I'd been around them as a kid, but as I grew up, got married and had kids, they were not part of my life they way they had been. And I didn't really miss them as I had other hobbies.
As I mentioned in my last post, my wife and her family was very pro-gun control. Coming from the left, guns were seen as relics of a past - a barbarous past where cowboys shot it out with bad guys because things were not yet civilized. Furthermore, my wife's main concern concerned was that if guns were available in the house, that we'd have an accident and lose a child. She didn't want to be responsible for such issues. I can certainly understand that.
To many not in rural areas, guns are mainly abstract things - the focus of periodic stories of some moron leaving his gun out and a kid shooting themselves (or others) with it. In fact, I remember two examples of gun violence as a kid in Canada (a kid shot himself and another shot a cousin for teasing him). Both not good.
Couple that with some very strong advocating by groups such as the Brady Center etc. and you get a media saturated with statistics that point out the number of deaths in the US vs. everywhere else (including Canada) and you have a pretty air-tight case for gun control. Remove guns, remove the problem. Its an enticing argument and I bought it. Mostly.
Furthermore, the more I refined my philosophy of life, the more I came to see Gandhi and MLK as the heros they were - and that non-violence was the way to enact social change. I grew up in Canada, remember, and I don't carry around the same ideology about the US revolution. We did just fine in Canada without having to resort to rebellion and treason. I also grew to believe that the military industrial complex was more of a threat to this country than fraudulent congressmen or the so-called welfare queens. I think Ike was right on when he warned us back in the late 50s or early 60s about what could become of us. Certainly the Bush years solidified that in many peoples minds.
Add in Christ's admonition to turn the other cheek and to not live by the sword and I was on pretty solid ground.
Until last year sometime.