I Had Never Touched a Gun Before the Las Vegas Massacre. Then I Bought One.

A liberal snowflake gets to know gun culture from the inside.

Comments

1
Guns and penises, too many of them are out of control and RUINING things for the sane people. Sick to death of hearing about both. Just shut up about guns FFS.
2
Thanks, to Rob Dobi for the superb grahic.
3
[SIC] grapic should be graphic. I guess I was a mesmerized by the power of Rob Dobi's sense of design and composition. Well done, indeed.
4
wow. That took balls to write. Thanks for getting personal, and going where most people don't... suicide is still such a big taboo. The statistics are huge and the dialogue minimum, so your writing has filled a hole in public dialogue that desperately needs filling. Thanks for doing that.
5
Thank you for that last line. As someone still stung by the suicide of a close friend 45 years ago when we were teenagers, I applaud your self-awareness. I almost cried reading about that Glock in your mouth...
7
You just had to put the gun in your mouth didn't you.
It brings to mind x-ray image I saw while transporting patients down at Harborview in the 90's. There was a kid who had failed Suicide with hand gun. Plastic surgery had reformed his mouth to a fix round hole, like those kids in "The Wall", and from below is nasal cavity to his jaw were bone fragments as if a diner plate had been shattered. The look on the fathers face as he lead his son down the hall by the elbow was even more devastated.
8
... That's a hell of a piece.
9
Fuck this fucking article and it's writer and the horse they rode in on. Narcissistic clickbait bullshit.

We know that people who don't even have a history of suicide risk have a much greater chance of suicide due only to having access to a gun. We know this. People with a known history of risk all the more so. We know this already. It's like deciding to go test for yourself whether or not "this vaccine business" has anything to it. We know vaccines work. Or going out in your backyard and doing your own science if you can prove whether or not it's a good idea to drink bleach. Why trust real science when you can DIY, right, bro? Narcissistic twat.

We know that many, many, many intelligent people were raised around guns, have hunted, have been trained in firearms as part of the storied American gun heritage, or in the police, or in the military. They have fought in wars, and sometimes been shot, and sometimes they have shot at, and sometimes have killed people. It's not like we have ZERO examples of people who have been there and can tell you all about it. Memoirs and think pieces by these many many men and women who know all about this stuff exist in abundance.

I can sit here and tell you I've been there and done that and you can call me a liar because I'm some anonymous guy on the internet. Fair enough. Check the rest of the internet. Read books. Ask your librarian. Credible sources are everywhere.

This asinine gun kook argument that 'snowflake libs would melt in a puddle if they ever touched a real gun' is obviously bullshit. It doesn't cry out to be refuted because it has already been refuted since time immemorial.

Because these many, many, many men and women who know all about guns are intelligent, they will tell you that we must have gun control. Obviously! Because letting any fuckhead who wants a gun have whatever fucking gun he wants is fucking stupid. You don't need to know how it feels to carry a gun to grok that. But if have to ask, there are lots and lots and lots of trustworthy gun experts immersed in gun culture who can tell you that. The feeling of carrying a gun doesn't change that it's fucking stupid to let any fuckhead who wants one have a gun.

The reason gun kooks want free-for-all access to guns isn't because they know something everybody else doesn't know. It's because they're nihilists (nihilists like the alt-right, the racists, and most remaining Republicans) and because they're kooks.

This article is a stupid fucking stunt that answers questions that have already been answered and answer and answered. The only reason to do this jackass stunt is get attention and make it about yourself. Fuck you.
10
Good move getting rid of it Sean - as Jim Jeffries puts it "everybody gets a little sad sometimes," and we need your brain in your head if you are going to continue writing for us :)
11
It is about time: If it wasn't for militants such as Myself, then your kind would be dead ( as the Klanazis would've murdered you already).
13
As someone who was once required to carry a concealed handgun at all times while not at work (or actually inside my house or out of state), I can say that it is a major, major pain-in-the-ass. The author mentions the discomfort, and there is that. But it also limits what kind of clothes you can wear and where you can go at times. The second I was no longer required to carry one, I stopped and never have since, although I'm now allowed to if I wish to carry. I don't.

