by Richard Klein


Two common mistakes that many pro-Second Amendment people make are either  (1) complaining (to fellow gun owners) – or (2) preaching to the choir.  In this article I pledge that I won’t complain – and I won’t preach to you about why so ‘n so law is ridiculous.  Instead, I want to share with you some thoughts – with the hope that my articulation of these thoughts will make you better prepared, and to give you greater resolve – in taking on the forces that oppose the Second Amendment and everything it stands for.

I buy guns for a variety of reasons.  I want to share those reasons with you in as orderly a fashion as I can be, and yet be entertaining.  Here is “Why I Buy Guns.”



I buy guns because I view guns as an investment– a means of preserving wealth for a future need.  Over the long haul, guns kept in good repair will appreciate in value, especially in the case of quality firearms.  Moreover, as the anti-gun busybodies try to act to ban guns and related materials, the net effect is that the investment portfolio value of guns on hand inevitably increases.

I buy guns because guns are an easily transported investment.

I buy guns because guns maintain value, a market exists, and that market isn’t “quoted.”  The absence of a quoted market means that a skilled trader can turn a profit by making careful trades.   I consider myself as a skilled trader, and hence I enjoy a commodity that isn’t quoted, as a quoted market takes all the fun out of swaps and trades.

I buy guns because guns are frequently bought and sold on a cash basis – as opposed to checks, credit cards, and other paper trails.  Believers in guns and in the Second Amendment are a superstitious lot at best, and they don’t take lightly to leaving paper trails for governmental and regulatory snoops and busy bodies to sniff.


I buy guns because guns are functional – tools that can be called upon to do a job.  Tools are unique to mankind, as very few other creatures make and use tools.

I buy guns because having guns permits me perform public service.  I can help in my own way by ridding the world of a stray coyote, a rabid dog, and even deer that contribute, as silent killers, to the untold number of deer-vehicle accidents and resultant damages and even deaths.

I buy guns, and hone my skills with guns, because a gun in hand the fastest response to a violent threat to me or my family.

I buy guns because I enjoy hunting.  Hunting serves as touchstone or mechanism for me to tell that I’m still alive and able to function.


I buy guns because guns represent – and are – works of art.  In short, guns are beautiful to look at.

I buy guns because guns are physical, and geometric in nature, and thus the right side of the brain is stimulated.

I buy guns because guns instill in me a sense of history.  By holding a Model 1875 “Trapdoor” I can envision riding with Teddy Roosevelt and the Rough Riders or General Custer.  By holding a flintlock, I can envision being along side Daniel Boone.  By holding an M-1 Garand, I become immersed in the history of WW II.  By holding a single action army, I can envision being alongside Wyatt Earp.



I buy guns because guns, and the proper handling and marksmanship associated with guns, represent a life sport.  As a life sport, I can keep agile mentally and physically – even as my body ages.  Contact “ball” games like football and such are strictly for the younger set.

I buy guns because guns keep me thinking in an alert and “condition yellow” mode.  This is in contrast to so many in our society who are best described as “fat and happy.”  The “Fat and Happy” are often oblivious to the predatory persons lurking in the shadows waiting for a ripe pigeon to stumble along and into their lair.  In short, I consider myself not an easy mark – and it is my familiarity with guns and self-defense that hones my skills.


I buy guns because guns allow me to make a political statement.  There are two types of people in this world – those who believe in the worth and dignity of the common man; as opposed to those who believe that man should be subservient to an elite.  I believe in the former, and my ownership of guns is the embodiment of my belief.

I buy guns because doing so makes my life easier and less complex.  Let me explain.  As an illustration, I own and drive several heavy vehicles, one being a 15-passenger van.  In short, numerous “charitable” groups ask from time to time for permission to borrow my van.  An amazing thing happened – I put a pro-gun bumper sticker on the van – and now the usage request rate has dropped.  It is amazing how a little sticker can help separate the wheat from the chaff.


I buy guns because in doing so, I can create family traditions and heirlooms to pass onto future generations in my family.

I buy guns because I can work with young people – and equivalently say – “I respect and trust you, so here is this rifle for you to use and use wisely.”  In contrast, the nanny state and the status of children as non-people is preserved and never challenged by those who will never trust a child or young person.  I taught my daughter and my son how to shoot.  I am now teaching my grandson, age six, how to shoot.  Working with a youngster is a rite of passage – something sorely needed in our society of fake this and fake that.

I buy guns because being skilled in guns and the associated marksmanship brings consequences to the forefront.  Computer geeks can hack at their computers,

for example, with little harm ever coming to anyone or even themselves – but in using firearms – one learns that actions have consequences – serious consequences.  Bullets aimed and discharged can’t be “deleted” and taken back.

I buy guns because I am taught valuable lessons in the process.  I am constantly reminded of words, for example, like “parabola” and “oxidation.”  Guns embody many elements of chemistry, physics, optics, metallurgy, manufacturing, economics, knowledge of human anatomy, human kinetics, and mathematics.  Moreover, modern firearms, and their evolution, are a result of materials, knowledge, and invention, combined with physics — the laws of physics.  Even though foolish legislators and would-be do-gooders eternally try, the laws of physics can’t be repealed and man’s knowledge base as well as man’s inherent ability to invent can’t be squelched.  A spinning projectile, be it a football or a speeding bullet, can be stable in flight whereas a non-spinning projectile is less stable and thus less accurate.  I learn, and am constantly reminded of, the laws of physics and man’s ability to be creative.  Physics, materials, and even knowledge requisite to making guns are just too prevalent in our world to ever be banned or legislated out of existence.  By buying guns, I get my daily education – and I remain competitive.

