America's Mass Shooting Epidemic Is Proof Of Our Embarrassingly Low Standards For Gun Ownership
In light of the domestic terrorist attack that recently occurred in Las Vegas, Nevada, in which 58 people were fatally shot and more than 515 injured, I found myself thinking of the first time I shot a gun and how the experience taught me an important lesson that speaks to the core of what being a gun owner should be about but isn’t — respecting this privilege and holding it to a higher standard.
“Breathe, relax, and shoot.”
Those were the three words of advice offered by my friend Carlos as I shot a gun for the first time. The AR-15 recoiled, the stock of the weapon pressing into my shoulder as the bullet pierced a cardboard cutout several yards away. With every shot, the more comfortable I became, Carlos interjecting in between shots to remind me of my posture and encouraging me to try shooting from different positions.
Upon firing my last bullet I walked up to him and handed him the AR-15.
“That was…fun,” I said, still visibly shaking.
“Good, and the shaking will wear off — that happens to everyone when they shoot a gun for the first time,” he responded. “Now, here’s a 9mm pistol.”