It is so much of a major, major...major pain-in-the-ass, that it baffles me why anyone would want to do it if they aren't literally required to. I mean, I now live in semi-rural area outside a quiet small town, but it's a redder than red area, so yahoos carry sidearms routinely out here all the time. My only thought is "WTF, it's not as if the Crips...or anyone...are gonna jack you for your car anywhere with 100 miles of here!" I guess compensating for other shortcomings is worth the pain-in-the-ass hassle of it , though...
15
The sub headline "A liberal snowflake gets to know gun culture from the inside" is the first point for the other team. The whole rest of the article scores points for the other team.

The premise that decent people are to blame for our present kakistocracy because decent people didn't spend enough time among garbage people learning to appreciate their garbage values is a garbage person talking point.

Liberal cities have a very low birthrate. Cities did not grow from towns into cities into megacities by reproducing very fast. They grew by filling up with refugees from red state America. All those urbanites who vote for Hillary grew up in Trump country. They know it intimately. We don't need some smug little hipster going undercover among the white trash to report back to us what all those strange right wingers are thinking.

Clickbait trash.
16
I'm fucking relieved!!!! to read that last sentence.
17
To the author
You aren’t a liberal snowflake...you’re an IDIOT.

93 people die each day in the US by guns, 180 people critically injured each day by guns. No one thinks of the ones who didn’t die.

Big news a guy got a face transplant as he blew his face off putting the gun under his chin. Took everything off including one eye--nose, cheek bones, upper and lower jaw--GONE. He got the face from ANOTHER suicide who got it “right.”

BTW EIGHT children are shot each day in the good ole USA. Do you have ANY idea what a First Grader (20 at Newtown) looks like after being hit by three or four .223 rounds from an AR-15? Think of shredded Kleenex soaked in blood. Nothing left to identify.

A bullet expands as it enters the body and can leave a dinner size hole as it exits. It shreds blood vessels, liquefies organs, turns bones into shards and splinters. The people bleed out--can’t stitch them up.

There is NO godly reason for guns to exist in the 21st century. NONE.

In Hawai’i it’s nearly impossible to get a gun permit...takes about a month of bureaucracy--and HEY lowest gun deaths in America.

You have a gun in your home? Seven times greater chance of dying by a gun.

As far as suicide? Mostly guys (19,000 a year here) kill themselves with guns, because women don’t want to leave a mess.

My West Point grad spouse lost all our retirement savings and home in the recession. He invested in high risk stocks.

On November 29th, 2009 he borrowed a gun from an army buddy. He was depressed. It took me WEEKS to clean the blood, brain tissue, and skull fragments off the ceiling, redwood tongue and groove walls. And I was blamed for his death. (You must have been a terrible wife for him to commit suicide!-Yeah it’s just WONDERFUL.) I took a sledge hammer to that gun and smashed it until I could no longer stand up. My neighbors heard me screaming as I was making sure that piece of shit gun never killed another person.

Get rid of the goddamned things. It’s a substitute for a small cock.

Repeal the 2nd amendment.

OR Come work with me for 72 hours over a weekend in the emergency department in Chicago or Birmingham. You’ll see a four year old die out because his dumb father left a loaded gun out and his five year old friend picked it up and shot him. While you’re working on him, his arm keeps falling off the table so I tell you “Grab the 2 inch adhesive tape and wrap his body and arm together...at least when his mother sees him dead she won’t trip over his arm in the 6 inches of blood on the floor.

Work with me..and tell me how “both sides have a point.”

Idiot.
18
Moving, incredibly well written and VERY brave. Thank you for your candor on such an incredibly difficult subject.
19
Sean, thanks for a thought-provoking article. As an unrepentant legal concealed carrier who regularly packs iron into businesses that display No Guns signs, let me offer a few thoughts:

1. West Coast Armory is high class. I've bought weapons there, and it's the only indoor range I'll go to in our area. When you shoot at a public range, you need to be sure that rules will be enforced swiftly to keep people safe. WCA has no tolerance for people doing unsafe things. They also keep the air remarkably clean for an indoor range, which is important if you shoot a lot.

2. Your gun purchasing experience was facilitated by your concealed pistol license. Had you not presented a valid permit at point of sale, you would have had to wait five days to pick up the gun. A CPL functions as a sort of pre-clearance when it comes time to purchase, though you still have to pass the FBI NICS check.

