In following online forums and comments, we noticed crime stories around the Northeast often lead to discussions about gun ownership. In this four-part series, we’ll hear from four Northeast residents on why they own guns, and their beliefs surrounding gun laws. Read part one. Read Part two.
This is Josh D. The 34-year-old lives in Northern Liberties with his girlfriend, a Castor Gardens native, and owns two guns
NEast Philly: How long have you been a gun owner?
Josh D: Four years
NEP: Why do you own a guns? Was there a specific event that motivated you to get one?
JD: I would say that the specific events that motivated me to purchase a gun were the events that followed Katrina. The way the people were left on their own to defend themselves and their property after the police abandoned them was a big eye-opener for me. It showed me that I was solely responsible for my own well being, and that I couldn’t depend on someone else to keep me safe but me. Let’s be realistic. A cop can’t be everywhere all the time. The police going AWOL in Louisianna spoke volumes about “To protect and Serve.” As a side note: The Supreme Court ruled that the police do not have a Constitutional duty to protect someone.
NEP: Are your guns registered?
JD: No. In fact, in Pennsylvania it is actually illegal for any government or police agency to keep a registry of firearms per 18 Pa.C.S. § 6111.4 (Registration of firearms). If you legally possess your firearms in Pennsylvania or come into possession of the firearms legally, no further action is required.
NEP: Have you ever had to use, or come close to using your guns?
JD: Thankfully I have never had to use it or ever came close.
NEP: Does owning guns make you feel safe?
JD: It gives me peace of mind. Owning and carrying a gun gives me the opportunity to defend myself the way I see fit. Carrying a gun and knowing how to use it levels the playing field.
NEP: Is owning guns relevant to where you live? Would you not own one if you lived someplace else?
JD: I would own regardless of where I live. Bad things happen to good people in every state.
NEP: Do you keep your guns loaded?
JD: Yes. An unloaded gun is a paperweight. Back to the tool analogy. A gun with no bullets would be like having the hammer without the handle.
NEP: Do you keep your guns locked?
JD: No. I live with one person and we have no children to worry about. NEP: How accessible are your guns when they’re not on you?
JD: I’m in a small apartment. It’s not too far away.
NEP: Do you carry in the house, or in the street?
JD: In the house, no, but on the street, yes.
NEP: Would you encourage others to own a gun?
JD: Of course. Why? Because for one thing, it’s fun. There is a sense of accomplishment that one feels when they hit the bullseye for the first time. I like to educate people on guns and let them take the next step.