Op-ed Pieces

 

Other than the occasional tweet, I have tried to stay out of the gun debate—largely because of http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/336172/rush-impose-reason-horror-jonah-goldberg

“…I nonetheless resent being dragged into the political maw so quickly after a bunch of little kids were picked off by a madman with a gun.”

But something has changed that obliges me to share a personal story.

Maybe it was Wayne LaPierre’s, “Don’t-Blame-the-Second-Amendment-Blame-the-First-Amendment” speech.  Maybe it was Piers Morgan giving every wack-a-doodle, conspiracy theorist, “gun nut” a few minutes of airtime so that Mr. Morgan could look morally and academically superior (and, by the way, give himself a nice ratings boost).  Or maybe it was Joe Scarborough, who I respect and largely agree with on numerous issues, wondering aloud why reasonable people would ever want to own an “assault” rifle.

Well, I don’t think the First Amendment had anymore or less to do with some psychopath nut job killing small children than the Second Amendment–I don’t believe in selective Constitutionalism.  I can assure you that vast majority of gun owners in America are overwhelmingly rational people, leading very normal lives, and do not believe that anyone should be deported for having opposing views.  So, I’m left with answering the question that I can answer.  Why do I, as an attorney, the husband of a beautiful pharmacist, and the proud father of three precious daughters, own an AR-15?

In 2004, my wife and I moved from metro-Atlanta to her very small hometown in Southwest Georgia with our six-month-old daughter in tow.  Seven months later we were blessed with identical twin daughters.  (Your math is correct-we had three daughters in 13 months).  Shortly after the twins were born, one late afternoon, when the days were getting short and it got dark early, my wife was running errands with her parents, and I was at home with three infants.  I had just gotten off the phone with my wife, when I heard the “beep-beep” that our alarm system makes when someone opens door.  I didn’t think much of it.  The wind might have blown the door open.  It was an old house after all.  I made sure the kids were okay and went to the front of the house.  Our door was open and a vagrant, who I could not tell whether was a man or a woman, was standing in our foyer in tattered clothes, a bag over one shoulder, and holding something in their hand.  Having defended and prosecuted criminal defendants, this person’s gate, demeanor and glazed-over look told me that this person was blitzed out of their mind on something.

Now you may think you know what you would do in that situation.  You don’t.  The only thing I knew for sure was that I had to stay in between this person and the room with my baby girls.  The only thing I could think to say was a semi-polite, “May I help you?”  The response, in an aggravated and slurred shout was, “I’m here to get my stuff,” as the unwelcome “guest” walked towards me.  I still didn’t know what was in this person’s hand, with a more angry tone, I threatened, “Get out or I’ll call the cops.”  The response was now a very aggressive, “Nah man, I’m here to get my (expletive) stuff.”