That Girl’s Blog: Are You Handing In Your “Man-Card” If You Hand In A Gun?

My cousin, Ben Wilson, is a proud United States military veteran. He is a loving father and a great man whom I am proud to call family. He made the decision to turn in his assault gun this week. It had always been properly stored and locked. Ironically, the first police department he went to refused to let him turn it in. (He lives in Maryland, by the way.) I know this is a touchy subject. I am simply showing you what one man decided to do.

Here was the post he made on his social media page:

I have friends. I have enemies. I have choices and I have guns. Life is pretty darn good – but something is wrong. Really wrong.

I am a firm believer in the right to keep and bear arms. For me, that means I have the luxury to hunt and the right to protect myself, my family and loved ones. Assault guns serve neither purpose. Having been in the military, I know their purpose and capabilities. I own one because it’s a lot of fun to shoot (but don’t worry America, it’s locked in a safe, bolted to a wall while ammunition is locked up separately). However, I’ve come to a tipping point and concerned that all of the talking is not enough to spark change – so I want to put some skin in the game and turn in my assault gun to the appropriate government official. You know, walk the walk. #enoughisenough #godblessamerica

He went on to suggest we need to implement a “massive background check overhaul and raise the legal age to 21 for ownership.”

Ben was a US Army Captain and an MP. He has been an avid hunter his entire life and I know this was a decision he did not take lightly. I also know he has seen a lot of negative feedback from people who don’t know him from a bucket of apples. One friend-of-a-friend-of-a-friend-of-some-guy even made said it was like my cousin had turned in his “Man-Card.”

Really? I think that by his actions, my cousin has shown that he is a greater man than most. …..Think about this – he jumped from airplanes, rapelled from helicopters and deployed overseas to defend our first amendment. One conversation with him and you’ll know what I’m talking about. He knows that by turning in this particular weapon, he is not going to change the culture or policies or political drama in the world around him. He is not making faces or calling people names or posting half-truths on social media. He is, rather, leading by example, which is what a great man does.

I spoke with Ben this morning and we talked about why he made the decision to turn in this particular gun. The reason: his daughters.

He has been very open about educating his daughters on safe gun handling. Two weeks ago he would have freely taken his daughter skeet shooting. This week, he told me, his daughters are terrified to go to school.

Of course, Ben has several hunting rifles. Of course, they are all locked and stored safely and legally. But as a responsible gun owner, he could not keep a gun in his house that his daughters might ask: Is that the kind of gun they shoot kids with?

Just let that sink in.

I am not going to debate the Second Amendment. I do believe that responsible people have the right to own guns. I think there is a problem with the ability of irresponsible people to obtain guns.

For the record, no, the gun my cousin turned in was not an AK anything. It was a Smith & Wesson M&P 15-22 Rifle. It does not fire large-caliber bullets, but it can fire something like 30 rounds in less than 30 seconds, and you can reload it in seconds or less. Yes, in the wrong hands, you can hurt a lot of people with that gun.

Oh, and this is my cousin, Ben Wilson

About Cat Wilson

Cat Wilson is "That Girl" on Cape Country 104 – a Cape Cod native and longtime Cape radio personality. She is a passionate supporter of Military and Veteran causes on the Cape and also hosts local music spotlight program, “The Cheap Seats” on Ocean 104.7.
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