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Buy a Gun, Get Inner Peace for Free

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Eric with a gun
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The first firearm Eric bought was a Ruger MK II pistol. It changed his life. According to Eric, owning the gun has made him think long and hard about the responsibility. And believe it or not, owning a firearm has brought calm to his life. Shooting at the range helps him take a step back from his hectic life and breathe deeply -- it's almost Zen.

Eric's Letter to Weekend America

My first firearm. It was a Ruger Mark 2 semiautomatic target pistol and with it I learned to shoot at the oldest continuously-operating handgun club in the United States. I was interested in self defense but my experiences at the revolver club led me into the world of competitive shooting and joining the NRA. I had always had suspicions about the motives and practices of the NRA but I wanted to join so that I could compete in NRA sanctioned matches (where the best shooters compete). I came from an upper middle class family from White Plains, NY. Guns were strictly forbidden by mom and dad. My two sisters had no interest in guns, and even I didn't like riflery at Boy Scout camp.

Learning to shoot a deadly weapon with skill (I became the #5 shot in Ohio in Olympic 10 meter air pistol, and was co-winner of the revolver club's handicap pistol league in my first year) put me in a strange position: how could I explain my activities to my family who was hostile with my new found interest. My personal politics had never been "conservative" and many of the people I socialize with are anti-gun to say the least.

Well, I've learned to separate the wheat from the chaff as far as what the NRA claims to be true and correct. I've become more confident in defending myself and in defending my gun rights to those who are hostile toward them. This is tough since I associate with a lot of Unitarians and academics (my wife teaches at a university).

All this has led to much soul searching and a better understanding of what I believe in regarding self-defense and the right of the people to have the power that is represented by guns.

I'd be happy to expand on any of this at your request.

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