A Discussion with an Anti-Gunner

Ray Oeltjen steps onto an airplane not knowing what life he's about to change. Turns out, it's an anti-gunner that doesn't mind a peaceful conversation. 

I love to discuss controversial topics with one sitting next to me on an airplane because it is much more difficult for them to scream and curse.

I was on a long flight returning from a successful hunt, and the young gentleman sitting next to me was a very pleasant fellow who was a Professor at a local college. After our introductions, he proceeded to tell me all about his two beautiful young children, his sweet wife, and his life as a Professor.

After going on for some time, he said: Well, that's enough about me. Are you returning from a business trip or a vacation? I responded: Well, actually, both. I’ve been on a fantastic big game hunt. At that he immediately blanched and turned away from me. I said, do you not care for hunting? He responded: No, my father was a hunter, but I hate and despise guns------there will NEVER be a gun in MY house!!  

Here is the short version of the rest of our conversation: Tell me---what is the first thing you would do if someone airplanebroke into your home and threatened your family? Well, I’d call the Police! I’m sorry, but that doesn’t make any sense. What do you mean? Well, YOU said there will never be a gun in your house, and a GUN will break the plane of your door before the Policeman enters. Well, that’s different----Police are TRAINED to handle firearms. Okay---let’s change the subject: Do you and your wife have your own cars? Do you drive to work, take the kids to school? Go shopping and on vacation in your car? Of course!  Well, automobiles are statistically MUCH more dangerous connected to a household than firearms, and Police receive extensive driver training to drive safely in a variety of circumstances. Using your logic, you should call the Police to drive you and your family to work, school, shopping, etc.

I went on: Those precious children that God gave you to raise, protect, and love---are those dear children aware their own father has no intention of protecting them himself, but would instead call a TOTAL stranger to come protect them?  How sad! He said---I don’t think you understand: The Police response time where we live is less than 5 minutes, on average! I said: well, let's do a little experiment, and I looked at my watch------BOOM, your door has just blown open, and two men have entered your house. You all run into a back room, and you have been able to call 9-1-1. The Police are on the way to save you. Let’s cut the time down to just 3 minutes, which would be the best response time in the country! Now, I would like you to imagine what is happening in your house for those short three minutes, as you cower in a back room praying to God they get there in time to save your family. His eyes grew bigger as time ticked by, and I kept calling off time segments. 

This conversation went on for some time as he tried desperately to counter my argument--------because as a Professor, he was obviously MUCH smarter than me.  Unfortunately for the dear Professor, none of his examples and arguments made any sense, and I was easily able to counter them.

At the end of the flight, we shook hands, and he asked for my business card. We exchanged cards and went on our way. The very next morning I received an e-mail from him, and the subject line said: YOU HAVE RUINED MY LIFE!!

I thought: Well, this should be interesting.  His e-mail went on to say:  My wife and I sat up until 2:30 this morning discussing our conversation on the plane. We have decided to take your advice. We will both get EXTENSIVE training, and we are both getting concealed carry licenses. I AM GOING TO PROTECT MY OWN FAMILY!!!

Isn’t it amazing what can happen when people can get together and discuss serious and controversial topics without epithets and insults. ~ Ray

Ray Oeltjen
Ray is the President of High Sierra Consulting, and was the former Vice President of Sales & Marketing for Leupold Rifle Scopes, where he was also the Chairman of the American Shooting Sports Council. Prior to his time at Leupold Ray was the Director of Sales for the Southern United States for Federal Cartridge Corporation.  Ray shot professionally for Federal Cartridge, and was honored as a First Team All American Trapshooter.

Ray is a Patron Member of the National Rifle Association, and has worked for individual gun rights his entire business career. In 2002 Shooting Industry's Academy of Excellence named Ray as one of the three most influential people in the shooting sports Industry.  Ray has hunted and shot competitively all over the world and continues to enjoy all aspects of the shooting sports.