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Do you ‘play’ with your gun?

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Do you ‘play’ with your gun?

Do you agree?

It’s my job to talk about guns and self-defense and firearms policy, so I may be looking at this from a different angle. But still, I was surprised to see the response from the crowd recently when, during a speech about self-defense, I indirectly told a woman she should be “playing” with her gun.

During the exchange, an older woman said, “I like my Glock but I have a hard time cycling the slide.”

I replied with, “What is your favorite TV show?”

She just looked confused.

So I went on, “During your favorite TV show, remove the magazine and empty the chamber. Double check that it is empty. Remove all ammo from the room. Now sit there, watching your TV show while you rack the slide 30 times.”

She was stunned to silence and the rest of the room let out a group chuckle. I cut them off.

“What’s funny about dry training?” Then I looked right at the old woman and said, “You can’t rack your slide easily because you don’t rack your slide often. If you sit for half an hour and rack that slide you will get stronger. You will, in effect, be lifting weights.”

There was another awkward chuckle from the crowd and another woman spoke up. “Guns are not to play with.”

She was right. But learning about how your gun works and practicing to rack the slide of an auto-loading pistol is hardly playing. It is training. As a kid, I would spend hours disassembling and reassembling firearms from my father’s gun rack. I worked actions, cleaned bores and shouldered more unloaded guns than any kid in my neighborhood. I even figured out the trick to reassembling a Ruger Mark 1 pistol without reading the instruction manual. (You have to hold it muzzle-up.)

I wasn’t playing. I was learning.

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