Remember the old Charles Atlas ad that ran in comic books? I do. When I was a kid, I was sure that if you were a big enough guy you wouldn’t have to worry about anyone picking on you. That may be largely true, but it overlooked all sorts of other things. I spent the first six years of my legal career practicing criminal defense. I was exposed to nearly every kind of deprivation one person could inflict on another person. Between that and my full-blown libertarianism, there was no doubt I would become a gun owner.
Fast forward umpteen years, I’m married, own a home and have two kids. One night in our low crime suburb, we accidentally left the garage door open overnight. Wifey’s car was burglarized. No one entered our house, but she was badly shaken up. She called the police to report the incident. I was at work when she did this. I came home to be told we had to get a dog for protection.
This didn’t compute for me. I knew she wasn’t talking about getting a trained attack dog especially with two young children in the house. No, it wasn’t that. The cop she spoke to told her to get a dog for protection. I laughed and told her if we were going to do anything it was get a shotgun. No, she replied, the cop said to get a dog.
I met wifey when we were both working as public defenders. I can’t adequately describe the mutual skepticism we shared about cops. Their truthfulness, training, “expertise,” note taking, record keeping, interview skills, and on and on. There wasn’t anything we didn’t criticize. Despite all this, she was insistent we had to get a dog. I was insistent we had to get a gun. So, in the best Glibertarian tradition we did both.
I bought a Mossberg 590. I love that gun. Wifey and I both got trained by a private instructor. I definitely caught the gun bug. Wifey not as much. I started looking at pistols. Life intervened in the form of all sorts of stuff with our kids (good lord those ankle biters take a lot of time) and Moe; my best fried for the last nine years.
Nine years later, one kid is off to college, the other is a teenager, and Moe is a grumpy old man. I finally have a glimmer of getting a little bit of time for myself. I’ve engaged in idle talk about finally buying a pistol. Wifey called my bluff. For our last anniversary she told me to go buy a pistol. I told her California requires a written test and I’m not buying a gun without having some idea how to safely handle it. For my birthday she bought me a basic handgun class which includes California’s ridiculous written test.
Yesterday I attended the class. It was taught by two active duty cops. One of them aspires to having Clancy Wiggum’s physique. The other is futilely trying to stave it off. They better be good with a gun because there is no way these guys could engage in anything physical for more than a minute without being completely winded.
The class was a mix of very useful safety information, completely irrelevant cop stories, and firing a Glock 17 under supervision. We constantly joke about cops believing the most important thing is they go home at the end of their shift. This mentality was confirmed during the class.
Now that I’ve banged on these guys enough, the safe handling and shooting instruction made it all worth it. I finished the class understanding how to safely handle a pistol. The live fire instruction was very helpful. I only fired twenty rounds. The instruction and feedback on how to properly hold the pistol, aim, and pull the trigger greatly improved my shooting in a short time. Now, I have to buy a pistol and go practice.
I’m strongly considering a Sig Sauer P226 or P229. My only concern is these aren’t striker type pistols so I’m wondering if this means I’ll be pulling shots due to the action. I’d love some feedback from handgun owning Glibs.