3. Glocks excel at home defense, range shooting, and rugged outdoor use. They are not particularly comfortable to wear. While you were at WCA, I'm sure you saw the little mouseguns like the Ruger LCP. Your first inclination might have been to pass them off as a fashion accessory, but those little things recoil sharply and carry 7 lethal rounds. The paradox of concealed carry is that a small one is more comfortable to carry while a large one is more comfortable to shoot.
20
You should have stayed in the UK. You're a dangerous person and you don't belong here.
21
There is no such thing as "gun violence". This is a focus-group-driven buzzword and talking point to create an imaginary bogeyman as the main anti 2nd Amendment propaganda tool. There are PEOPLE who commit violence with guns, but there are many more people who commit violence without them.
And, since the term "gun violence" is a catchword/cliche, the title suggests an unattainable goal. People have been robbing and killing other people, using the weapons of the day, since the beginning of man on this planet, which identifies the real issue - controlling criminal impulses in humans, not the otherwise legal instruments they use to commit crimes.
Anyone who doesn't realize and/or acknowledge this isn't thinking, s/he is 'feeling', and our liberty cannot depend upon what anybody 'feels'.
22
Dear NRA.....
Stop "negotiating" excuses to INFRINGE on OUR RIGHTS.

If there must be background checks, let's try this idea...
Are there any ‘legislators’ that are interested in a Constitutional Background Check?

Since SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED means exactly that..

Let’s try a “Background Check” that DOES NOT INFRINGE on anybodies RIGHTS…
A FULL, IN DEPTH background check for ALL Politicians, Bureaucrats, and ALL government employees, and set MINIMAL INTELLIGENCE, JOB SKILLS AND CHARACTER QUALITIES that must be met before they can run for office, be appointed or hired.

That way, WE, THE PEOPLE, get a much better class of politicians and bureaucrats, as well as EMPLOYEES that can be trained to do the jobs they are being hired for.

Any bets on how hard the political class will fight to prevent it?

THAT would be a Background Check that nearly ALL AMERICAN CITIZENS will support and I don't much care if the illegals and their sycophants don't like the idea.
23
There are over 370 "mental disorders" listed in the latest version of the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.) The list includes "Tobacco Addiction Disorder" among other equally mundane and ridiculous so-called "mental illnesses."

If the DSM is the standard by which Obama wishes to remove our rights to own guns, then I'd guess 90% of the American people could probably be classified with a mental disorder of one kind or another.

BEWARE, BEWARE
24
The image of a white man with a concealed handgun walking around a street mostly filled with poor minorities, looking to see if he comes across danger and has a chance to use is gun, is incredibly fucked up. Seriously fucked up.

26
Re: "Both sides have a valid point."

No, they don't.

The Constitution forecloses drastic burdens, impediments or bans on arms that are within the ambit of the amendment enumerated to protect the right to bear them.

In 1939 the SCOTUS in U.S. v. Miller ruled that "In the absence of any evidence tending to show that possession or use of a 'shotgun having a barrel of less than eighteen inches in length' at this time has some reasonable relationship to the preservation or efficiency of a well regulated militia, we cannot say that the Second Amendment guarantees the right to keep and bear such an instrument. Certainly it is not within judicial notice that this weapon is any part of the ordinary military equipment, or that its use could contribute to the common defense. Aymette v. State, 2 Humphreys (Tenn.) 154, 158. . . With obvious purpose to assure the continuation and render possible the effectiveness of such forces, the declaration and guarantee of the Second Amendment were made. It must be interpreted and applied with that end in view. . . [T]hese men were expected to appear bearing arms supplied by themselves and of the kind in common use at the time."

Translation: Arms "in common use" that have "some reasonable relationship to the preservation or efficiency of a well regulated militia" and/or are "any part of the ordinary military equipment" are within the ambit of Second Amendment protection.

The right is the right, the constitutional enumeration is the constitutional enumeration, and the precedent is the precedent.

IOW, that argument is o-v-e-r.

So, why do some insist on beating that dead horse?
27
I've been reading the Stranger since day one - it's a wonder I have half a brain left. I think this is the best story that's been published. Do I agree with everything Mr. Nelson has to say, or everything he did to get his story? No. Do I think he ought to own a hand-gun? Fuck no! I do think he's a good writer and that maybe his story is even Pulitzer worthy. But then again, I've been reading the Stranger since day one.
28
We don't require people to obtain a license to own cars, we require licenses to drive them.

