While Harvey did not say so and his question was asked politely, this is something I have heard before.
Some who do not brook anything critical being written about guns believe that anyone who does not own a gun has no business writing about a gun.
As I noted in my response to Harvey, I have never owned a gun. While some of my friends were into hunting as I grew up, the minute I had a bat in my hands, baseball was it for me and hitting a baseball was something that, on occasion, I did well.
When baseball season was not in session, I was likely to be in the back yard or behind the Newtonia Baptist Church playing basketball (poorly).
When I was not involved in those sports, or an occasional game of touch football or the shortlived Newtonia ultimate sport- bicycle soccer (we had to stop because everyone was injured and because Herb Troxel did not appreciate us playing on the street in front of his house and Carroll Gum's store, my time was spent reading books and newspapers, writing and listening to my records.
At one point, I owned a BB gun, but hunting birds and target shooting were never ways that I preferred to spend my time. Time spent with a BB gun, to me, was time better spent doing the other things I loved doing.
I grew up in a small town and in a culture that believed that people had the right to own guns to protect themselves and for hunting and I firmly share that belief.
I do not know where all of these people come from who think that a sensible discussion about whether people should own guns that have the firepower of an AR-15 is violating their Second Amendment rights. These are not the people I remember from growing up in this area of southwest Missouri. Those people appreciated their guns- some had them in racks in their pickups and I hung around from time to time with those people and never once felt I was in any kind of danger. For that matter, I never really gave it any thought.
The people I grew up with were happy to have their photos taken with whatever game they managed to shoot, with their gun crooked in their other arm.
They were never the kind of people who seem to dot our landscape today who post Facebook photos carrying AR-15s (some of them even have their photos taken with a gun in each hand, which I suppose is an indication they are twice as masculine as those of us who do not have any AR-15s).
The people I grew up with would have fought to keep their guns, but they would never have been afraid to come to the table and even discuss the issue.
Back in those days, gun owners did not spend their time ridiculing those who did not own guns. Maybe they could not understand why people did not want guns in their homes, but they respected their choice.
And that brings me back to Harvey Hutchinson's comment.
It is a particular conceit of the most vocal of those who think the Second Amendment means you can own any weapon you want and no one can do anything about it to claim that those who do not own guns have no right to write anything about them.
While it is true that I have never owned a gun and have no plans to get one, to say that I cannot write about guns makes as little sense as to say that I have no business writing about politicians because I have never served in an elective office.
Or that I should never pen a word about sexual harassment because I don't go around sexually harassing women.
Or that I have no business writing about topics like immigration, court cases, or master developers because I have always lived in this country, I am not a lawyer and I have never taken Joplin city officials on a ride.
So I will continue to write about guns and all of those other topics.
As much as those who believe they should be able to own AR-15s proclaim their belief in the Second Amendment, and I have no reason to doubt their sincerity, my faith remains with the First Amendment.
I would appreciate your comments.