I Have a Gun, in Fact I Have Six, But That’s OK

Those of you who stop by Unofficial Manifesto once in a while like I do will recognize my title here as a slight modification to the subtitle for their blog. I don’t know quite how to take their subtitle. Are they gun owners who love God, or are they mocking those who own guns and claim to love God? I’m not quite sure which it is.

But I have a gun, in fact six. And I love God. On my own I probably would not have purchased these guns. My father in law was a gun enthusiast who had dozens, if not hundreds of guns. He made sure each of his children had an assortment as part of his will. But, after having them for a while I now quite like them. I am glad we have them. I have shot most of them at a local conservation club. There is something about the kick of a gun, the sound of the shot, the smell of the gunpowder that gets to me in a pleasant way. We have taken the young men from our ward out to shoot a few times, and even brought the young women out once.

My father in law was a bit of a lecturer, and I think I have an understanding about why he had so many guns from conversations we had. These reasons include:
Self Defense

I am always surprised about how seldom this comes up in gun control debates I have heard and read. It seems to me that law abiding people who live in a free country should have the right to reasonable self defense. My wife grew up near a large city and happened to live close to a prison. Her father took personal and family self defense very seriously. I find it a compelling reason to allow people to own a gun if they choose.

Self Reliance

My wife’s father would hunt occasionally. It can be a potential way of ‘obtaining food’ for your family in times of need. If it were not for political correctness, I would imagine that many would recommend a firearm as part of emergency preparedness.

Conspiracy Theories

Yes, I think my father in law went in for some of this stuff. Seriously though, he felt that society was not on as firm a foundation as many others believe. He believed that it would not take much for a terrorist attack to happen (well before 9/11), or that government and law enforcement could become corrupt. He felt that a potentially armed citizenry was an important check on government and that gun ownership was part of responsible citizenship.


My father in law shot often and well. He competed in state and national marksmanship events. There was something about the kick of a gun, the sound of the shot, the smell of the gunpowder that got to him in a pleasant way.

So I have some guns, and I am okay with that.

10 Responses to “I Have a Gun, in Fact I Have Six, But That’s OK”

  1. 1 Tom August 9, 2006 at 10:28 pm

    I’ve never quite known what to make of UoM’s use of the “Gotta gun . . .” line. But I do know about the line. It’s from a Pearl Jam song called “Glorified G” and it does kind of mock pious gun enthusiasts:

    Gotta gun
    In fact I’ve got two
    That’s OK man, cuz I love God
    Glorified version of a pellet gun
    Feels so manly when armed

    I don’t mind non-felons owning guns as long as they make it 100% impossible for their kids of any age to get ahold of them. I don’t have any because I’ve never felt the need or desire. My bro is a cop and I’ve been out shooting with him. It’s kinda fun.

  2. 2 Eric Nielson August 10, 2006 at 8:36 am

    Thanks Tom, nice to know where the line comes from.

    We do keep all our guns locked up in cases, and store the ammo separately.

  3. 3 Connor Boyack August 10, 2006 at 11:10 am

    Some friends and I are taking a concealed weapons course this next week to get our licenses. I strongly believe in the constitutional right to keep and bear arms, so I’m going to take advantage of and support it by getting my own.

  4. 4 Eric Nielson August 10, 2006 at 11:38 am

    Good for you Conner.

    I do not have a permit to carry, so must transport in the trunk etc.

    My father in law just about carried everywhere.

  5. 5 Mogget August 10, 2006 at 3:50 pm

    Hmmm…do you think he carried weapons to irritate liberals? That’s another possibility, you know.

    Soon as I get out of the People’s State of XXXXX…I’m gonna carry, too.

  6. 6 Eric Nielson August 10, 2006 at 8:00 pm

    He would have loved nothing more than to irritate liberals. The more the better.

  7. 7 danithew August 11, 2006 at 12:31 pm

    With some reservations, I think that generally people should have the right to purchase and own guns for their own protection or to hunt.

    I worry though about any individual feeling a need or right to use their personal gun stash to take on a corrupt police force or even worse, a corrupt government. That just doesn’t sound very realistic.

  8. 8 Eric Nielson August 11, 2006 at 2:38 pm


    That is an interesting topic. What do you think the founding fathers may have thought?

    In today’s world this may be less of an issue, but long term? Is it not a potential balance?

    My feelings are not strong on this.

  9. 9 D-Train August 16, 2006 at 5:57 pm

    Mostly, I just like Pearl Jam. I think gun ownership is fine under certain circumstances and that those circumstances are best defined at the local level. I think the line is funny for lots of reasons, including:

    1) The jab at pious gun owners. Most of these are genuine, but some really get under my skin.

    2) The reference to justifying a practice with one’s faith, which of course may bear little on the practice at hand.

    3) The knowledge that it’s unlikely that Eddie Vedder was really thinking of either of those reasons.

    I’d actually support redefining the Second Amendment, which clearly referred to a different time than the present. That said, I think it clear that we should both pay more attention to the Second Amendment as binding constitutional law and recognize that the Second Amendment issue is really a red herring when discussing most regulations that don’t flat-out ban gun ownership.

  10. 10 Eric Nielson August 17, 2006 at 8:38 am

    Thanks D.

    Hope all is well.

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