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Are you afraid of me

Are you afraid of me?
You shouldn't be.

by Michael A. Romo

Are you afraid of me? You shouldn't be since I am just the average, law abiding American citizen. I am married and have a wonderful child. I work in the area of public safety as a fire fighter. I own my own house and a car and truck. My two dogs are very well behaved, although a little on the plump side as they sometimes get treats just for being themselves. I go to church every week, and have done so since I was a small child. I attended college, joined a fraternity, and graduated with a slightly better than average GPA.

Who am I, you may ask? I am your next door neighbor who sometimes forgets to take his trash can back up his driveway. I am your co-worker, the one who almost always drops a quarter or two in the coffee kitty. I am the guy who drives the snow plow, or the garbage truck, or the fire engine. I'm just an ordinary guy. I also enjoy hunting and shooting very much. I own several guns, many of which I take out as often as I can to practice with. I carry a gun with me almost all the time, and when I get the chance, I will obtain a concealed carry weapons permit. 

You see, I am just an ordinary, honest citizen who feels that we all have the right to defend ourselves and our families from those who would seek to do us harm. I am an avid outdoorsman who loves to hunt various game animals. I hunt because I enjoy the feelings I get from being out among nature and from taking game that is both difficult to harvest and healthy and delicious to eat. I would gladly feed my family from nature if it were economical to do so, I just can't afford to hunt as often as I would need to in order to harvest my own meat. I enjoy the camaraderie of being in the wild with my neighbor and our dogs as we pursue ducks and geese. I enjoy walking the fields in search of quail and pheasant. I would someday love the chance to safari in Africa and pursue dangerous game like cape buffalo and lion.

My daughter is still too young to enjoy the shooting sports with me, but already she is developing a love for the outdoors and for going on walks with the family and the dogs. She just loves to experience new things, and she doesn't seem to be afraid. This is a blessing in disguise, not a trap as some might believe. She isn't afraid, so she will be able to experience new things under my guidance so that she will enjoy them. Her first gun won't be a twelve gauge shotgun; it'll probably be my old Crossman BB and pellet rifle, or maybe a rubber band pistol. 

Regardless of what her first "firearm" turns out to be, she will be taught the basic rules of firearm safety and be expected to follow them at all times. She will know that all guns are always loaded and that she is never to point them at something she is not willing to destroy. She will also know that her finger is only to be placed on the trigger after she has positioned the sights on her target. She will consider what is behind her intended target, because once a bullet is fired, it can never be recalled. She will know not to touch ANY gun without proper adult supervision, and she will be shown never to be afraid to tell me if her friends handle guns unsafely. She will also know that dad's guns are always locked up in the safe.

My wife is a hard working mother who is also quite adept at marksmanship. She is not afraid of guns, she holds them with the highest of respect. She carries her pistol quite often, and will also obtain a concealed carry permit when our new law takes effect. She believes that we, as a society, have a right and responsibility to our children to protect them from harm -- and that means educating them on safe behavior as well as learning how to handle firearms safely.

So you see, I am just an ordinary family man who belongs to a church, a union, Ducks Unlimited, NRA, gives to many charities, plays with his daughter, drives an ordinary truck, and most importantly believes in parenting as a full time job requiring the utmost care and patience. I pay my taxes willingly. I contact my elected officials regularly and share my opinions and desires with them in a respectful manner. I purchase merchandise over the internet. I could be anyone you know. Now that we have established what I am, I will go over a little of what I am not.

I am NOT a felon, a drug user or abuser, a criminal with no regard for the laws of this land. I am NOT a mentally deficient person. I have NEVER renounced my US citizenship, nor will I ever. I am NOT a racist nor am I prejudiced against any religion, race, color, gender, lifestyle, or anyone who is "different" than me and my family. I have no desire to harm anyone. I have no desire to steal from or assault anyone. I am NOT a danger to anyone in particular nor am I a danger to society. I am therefore, most importantly, someone NOT to be afraid of.

I ask now that you please remember that I personify the typical responsible, law abiding, honest citizen of America who chooses to own firearms and use them for sporting and recreational purposes. I choose to carry one in the event that someone attempts to harm me or my family. I am one who follows the law and who believes that this country was founded on our freedoms for the honest people, and punishment for the criminal people. I am not someone who you should be afraid of, in fact, I would rather enjoy it if I lived next door.

I give permission for this article to be published as long as I receive full credit and retain full rights to distribute to others as I see fit. Please contact me with questions or comments.