I buy guns because I like guns. I like the idea of fondling guns, as handling a gun brings me pleasure.  I admit that I’ve had a longstanding love affair with firearms, but doing so is legal, moral, and non-fattening.  Also, that love affair – with guns – doesn’t interfere with my other love affairs in life.

I buy and like guns because doing so permits me to have a social life.  I find gun owners as very down to earth, generally intelligent, open, non-judgmental, and friendly.  In short, I feel very relaxed, safe, and comfortable around my fellow gun owners.  I can hardly say the same about my closet liberal friends who are astounded that I like guns.

I buy guns because guns serve as amplifiers of voice.  In short, I can speak very softly and yet people still hear

me quite well when those persons – those meaning harm to me – know or even sense that I’m armed and have the will to use firearms for self defense.  I buy guns because

I learned early in life that one should never take a knife to a gun fight.



I buy guns because guns invoke reality.  Gun owners, in my view, are realistic people.  Conversely, those who fear and loathe guns, in my view, end up living a fantasy life like that of Chicken Little where they end up jumping at every turn and fearful of every shadow.


I buy guns because I believe that is my civic duty to do so.  An insidious cancer is spreading in our society under the guise of “the theory of passive resistance.”  Sarah Brady and her followers, who espouse that theory, for example, believe in the phrase, “Give them (thugs, rapists, and terrorists) what they want.” Disarming ourselves, individually or as a nation, won’t make our enemies any less evil nor any less intent on inflicting harm on us.

Nehemiah advised his workers (when rebuilding the wall under considerable opposition) to be armed with sword at side.  Many unscholarly people like to quote the Bible and in particular the part about “thou shall not kill.”  These people are very misinformed, as well as dangerous.  The translation from Hebrew is better said as “you shall not commit murder.”  Murder means in that context to venomously hate someone, as if to wish the person dead or subject to great misfortune.  When we use forearms to defend ourselves – we are preserving life, not committing murder.  Ownership of a firearm is in no way associated with hatred of people.  God fearing gun owners who believe in the Second Amendment don’t want anybody dead – we merely want to be left in peace and free to pursue happiness – with our families and within our communities.

About the author:  Richard Klein is a retired professor of mechanical engineering from the University of Illinois.  He has also served as Chairman of Champaign County Rifle Association and as a Director of the Illinois State Rifle Association.



I wish to thank those who replied to my article for their kind remarks.  I had written this epistle a number of years back — mostly for the fun of writing and as an intellectual challenge. The GSL people decided to post it to my surprise. Upon reading through the piece, I now realize that I left out yet another important reason to buy guns.

Having guns allows one to enjoy and utilize the sense of smell.  I enjoy the smell of gun powder, especially black powder. All of us have smells that we have become conditioned to and which cause us to relax, savor life, and to know that all is well.  The desert has a smell when the flowers bloom after a rain.  The Housatonic River with its salty brackish water where I grew up had a characteristic smell.  Low tide also had a smell but that caused me to wish for the tide to come back in. Entering a kitchen, such as in my grandmother’s home with certain distinctive foods, afforded smells.  Freshly popped popcorn enjoyed with friends has its own special smell.

The human uses the sense of smell, just as they use the other senses of sight, touch, taste, and sound. Smell is a neglected sensation that the generation of those who sit at computers and the like miss entirely. When I smell black-powder smoke at the range, I know that all is well and that being alive is a blessing from God. When we clean guns, many shooters use a traditional product – Hoppe’s #9 Solvent.  Cleaning guns can be an enjoyable pastime, and that pastime becomes real when we catch the smell of Hoppe’s #9.

My epistle commented on the matter of gun values rising whenever the gun-grabbers get into a frenzy.  Well here in the aftermath of Sandy Hook, the frenzy has reached levels not seen in a long time.  Gun values are rising dramatically – right in line with my prediction.  About one week prior to 12/14, I happened to purchase a Ruger SR-556, one of those nasty and evil “assault” firearms.  I find it almost impossible to believe, but I do believe, the prices now being realized on trading places such as  A comparable SR-556 is now commanding about double to what I paid 5 weeks ago. Am I about to sell and realize a quick gain? No. I like many other gun-advocates and believers in freedom, I am in this for the long haul.


Photos by Oleg Volk.  Used with permission.

6 thoughts on “Richard Klein: Why I buy guns (updated)”
  1. Very well stated by Mr. Klein. I could only add that guns are one of the few products that you can depend upon to have top quality. Also I give these Illinois people praise for their dedication to the principles that Richard has stated by acting upon them in a manner that would make our “Forefathers” proud. It cannot be easy in a anti-gun state, but God Bless them and May God Bless the America the we Patriots Love so dearly.

  2. Excellent review MR.KLEIN,very well put. I’m a retired police officer and you have just explained how every gun owner should view this subject.Thank you for justifying gun ownership in such an elegant way.

  3. I know what you mean about the way some things smell. Every time I get a whiff of Hoppe’s #9, I can see my grandfather cleaning a gun and hear his voice telling me one of his tales.

  4. I am thinking about writing something to do with this article for my English Language coursework and I was wondering if I posted it, would I get a reply?

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