The second amendment guarantees the right to own and carry a gun, not to fire it.

We should require people who want to fire guns to be licensed to do so.
29
I grew up around guns. I have pretty much zero problem with them, though I do consider gun control being better if I am the one controlling the gun, haha. Here is the thing though. Sean, with all due respect, I think maybe you would be better off not owning. You impulsively put the barrel in your mouth. Not good. Do not invite accidents to happen. I know it wasn't loaded. I also know that thousands of people have been accidentally harmed by unloaded guns..
30
Totally agree with #13. It's an incredible hassle carrying every day. I stopped about 15 years ago, and while I keep my permit up to date, I do not miss the discomfort, the limitations on where I could go and what I could wear, and one other thing most of all: The stress of it. Every altercation, every vocal disagreement, every minor road rage situation, whether I was a participant or a witness...these are all potential lethal force encounters when you're carrying a gun. Every action you take must be weighed in terms of whether it would satisfy a jury that you behaved reasonably at every stage, or were you "looking for trouble"? Exhausting. My quality of life and overall health went way up when I stopped carrying.
31
@19, @25, Glock makes subcompact guns too, the Glock 26 and 43 in 9mm, and the 42 in .380. I've been carrying the 43 as an everyday carry gun now in Seattle for a year. Had performed exactly like I'd expect of any Glock every time I've shot it, and it's a lot more comfortable to carry than a 19 (previous carry gun for me was a Glock 23, which is the .40 S&W version of the Glock 19). Plenty of other manufacturers now, Ruger, S&W, Beretta, Springfield, SIG, Walther, all make quality subcompact 9mm's.
32
Been thinking about this story all day. This seems like a bad version of David Foster Wallace's "Consider the lobster" or "A Supposedly Fun Thing". Except that DFW never:
1) Walked around a street filled with poor drug addicted minorities, playing his own version of Dirty Harry.
2) Never put a gun in his mouth. for a fucking essay (Despite his struggle with depression that eventually ended his life).

What the fuck. You really think most people who are pro gun control haven't considered answers like "The right to drive isn't enshrined in the Bill of Rights, but gun ownership is." Hey Sean, the next step is to point out that FUCKING OWNING PEOPLE was once allowed by the laws of the land, that the constitution didn't consider women and minorities "people". But you know what, law's are fucking mutable.

Most people are pro some sort of gun control, but you know what, the fucking NRA has used racist fear to scare people into believing that "good god fearing american's" need guns. You know that fear and danger you where trying to find by walking on a street filled with poor, drug addicted minorities, that's the same fear that the NRA sells to prevent gun control. It's the same fucking fear that cops embrace when they shoot unarmed minorities. You know how those "good god fearing american's" say they need a gun to protect them and their family. Well, they're not picturing you, although as a white male with a gun you're statistically really fucking dangerous, they're picturing the people on yelser and 3rd that you made a point to walk by while packing. You know how those "good god fearing american's" say they need a gun to protect them from the government, otherwise the government is going to take their property and rights. Well, the last time the government took away mass "property" from white people was when it abolished slavery. The whole "I need to protect my property, my rights, and my family" is so fucking covered in racism, racism that you fucking embraced in this story.

Seriously, the Stranger should be ashamed of this. Imagine if any other newspaper decided to give a white male reporter a gun and told them to walk around in the area with a bunch of black drug addicts. You guys would lose your shit. Well fuck you.
33
Jesus. Don't ever fucking put a gun in your mouth. Ever. Don't ever do it. Fuck. Even if you didn't have a history of suicidal ideation... Fucking Christ. There were a lot of interesting points in your article, but for fuck's sake, if you were able to put a LOADED pistol in your mouth, you should go home, unload the pistol immediately, and take it WCA to see if you can get them to buy it back from you. And then go see a councilor and tell them you put a loaded pistol in your mouth. Should be a good conversation starter. Seriously, you need to understand why you did that. Spoiler: it wasn't to get at some greater truth about gun ownership. Fuck.
34
@26

All that "common use" shit is totally made up. The penumbra between several rights that implies the right to privacy is based on actual things that are there. There is no mention of "common use" in the Second Amendment. There is no "18 inches" rule in there. They made it up. The second Amendment guarantees the right to your own a nuclear tipped ICBM. As many as you want. The meaning is quite clear.

