How I became an Anti-Gunner Pt 2 (The Conversion)

After my unfortunate role as the teenage trigger man in a negligent discharge that almost claimed the life of my friend, I was forced to deal with what happened alone. Not because my parents didn’t care, but simply because I internalized what happened. In 1976, there was no Internet. Cable TV was in its infancy. I had never heard of Jeff Cooper. I was in a new city with no friends. There was only me and I blamed the gun, as well as myself . . .

After all, if there hadn’t been a gun I wouldn’t have shot my friend. And I wouldn’t have felt so guilty and ashamed. Ipso facto.

My first step on my journey towards becoming a gun rights advocate happened in October 1983.

Terrorists bombed the Marine Corps barracks in Lebanon. Suicide bombers detonated two enormous truck bombs claiming the lives of 220 Marines, 18 Navy personnel and three Army soldiers. The blast injured sixty Americans, some of them horrifically.

Like all anti-gunners, I believed it was OK for the military to train with and use firearms. I was mystified as to why the guards at those barracks were carrying weapons but no ammo. A warning flag dropped inside my mind. I ignored it.

Whatever the reason, I believed war was on the horizon. With the draft still a relatively fresh memory, I decided to enlist. I figured that by volunteering, I would have a little input as to what I would do while working for Uncle Sam.

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