I was born and raised in western NY and have been hunting and shooting since I was about 10 years old. I have always felt that we Americans are blessed to live in such a great country and, in an effort to give back, I served honorably in the USAF for eight years (four enlisted plus four more as a commissioned officer). While serving, I was stationed overseas in countries where their citizens are not fortunate enough to have the same freedoms we enjoy and, all too often, take for granted, such as our right to free speech and our right to bear arms. Needless to say, I purchased my first handgun shortly after returning to the States!
After separating from the USAF, my wife and I decided to move back to western NY and now reside near Corning, NY. Over the years I have added to my gun collection, but just recently decided to become more active in promoting increased awareness and defense of our second amendment rights. I have since become an NRA certified instructor and an active member of IDPA (The International Defensive Pistol Association). I believe that we must act as positive role models for safe and responsible gun ownership. Part of that responsibility lies in knowing both how and when to use our firearms to ensure our safety and the safety of those around us. Only through responsible gun ownership can we assure the continuation of our precious right to bear arms.
I actively seek to avoid negative confrontations through increased situational awareness and respect for others. Unfortunately, we cannot always avoid situations that are out of our control and will, ultimately, default to our level of preparedness and training. I have, therefore, taken personal responsibility for my safety and the safety of those around me by learning the basic skills needed to prevail in a life-threatening situation. I have also decided to teach these same skills to others and, though I hope it never happens, will consider my time well spent if it helps prevent someone from becoming the victim of a violent crime. After all, when seconds count, help is only minutes away!