But obviously absurd, so they proceeded to start making shit up. Cool. They should make up a rule that says no self-loaders, no semi-automatics of any kind. No double action revolvers. Single action only. No magazine larger than 3 rounds. Or maybe 2. What the hell, right? Be grateful you aren't stuck with black powder muzzle loaders.

Or if the real point is to let citizens defend themselves from the might of the government of the United States, then nuclear weapons are in fact necessary. You can't reasonably expect the people to resist the might of a nuclear armed global superpower without their own nuclear weapons. But that is still fucking absurd. It's absurd any way you think about it. Admit it.

The should just repeal the Second Amendment because it's a stupidly written piece of shit. The basic grammar of the sentence isn't even clear. We are finally ready to admit they fucked this one up. Repeal the fucker and let the states do what they did for the first 150 years. Towns used to have signs saying "no guns in city limits" and that was that. Imposing these arbitrary 18 inch rules and "common use" made up bullshit from on high is a huge fucking joke. Everybody knows it's a joke.
35
A pretty decent article.

The author captures the fear and uncertainly all new gun owners go through. I'm probably what folks would consider a 'rabid' pro-2A person and a Life Member of the NRA, but it took me months to adjust to carrying a firearm on a regular basis.

The author gets the feeling spot-on. Unlike the gun control lobby's party line, guns don't make good people feel powerful, they make make them feel responsible.

The one area I do think the author pandered to their own ignorance is their attitude towards the NRA.

The mainstream media loves to portray them as this huge organization who forces their will on politicians and dupes their members.

The reality is far, far different.

The NRA is a small organization, with an annual budget of around $300 a year. It's regularly given top marks by various charity watch groups for making sure the money they collect goes to 'end users', in their case safety training, competition, etc.

The 'political' part of the NRA is the NRA-ILA and the NRA-PVF, which together have a budget of less than $20 million a year.

To put that in perspective, ex-NYC mayor and gun control fanatic Michael Bloomberg spends at least $100 million a year keeping his "Mom's Demand..." and "Everytown..." groups afloat, He's spent well over a billion dollars on pushing gun control over the last 5 years alone.

Bloomberg has so much wealth he could pay the NRA's whole budget himself, for the next 100 years, and he would still be a multibillionaire. He could buy the entire output of US gun companies for 2017, and 2016, and 2015... Toss them all into the sea, and he'd still be a multi-billionaire.

The other myth is that the NRA somehow manipulates it's members.

This completely ignores that fact that the members vote on 1/2 the board of directors each year, and that several times the members have completely changed the face of the organization through these votes.

The 'Cincinnati Revolution' at the 1977 members meeting threw out the directors who were afraid to confront the brand new 'gun control' movement, leading to the 'no compromise' NRA we know today.

Unlike Bloomberg's astroturf groups, the NRA is a grass roots organization with over 5 million dues-paying members. They are a force not because they somehow manipulate the system, but because NRA members vote. Every. Single. Election.

That all being said, I do think this was an excellent article overall, and I applaud the author for breaking out of their comfort zone in such a bold way.
36
P.S.

I really hope the authors stay at a mental hospital for his suicidal thoughts was voluntary.

If not, they are a 'prohibited person' and lied on both their CC permit and 4473 forms, making them guilty of at least one state and one federal felony.
37
Hey Sean,

I understand your journey, though I feel differently.
I was there in Vegas.
I was staying on that block of the Strip... had headed out for a late dinner.
Panic, chaos... bloody people running by... being trapped in a back hall and evacuated by LVMPD.
All very scary and surreal to say the least.

However, I've never wanted a gun less in my life.
38
@25 While they aren't as rock-solid reliable as compact or full size pistols, some of the little mouseguns are quality pieces. My summer carry routine is a Ruger LCP loaded with Hornady .380 Critical Defense.

Ammo choice is paramount to making a little machine like that work reliably.
39
@31 The best thing about Glocks is that no compromises are made with regards to reliability, but that reliability comes with increased size. While the 43 is a nice pistol with a decent trigger for its class, it's still bigger than I would like for the niche I ask it to fill.

