Bill's Story on how I Became a Rootin’ Tootin’ Gun Nut
As Denise said in the opening post of the blog, we moved from Texas to New England. Actually, I’m a proud Texas native. As such, I have always believed in the right to bear arms. But, though I learned to shoot in the Boy Scouts and was really never afraid of firearms, I never owned one or felt like owning one for the 30 odd years I lived in The Lone Star State. I suspect that would still be the situation if I had stayed in Texas. But, moving to New England changed my outlook, radicalized me, and turned me into a certified Gun Nut.
Conversely, Denise was already a gun nut and owned several guns. When she received a job offer in Massachusetts, I warned her that the gun control there was harsh and it would be quite a culture shock. I never suspected how much of an understatement that was. The job was too good to pass up, so we packed our gear and moved up to the People’s Republic. As soon as we were settled, Denise began to research in earnest the gun laws of Massachusetts and what she learned horrified her. We learned that Massachusetts law requires a State License to own firearms at all and that each one that you own has to be registered with the state. The license is issued at the discretion of the local police chief and he can arbitrarily deny you a permit. You can appeal a denial, but this means lawyers, judges, and time wasted.
As I watched Denise go through this Byzantine process, I became chagrined and finally outraged by the way that state treated law-abiding gun owners. Denise finished her mandatory firearms training class, put together her application package (very thick, including 3 offsize passport style photos), and finally submitted all of this to the police. The police took her package, fingerprinted her and said they would let her know. Well, after three or so weeks, when Denise’s license appeared in the mail, annoyingly too large to fit in most wallets, she was almost there. Now all she had to do was register all of the firearms she already owned with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and she would finally be a legal firearms owner.
By this time, I was pissed. I was determined to become a gun owner just to spite the bastards. So I went through the same process as Denise: class, application package, police, fingerprinting, and finally license. But my experience was different. I had never owned a gun before and didn’t even know what I really wanted. Denise gave me some advice, I rented a few, tried them out and finally settled on a Glock 19. This would be my first purchase of many.
I enjoyed shooting the Glock, but there was something missing. Something I found when I shot my first mag of 45 ACP in a 1911. I fell in love and I just had to have one. At the next gun show, I found a well used but not abused Colt Model 1911. Only one trip to the range was enough to convince me that this was a jewel. It was like an extension of my arm and had an unerring ability to find the ten ring. I was hooked. Finally, I became a certified Gun Nut and haven’t looked back since.
So, in my case, the silly gun control laws of Massachusetts backfired. They turned someone who was ambivalent about firearms into a full bore gunnie. I doubt I’m the only one.