I was doubly affected by this story:
The range is packed. Everyone got new guns for Christmas and wants to shoot them. There was about an hour wait for a stall. I sit down and start reading as I wait my turn. In a few minutes, a young girl sits down to wait in the chair next to mine. She’s by herself and appears to be in her early 20s. She’s the only black person in the room and one of the only women. She seems nervous as she fiddles with the gun case in her lap. She’s obviously uncomfortable.
Uncomfortable people with guns in their hands shooting in the stall next to me isn’t what I like to see. I decide to talk to her. Keep in mind that no one at this range knows me or knows what I do for a living. That’s why I like shooting there; I have complete anonymity and can focus on my own training rather than teaching others. I rarely talk to anyone, but something told me that I needed to talk to this girl.
“It’s a long wait, huh?” “What kind of gun did you bring to shoot?”
She smiles and seems visibly relieved that someone was being nice to her. She says “It’s just a 9mm. Nothing special, but it’s the only thing I could afford.”
We keep talking. I find out she’s a single mom with two kids. Her house has been broken into three times in the last two months. The last burglary attempt occurred while she was in the house with her kids. She has never shot a gun, but she recognized that she had a duty to protect her family. She went to a gun show and bought a Jimenez Arms JA-9. She asked all her male friends and family members to go to the range with her, but all of them turned her down.
She tells me that she has a bad feeling that the robbers are coming back tonight to get the x-mas presents she bought for her kids. She doesn’t know anything about guns and doesn’t know anyone who can teach her. She’s signed up for a CCW class, but no one teaches classes on the week of Christmas and she can’t find an opening until January. The problem is that she thinks the robbers are coming TONIGHT. A January class isn’t going to help.
Please, PLEASE read it all.
I was affected first by the kindness and insight of the narrator. That sort of generosity with one’s time should be celebrated. It’s more than merely heartwarming to read such a tale; it’s what makes Americans – gun enthusiasts especially – unique among the peoples of the world. Had I been there, I’d have bought him the handgun of his choice.
But the second stage kicked in immediately afterward: The scenario portrayed in the tale could not have happened in New York or several other, equally firearms-averse states. The young woman would have been left defenseless by New York State law.
If there’s any sort of law more unjust than one that disarms only the law-abiding, I can’t imagine what it might be.