I served in the USAF during the Vietnam War. Yet I never fired a gun. Sound crazy? I was a dentist, for goodness sake! I didn't need a Glock to do a root canal. At least not most of the time.
While most 70-year-old retired dentists were on a golf course or playing bridge, I was learning how to fire a rifle. I had no interest in hunting. Couldn't give a damn about target shooting. It was all about defending myself and my family. What followed were lessons with an NRA instructor, picking out the appropriate rifle for someone our age (yes, my 69-year-old wife even learned), and some practice sessions at the local armory.
I guess I should have expected the reaction of some of our friends who thought we had totally lost our minds. Their skepticism ranged from questioning the need of an obsession with gun safety (especially for someone our age!), to their belief that removing ALL guns would somehow end gun violence by preventing the bad guys from getting one. And when all else failed to "restore us to sanity," they questioned our mental state or blamed possible dementia.
Gun owners were, according to them, uneducated, reckless and irrational. We have to have controls put on us by know-it-all ideologues or government bureaucrats, who are somehow smarter, more sophisticated and know what's best for us. Forget our 2nd Amendment rights. According to them, the Constitution is archaic and irrelevant (except when they use it to defend one of their own causes).
Last month, two escaped prisoners killed two police officers across the Georgia line and were on the loose right here in Tennessee. This time, my wife and I were prepared. All our windows and doors were locked. Our sophisticated alarm system was activated. And now, I also had my rifle loaded and ready.
It's not surprising to me that you may not have heard what happened. After all, the press very rarely reports incidents which contradict their own political agenda. The two killers were captured, not by the police, but by two legally armed Tennessee residents. You heard me. Two citizens had the guts and weapons to apprehend these killers and hold them until law enforcement arrived.
You can call me an irrational New York redneck. But, after 2 years living in Tennessee, I've learned to thank the NRA and all my new gun-owning friends, who have defended my constitutional right to protect myself and my family.
The NRA is absolutely correct: "The best defense against an armed bad guy ... is a well-trained armed good guy."
I worry about my friends who have to call 911, and while waiting for the police, hit the perpetrator over the head with their stock portfolio. I'll take my Ruger 22 any day.