Here’s something I wrote 19 years ago, when I was still in California and basically living in the depths of despair. I just came upon and re-read it, and find nothing in it of which I should repent. The thesis is “an armed society is a friendly society,” and it mostly has to do with a place where I lived roughly 40 years ago – not unlike the place where I live today.
Aware that I was trespassing, that I was shabby and completely out of place, I began to retreat. But one man approached and asked if he could help me. He didn’t ask it in the usual way that really means, “what are you doing here?” He asked it as if he might actually be willing to help if the request were reasonable. I said I had just followed the sound of the guns, and he asked if I wanted to join them. The suggestion was ridiculous to me, but he was serious. He offered me the loan of a shotgun. I recognized the gun from my reading on such things. It was worth more than my car.
After a couple of rounds of skeet they invited me to join them at a local restaurant. This was how I met the older and more respectable core of my entire group of friends for the next five years. These people gradually became the standard by which I judged all others, and the frightening, barren landscape revealed itself as open, uncluttered and liberating.