As I’ve been known to do from time to time, fine: EVERY TIME I leave the house, I like to talk to people when I’m out and about. Running errands, grabbing groceries, stopping in at the school – whatever it is, I try to leave people I meet along the way just a little better than how I found them.
And that goes for learning about gun rights and gun owners as well.
So when I grabbed my girls up and ran to Sam’s Club Friday afternoon, it was no shock to them that I was carrying but it did surprise a woman ahead of us in line.
The woman, who looked to be in her mid-20’s, was getting frazzled in the self checkout lane and I stepped forward to help her with her items, then naturally started talking to her. She was getting supplies for a graduation party for her brother who is my son’s age and she said she didn’t know what she should get him for a gift.
This is where I go “squeeee!” in my head because she has now viewed me as a mother, a fellow club member and a helpful member of society: and this is my chance to have her disconnect her idea of what a gun owner is and connect with reality.
I said, “Well my son already has a rifle for hunting but he really wants a handgun, so I got him a gift certificate to a local gun range where he can test handguns with an instructor before he buys one.”
GASP! The look on her face was priceless, as if her brain and her eyes could not connect what she thought with what she was seeing. After she blinked a few times and composed herself, and as my own daughters were skillfully using the scanning gun on all the items in my cart, she finally said, “Oh, well aren’t you afraid he’s going to hurt himself?”
I laughed and said, “Of course not! He’s had gun safety and hunter’s safety since he was a little boy! He knows the four rules of gun safety and my girls do as well but whether you have guns in the home or not, it’s important to teach children proper gun safety so they know what to do if they ever see a real gun.”
The poor dear, she still looked confused, but she was also a bit snarky and I could see she thought she was going to teach me a lesson with her fancy liberal talking words and such.
“So,” she tried to bait me, “you think the NRA is all for gun safety and not just a paid machine for gun manufacturers?”
“Yes, I think the NRA is for gun safety and here’s why: they have several gun safety programs including the Eddie Eagle training videos for children from 4K-5th grade. Gun safety is at the core of who they are, which is, by the way, an organization of citizens freely funded by citizens to protect our Second Amendment rights.”
“Well I think Moms Demand Action and Everytown for Gun Safety is more interested in gun safety than the NRA is,” she said.
But that’s where I knew I had her, “Actually, Moms Demand is a lobbying group for gun control and they use skewed information and misleading, often times highly inaccurate information to further their agenda. Not to mention, they demand action from others whereas gun owners, along with the NRA and their programs, actually take action in schools and communities across the country to teach gun safety to people of all ages.”
Hammering it home, I said, “And Everytown for Gun Safety neither represents every town in America nor is it for gun safety, otherwise they would actually provide gun safety or firearms training courses for individuals interested in learning more or teaching their children best practices. I would rather have my children know about guns and how to treat them than pretend they don’t exist or that they aren’t a real part of society.”
That got her.
She started telling me how her dad and brothers hunt but that in college, she was re-taught by professors and gun-shamed by peers that if you don’t toe the gun control line, or you’re not smart or civilized.
I asked her, as I paid for my purchases and gathered up my things, “So do you think I’m stupid and uncivilized?”
She laughed and said, “No, I think you’re smart and civilized – and I guess what a real gun owner is these days.”
“That’s right, ” I told her, “and the fact of the matter is, I not only carry for my own self defense, but to also protect my children and innocent bystanders like yourself if anyone were to come in here and try to hurt people. You encounter concealed carry citizens everyday – you just don’t know it.”
“I do now!” she said with a smile.
Well amen, sister – and I can’t tell you how good it feels to witness that lightbulb going off in someone’s head when they realize that the gun control agenda is just that: an agenda. It’s not truth and it certainly doesn’t represent who the NRA is or what gun owners really are: in every town and for gun safety.