Not that I care what people think, but...
The highlight of my day today was getting to converse with some old friends I haven't seen in a while, one of whom just got back from the sandbox as a playmate amongst Uncle Sam's Misguided Children.
One thing led to another and I had to account for my whereabouts and activities for the past year. I prattled it off, and I mentioned getting my CHL, buying a lot of guns I've always wanted, taking a class or three, and practicing regularly. I expressed this in about as many words in the conversation.
Now like anyone else into this kind of thing I can prattle on for hours. But I use the internet for that. You guys understand that because you're the same way. But this time I didn't harp on it because I understand real firearms and real firearms usage is extremely boring to most people. When you start talking about why you wish Llama would polish their feed ramps a little better, most people's eyes glaze over.
Do you know what they said to me, people who have known me since I was 15 years old, people who remember the secret society we founded in high school, people who remember our buddy who went to jail for beating his son, guys who know me as well as anyone?
"I can't believe you've gone that far with this whole gun thing. You've gone overboard. No one needs that kind of practice."
It's like I had told them I'd started smoking reefer and they were chastising me for it.
First of all any sensible person should realize a combination of practice, training, education and better tools can only be good whether you're talking about guns, playing video games, or making your own beef jerky.
They got off it, but not before reading me the riot act of gun safety. Gun Safety basically means not having more than two or three and not getting something stupid like a CHL apparently.
I went away a little sad. They've changed, and so have I.
It still doesn't sit well with me. I'm doing something I've always wanted to do since childhood and I'm trying to do it correctly. I've benefitted from it so much in such a short period of time. I know how much I don't know. I was able to help someone else who didn't know what to do when they needed to address their own personal security. I haven't done anything stupid and I doubt I ever will. I take this too seriously.
I'm not the jerk here; I'm not the close minded baffoon. I'm not too proud to admit when I am wrong but neither am I too timid to admit when I'm right. I never criticized them for not taking interest in their own personal safety. They have no right.
So why am I constantly finding myself criticized, shunned, and ostracized just because I think I have natural rights to my own well being and I assert them? How many other people am I going to be distanced from because of this?
I've recently quit attending a church. Lots of people my own age, good folks there, but I couldn't agree with a lot of the things those people were saying in the sanctuary. They think I stopped coming over their criticisms of some hunks of wood and metal. They couldn't be more wrong.
Now am I going to quit doing something just because other people shun me for it? Heck no.
But it's making me somewhat miserable nonetheless here lately. It's a headache I don't deserve.