America is a country I’ve loved for many years but alas one that I hadn’t had the opportunity to explore until now. It comes up many times in my area of interest here in the UK, as well as being the country most cited by those wishing to argue against my pro firearm stance. The media hysteria and insistence on immortalising psychopaths intent on gaining that guaranteed notoriety by shooting unarmed fellow Americans, manifestos and all, appears to cause a continuous perpetuation of mainstream anti 2nd ammendment rhetoric and virtue signalling.
So when I got the chance to go to Atlanta GA and see for myself how a pro gun society can work I took the bull by the horns, got on that jet and made it my mission to shoot as many guns as I could……… And boy did I do just that.
As soon as I got my arthritis ridden body in some kind of working shape that first day on American soil I made my way down to allegedly the largest Gun store in America “Adventure Outdoors”. I’d heard on Fridays that you could take advantage of a full auto deal involving an HK G36, a firearm that had been on my bucket list for quite some time now but unfortunately back in the UK you need special permissions to fire one. Here however, I watched a basic range training video, went to the firing line, and let it rip in a safe and controlled environment.
While I was firing the actual assault rifle it crossed my mind that this is what freedom tastes like and unlike a certain journalist that fired an AR-15 a couple of years ago named Kuntsman I didn’t develop PTSD……. On the contrary I merely thought to myself, “Why can’t I do this at home without begging the home office for permission?” After all I had an RO behind me, the range was safe and insured, the firearm was reliable and stored there when not in use. Why then can a similar system not be employed in the UK? Why can’t I come off the street, hire a firearm like I did, buy ammo, take a safety course and then shoot on the property?
Next up was another couple of firearms I badly wanted to try, an ex military M1 and a BFR 30-30 which was very kindly supplied to me by Ron who drove over 4 hours just to meet me. I was honestly humbled that he made the effort. Again we were left to it, there was no panic or several miles worth of hurdles to jump through but then I’d literally been surrounded by people carrying handguns from the moment I set foot in Georgia. The sight of a pro gun Northern Irish guy wasn’t unusual like it is back home after all and my enthusiasm was applauded rather than ridiculed.
Now I could just sit and list every firearm I tried on my trip however it would turn this piece from writing with flow to a very long shopping list, but needless to say I sampled everything from several AK-47s right through to some 300 blackouts and I never felt unsafe, I was surrounded by citizens carrying protection firearms and I never felt unsafe, when I went and purchased my own Buck knife and openly carried it on my belt in public I nor anyone else felt unsafe. I had more comments about not carrying a firearm than the knife itself to be perfectly honest yet back in Blighty you can get arrested for carrying a bloody potato peeler as our government views anything with an edge as an “offensive weapon.” The Buck is a serious tool that’s for sure it cuts like a katana and it’s guaranteed to make UK MPs quite literally froth at the mouth with righteous indignation.
I spent my entire trip marvelling at the freedom of it all, at the attitude and understanding Americans have of their own personal protection, liberty and strive to protect their constitution. Don’t get me wrong I spoke to liberals over there as well, they gave me their view on how the constitution should be scrapped in favour of “safety given by government” the irony being they still carried personal protection weapons while preaching to me about needing less rights.
When I relayed to them UK law, how gun control evolved here to total control and explained the intricacies of our own system they were horrified at their own short sightedness. Their apparent hatred for their own president, history and constitution suddenly was brought into focus when I cited our own capital, the prevalence of gun and knife crime and yet the majority populations total inability to even discuss protecting ourselves in any way. Pepper spray after all is classed in the eyes of our authorities in the same list as a machine gun, section 5………… Let that sink in, an item used to give you time to escape an attack, that’s non lethal, is seen as just as illegal as an actual assault rifle in the UK.
“But didn’t the fact everyone had a gun make you afraid the wrong person had one?”
No, one thing I noticed was everyone was very polite. It pays to be nice when people can ward off any attack. An armed society is after all a polite society and as such those wanting to cause trouble publicly where everyone else is armed isn’t smart. Hence why mass shootings tend to happen in areas where people have been disarmed and can’t shoot back.
I realise for most Brits reading this it sounds like the wild West but it really isn’t, personal safety and individual responsibility isn’t as far fetched as you have been taught it is, when seconds count after all police are minutes sometimes hours away. You only get one life and it’s important so why entrust it to others? Georgia has it right as far as I’m concerned in many aspects.
That being said the spectre of gun control is slowly creeping into America and has been for quite a while, I was in a gun friendly state – head north to New York or West to California and you can see what happens to States that take apart their own constitution, you get skyrocketing gun crime and shootings. The Democrats can’t seem to figure out that removing firearms from the law abiding only leaves the criminal armed, but then neither can the UK.
I got a small taste of freedom and liberty stateside and it pained me to get on that plane again knowing its flavour, a land where you have freedom of speech, the right to a fair trial, you don’t need permission to protest and most of all you have the right to protect yourself, your family and your home with firearms.
As alien as that may sound to you I want to finish with just three simple words.
God Bless America.