Good Men and the NRATom Matlack talks to Cam Edwards from NRA News onSirius/XM Radio.
I really don’t want to like guns. I was raised in a pacifist household—we protested the Vietnam War andworshiped Ghandi. So why do I find war so gripping? My dad, who was a leader in the American FriendsService Committee for many years, is also a Civil War buff. He read us Michael Shaara’s
(thefictional account of the battle of Gettysburg) out loud. When I was old enough I re-read it, studying theinfantry maps of Little Round Top, where Colonel Chamberlain and the 20th Maine changed the course of American history.As part of the Good Men Project I have become close to Michael Kamber, war photographer for
The NewYork Times
. We often exchange emails; while I’m sitting in my suburban Brookline home, he’s getting shotat in some god-awful war zone in Iraq or Afghanistan. He tells me that there is a time to use guns. The warsmay be foolhardy and the press reports scripted by the military, but the men on the front lines have a job todo and no choice but to do it to the best of their ability.And then there are my neighbors, who are wealthy and conservative. Several take a doomsday, riots-in-the-streets approach to the future. They are interested in stockpiling gold, having a secure food source, andmaking sure they have plenty of guns. (One neighbor emailed me a cartoon in which a guy is pounding asign into his front lawn that reads, “I have a whole arsenal of guns but that guy has squat,” with an arrowpointing next door.)I went with that same neighbor and a friend to a home in suburban Boston, where an old man led us into thebasement of his townhouse, closed the door, and produced the largest array of handguns I have ever seen inmy life. For a full day, he taught us everything we need to know about handling, cleaning, shooting, andbuying every conceivable type of gun. Then he gave us the test that would allow us to carry a concealedweapon. I passed with flying colors.The truth is that holding a handgun, I felt good. Damn good. I don’t like to admit it. But that’s the truth.And that’s how I ended up on the nationwide NRA talk show talking about manhood and guns.Watch the video here.