He said the fan, identified as Marla W., wrote the following:
I just read that you’re speaking at the SHOT show in Las Vegas this week. VERY disappointing. There are already too many guns in this country, and too much faux patriotism surrounding the second amendment. I can’t believe you’d risk your good name associating with a bunch of gun nuts. You’ve lost a fan.
The host of “Somebody’s Gotta Do It” — known for his friendly and thought-provoking replies to such letters on his Facebook page — responded to Marla with a pretty awesome perspective presented in an unconventional fashion.
Rather than launch into defense of guns and the Second Amendment, Rowe told a story.
He noted that he’d be visiting his friends at the SEAL Family Foundation at the SHOT Show, an outfit that helps SEALs’ loved ones and has a booth at the event. Rowe then described a recent team-building event with SEALs for his mikeroweWORKS staff arranged by a man he met through the SEAL Family Foundation — which began with skydiving.
But intensity only increased, Rowe wrote, as four SEALs “introduced us to 20,000 rounds of live ammunition, and an arsenal of firearms not currently available for purchase in the state of California.”
Rowe provided the details:
For the next few hours, the SEALs took my employees through an accelerated small arms training session. There was an emphasis on safety, obviously. Some of my people had never held a gun before, much less fired one. So there was some…trepidation. But after an hour of intense instruction, everyone got comfortable with the Glock 9mm. Then the AR-15. Then a variety of sniper rifles. We all got to shoot an M-1 from WWII, a Steyr from Austria, the Scar Heavy…even a Barrett 50 caliber. Fifty yards, a hundred yards, then two hundred yards. Their progress was impressive. Their enthusiasm was infectious. At 400 yards, my office manager was hitting a target the size of a pie plate. Unbelievable.
“Afterwards, we ate ribs and drank beer in a local bar with our instructors,” Rowe continued. “We also listened to war stories from Ramadi and Fallujah and a few places I hadn’t heard of, from people who wrote the book on teamwork. Fascinating. Eye-opening. Humbling.”
With that Rowe told Marla “how remarkable it is to see people who have never even held a gun go from uncomfortable, to tentative, to comfortable, to very comfortable, to empowered. One day Marla, I hope you’ll have the opportunity to experience something similar, and listen to the stories of people who use guns to protect us.”
Obviously, you and I have a difference of opinion regarding the role of the Second Amendment in modern society. But thanks to the first amendment, we can express our differences in whatever way we prefer. We can criticize those with whom we disagree, or we can try to persuade them. We can make a case as to why we believe what we believe, or we can simply announce our disappointment to the world, as though our feelings alone are enough to justify our beliefs.
As for you Marla — you can either stomp off in a cloud of righteous indignation, or you can accompany me to the SHOT Show as my guest, and see what all the fuss is about.
Either way, it’s nice to have choices, don’t you think?