The 19 is a pretty ideal weapon in most respects. I value mine immensely.
40
@31 I meant the 42 in .380, excuse me.
41
@40 If you are going to carry a .380 because it is small enough to be comfortable, the question becomes, "Why are you carrying at all?" Virtually everyone agrees that the .380 is a very bad defensive carry weapon. They have really only been effective assassination devices and extremely undercover when you just can't have anything bigger. If you are carrying .380 ACP, you just like the feeling of having a gun, any gun, on you. Not good.
42
One last observation. If you are going to possess firearms, my God, have some sense of style at least. A Glock is one ugly, not particularly accurate, (horrendous trigger) black box. Yeah, it's dead nuts reliable. But you do yourself no favors with ugly, black, guns. Get something with some style, like a Hi-Power or a CZ-75 or their clones. Blued or coated, with some nice wood grips. Make it at least look intriguing to people who may see the beauty of the design.

43
I've fired everything from an AK-47 to an Enfield, and hung out with gunfolk. I've concealed carried a Luger Parabellum. So I know - If you want a gun for protection, you must carry it in your hand at all times, off safe, fully loaded, round chambered - like the infantry. Otherwise, it's useless as an agency of protection. Try carrying groceries or your kid like that. As for hunting or fishing - all wild animals are in a holocaust, so get over any of that. Guns were invented to kill people in war. Nobody's aim is any use, because the moment a bullet leaves the muzzle, you don't know where that thing is going to end up, not really. Unless you want to live in a war zone, spend your money on something better. Which would be ANYTHING.
44
Where can I buy a penis extension?
Do I need a license?
45
Two things: 1. See a psychiatrist and 2. Get a Lyme test.
46
@42 The best carry gun is the one you have on you should you need it. I'm not going to pack a bulky gun in summer.

You also underestimate the effectiveness of the best .380 loads. Is it a .45? Of course not. But it's certainly better than a sharpened stick, and it'll fulfill the primary role of a carry gun, which is to get me out of a bad situation.

It appears that you view guns for their sex appeal. I don't give a shit about any of that. I want the most effective tool in the smallest, lightest, most reliable package. And just because you have trouble with a Glock double-stage trigger doesn't mean that the pistol isn't accurate. Just look at Larry Vickers shooting 250 meters with the Glock 10mm.
47
I read the whole thing, so I suppose that's something. And so I'm reminded that:

* Gun owners are several times more likely to take a bullet at some point than those who don't own a gun.

* We greatly inflate our capacity for rationality and objectivity. Essentially, we are hairless chimps with cell phones. And in many cases, chimps with guns, too. The tragic results of this are all around.

* A small fraction of any group of people is predisposed to violence in general and homocide in particular. We've made it exceptionally easy for these individuals to wreak tremendous havoc. This will continue unabated.

* Americans are intrinsically paranoid. Lotsa white folks are convinced the government will be coming for them one of these days. And when they say "government," what they really mean is brown people. These rotund crackers have armed themselves for a race war.

* The NRA has unwittingly done more for carbon mitigation than the most zealous advocacy group. Those many thousands of gun deaths each year equate to that much less carbon being spewed into the atmosphere. To the extent that these same victims' reproductive potential is curtailed, carbon reduction is furthered that much more.
48
@44 good news! You do not need a license to buy a penis extension. You can find them at Babeland, or even online at Amazon. HTH
49
The NRA gets a bad rap from the left, much as Planned Parenthood gets a bad rap from the right. In reality, they're very similar in service to the community and function.

Not sure why I read the whole article when the conclusion was easily foreseen. Personally, I carry most of the time and own an AR15. This writer brought a gun home and put it in his mouth...I hope he does not continue owning it.
50
@46. Glock Fanboy. The scourge of gun talk, everywhere.
51
Putting a gun in your mouth is flashing neon sign is a serious, serious flag. You need to seek in-patient treatment. Now. Stunt for this article or serious in its luckily fleeting intent: you are unwell. Seek help.
52
"That complication has been obscured by voices on both sides. The loudest obviously belongs to the National Rifle Association and its 40-year blitzkrieg of political bullying and duplicitous social engineering. "

You should have eaten that gun and removed another stupid moron from the planet.

