"This is very informative blog written by a real gun enthusiast, not some nut job with an agenda."This. This is why I am doing this.
There is too much vitriol in the public discussion regarding guns. I, like many gun owners, am a mixed bag. I have other subjects I talk about - music, museums, tech, GLBT issues, Dungeons and Dragons... I know, an eclectic mix. Regardless, the conversation can be very positive and can be an education in itself when we step down off our narrowly designed soapboxes.
I hope to be a source of some of this conversation. The current state of affairs is in a bad way, but we can help it improve. If you find yourself digging yourself into a hole, you need to hand someone else the shovel.
"He is the Obi-Wan of weaponry"I have been interested in guns since I was a little guy. I read books about guns. I watched westerns with my dad and war films with my grandpa. I had a few chances to shoot guns - I hang my head at the lack of common sense and safety when I think of a couple of these occasions. I remember being in college and sitting entranced watching CNN coverage of Desert Storm (prep, engagement, and follow up). I knew more than anyone else in the room - and some of the commentators. Yes. I was that guy.
I was able to put my academic knowledge into practice after entering the US Army in 1992... as a Bass Guitar Player. Yep. I went into the military as a musician. To paraphrase Dickens, "It was the best four years of my life, it was the worst four years of my life." After leaving the Army, I went back to college. GREATLY benefiting from my Army College Fund and my GI Bill, I finished my BA in History (UTEP '98) and my MA in History (Montana State '00). I had a focus on American History (general and military) and I had my first experience working with museums. I was hooked.
I put my History Masters to good use as a computer programmer for a few years before landing my dream job as the Curator of the Cody Firearms Museum of the Buffalo Bill Historical Center in Cody, Wyoming.As one of my bosses mentioned, it was a Bully Pulpit. I instantly had an audience. Unfortunately, most of this audience would have wanted me pilloried if they had found out who I voted for from 1992 on.
I did get the opportunity to be a moderate voice on firearms, educating others about history (not heritage). I was on History Channel, PBS, and a variety of broadcast and internet radio/TV interviews. I also had the opportunity to right The Guns that Changed the West, a series of historical essays talking about the American West and the role of firearms in that history.
A few years ago, I realized I wanted more and I was beginning to fall victim to my urges to say things publicly that would have outed me as a Liberal. I am now in Oklahoma, working in a museum that is letting me use my skills and gain others.
And I can say what I want.
Hope you enjoy the blog. If you have any questions about me or questions you want answered about firearms, please give me a shout!
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