Catherine Kim submitted this:
Growing up in a beach city in Southern California, firearms were not a common household item. In school I was taught the NRA was “bad.” I had not seen or touched a gun until my mid-twenties. Because of the media, I associated guns with violence. Why do we need guns? Won’t the police protect me? Aren’t guns for criminals? In an idealistic world of course I want to believe there are no needs for weapons, but as my family members and I were put through dangerous situations I became realistic. I have to be my own protector.
We reach an age where we want to try different things and venture out. I’m a strong believer you can’t be judgmental unless you truly try to understand from both sides of the view. So after celebrating New Years in Las Vegas, I decided to go to the gun range. My first firearm was a M249 SAW… a machine gun. My heart was pumping with anxiety. I had never heard a gunshot before. It was loud and the room was cold. Will I do this right? Will I hurt others or myself? I quickly learned it wasn’t that bad at all. Actually it was exhilarating and fun. From that moment the inner firearm fanatic grew. I’ve learned there’s a whole other world to shooting whether for target practice or hunting. It’s not just for the “bad” people. It’s opened an exciting realm full of adventure.
Today, I have several firearms and although I have expanded my knowledge, I am still constantly learning something new. I love shooting guns and my bow. Sometimes you just need to conquer your fears and then you will realize that it’s not bad at all. You only fear what you don’t know. I encourage my friends (especially females) to try it. Go to the range with someone that is knowledgeable and have a good time. I think what most people will realize is it’s a lot of fun and with the proper training you can make it into a hobby you truly love. Now, I am the protector of my house and a proud member of NRA.