It’s not often that I agree with anything U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., has to say. And on the rare occasion when I do happen to agree with her, it’s simply because she meant something one way, and I took it another.
Such was the case concerning a recent statement Feinstein made on “Meet The Press.” In that appearance, Feinstein told host Chuck Todd, “America is a gun-happy country, and I think there are many of us in growing numbers that don't want a gun-happy country.”
I can agree with at least the first part of her statement—although in a different way. The disparaging description “gun-happy” aside, millions of Americans are happy to own guns. And millions are also happy that the Second Amendment protects their right to do so.
I’m happy to own a couple of shotguns. One of them I grew up with, hunting quail and pheasants with my dad and making memories I’ll cherish forever. My own kids love to shoot it now, and it makes me happy watching them do so. Another is tricked out for 3-gun competition, with an expanded loading port, oversized charging handle and extended magazine tube. Neither of them are bad, and neither has ever killed anyone—innocent or otherwise.
The stories we have about deer taken with each rifle bring back memories of hunts old and new, both far and near.I’m also happy to own a handful of deer rifles of various calibers. I’ve hunted extensively with them, often with one or more of my children. The stories we have about deer taken with each rifle bring back memories of hunts old and new, both far and near. Just looking at these rifles in the safe makes me smile and look forward to going back into the field with them again this fall.
Further, I’m happy to own a variety of different handguns, all particularly suited to different purposes. One is a great .40-cal. carry gun, and it often accompanies me wherever I go. A smaller .380 is better suited for times when a sufficient cover garment is less appropriate. Yet another is a double-stack 9 mm made ready for competition. All of them make me happy, and all in a different way. None are dangerous to other law-abiding citizens, no matter what gun-banners would have you believe.
I’m even happy to own a couple of AR-15-type semi-auto rifles—the kind Feinstein and other gun-haters claim are good for nothing but killing lots of innocent people. I’ve killed wild hogs with one or two of them, and coyotes too. Another is my competition rifle, which I have fired thousands upon thousands of rounds through in training and competition. It has a competition trigger, and uses 30- and even 40-round magazines (also considered “evil” by some). Taking that rifle to the range and punching some paper or knocking over steel targets is a great stress reliever. And yes, doing so makes me happy.
In fact, being happy to own firearms doesn’t make me a bad person. And it’s not something I plan to ever apologize for.
As for the second half of Feinstein’s statement, I totally disagree. The folks I know and associate with don’t show any signs of being disenchanted with private firearm ownership at all. They’re happy to own guns and to use them for a variety of purposes.
And I certainly don’t see that changing anytime soon—no matter what Feinstein and other gun-ban advocates in Congress seem to think.
Mark Chesnut has been the editor of America’s 1st Freedom magazine for 17 years and is an avid hunter, shooter and political observer.