is to return to our creator God in following his law.

    When we do, this curse upon our land will evaporate and with it all those who work to destroy it, they all have a place in the lake that burns with fire.

    Doug.

  19. Excellent article and thanks to Bob for passing it on to the OOW e-mail list. I have only one comment to add. In the discussions of our rights to own firearms, we too often couch these as a Constitutional argument. While that is accurate to a degree, the danger is that we give up too much ground at the start of the debate. The Bill of Rights was adopted to codify what were considered God-given, or natural, rights that no form of government had the authority to challenge. One Supreme Court decision (U.S. v Cruikshank) stated that the right to keep and bear arms was not dependent on the 2nd Amendment. In other words, it pre-exists that instrument. It’s a natural right that the government has no authority to mess with. The minute we leave the impression that the Constitution is the source or authority for that right, it plays into the enemy’s hand. All they need then is the stretching, twisting and distortion of “intent” to justify legislation that severely restricts the Amendment. We must stop giving them that much power.

  20. GREAT WRITE UP SEAN!!! Fantastic insight and attitude about “gun guys.” The majority of those who carry concealed everyday, are in fact those who went through the process correctly, and respect our rights to protect ourselves. Gun grabbers take a news story or horror story involving a criminal with a gun and it becomes, “BAN THEM ALL!” When we all know that said criminal would have gotten the gun anyway or found other means. I hate to think about this but, on 9/11/2001 America saw it’s worse attack on our soil with over 3000 Americans loosing there lives…can someone help me out and tell me how many guns the terrorists that commited this act had with them? That’d be big ZERO!!!

    On another note, the gun grabbers, or anti-gun activist claim the second amendment is irrelevant because it was written over 300yrs ago. Yes, guns were used differently back then but, that’s besides the point. The first amendment was also written 300yrs ago. Freedom of speach basically meant, “you can say what you think about this country’s leaders and you won’t be executed or pursecuted.” 300yrs later it’s used to protect hate speech, to use bad language in music and movies, etc. Not what the founding fathers were thinking about when they wrote the Bill of Rights however, if you take one away, where does it end…? Take away the second amendment and all are on the table to be done away with.

  21. Well Said! We all need to turn back to God and common sense!! Its nice to know that there is still fellow Americans that feel good about our country

  22. Very well stated. The thing to remember with respect to being armed is that the police (I was once one..) respond after the fact. If you are not prepared to defend your self and family, it will probably be too late when the police get there. Good job.. Jim

  23. Not only am I a “gun guy” I am a PROUD “gun guy”! My Dan Wesson Guardian goes every place I go. I have the right to protect myself and my loved ones, I am not obligated to retreat (getting shot in the back sucks). I live in an open carry state but I keep mine tucked most of the time. However there are some places I open carry just so the bad guys know I’m not to be f%$# with. I see some people agonize over wheather to engage and survive, to me the choice would have already been made, if I have to remove my firearm from its hoster,I did not make it the bad guy did. Don’t get me wrong I do not look for troble but if I find myself in troble I am prepared to deal with it! it’s called situational awearness and I practice it every step I take when I’m on the street. I am always condition yellow and I am cocked and locked. I do not want to harm anyone but I wil not be harmed eather! It’s not rocket science, we are not splitting atoms hear. Use you common sence and you will be fine. A great man once said “an armed society is a polite society” and I believe that is so very true. I have had strangers stop me and say thank you for exersising my right, I have had State Troopers tell me thanks as well, and I have also had the ill-informed call me a gun nut, terrorist as well. I do not care what I am called all I know is that when I walk the streets I feel safe! The police are not your personel bodyguards, it is your responceability to prtect yourself. All the police do is write a report of what happened after it has happened. Things are bad bad bad out there. the economy is in the toilet, jobs are gone, people are losing thier homes, cars, they can not feed themselves or get there meds. Times like we got now make people do things that they would have never done! I still can walk the streets in my town and I still feel safe. Join the NRA, help them to help us to protect our second amendment! Get your CCW, get trained (NRA) and be a responceable armed citizen of America!

