When I get asked about how to change the perspective of an anti-gunner, particularly on the left, I always tell people to extend an invitation to the shooting range. Why? If the invitation is accepted, the person you take will more than likely have a fantastic time and will want to go again. This can eventually lead to their first gun purchase and the rest become history. But most importantly, taking them to the range allows them to find out that the media has been lying to them about guns for years.
Earlier this week a woman named Jenna Glasser published a piece titled "I'm a Lefty With a Gun" over at xoJane as an "unpopular opinion." She writes about why she bought a gun as a liberal who is supposed to be against them. Her choice to be a firearm owner comes down to two main things: personal security and fun (bolding is mine).
For years, I was what we lefties in Texas refer to as, "A bright blue dot in a big red state." I believe in recycling, social services, a woman's right to choose, and immigration. I spent a lot of time defending these things around my red friends, and bemoaning this defense around my fellow blue dots.
And then I bought a gun, and everything changed. I was shamed by the blue dots and consoled by the red. I turned purple.
When my fellow blue dots found out I owned a gun, they were shocked. Gape-mouthed and stunned to speechlessness, they usually recovered with, “What are you thinking?” or, “How could you?!”
How could I? Here’s how: I lived alone in a sweet 1905 cottage in a historic section of east Dallas, with original heart pine on the floors and exposed shipboard walls. The first vacation I took after I bought it, someone entered uninvited and stole my new drill, my cheap DVD player, and my expensive tequila. The next three unwanted advances cost me three different laptops and over 100 CDs. And those were just the physical costs.
The emotional costs were much greater. After each break in, I wouldn’t sleep for days. I would move into the guest room, and curl into a tight ball of nerves with a comforter pulled over my head. Despite taking Nyquil, I would wake each time a squirrel ran the perimeter of my backyard fence, convinced someone was coming for me. My dreams were all of victimization, or revenge.
As the little slips of paper with police report numbers on them piled up, I became familiar with the questions detectives would ask when they learned of my prior break-ins.
I took every precaution I could think of before buying a gun. I built a better fence. I added a wrought iron gate. I got a dog, though he is more likely to lick someone to death than bite him. I put in a better alarm system. I eventually added cameras, and I could see the feed from them on my phone. I checked it multiple times while at work; if I was out of town, the first thing I did in the morning, and last thing I did at night, was check on my house.
Here’s the truth about guns that no one, on either side of the debate, wants to tell you: shooting them is fun. I’m a bleeding-hearted, left-leaning liberal and I get a cheap, easy thrill out of shooting my little .38 caliber pistol. The “I am woman; hear me roar,” thrill I’ve gotten the few times I shot an Uzi, AK, or even a Glock is enough to leave a tremble running up my arms (though in reality, that’s likely just kickback).
But the emotional component here is huge. That thrill at the range translates to confidence outside of it. And confidence was a great comfort.
When you live alone, in a house that has been broken into five times, and people keep saying to you, ‘Just move,’ or, ‘It’s only a matter of time before they come while you’re home,’ then you can decide that getting a gun isn’t right for you. But for now, this is what’s right for me.”
That usually shuts them up.
The gun became my sleep-aid. Each night, I would take it from its locked case, load it with six beautiful brassy bullets, and rest it on my nightstand, where I could reach it without opening my eyes.
This is just a heavy excerpt, the entire piece is worth reading and can be found here.
"That thrill at the range translates to confidence outside of it. And confidence was a great comfort," she wrote. "This is what's right for me." Isn't that the truth. That's the great thing about gun ownership and why having the choice to own a gun is so crucial. Each individual person has their own reasons and circumstances for purchasing a firearm that can't, and shouldn't be, determined by anyone else (especially the government).
The reality is, Glasser's opinion is only unpopular among her liberal peers. Her "unpopular" is opinion is popular with the majority Americans. In fact according to Gallup, more people in the United States believe gun rights should be protected rather than infringed upon with gun control.
To back up Glasser's sentiments about gun ownership and shooting, data from the National Shooting Sports Foundation and polling from Gallup repeatedly shows that the number one, overwhelming reason people buy their first firearm is for self-defense purposes. Further, the fastest growing demographic of shooters and gun owners are women.
I may disagree with Glasser on a number of other political issues, but on gun ownership, rock on sister.