A gift for Amanda.

I belong to a group on Facebook of Responsible Firearm Owners in Northern Nevada. There are many members ranging from firearm instructors to complete novices. It’s a safe place where people can ask questions and discuss firearm related issues. Recently a woman wrote a post asking for the best way to carry a concealed firearm when she has a three year old and a seven month old. There was a lengthy conversation which was informative and useful.  At one point the woman felt comfortable enough to reveal her maiden name and it rocked my world.

It was Amanda Collins. For those of you who don’t know, Amanda was raped in the UNR parking garage less than 50 feet from the campus police station. Amanda had a second-degree black belt and a concealed firearms license. The man who raped her went on to rape and murder Brianna Dennison. So why wasn’t Amanda able to defend herself with all of her skills and training? She had crossed an arbitrary line that made carrying a firearm illegal. Of course her attacker had no such respect for the law and held her at gunpoint while he brutally raped her.

I can’t walk by that parking garage without thinking about it. It tears me apart when I think about how we failed her as a society. We legislated out her ability to defend herself and we should be ashamed. We created a place where criminals have no fear. There’s no one to fight back. They can rape and kill at will while the true first responders, the ones involved, can do nothing about it. We took away her safety so that someone else could “feel” safe.

So what does this woman, whom we let down as a society, do? She bravely travels the country telling her story at various state legislatures trying to protect other innocent women. She gets mocked by anti-gun zealots who tell her that a rape whistle would have protected her. That she should have peed herself or thrown up so that her attacker would not want to complete the action. She gets told by a shrewd woman that she would have never been able to defend herself even if she had her gun. It’s true, Amanda might not have been able to defend herself if she had her gun but we made absolutely sure that she wasn’t able to didn’t we?

I was in shock. How do I tell her that I’m sorry? I’m sorry that because of people’s irrational fear you were forced to endure that. I’m sorry that despite you being so incredibly responsible and taking your safety into your own hands we ripped it right out and hung you out to dry. How do I say all those things that need to be said, should be said, by everyone? I can’t. So I offered to make her holster that she can carry and hopefully she can be safe in all the ways she should have been.

It’s time to end the supposed “gun free zone.” It’s a farce; an illusion that is shattered with countless stories like Amanda’s. Since 1950 only one mass shooting hasn’t taken place in a “gun free zone.” Let that sink in, the irony of it. Stand up with me and support, at a minimum, the right to campus carry. Tell your assemblyman, senator or congressman that you don’t want to see any more women like Amanda. Criminals should be afraid of us, not the other way around.

That old feeling…

I didn’t grow up in a household with firearms. My father had one .22 (the smallest weakest caliber) rifle that I currently own today. We never shot it though. The only real exposure I had to firearms growing up was in the cub scouts. There was one time that I went to the range in my early years. I remember being called a “crack shot.” The range master was truly impressed. I could hit almost anything I aimed at. I can remember that feeling to this day, the pride and the accomplishment. For a kid that was much taller and more awkward than his peers, it felt really good to finally be good at something.

So why, having grown up in a household virtually void of firearms, am I writing a blog on the subject? There has to be more people like me. More people that grew up in families where guns weren’t really present, or even downright hated. I would like to give some perspective from someone that grew up in that environment and has since changed his views. What I do have is a unique perspective of a husband and a father that struggles everyday with questions on how best to keep his family safe.

My first firearm purchase was when I was 18. I bought another .22 rifle that I also have today. To me, it was a symbol, a right of passage if you will. Although I grew up without much experience, the responsibility that came with firearm ownership was not lost on me. The first time I took it to the range I got that old feeling all over again. It was awesome. My favorite pastime is to take new people shooting and live vicariously through them as they have their own unique firearms experience.

At the age of 20 I shot my first handgun and purchased one shortly thereafter. I can remember that feeling to this day as well. There wasn’t the giddy elation that came like when shooting the little .22. It was more of a solemn understanding that washed over me. I understood why this was so important. The sheer power that I held in my hand was incredible. All I could think about was my wife being able to protect herself from somebody bigger and stronger. The ability to close that disparity of power is an incredible tool. To me, that is what firearms are for. I’m not a religious man, but one of my favorite sayings to this day is, “God made all men, but Samuel Colt made them equal.”

Over the course of this blog I plan on discussing several issues. First and foremost is the responsibility of firearm ownership, especially when children are present. Secondly, I will discuss second amendment issues and my take on the subject. Lastly, I would like to do some reviews of gear that I find useful. I’m not sure how this is going to turn out but I am excited.

Christopher's gun blog

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