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Locked and Loaded: My Journey as a Gun Owner

Updated: at 02:01 AM

Guns, to a great many people, seem a polarising topic. They have been vilified, glorified, and, in many cases, mystified. Growing up, I was aware of their contentious nature, their power, and the profound responsibility they carry. As a responsible adult and a ‘father of two’, I find myself part of the narrative surrounding firearms – and I’m a proud gun owner.

Inherited Resolve

My roots mirror my present peculiarly. My father was an Army man, a firm emblem of discipline and staunchness, who knew the weight a gun carries – a weight I now bear. My younger half-brother followed our father’s footsteps, raising arms to serve our beloved country. Yet, despite these solid military connections, the path to gun ownership was not predestined for me.

You see, my father exited my life before I even had a chance to know him. He was but a ghost from the past, a whisper in the wind that occasionally flaunted his presence in our shared reflected traits. But he also left behind a stirring curiosity about firearms – one I had to navigate on my own, and ultimately, it has led me here.

Choosing to Bear Arms

My choice to become a gun owner wasn’t spontaneous but a thoughtful decision from my deep-seated commitment to protect my family. Living in a world where certainties are few and crime sneaks up like uninvited guests; I decided to transform this vestigial curiosity into a calculated move toward safety. But it wasn’t as simple as that. It was a decision bundled with stern responsibilities and, more importantly, acceptance from my family.

Gun Ownership

Once my mind was made up, it was time to plod through the intricate labyrinth of legal procedures. In the Philippines, owning a firearm is a sternly regulated affair: you need a ‘License to Own and Possess Firearms (LTOPF)’ and, in my case, also a Permit to Carry Firearms Outside of Residence (PTCFOR). The process was taxing, and the requirements – including the psychological tests and police checks – were stringent and meticulous. But I took it as a reflection of the grave responsibility that would be mine.

Armed with my LTOPF and PTCFOR, I legally became a part of the global tribe of gun owners. Yet, it wasn’t just about being locked and loaded. It was also about being mentally prepared and conscious of the shifting sands in my life.

A Privilege, A Responsibility

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Like holding a fragile creature in one’s palm, owning a firearm felt like harboring a powerful yet delicate entity; its metallic touch was cold and authoritative, and it silently communicated the incredible responsibility I had taken upon myself. Now more than ever, safety and discipline had to be cornerstones of my daily life — there was no other way.

My house became a fort of safety protocols, and each family discussed gun safety, instilling the gravity of the weapon we had in our midst. Owning a firearm shifted the needle in my life’s compass, creating a blend of courage and caution that had earlier been unknown to me.

Facing the Societal Mirror

Despite being a licensed gun owner, walking this path wasn’t without challenges. In the Philippines, owning a firearm sometimes fetches skepticism and criticism. The societal glare was intense, and explaining my reasons didn’t always bridge the chasm of understanding.

But I stood my ground, firm in my decision and clear about my intentions. I had set out on this journey not to incite fear but to harness the power to protect and shield my family if life threatened our peace.

The Road Ahead

This is my story – as an individual, as a man, as a father, and most certainly, as a gun owner. My journey has been less about the destination and more about the transformation – the evolution of a person learning to bear the enormous cross of responsibility. I have grappled with societal judgment, familial concerns, and my internal contemplations, only to emerge more introspective and centered.

To those who share this experience or are inching toward it, remember this – the path of gun ownership is as much about power as it is about restraint. It is about vigilance and discipline, an unspoken commitment to safety. We bear a formidable weight, but remember, we do so locked, loaded, and prepared.