I am sure you have seen it at some point in your life. A fellow gun owner who makes outrageous comments, handles a gun carelessly, or acts in such a manner that you cringe inside and wished they somehow represented another group of people, maybe the gun ban crowd, instead of the group to which you belong.
We call them “Strange Rangers” and they can be found in all areas of the country, from all socioeconomic classes, and in every shooting sport or discipline. These knuckle heads are the ones who make the front page of the newspaper or get interviewed on CNN to represent the “fair and balanced” reporting and are asked to speak for you and me about a particular gun story.
These people don’t represent me. Their reasons for having guns are not the same as mine. The media can go find the most extreme nut job they want to represent gun owners, and then the rest of us get painted with the same brush.
One trend that is particularly disturbing to me as an even-keeled, reasonable human being who sees the societal benefit of free and open firearms ownership, is the passage of laws with names like “Make My Day.”
We all know that the phrase Make My Day comes from Dirty Harry, just before he blows some punk’s head “Clean Off” with a .44 Magnum. Some of us also know that another, more reasonable name for the Make My Day law is the Castle Doctrine. This name for the law says that your home is your castle and as such you do not have a legal responsibility to retreat when defending your home. In some states, such as Utah, you have no responsibility to retreat from anywhere you have a legal right to be.
I am in all in favor of what the Make My Day laws do, but I think we need to be far less cavalier in how we refer to these laws so that we don’t give the media further ammunition (pun intended) to paint us all as nut jobs looking for an excuse to gun down another human being.
I carry a gun every day, sometimes more than one, and I also pray every night to God that should the need arise to take the life of another person to save the life of an innocent, that I will be prepared to do what needs to be done. I also pray that day will never come. Bet you will never see that in the mainstream media. Not unless all of us as gun owners make it a point to behave in such a manner that gun ownership will be seen as reasonable and positive. If we get portrayed as nut jobs, is it really the fault of the media, or is the blame much closer to home?