I am a gunowner.

Essays by GOSA members.

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I am a gunowner.

Postby Martin_tu » Fri, 2006-02-03 18:18

I AM A GUN OWNER - By Martin L Hedington

I have a loving wife, two grown children and five granddaughters whom I love very much. I enjoy a job I’m good at that affords me a living wage. I live in a modest house in the suburbs of Kempton Park.

I pay the taxes required of me. I’ve never been issued anything other than a traffic warning by any law enforcement officer. Since school, I’ve never accidentally or intentionally injured anyone or been in a physical fight. I abhor violence and I believe in gentle, rational problem resolution wherever possible.

I support my local law enforcement agencies, respecting the difficult work they do. I’ve been a member of police support associations for many years, dedicated to the protection of civilians against criminal activity.

I recognize that the police cannot be everywhere at once however, and that they are not a bodyguard service. I am qualified and SIRA-registered as a private security officer and accept that I am responsible for my immediate protection.

I’ve taught my children and now teach my grandchildren about the potential dangers of firearms. They are under strict instructions never to touch a gun without an adult present. However, I will gladly show them unloaded weapons whenever they ask. They have been instructed in basic gun safety rules. By so doing, I remove the mystery surrounding guns and teach them responsibility. More important, the “forbidden fruit” of guns is no longer forbidden, thereby removing its fascination.

I do not hunt, but I respect the freedoms of those who do. I recognize that hunting is a valuable asset to our society that it serves to control the populations of species that would otherwise overrun their habitat and starve, or suffer massive disease epidemics. I rarely participate in sport shooting events, but I enjoy the competition and have watched various types of shooting matches. My preferred firearm action is semi-auto due to reduced recoil and inherently safer design, but I respect those who choose other types of weapons.

I respect anyone’s right to choose not to own a gun but I ask that you respect my choice to own one. I recognize that my ownership of guns, in some measure protects you, since the legal presence of guns in civilian hands provides a general deterrent to crime. I hope that you can realize this as well. I believe in the natural right of self-defense, exercised by all living creatures. I believe that submission to violence only breeds more violence, as it encourages the assailant, while resistance discourages criminal behaviour.

I have never fired a weapon at anything alive, and I hope never to have to. I am resolute however, that should the need arise, I will use whatever level of force is required to protect innocent lives, including mine, my family’s, or some other person’s. As is legal and unfortunately sometimes necessary.

I believe in the importance of personal responsibility. I recognize that ownership of guns carries with it a grave requirement for careful management of their deadly power. I am a fanatic regarding gun safety rules and I cringe when I watch some actors and politicians handle weapons. I have carefully studied the legal requirements surrounding the use of deadly force, and I have read many books and articles detailing the various confrontational circumstances in which other gun owners have found themselves. I have learned from their mistakes, however minor.

I carry a gun with me most of the time. I recognize that the gun is an emergency tool, to be used only when absolutely necessary. I also recognize that crime knows no boundaries. Criminals do not politely ply their trade only in so-called ‘high crime’ neighborhoods. No place is safe so I must always be prepared.

I lobby my legislators to leave intact my freedom to own and bear arms. I believe that ‘innocent until proven guilty’ is still the law of the land and that until proven otherwise, private citizens are worthy to be trusted with guns. I merely wish to be left alone by those in government, and to be considered as the peaceable person I am. I want government officials and the media to stop blaming me for crimes committed by others. I want punishment to be directed at the guilty parties, not at me.

I behaved lawfully today, as I have every other day of my life. As I expect to behave tomorrow. I hope I never have to use deadly force on another human being. I intend no harm to anyone unless that individual gives me no other choice. And, even then, I will only shoot if that person fails to stop their illegal activity when confronted with a gun. I am just like three to four million other South Africans, your neighbors and friends.

I am not dangerous or unstable. I merely recognize that I am responsible for myself and do not expect anyone else to be responsible for me.

I am not your enemy. I am a gun owner.

Martin Hedington. 011 391 2979 - 082 392 9744 – tv2h@telkomsa.net
"I'd rather have a gun and not need it than vice versa."
Martin_tu
 
Posts: 84
Joined: Thu, 2006-02-02 13:56
Location: Kempton Park, Gauteng, South Africa

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