Dean, I try to be a level headed guy and respond in kindness, compassion, and with civility (especially in this day and age of the internet) because my faith informs much of my actions (but that’s a story for another day). I’ll shoot you straight having read your other response as well. I’m not a proponent of a semi-automatic weapons ban, because, as I laid out in the piece, the reality and logic behind it is absurd when you boil it down. What we need is more training, safety, licensing, and background checks (mental health especially). I also don’t have problems with civilians owning AR-15’s either for the proper reasons, but most do want to run around in the woods and play soldier and that’s a weird sentiment to me. I think once you’ve seen war up close and ugly and participated in the ugly you wonder why people want to fantasize about it. Granted men always need the proverbial “battle” in their life to feel fulfilled and with such a lack of men feeling unfulfilled these days I see them using these scenarios as an outlet, which is a slippery slope. Look at how many are obsessed with first person shooter and Call of Duty video games.

I did suggest the veteran and law enforcement gun ownership outlet simply as a way to compromise with those who would want to argue indefinitely over “assault style weapons,” etc. Sometimes you gotta give a little to gain some ground and that’s what I tried to do in this piece. I wrote compromises I was comfortable with, and sure, I 100% slanted it towards the military, but that has more to do with the training and responsibility we endure versus those that don’t. Counselors also automatically have more clout because they have the skills others lack, so that’s why I weighted my argument more for men and women who served because they typically have more of an in-depth understanding of weapons than the civilian populace. But as you aptly pointed out, there can be problems with just us owning it if we support tyranny.

I also responded to another reader in the comments that my daughter will be trained early on with a weapon. I want her to learn that it isn’t a toy and want her to be skilled with one. I think you may have inferred from this piece that I wanted weapons banned, when all I tried to do was educate and propose some realistic measures I feel would be beneficial. I hope that explains it a little more.

Storyteller | Combat wounded veteran | Metalhead | Designer | Bleeding on a page just makes it more authentic: https://benjaminsledge.com

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