Wednesday, June 8, 2011

How I Became A Gunnie

Jennifer wants to know what got me into guns.

When I was a kid, I was like every other boy. I liked playing guns and watching war movies. I only shot a real gun once when I was about 10 or so. A .22 semi-auto handgun that my dad had. Took it out to my uncles and shot up an old junk pile. There were a few old rifles but they never left the gun rack in his den. I didn't shoot again till Navy boot camp, 8 years later, 30 rounds of .22 out of a converted 1911. Didn't touch another one the entire time I was in (6 yrs).

After that I joined the National Guard and got to shoot an M16 and M2. Didn't know much about guns but enjoyed shooting. A few months later, a buddy of mine in college introduced me to WWII re-enacting. I learned that one of the old rifles in my dad's den was a K98 Mauser. I was encouraged though to pick up a 'beater' one to take out into the field since the one my dad had (and gave me) was in really good shape. So I did. That was the first gun I bought and my first dealings w/ firearm bureaucracy.

I got to know the FFL I bought it from and he'ld send me E-mails about things that were going on. My dad had also given me the other rifle in the rack, his old Marlin. I fixed it and cleaned it up and signed up for a target shooting class at the University. When I got there, no class. I went to the office and the lady told me the class had been cancelled and added w/ a sneer "If you want to learn how to shoot guns, it shouldn't be at a University."

Then I went online. I started surfing a couple of message boards, etc and getting involved in debates, learning as I went. I discovered the old Brady Campaign blog and what really made me a 'gunnut' was reading the stuff they put out and discovering it was outright nonsense. They were lying to me. And the people that supported them reminded me of the old bat at school. That's what did it. That's what tipped me to one side of the fence.

From there I found Democratic underground, Kevin Baker and Sebastian-PGP. Over that time I picked up a few more guns and got more involved in going after the Anti's. Sebastian-SIH told me flat out to start my own blog and DOOT was born.

Over the years I've met quite a few pro-gunners in person and others still via online. I enjoy shooting but I don't do it enough to be in the same caliber as many of the competitive ones. I'm a plinker. I've signed up as a life member for the NRA & SAF and work w/ ISRA and Illinois Carry to try and get our rights recognized in Illinois.

And I've enjoyed the ride.

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Hat Trick said...

Now you have me wondering whether the PE class in riflery is still available at the U of I Armory indoor range.

I never took it. Dad helped me pick my classes my first semester and nudged me toward an advanced swimming class to satisfy my PE requirement. I only learned of it from a guy on my dorm floor who was in ROTC and was taking it.

TimB said...

The old bat at school was right. You shouldn't be taught to shoot at University. All kids should get firearm training at about 5th grade. Not just safety al'a Eddie Eagle, but hands on training in the use and care of guns.

Stephen said...

Interesting ... for me it was "" that turned me. I was pretty accepting of gun control and more restrictive laws until then, but seeing the crap they used to support those laws made me realize how useless they were.

Thirdpower said...

Yeah, I remember finding 'gunguys' and realizing it was a scam. Like I said, the epiphany that practically everything they were saying was either ignorance or lying was what turned me into a nut.