Some people wonder why I like guns.

It’s fun

Lots of people enjoy video games. Shooting is like the most immersive video game you can imagine. The weight of the gun, the feel of the trigger, the muzzle flash, the sound, the recoil, the smell of burnt gunpowder, the rewarding feeling of hitting what you aimed at (or the frustration of missing)… it’s all far more compelling than anything you could experience on a screen.

It’s a skill

It doesn’t take long for most people to learn how to safely operate guns. But it can take years to learn to shoot quickly and accurately. The skill ceiling is extremely high. There is always room for improvement and unlike riding a bicycle, it requires constant practice to maintain.

Self defense

I’m a small guy, which means that violent people target me more than they would the average man. The only reason I’m not dead or crippled is because I’ve managed to escape my attackers. I have some insane stories. A man once tried to smash my head in with cinder blocks because he thought I might take his picture. One man threatened to stab me because I looked at him funny. Another man ran up to me, raised his fists, and said, “Let’s go, motherfucker.” A woman flagged me down while I was riding my motorcycle. When I stopped, she pulled out a baton and tried to hit me (I assume to rob me or steal my bike). Those are maybe half of my stories. I’ve also been the victim of a home invasion. (Fortunately they just stole things.) Every time I called the police, they showed up long after the action was over and they never caught any of these people.

My experiences have convinced me that I am better off owning firearms for self-defense. I hope I never have to use a gun to defend myself, but just like seatbelts, fire extinguishers, and medical equipment, I’d rather have it and not need it than need it and not have it.

I don’t think this line of reasoning applies to everyone, and I definitely don’t recommend that people get a gun without weeks of deliberation. That said, I feel thankful to live in a place that lets law-abiding citizens own and use firearms for self-defense.