- I grew up in a household without guns. My mother would not have allowed a gun in the house.
- I did not own my own firearm until I was 25 years old.
- My first firearm was an Romanian AK-47 variant.
- I wasn’t all that into shooting when I bought the gun. I bought it because politicians kept saying I shouldn’t have one. Yeah, I’m like that.
I did have exposure to firearms growing up. While my father and mother were not gun owners, nor were they reflexively anti-gun. They did not indoctrinate me with anti-gun and anti-freedom values, and did make the mistake of letting me spend a lot of time around my uncle, who got into them when I was a teenager. I can remember going to my first gun show before Papa Bush’s import ban went into effect, and seeing tables with Norincos on it. I would have been around 14 or so at the time I suppose. My uncle owned a few M1 Carbines, a pistol or two, and a few BB guns and air rifles, which we were allowed to shoot targets and run around the woods behind his house with unsupervised (the horror!). I had a lot of fun shooting at targets, cans, various glassware and other such things. It was a lot of fun! At this point, I was only vaguely aware of gun control as an issue. I knew some people wanted background checks. This never really seemed to be unreasonable to me as a kid. I was aware there were constitutional protections for firearms ownership, and never really considered that there might be people out there who disagreed with this in a serious way.
After I entered high school, and later college, I got away from shooting, and forgot about the fun I used to have. Probably the first thing that made me stand up and pay attention to the issue was Papa Bush’s assault weapons ban, which he did using an executive order under his powers authorized by the Gun Control Act of 1968’s “sporting purposes” clause. Now, at this point, I understood the differences between a machine gun, and a semi-automatic gun that looked like a machine gun, so I realized for the first time that people were willing to ban semi-automatic firearms based on looks.
The thing that really turned me into a serious opponent of the gun-ban lobby was when I was a sophomore in college and Clinton passed the 1994 Crime Bill which basically put a ban on an entire class of firearms. At the time, I didn’t realize just how silly the drafting was, so I actually thought it more like California’s ban, rather than just a ban on bayonet lugs and flash hiders. I still thought it was unconstitutional. I never really thought much about the ban on actual machine guns. That happened when I was a kid. I knew you could get them, but that it was difficult. I didn’t know, at the time, exactly how the law worked.
I stayed out of shooting until just before 2000, my friend Jason, who you all remember as the guy who had the Calico M950 blow up in his face (he finally had the fragments removed the other day, BTW), took me to shoot his Calico M100 and Beretta Tomcat .32 at the Bucks County PGC shooting range (now closed). I remembered how much I used to like shooting when I was a kid; it had been the first time I shot a gun since I was a teenager. A month or so later, Jason informed me that a gun shop in Feasterville was selling Romanian AK-47 variants for about 300 bucks. I was shocked to find out they actually weren’t covered by the ban, and given the fact that I knew the current administration would disapprove, I jumped at the chance. The first shot out of my SAR-1 was the first center fire rifle cartridge I had ever fired in my life. It was downhill from there.
A few weeks after aquiring the AK-47, I decided to join the NRA. Shortly after I also joined the SAF. I got into reading blogs in 2002. The first blog was Reason’s Hit & Run. Early blogs after that were Volokh, Insty, Vodkapundit, Steven Den Beste, and The Belmont Club. The first gun blog I became aware of was Kim’s Nation of Riflemen. From there I became aware of SayUncle, Bitter, and Jeff Soyer. The rest of them all came later.
Of course, I started my own blog to impress Bitter, and convince her to go on a date with me. You can read about the rest on my about page. So what’s your story?
11 Responses to “How Did You Get Involved?”
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