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Bringing About Change

I
find that one of the best things an individual can be asked as a gun owner is, “Can
you bring me to the range with you?” especially if the person asking you is
someone that doesn’t know about firearms as you do. I found myself in this
position a lot over the last few years, especially with my group of friends
that I have known for a while now.

Over
the years, I have been asked, “Why would you want a firearm?” I can give them a
plethora of reasons why I want to own firearms, and it would never click with
them as it would with someone else who owns a gun themselves. Over time, when
they become more curious and want to learn more, I find nothing more important
than providing them the most accurate and informative information on firearms to
lessen guns’ demonization.

Let’s face it, the demonization of the Second Amendment is something that has been
going around for a long time now. Whether it is the media, politicians,
organizations, etc., there is something negative to be said when it comes to
firearms. I felt that this was the negative impact on the perception of guns
that affected my friends’ decisions about firearms ownership. With this in mind,
before we hit the range, I had asked them what made them feel the way they did.
The response wasn’t surprising at all; they believed that some firearms were “too
scary,” some “belonged on the battlefield,” and the broad term “assault” was
something that shouldn’t be in the hands of anyone.

I knew that this was a stigma that needed to be broken. I needed my friends to
fully understand that this was nothing more than just words and a scare tactic
provided to them by individuals who wanted nothing more than to regulate the
ability to purchase and own guns. With this in mind, I decided that this was
the best time to start to bring friends with me to the range and help them
realize that they were mistaken about the perception that they had formulated
on firearms before they even got the chance to shoot a gun in the first place.
Now I believe when it comes to individuals who have never been to a range or
even held a firearm before, the best thing to do is go over the safety rules
and give them a dry run with a gun before we used live ammunition.

After getting through the basics and going over the safety rules that anyone
who owns a firearm takes to heart, I could tell that there was a sense of calm
that came over them. You could pick up on their anxiousness when they first got
to the range and witness everything going on around them. We all experienced
some sort of nervousness getting into the gun world, and I had my reservations
before I was introduced to it. You realize that these weapons are not playthings
and that someone could be seriously injured if you become negligent with the
firearm in your hand.

The
best way for them to fully grasp the concept of how firearms really were and to
break that misconception they held for years was finally to jump into and fire
some rifles and pistols. Now I’ve done this a few times before with different
friends, and their reactions were all pretty much similar to one another. After
the first one or two shots with the AR, they realized the rifle’s
characteristics, including the weight, look, feel, recoil, etc.; this wasn’t
how it was described in the media at all. After a great day of shooting, we sat
and talked a bit about individual thoughts and feelings on the subject. I want
to see if the thought process had remained the same or if I was able to break
them away from that negativity that was falsely fed to them. Now you must take
into account these individuals and their thought processes. They had been highly
adamant about their opinions that they had formulated on the whole firearm
industry and the ability to own such guns that had been targeted in recent
years.

To
my surprise, I was able to have a substantial breakthrough with them finally. I
found that they were “surprised by how the firearms really work, how
individuals acted when it came to safety (some thought they were going to end
up witnessing something out of a western movie), and how everything was
overdramatized about what these weapons truly are.” The best thing that I found
that came out of this whole journey with friends is that they believed that
there should not be a ban on ownership of something they believed to be for
everyone. Even now, most of those I had taken to the range with me even went as
far as to go through the process of obtaining a license and bought firearms for
themselves.

Now
I bring this story up in one of the most critical times in our lives as
Americans. Politicians are fighting to take away the rights of the People. They
believe that firearms should be limited, and many types of rifles and pistols
should be outright banned for purchase and ownership. The best way for
individuals to help the cause of preserving our rights is doing just this; by
bringing people out and showing them that there are plenty of benefits of
firearms ownership. If you can break the demonization of firearms that the
opposing side has created, we will be able to bring about a new outlook on guns
that can end in the preservation of our rights.

Author: Nicholas Torres

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