The Community of Gun People

20121114-181605.jpgI’ve talked before about how we gun folks are a community, a supportive and nurturing group of people. In my experience gun folks are some of the most genuine, warm, giving people I know, and I’ve developed many friendships in this community. With them, I’ve been encouraged, supported and challenged to grow and evolve, to become more than I thought I could be. I’ve met some amazing people, and feel privileged to be able to call them my brothers and sisters.

Well, today, I had the chance to meet one of my online friends in person. The inimitable Ben Branam, the host of the Modern Self-Protection blog and podcast (and sometimes co-host over at the Handgun World podcast) was in my part of the country for vacation. Luckily, he and his wife had room in their schedule to get together, and we were able to find a good halfway point to meet for lunch.

You know how sometimes you get to know people online and then discover they’re totally different in person? Well, Ben isn’t like that at all.He is exactly the same in person as he is online, warm and caring and…just a genuinely nice guy. In fact, spending a couple of hours with him was so enjoyable and comfortable it felt like I was meeting a long-lost brother. (His wife seemed a lovely person as well, though I admit to not feeling like I got to know her as well as I’d have liked.)

I don’t mind saying that I was more than a little disappointed when it was time to get on the road and head home. I could cheerfully have spent a lot longer hanging out. But there’s always next time…and I’ve never visited Texas. (Plus, Ben has a range near his house that rents NFA weapons…)

Being a part of the gun community is about shooting, of course. But it’s more than that. The gun community is, after all, a community – a richly diverse group of people who are drawn together by a common love both for firearms and shooting, and for the values that accompany that: self-reliance, independence, personal responsibility, authenticity, inclusion. That I enjoyed getting to know Ben more, and that I look forward to the next time we can visit, isn’t a surprise. I always feel that way when I spend times with my brothers and sisters in arms.

Once again, I am saying a prayer of thanks. Truly, my life is richer for being a part of the gun culture.


  1. Mrs. Groundhog says:

    Thanks for taking care of Ben and Lisa while they were on vacation. We missed them at church this past weekend. If you ever get down our way, remember you know me too.

    • Thanks for your comment! I will definitely remember that. I am hopeful that I can make it to your part of the country in 2013.

  2. Thanks Tammy!!! You hit the nail perfectly about the gun community! I had just as much fun hanging out with you.

    • Thanks, Ben! God willing, next time we can hang out in your neck of the woods…and have enough time to shoot together too. Thanks again for a great day, and for lunch. It’s my treat next time around.

      And please let Lisa know how much I enjoyed meeting her. Hope to get to know her better in the future too.

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