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. Read part three.
This is Donny. The 44-year-old Mayfair resident owns six guns.
NEast Philly: How long have you been a gun owner?
Donny: Seventeen years or so.
NEP: Why do you own a guns? Was there a specific event that motivated you to get one?
D: When I bought my house in 1994, my father told me that the best form of home defense was owning a shotgun, so I got one. And I agree. Different situations and deals came along where I was able to pick up the pistols (friends looking to sell to get others, friends having hard times, etc). I purchased a Glock because I was told at the time that it was the best gun in the world, and that the police were now going to carry them. I rarely if ever carry; however, I believe that everyone should have the right to choose.
NEP: Are your guns registered?
D: Yes. Looking to protect my right to carry a firearm, I went through the painful and extensive process here in Philly of acquiring a carry permit. This needs to be done every five years. I honestly believe that the process of getting a carry permit is made as difficult as it is solely to discourage people from getting them. Believing that if enough people bail on the permit because of the hassle, I think the government could –and may — easily remove that right. It is for that reason, and that reason only, that I continue to go through the grueling process.
NEP: Have you ever had to use, or come close to using your guns?
D: Target practice only. I hope to never have to use them otherwise.
NEP: Does owning guns make you feel safe?
NEP: Is owning guns relevant to where you live? Would you not own one if you lived someplace else?
D: I would own a gun regardless of where I lived. If I lived in a more dangerous neighborhood, I think I would exercise my option to carry more often.
NEP: Do you keep your guns loaded?
D: Two of them, yes.
NEP: Do you keep your guns locked?
D: Two of them aren’t, but the rest are. It’s an adult household.
NEP: How accessible are your guns when they’re not on you?
NEP: Do you carry in the house, or in the street?
D: In the house, no. Rarely on the street, however, I’m happy to have the option!
NEP: Would you encourage others to own a gun?
D: Absolutely! Guns don’t kill people. People kill people. If I killed someone with a knife, a bat, a crossbow or a slingshot, would that make me a better, more law abiding, citizen?