Unfortunately, there are two very different divisions in society when it comes to firearms, those who
are for, and those who are against. With the explosion of social media and the continued tragedies that
dominate much of the news cycle, this divide has gotten wider.

Most of those who oppose firearms in the hands of the individual, have no knowledge of the origins, intent, and the importance of the Second Amendment. There is nothing to be gained by continually arguing this issue. There is, however, something that every responsible gun owner should examine in their own lives.

When you declare yourself to be a Christian, you, your church, and all of your social activities are
suddenly under a microscope. If you are a very obvious gun enthusiast, the same thing happens. Most
of us at one time or another have observed or participated in, some sort of shooting event. These
usually draw a wide variety of individuals with varying degrees of knowledge and experience.

Almost always there will be those who stand out because of self-discipline and training, and those who have a
bad case of BMS (big man syndrome). Usually, the non-shooting public will focus on the latter, to
make judgments regarding the majority. Sad but true. Human nature seems to embrace the negative.

With the phenomenal growth of concealed carry, comes new areas of responsibilities and pitfalls.
Recently, there was an incident at a church, where security was being discussed in the wake of the
horrific occurrence in Texas. An elderly gentleman was showing a fellow parishioner his Ruger pocket
pistol. In demonstrating that it was not loaded, he pulled the trigger and shot the man’s hand, and his
own wife. There is nothing left to say about that.

I believe there are six things we can do to improve the image of responsible gun ownership.
1. Lose the ego……wearing a gun does not change your IQ or abilities.
2. Be an expert……don’t carry anything for personal defense, you have not thoroughly mastered.
3. Be safe……make your firearm and the safety of others, the primary focus when carrying in public.
4. Keep it concealed…..be aware of any circumstance that may cause you to print.
5. Follow the law……this should not be an issue.
6. Think very hard before you post something on social media.
Even in the current negative environment, we can all do our part to educate and lead by example.
Sometimes, even a small change in how others see us, can make all the difference.

John Guthrie started shooting at age five, and has law enforcement, competition, hunting, range officer, and teaching experience.

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