In response to Jeffrey Smith’s letter of May 23:

Mr. Smith has questioned my motives for defending the second amendment, and specifically, the AR-15.

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In my first letter responding to Pamela Kelsey’s condemnation of the AR-15, I actually had included the fact that I build AR-15s for a living, but the 400 maximum word-count precluded me from doing so. I think the fact that I am immersed in the industry at least should grant me the facts and knowledge to defend it. I can’t imagine owning a company in an industry that I wouldn’t be prepared to defend.

What your Google search probably didn’t reveal was probably more significant. While I was growing up, my father built custom guns. Instead of milking cows, or working in the woods, my chores were helping him in his gun shop. I hated it, and wanted nothing to do with the business. After leaving home, I began a career in electronics that spanned 30 years. After my father’s death, I began “dabbling” in guns, and have grown to love the industry. My business that Jeffrey is referring to is my “retirement project,” not my chosen profession. And, by the way, I have produced well over 10,000 receivers for sportsman and competitors all over the country. Not one of them has been used in a crime, much less a murder.

Back to my childhood: My father and I spent a huge amount of time together. I was present and involved in many conversations over the years involving “gun control.” I can remember me telling him, “They aren’t after your guns dad!” and him saying, “Perhaps not in my time, but you will be fighting for it in your time.” I thought he was radical, but it turns out he was spot-on, and ahead of his time.

So to answer your question Jeffrey: I am defending the Second Amendment in its entirety. If someone had written that they wanted the SKS banned, I would respond in its defense. I hate the SKS, I have no time for it, but I will defend people’s Second Amendment right to own it, and I will defend your First Amendment right to pen your letter to the editor. Remember, citizens don’t have to demonstrate a “need” to exercise a constitutional right. Rosa Parks didn’t “need” to sit in the front of the bus, and I don’t necessarily “need” an AR-15.

Mike Milli