Here's a hot tip. AARP and many other groups spend more $ on lobbying than the NRA.
53
Bottom line, the SCOTUS (and numerous other high courts) have ruled that police/government have no duty or responsibility to protect any individual. So, there are only two choices. One is to be at the mercy of every criminal, crazy or terrorist. Just hope that you will never meet up with one that chooses to kill you out of their "good moral character". The other is to take responsibility for your protection and that of your family. Certainly, this author was a "gun owner" but never got to the point of being responsible. The vast majority of people that carry do so with regular training (multiple classes every year), regular practice (range visits weekly) and the tools required (e.g. trauma first aid kit, non-lethal options, flashlight, cell phone ...AND firearm).
Now, I 100% agree that making the decision to become a responsible (and armed) citizen is a life changing decision. You find that your attitude and actions change in almost every circumstance. You are much more concerned at being involved in any type of confrontation and do not go to places where either the tools are not allowed (e.g. No Gun Zones) or where the threat level is high.
In the US, the result is that over 2.5 million times every single year a violent crime is stopped/prevented by a legally armed responsible citizen.
54
@50 Whatever, bud. I'm a pisspoor Glock fanboy when my daily carry weapon is a Ruger.
55
Here is a morsel for you to feast on. I'll be there, doing some shopping.
57
You should never own a gun. You are mentally unstable. Consider giving the gun to a sane person and get in to be seen by a mental health professional.
58
I've said it before: Not everyone who owns a firearm is for the 2nd Amendment.

Even though you don't have the proper mindset towards owning a firearm (in more than just being a hoplophobe), the 2nd Amendment protects your rights you waive so willingly, even if you obviously won't defend it.

That being said, I'm hoping you understand many, many others haven't contemplated suicide like you do, let alone attempted what you did in the article. Don't project your feelings and inner-turmoil onto us owners and then judge us all on your personal issues. Don't try to justify that you actually achieved an understanding of pro-Second Amendment citizens, because I saw that nowhere in your writing. You heard our side, but you weren't listening.
59
"The idea that gun regulations should be regarded as a threat to constitutional freedom is a treacherous hoax."

Proving that the author has no idea what he is talking about.
60
Stranger Staff, take this guys gun away from him ASAP. Or live to regret it
62
I'm 100% certain that when this guy took his handgun familiarization class, he was taught the 4 Rules of Firearm Safety. Among them, Rule #2: "Never point your gun at something you are not willing to destroy."

What is the first thing he does when he gets home with his new handgun? He sticks it in his mouth to see how it feels.

Reading the later parts of this article, where he uses his gun as a fetishised prop for his suicidal ideations, and then goes to a shitty part of town to see what it would feel like to be armed somewhere he might feel unsafe (ie. "looking for trouble" in the anti-gun, anti-ccw parlance), was like reading about a guy who hates cars, then buys one to show himself and the world how dangerous they are. He takes the drivers ed class, he gets the license, he buys the car. He has been informed what responsible and safe driving is supposed to be about, but he decides to drive recklessly on purpose so he can report on how it feels to be an aggressive driver. Then he goes to a bar, gets shitfaced, and does a little drunk driving to see what that's all about too. At the end of this spree of willfully irresponsible, idiotic and life-threatening mis-usage, he concludes...surprise!...cars are dangerous and people can do stupid things with them!

In spite of the author's claim to have gotten to "know gun culture from the inside", and the best efforts of his instructor to teach him, he failed to absorb the most crucial element that those of us who have been brought up around guns our whole lives are taught from childhood: that owning a gun is a serious responsibility, and that they need to be treated with great respect. In spite of his efforts, the fact that he does not understand this means that he hardly knows any more about "gun culture" after his experiment than he did when he started.
63
Ahh, The Stranger never disappoints. Between the Truvada ads and this hipster gun article, it's difficult to tell where this newspaper really stands on the issue of risk and responsibility.

Given the low number of police in this era of heroin/meth crime, Murray's idiotic .22 cal ammo tax was an insult to people who are FORCED to provide their own self defense. I would think a publication that touts it's "feminist cred" would understand that a firearm in a trained hand is a woman's best chance against a much larger/stronger assailant (i.e. most men). And while the so-called "rape culture" is largely intersectionality theory gone batshit insane, if one really believed they were in constant threat of sexual assault, then legally carrying a firearm would be the only sane choice - yet most women in liberal Seattle are loath to carry any kind of weapon at all while snarking about "ammosexuals in red counties".

