Dear D Mitchell, I want to ask you about “proud gun owner.”

One of the very first things I was taught about owning firearms, was the need to be subtle, confident, informed and competent, along with an absolute mandate that using them or the having of them to bluster and show off, was as reckless and irresponsible, and disrespectful, as it gets. Disrespectful to other gun owners who don’t deserve to have your example and behavior come to cost them, and disrespectful of non-gun-owners for using your arms as a symbol of argumentation rather than as the tools they are intended as and made for.

I’ve owned arms for years and years, I never brag about them, never go out of my way to show them off or openly suggest ways I might use them, and all but a very, very few people who have known me in all that time have no idea I have them, what they are, how often I use them, what my politics are about the right to bear arms, or in any other way have how they see me as a human being influenced by the very private and discrete fact that I have them at all.

So I have to go with Meg on this one, and we don’t always align on everything, I already see that. But those opening lessons about firearms for me, were lessons in adulthood and adult conduct in the face of an enormous responsibility taken on, and a very personal and private decision to take it on ethically and safely.

Frankly, I have met very few enthusiasts who were bombastic or self-aggrandizing about their arms, and I tend to have nothing to do with them. Something about not being around when people like that are getting other people hurt and killed with their undisciplined juvenility, I think.

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