June 29, 2022

For a Long Time, I’ve Wanted a Bumper Sticker that Says, “Gun-Toting Hippie.”

I wanted this title as a bumper sticker for my last mini-van because I was not a soccer mom; I was a gun-toting hippie.

I’ve tried writing an article about being a gun-toting hippie many times. Read on while I explain how I can be both a hippie and own a gun.

Not long ago, news broke that Russia invaded Ukraine. This possibility had been teetering in the news for a hot minute. Now, this reminds me of history lessons I’ve heard. It has happened on United States soil before. This is a core value that created this nation. The ability to stand up for and defend oneself as an American is what this country was founded upon.

(That includes who you want to marry because consenting adults can make their own decisions.)

If you come at me with violence, if you infringe on my right for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, I will defend myself. I will also defend my loved one’s ability to do the same. That’s the reason why it’s a constitutional right.

I’ve thought long and hard about “Gun-Toting Hippie” and a way to express the message I want to convey—education.

Since the Russia/Ukraine war started, there’s been several mass shootings through the United States. Because of this, there are people screaming in favor of control and ones screaming for freedom, again—which is nothing new, at least not in my lifetime. I’m confused why you can get a gun to kill someone, but you can’t have an abortion. I also find it confusing that someone will advocate for rights to have an abortion but want to control rights to bear arms (somebody please explain this logic to me in the comments).

Then, there’s the first bipartisan firearm legislature agreed and passed through the House and the Senate in more than a decade—time to try to write this article again.

The latest is the Supreme Court overturning New York law that you have to provide satisfactory proof of the need to carry a firearm outside of your home.

Honestly, I am a gun-toting hippie (that’s why I want that as a bumper sticker).

Out of all the many years that I was permitted to conceal carry, I never had to use it. There were a few times I made sure it was within my reach in case I needed it though.

Luckily, I was able to diffuse or distant myself from the threat of having to pull and point my gun at another human being. Thankfully, I educated myself on using a gun, including ways to avoid using one.

While talking with my mom and aunt about current events, the issue of guns came up.

My mom, who was in the army, said that she disagrees with an 18-year-old being able to buy firearms. When I mentioned that our military puts guns in the hands of 18-year olds every day, she replied, “There’s a difference. They’re trained.”

Exactly! Eureka! Education!

You have to be educated to get a driver’s license. You have to be educated to graduate kindergarten and high school. It’s not a far-fetched idea that you should be educated about firearms to be able to purchase one.

I didn’t grow up around guns at all, which is kind of odd since I was raised with my grandparents who were Kentucky hillbillies. I didn’t see, hold, or fire a gun until I was an adult. Once exposed, I wanted to be educated about this powerful piece of weaponry.

Now, I know how to load, how to clean, what kind of stance I need to take depending on the gun, how to aim, to prepare for the sound and the impact it makes when you pull the trigger—I’m educated.

Before anyone should be able to legally purchase a gun, they should—at a minimum—have a basic education regarding firearms, including firing one. I’d prefer having everyone experience safely firing more than one gun once and trying different guns because there is a difference between shooting a shotgun and a handgun. Adding education of firearms isn’t a far reach of reasonability before buying one.

Why is that not already a priority? It is 2022, not 1776; not as many are raised knowing how to hunt with a rifle, taught, or raised with the experience of handling a gun by the age of 10 anymore.

(Sidenote for thought—anyone can go on a killing spree, whether with a pocket pistol or an AR-15, you just gotta be more sneaky with the pistol.)

Education is the most powerful weapon!


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