Right now I’m a sad clown. I’m smiling and laughing on the outside, but inside I’m pissed, a little hurt and embarrassed. I’m standing in a room full of people, some I know and some I don’t, and my friends are patting me down to see if I have a gun on me. This is their idea of a joke, because as they so eloquently put it, I’m the gunman, Mr. NRA, and I could be packing at any given moment. It takes the power of the Holy Spirit not to lash out in a tirade of expletives out of sheer mortification.
This is the juvenile bullshit they do, I say to myself as I continue smiling and laughing through gritted teeth while they finish patting me down. That day I didn’t have my gun on me, so they come up with nothing. I can only wonder what the response would have been if they came upon my Kahr PM9, which I usually carry when I’m wearing a suit. This group of friends isn’t exactly pro-gun, so they take pleasure in mocking something that I take very seriously. Going about your life activities with a gun is a big responsibility, and one that many anti-gunners aren’t willing to take on. So they do to you what the class clown does to the straight-A student: They mock you for what they call taking yourself “too seriously.”
As much as I want to believe this level of juvenility regarding the issue of guns is unique to this particular group of friends, I have noticed a rather pervasive culture of anti-gunners who engage in the same type of behavior. I don’t take myself too seriously, but when it comes to guns? I enjoy them, I have fun, but I take them very seriously. I find it ironic that the same group of people who will argue against guns because they don’t trust people to own and carry them responsibly are incapable of talking about them without marring the conversation with childish arguments.
I’ve always found it hard to say that carrying a gun makes me comfortable in knowing I won’t be completely helpless if I were to ever be attacked. When you say things like this to people who don’t carry a gun, or simply don’t like them, they, without fail, go straight to the assumption that I must be overcompensating for a lack of girth and length in the reproductive parts of my anatomy.
This line of assault is what I call “ego shaming.” At its core, it’s nothing more than a juvenile ad hominem attack. It’s a cheap way to dismiss someone’s very valid reasons for carrying a gun. In the past I found myself falling victim to this form of ego shaming. The idea that I was somehow carrying a gun to overcompensate instilled in me a sense of insecurity that I never possessed prior to carrying a gun. It’s not like I could just drop my pants and say, “See, that’s not true at all.”
When you start carrying a gun, it changes your perspective on life. For the vast majority of people, it causes them to appreciate life in a way that someone who does not carry can’t completely comprehend. Going about your life activities with a gun is a big responsibility, and one that many anti-gunners aren’t willing to take on. So they do to you what the class clown does to the straight-A student: They mock you for what they call taking yourself “too seriously.” You can never take carrying a gun too seriously. It can be a lifeline when you need it, and there’s nothing funny about life and death.
At this point my friends were amused with themselves, until one of the guys standing in the group walked over to me and said: “I’ve been meaning to talk to you. My wife and I have been thinking about buying our first gun and wanted to get your advice on which one to get.” The look on my friends’ faces was priceless when another person spoke up and said the same thing. I guess that whole saying about catching more flies with honey than with vinegar has some truth to it.