Thompson: Not a gun nut, but I certainly do love being bearer of arms

Rantoul Press columnist

I love guns.

To say so automatically makes me a “gun nut” in the minds of most lefty, milquetoast types. They label anyone who appreciates firearms and the Second Amendment with the term, but I’ve always thought of it as something akin to the term “computer geek”.

A real gun nut has to have at least a dozen guns (I own five) and he or she can take them all apart and put them back together blindfolded. These are the folks who make their own ammunition and fire perhaps tens of thousands of rounds a year. Real pros.

I wish. I’d love to be able to do that, but work and family make for some long, busy days, and Lord knows I just never seem to have enough money.

I did manage to do some blasting with my oldest daughter Charlotte recently. We dusted off the irons out at grandma’s farm and had a good ol’ time. It was wonderful to watch her excitement as she hit what she was aiming for.

As always I use these opportunities to hammer home gun safety.

Charlotte got her very first lesson when she was 3, and I couldn’t help thinking about another 3-year-old’s presumably first but definitely last lesson on the topic.

His lesson ended when his little thug gang-banger wannabe uncle aimed a handgun at his head and then pulled the trigger. He was supposed to have been showing the kid that it was unloaded. Amazing how many people have been killed with unloaded guns.

The very first thing a kid or anyone needs to learn is that all guns are loaded all the time. You simply do not point your barrel at anyone ever.

It’s a shame that there apparently was no responsible adults around to teach this or to even know the uncle had a gun. What a gut-wrenching tragedy.

Horrible events like this invariably bring fresh calls for more gun control and bans, but it’s critical that logic trump emotion when looking at guns.

It seems counterintuitive, but those Burma Shave-style signs along the highways are 100 percent correct. On the whole, in this country anyway, guns do save lives.

More than 2 million times a year in the U.S. someone stops a crime or an attack with a gun — most times without even firing a shot. If only one in 20 of these instances resulted in preserving the lives of the persons involved, then roughly twice the number of lives lost to guns are saved by guns.

Go to to learn more about it. It’s as entertaining as it is informative.

Have a super-duper Fourth of July, everybody. Speaking of the Fourth, funny how in Illinois Charlotte and I could go to grandma’s farm and blast guns all day to celebrate but we can’t light a firecracker!

Eric Thompson, a resident of Rantoul, writes a monthly column for the Rantoul Press.

Categories (2):Columns, Opinions


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