Since it’s all the rage among gunbloggers right now, I thought I’d chip in with my own unremarkable story.
Growing up, we didn’t have any guns in the house; I’d fired a rifle and shotgun at Boy Scout camp, but that was it. Most of my friends in high school hunted, but our family didn’t. It was just one of those things.
A few years ago, my apartment was burgled and ransacked; the only thing taken was my PlayStation 2 (with the memory card and game; I was more pissed about the loss of the memory card than the console itself), but when the thief left, he left behind his crowbar.
It didn’t sink in immediately, but if I’d been home, he could have done some real damage with it; I have no desire to play a headcrab to any criminal’s Gordon Freeman.
I called the cops after the burglary, but nothing ever came of it. I assume the thief tried to sell the PS2. I doubt he got much for it (it was a Japanese model, and the PS2 is region-locked), so even though I lost hundreds of hours of save data (I’d had the PS2 for ~5 years at this point), I still had the last laugh. Kind of.
My parents also suffered a break-in around the same time (while they were present), but the would-be thief spooked and ran off.
A few years later (during the 2008 election, actually), I was clicking around on various blogs and news sites, and eventually learned that the police have no duty to protect you. This spurred my interest in self-defense (well, that and reading One Second After in the spring following the election).
Unfortunately, I was living in New York at the time, and after reading the various laws, I decided it would be easier not to bother. Too many hoops to jump through, and it would be too easy to fall afoul of some regulation or other (which is the point; if gun ownership becomes too onerous, then fewer people will buy guns). I wasn’t keen on going, hat in hand, to the government to ask for permission to buy a handgun.
After moving back to Arkansas, I did some reading, and signed up for a concealed carry class. I bought my first gun (a Bersa Thunder .380 CC), and then followed that up with a couple of AR-15 lower receivers. A few months after that (after realizing how expensive .380 ammo was; I didn’t research as thoroughly as I’d thought), I bought a P226 classic .22, and then I was hooked.
Reading various gun blogs has turned me into more of a libertarian than I was before; given how the government has treated the 2nd amendment, it’s easy to see how other basic rights could be abrogated. I don’t know that I’d call it a road to Damascus moment, but it’s pretty close.
If the government can’t be trusted to obey “shall make no law,” “shall not be infringed,” or “shall not be violated,” when it’s spelled out plainly, why can it be trusted to obey other limitations on its power?