Hello Anthony,
I apologize if I am sending this to the wrong email, but after searching through several websites for your personal one, I gave up.
My name is Brian. I have had the pleasure of meeting you a few times at Gun For Hire and each time we’ve had pleasant conversations thats always left me leaving the range thinking (all positive). First, I am a 30 year old male. I grew up in a household that was not “anit-gun”, but didnt include any family or close friends who owned any. We were from a “privileged area” of northern jersey so the topic of owning or shooting just did not exist. I got into shooting through a friends father a little less than 5 years ago. He took me Cherry Ridge to shoot some .22s. Since then, I have received my FID, purchased 4 handguns, 5 rifles, 2 bolt actions, 2 shotguns and my Utah CCW at Gun For Hire. Now, I am known by my friends as the gun guy; which I happily accept. Lucky enough, no one around me tries to convince me that “guns are bad.”
I am emailing you for two reasons, the first a sad story. I am the owner/operator of a youth sports program where we travel around the US playing in tournaments. In a few weeks I will be taking 2 of my top teams to Atlanta, Georgia. I spoke with my parents to let them know I will be taking my handgun with me and they seemed a little surprised and concerned even though they know I am a safe firearms handler, have my CCW, which is honored in that state, did thorough research on the TSA as well as my specific airline and purchased the correct case and locks for transportation. Their fear is not only traveling with a firearm, but how I will be viewed by my clients; or more importantly, their parents. I try to explain what “concealed carry” meant. I told them how obviously dangerous Atlanta is, how I’ll be walking around with 2 dozen young girls, and that I have every right to protect myself and them. I even tried to explain that it is common to carry and their perception is skewed growing up in NJ and NY. Regardless, I believe their concerns are more with parents finding out and not wanting there children around it. It was terrible to hear thinking like that, but thats how it is perceived around me. Any ideas or thoughts to help them accept the situation? You’d think a “rather have and not need, than need and not have” mindset would suffice.
Secondly, I have been listening to Gun For Hire radio for only about 2 months now. The only thing I do not like about it is that its only once a week. Since listening I have learned a lot about the firearms industry, 2nd amendments, politics and firearms in the US and the great start of NJ. Even before the election I had no interest in politics, but being a gun owner now has changed my thought process and views on the US, people and media dramatically. I love listening to how passionate people are defending the second amendment as well as common logic and the reality of our world. As strange as it sounds, I have fallen deeply in love with my firearms. I love buying them, cleaning them, shooting them, and of course, share my love for the 2nd amendment. After listening to your podcast and hearing the thoughts on all the new shooters, I felt it was time to do my part. Like I said previously, none of my friends and colleagues are against firearms, but none are owners of them and some are just neutral to the whole idea. Though I don’t plan on shoveling my thoughts and love for firearms down their throat, I’d like to give everyone who’s willing a chance for a fun, safe and educational experience shooting with me at Cherry Ridge and Gun for Hire. I plan on taking at least 2 people a month to expose them to my lifestyle and let them make up their own minds about firearms and there place in society. I will be noting how they feel about firearms before and after the range. Hopefully, I can open up a few minds as well as get some to file for their FID, join a range and/or join the NRA. But one step at a time.
Anthony, thank you and your colleagues for helping turn my hobby into a love; a love into a passion; and a passion into a lifestyle. Keep up the great work and I cant wait to be more involved.