An explanation of what N.U.G.U.N. is all about. As the title states, this blog is in essence a diary and sounding board for a “New User of GUNs”. And that is exactly what I am, a new user of firearms.
My plan is to share what I learn along the way. Perhaps pointing out those ideas and thoughts that many of us who are new to guns have, that many of those far senior to us may not even remember having. As the saying goes, there are a lot of people out there who have forgotten more than we’ll ever know about firearms. Some of that forgotten knowledge may in fact be the memories of what it was like being new. So I thought I would share my experiences and perhaps others can learn with and from me. I make no claims to be an expert, in fact, I make the very opposite claim.
My name is Jason…
I’ve always been pro-gun, but until recently I never owned a firearm. I had made a decision largely inspired by my faith (Christianity) not to own a firearm. No, I do not believe my faith is opposed to self-defense. I just personally felt that I knew where my soul would be if I died, and I did not want to take another’s life in trade for my own. The time was not right for me to own,…this was a personal decision. And in no way do I think anyone else is obligated to think similarly.
However, in 2004 I met a young beautiful intelligent gal, amazingly in 2006 she married me and we moved to her home state of Pennsylvania. One year later on Friday the 13th of July, Jason became a father and our daughter was born. These two important and monumental events in my life changed the paradigm. While I had decided not to trade my life for another; it’s a different matter when it comes to my wife and daughter. As a husband and father I believe it is my responsibility and duty to keep my family safe. It is my hope that I’ll never need to use my firearms for anything other than sporting uses. I do not want to take a life – I really would prefer not to have that mental burden. It’s my hope that I’ll never find myself placed in a situation that would require such actions. But…
I’ll trade anyone’s life for that of my wife and daughter’s lives, even yours, and most especially a criminal’s.
It had become clear to me, the time for “me” to be a firearm owner had arrived…
I grew up in California until age 10 then my family moved to Connecticut. While in California my father owned a Ruger .357 Magnum Security-Six and a Marlin .22 rifle. I was taught at a very young age that firearms were not toys. In fact, my father insisted that even toy water pistols should not be pointed at people. I am thankful for my father instilling such tenets.
That said, I went most of my youth having not fired anything other than a .22 rifle about 3-4 times in my life. So while my viewpoints were very pro-2nd Amendment. I really had little experience with firearms. Likewise, my wife had had some experience with a .22 but not much more. So I had to decide what firearm was right for my family.
Strangely, I found myself much more drawn to handguns than long guns. I also felt safer and more comfortable with the concept of a handgun than a long gun. This may not seem to make sense, but it “just was”. This goes back to my point – that so much about being a firearm owner is a very personal thing. We also live in a small house with not a lot of room. It’s much easier to store a handgun. Furthermore, the thought of being a mediocre skilled owner of a firearm trying to defend myself with a long gun in very close and constricted quarters did not appeal to me.
So I made a decision for my family that our first firearm would be a handgun. I also decided to stick with what we were familiar with, namely the 22 caliber. So our first handgun was a .22 pistol. (Even though my wife was inclined to something “bigger” with more killing power – yes, I love my wife, she rocks.) But a number of factors made me choose to go with a 22 Caliber.
- It’s an easily controlled accurate round.
- It’s cheap, affording much more practice time.
I figured, we could learn the basics of safety and handling with the .22 and afford to practice a lot more than we could with any other caliber – and I was right. Now I understand that a number of gun advocates will argue for rounds that have more stopping power for self-defense. But the argument in my mind was this “What’s the point of more stopping power if I can’t hit the broad side of a barn door. I’d rather have a firearm that I could capably hit the target. Because hitting with one .22 is more effective than missing with ten larger rounds. That said, the .22 did not remain by it lonesome for long and it was quickly joined by a number of other firearms. It’s now been about a year and a half since our first purchase.
So if you’re interested in knowing what the first handgun we purchased was…sorry, you’ve got to wait until my next blog post. (But hopefully that will be within the next day or so. And I’ll include a laymen’s review as well.)