By Eric Voliva
I grew up as a child with two other brothers and a sister with multiple firearms in our home, and had a healthy respect for their destructive power by the age of 2 when my father took me outside and had me sit beside him while sighting in his .308.
He took time to properly show me how to safely handle, clean, load, and fire different firearms throughout my childhood. By the time I was nine, I was out hunting with him.
By the age of twelve, I had my own rifle. By the time I was fifteen, I was shooting the heads off moccasins and cottonmouths while they were swimming around the dock.
I understood the dangerous nature of firearms before most kids lost their first baby tooth. I knew never to point the gun at anyone, and I only had to be told once. I saw its raw, destructive power on the animals we hunted. I knew it wasn’t a toy. I knew to respect it. My father knew to respect it. His father knew to respect it.
The firearm was a part of our household, just like the oven, microwave, television and car. It was a tool that we learned to respect. I’m very fortunate to have never had to use it in self-defense, but I know that if I ever had/have to, I feel confident in my ability to defend myself, friends and family, and anyone who is in a life-threatening situation.
What I’m trying to get at is that gun control through government regulation is not the answer to solving gun violence.
Education from a young age is part of the answer. Open carry is part of the answer. The ability to defend yourself and others against those who would commit violent acts, and not to be a victim or allow others to be victims, is the ultimate answer.
There will always be those who commit violent acts–that’s just a simple fact of life–and we all have the innate right to defend ourselves to the best of our ability (which means as many bullets as it takes, as powerful a weapon as it takes, wherever and whenever it happens), regardless of what anyone says.
The Second Amendment is our founding fathers’ attempt to put this right into words and to guarantee it to everyone without being taken away or “cherry-picked”, which is exactly why it says “shall not be infringed” within the amendment itself.
The law itself says that no other law or person or entity has the authority to violate this right in any way, that’s how important it was to the founding fathers. They understood the importance of being able to defend oneself. It seems as though most of us have forgotten, or would rather have someone else protect them, even when survival demands an immediate response and minutes mean certain death.
Police can’t always protect us. Even we can’t protect ourselves at all times, that’s just the nature of the world, but regardless we should be afforded the chance to defend ourselves to the best of our abilities in a way that places ourselves on equal footing with our attackers.
Try taking a knife to a gunfight, or a bare fist to a knife fight and you’ll understand.
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