News flash: many of these so-called "ammosexuals" deal with many seedy types - some of whom are here illegally - in their neighborhoods or on the job, and want to get home safe to their families without ending up a statistic.

64
Good god, what a beta nut job. I have 20 or so guns, not once have I thought of putting one in my mouth, or dreamed up killing someone. Never have I bought one and thought hey I'm going to kill someone with this one day. The author is an idiot with all his fear about pieces of metal put together, like the damn thing is an atomic bomb just waiting to explode, no just stop with your over the top fear of guns. You are a mental case and need more help, I hope you seek it and I'm glad you got rid of the gun, too bad I couldn't have bought it.
65
Mr. Nelson didn't buy a gun and stick it in his mouth because he wanted to explore an aspect of a story related to the gun issue. He chose to do a story on the gun issue because it gave him a legitimate excuse (in his mind) to buy a gun, load it, and stick it in his mouth.

I don't know how he justified it to himself that this was a legitimate part of the normal gun culture experience, or somehow a regular thing one does with a gun, but IT IS NOT. His admitted and bizarre fixation on these devices (these tools that ordinary people keep and enjoy every day without sticking them in their mouths), and his treatment of such...haunting gun shops when he feels suicidal, considering the gun as if it emanated some magical power or special gravity, fixating on its presence wherever it was...not to mention stuffing the loaded object into his mouth and putting his finger on the trigger...these things are not a part of a normal examination of firearms, anymore than it is normal to examine a new kind of nylon rope by tying it into a hangman's noose, suspending it from a sturdy beam, and standing on a chair with it looped around your neck.

Mr. Nelson needs to get his Glock, and get in his car. First stop: the gun shop, where no doubt they will happily accept it back (especially if they have read this piece). Then, on to his therapist, where the first words out of his mouth should be "I stuck a loaded gun in my mouth." and "something is very wrong."
66
I'm a writer and I bought a Ruger Blackhawk for $450 so I would have some experience with guns since I was writing a thriller that, inevitably, included them. It took me three months even to take it out of its case and almost that long before I loaded it and slept with it in my writing studio. I taught myself to check the gun's status every time I picked it up even though tI 'knew' whetter it was loaded or not. I did get a concealed weapons permit but I never carried the Ruger on my person. I was outraged to find that, when I was stopped by the local sheriffs, I was treated with suspicion. The first question they asked was if I had my gun with me. Now my response to the outrage of gun violence is a profound sadness for the murdered and not outrage that the killer could do such a thing. Eventually I sold the Ruger at a yard sale. Made $50.
67
On the points in the argument, from fourth paragraph. Important to note that one side is arguing ethics (wrong to impose consequences of your hobby on others - death). Other side is arguing selfishnes (but I want my hobby no matter how many people are harmed). I am surprised I need to point this out : these are not anywhere near points of equal value. One is obviously complelling because it is moral ; the other not because it is selfish.
68
The fact that you looked at a Walther PPK and a Glock, and proceeded to buy the Glock tells me you are on the wrong side of gun appreciation. You might try fishing.
Defenders Prayer
Now I lay me down to sleep
I pray the Lord my life to keep
If someone breaks in before i wake
I pray the Lord his life i'll take
God damn burglers
God damn rapists
God damn home invaders
AMEN
Oh, and God bless Hornady, amen.
69
This author needs serious, serious, mental health treatment. No joke. Editors, this is LITERALLY his cry for help. What are you going to do about it?

Less importantly, he lied on all of his paperwork and, in the process, committed at least one felony. WTF.

I suppose all of that must be okay if you agree with him on gun control. I hope that he gets the help he needs and I hope that all of you not realizing how sick he is simply because you agree with his politics are fucking ashamed of yourselves. All of this is unbelievable to the point of being easily mistaken for parody. Sickening...and definitely in no way journalism.
70
Thanks for admitting you LIED on the FEDERAL FORM. That's 10 year prison/$10,000 fine. Plus whatever the state wants for lying on the concealed carry license. But congrats. That will make you a full fledged FELON and you WILL be entered into the NICS and you won't have to worry about buying another gun LEGALLY! Who knows maybe you can write a story about being in "the big house".