Too often the gun control debate is centered around major urban cities because it seems every day some miscreant shoots up a public space causing the death or injury of others. But, sometimes unbeknownst to the denizens of the coastal enclaves, there is another America.

A friend, a roommate in the Army who spent decades in the military, including serving with Special Forces, and who has also spent decades in the intelligence field, gives us a perspective on the debate from the West.

He has requested anonymity because of his current job. But I know this man. His professionalism is only surpassed by his integrity.

“I think people forget that guns are durable goods, not consumables like illicit drugs. Some say we have 434 million guns in the US, with modern sporting rifles accounting for around 20 million. Those guns are going to be around for a long time. (As far as I know, my cousin still hunts with our greatgrandfather’s deer rifle. He bought it, probably used, in 1910.)

A not insignificant point here in my state is the importance of firearms to the people. Even those scary “assault weapons” are very commonly used for hunting. I have an AR15-based weapon in 6.8mm for hunting. (People forget, or don’t know, that theses style of weapons are available in dozens of different configurations and calibers for any number of purposes.) Many people here carry “truck guns” AKA “trunk guns” in their vehicles for travelling. It’s understood that if you come across a coyote you should kill it, for the sake of the local lifestock. (You don’t need a hunting license for that and you can legally shoot from your vehicle.)

My state is not deep red (more libertarian), but we have strong pro-gun laws in place here. For example, (full disclosure) I’m a crime analyst for the state and work closely with Federal partners, but I’m prohibited by state law from providing analytical support to the Feds when it comes to gun laws passed since 2021. The ATF people I work with here are careful what they say, but understand the environment and believe in treading lightly where it comes to gun control (at least up here). The current administration, legacy media, and coastal elites are seen as increasingly distant from our state’s citizens…

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Due to shifting populations, my state gained a legislative seat and California lost one. We are inundated with law enforcement officers on the two coasts and big cities who are looking for employment here. I think this state (and Wyoming, Idaho, and South Dakota) are actually becoming more conservative due to to people fleeing the liberal areas. (Hard to quantify though.)”  This is the kind of voice that is heard not only in the West, but across the nation. Washington would do well to listen.