  24. this is the only country where you are able to protect yourself. as long as you can afford the costs for lawyers to get you out of the mess someone else put you in. the problem is. the 2nd amendment is the most debatable. should we have and use guns. or not. the govt. doesn’t care. they think you should not have rights at all. do what we say, pay for everything, thanks for putting me in office. once we as a people let them know that they can take away a given right, they will go after all of them. majority rules! you think not. then look around the world, where do people live with the same rights we have? the only group of people I know that stand up for my rights is the NRA. there are some 80,000,000 gun owners in this country (thats great) but there are only 4,000,000. or so NRA members that put up there money, time, and voices. the gov’t here’s the voice of the NRA. thats my voice too. If you own a gun and want to keep it along with all the other rights that belong to you. if you don’t belong join now, be counted

  25. I liked the first part of your article. I’m a gun girl, but I’m afraid I know too many idiots who shouldn’t have guns, then those who fall into the mold you describe. I do think there needs to be a line in the sand when it comes to gun ownership. I don’t see how laws against felons and the certified psychotics would keep good people from getting a gun. I come from a rural area where everyone has guns (not A gun). The crime is most often perpetrated by kids who weren’t taught right. They shoot each other or they steal and sell guns for money. Easier than selling dope I guess. The signs around where I grew up are all blasted full of holes. Every hunting season someone bags a cow thinking its an elk. Big convoys of hunters would descend on our neck of the woods from the cities looking to go pheasant or goose hunting every fall. Every year someone would accidentally shoot someone else in their party. Every year there would be a body in the woods because there would be hunters on both sides of the meadow with one deer or turkey in the middle of it. And of course there are the kids that get shot every year because someone didn’t put a gun away properly. I now live in a very big city. The problems here vary from gun lovers shooting their guns off at midnight every News Year Eve and not realizing those bullets have to come down somewhere. Or someone wakes up in the morning with a bullet in them because apartment walls don’t stop stray bullets.

    I actually have a solution to all that that doesn’t include more laws restricting gun use. It is really very simple. Teach gun safety in schools. A general class on Safety which includes pool safety, how to cross the street, bicycle safety, how to act around a stray or wild animal, gun safety, etc. Start the classes from Kindergarten and teach them appropriately for their age. Add to it the older they get. Just because you are a pacifist and would never own a gun, doesn’t mean your kid won’t be at someone’s house where a loaded gun may be easily found.

    That’s my take on it anyway.

    1. I think that is a well thought-out position. It is logical and reasonable and most of all based on personal experience…

      I’m not here to say gun ownership is perfect- there will always be idiots who don’t educate themselves responsibly with firearms before trying to be cowboys and hurting somebody. These things happen. However, I would rather have a world where accidents happen than people being killed because they are unable to protect themselves. Then people essentially become helpless, like the cows you mentioned- mindlessly hoping to be protected by a government shepherd. Accidents can be managed and reduced through education, which, if taught in schools (great idea), would lay a foundation for both responsibility and accountability regarding ownership and use of firearms on a more personal level in addition to the statutory side of it. Unfortunately, you can’t legislate idiocy, you can only hope to prevent it.

      There is another side to this that you did not mention that is worth pointing out- from 2007 to 2010, there were more than 2,160 reported cases of Concealed Carry weapons holders legally using their weapon to defend themselves, and 550 lives were saved by gun owners coming to the defense of others. That’s only three years- if accidental injuries and deaths are your concern, saved lives are mine. If accidents can statistically be kept lower than the number of people helped, there is still a net result of lives being saved by maintaining the legality of firearms ownership. The bottom line is, as you say, properly educating people about firearms, not making them unlawful. No “gun guy” (or girl) that I have ever come across is the type of person to be careless, reckless or otherwise aloof with their weapon.

      I really appreciate your thoughts, thanks for responding!

  26. Great perspective. Did not own a gun until I was over 30 . Was the only person in a line of Texans. Moved to Atlanta. Learned about and respect guns. And now carry for reasons listed in post. Great Article

  27. Well spoken, Sean. We that have our permits to carry have been investigated by local, county, state, and federal offices. Most of us are family oriented, church goers, and support our communities, who better to have this right. Being a veteran, I cherish this “right to keep and bear arms”. Kim

  28. Its not about the damage but about the neutering of a nation, in socialist government there is no room for individuality, let alone individuals with fire arms.

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