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September 3, 2009

The Necessity and Pleasure of Owning Firearms


Two major newspapers this week have published stories that accurately capture the varied reasons why people choose to own firearms.

In The Washington Post yesterday, reporter Christian Davenport does a good job of showing how difficult it is to purchase a handgun in Washington, D.C., even after the U.S. Supreme Court, in District of Columbia v. Heller, struck down the city's longstanding ban against handgun ownership. It took Davenport four trips to the police department, two background checks, being fingerprinted, taking a five-hour class and passing a 20-question test–a total of nearly 16 hours–to purchase his handgun. Certainly, no one can claim that it's "too easy to buy a gun" in this city. About 550 D.C. residents so far have endured this purposely prohibitive process to become handgun owners, with many more, no doubt, unwilling to put in the time to overcome such a significant barrier to ownership. In the process of exercising his Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms, the reporter overcomes his apprehension about handling a firearm, discovers the enjoyment of shooting and wrestles with his feelings about whether to keep his newly acquired handgun in the home to protect himself and his family. Read "Get a Gun in D.C.–Do You Feel Lucky? and watch the video that features a segment filmed at Maryland Small Arms Range, Inc.

Today in The New York Times, Caitlin Kelly, author of the book "Blown Away: American Women and Guns," leads off her story, "For the Stressed Business Owner, a Range of Pursuits to Revive the Spirit," with a woman contractor who finds that shooting trap is a way to renew her energy in these challenging economic times for small business owners. “You’re not thinking about anything else, and when I come out of there I feel refreshed,” said Diane Slovak of Connecticut. NSSF assisted the author in finding her subject. Read the story and see the author's blog.