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Happy Birthday is a Warm Gun and Hot Lead

I’m not a big gun guy. I am, however, a big gun rights guy.

My personal experiences with guns can be counted on two fingers…

Once, some 20-plus years ago, my wife and I went skeet shooting in Mesquite. She was popping ‘em left and right; I barely saw the darned things flying through the air. The second time was a couple years ago when a friend took me to the Front Sight training facility outside Pahrump for a two-day defensive handgun course.

The course itself was intense and a little intimidating for a “newbie.” What was not intimidating, though, was walking among dozens of people, all of whom were packing heat on their hips. Never felt safer in my life.

But while I may not be what is considered a gun enthusiast, I saw no reason not to take my first-born, Kristen, out to the gun range for her 13th birthday last week and let her squeeze off a few rounds for the first time in her life.

Not because I thought that someday she might want to go elk hunting in Alaska with Sarah Palin, but because someday she might want to get a concealed-carry permit to protect herself from anyone who might wish to do her harm. You know, like a rapist or a murderer…or the government.

Yeah, I went there.

So we saddled up well after dawn (apparently teenagers sleep in longer than pre-teens) and moseyed over to Bob Irwin’s The Gun Store in Las Vegas. After signing all the requisite parental permission forms, Kristen and I slapped on our ear muffs and safety goggles and headed for the gun range.

For targets Kristen chose a deranged clown, a zombie woman and a scarved terrorist. Her weapons of choice were two handguns, a Ruger and a Glock 19, and a pink-handled (how cute!) AR-15.

Long story short: After a little first-timer apprehension and missing high on her first two shots, Kristen settled into the experience and, pun intended, had a blast. Turns out she’s also a pretty darned good shot – likely from the part-Sicilian blood on her mother’s side.

Yeah, I went there.

After getting home, I wrote up the experience and posted it on my blog, including a couple of photos. Shortly thereafter, someone emailed me an article about a New Jersey man whose home was recently raided by government agents after someone anonymously reported him to Child Protective Services for, get this, doing nothing more than posting on Facebook a photo of his 11-year-old son holding a .22 rifle.

Hmm. Maybe fears that government background checks will lead to government gun registration as a precursor to government gun confiscation aren’t so overblown after all? Happy birthday, Kristen!