This time we speak with @TuffAdams. He’s a family man from the mountains of Idaho and, basically, the poster-dad for ordinary American citizens who maintain ordinary traditions and habits.
Why are you a gun owner?
I grew up in rural West Georgia on a farm. Guns were always around. We had cattle and other livestock and seeing snakes in the chicken houses was pretty common. If it wasn’t venomous, we would just put them back outside unless they were a repeat offender but often there were copperheads and timber rattlers around.
Even though my family had a cattle operation, we also enjoyed venison and deer hunting was part of my childhood, and still is to this day. As a matter of fact, I purchased my elk and mule deer tags today here in Idaho. I have three sons and that is a major way we bond. In my family, once you’re old enough to go hunting, you’re pretty much considered a man. I was trained on gun safety by every member of my family, including my mom and grandmother. My wife, and all of my adult children carry every day, including my two daughters. I expect my other two daughters will carry, as well. There is a sense of safety I have knowing they can protect themselves. We go to the range as a family and practice often.
About 6 years ago, I had a dispute with a neighbor. His grandson was trespassing in my main hayfield and was ripping it up with his ATV. The grandfather come on my property and attacked me. It was a pathetic attempt and I couldn’t help but laugh at his weak punches. This enraged him and he pulled a pistol out of his pocket. He didn’t realize that I was also carrying and I was much faster. Before he could bring his weapon up, he was staring down the barrel of my weapon. Had he raised his, I would not have hesitated to send him to his maker. My weapon saved my life that day as I found out later that he had served 30 years for murder. Had I known that, I probably would’ve pulled the trigger. As it was, I continually had to watch my back when I was on my property as he had a nice vantage point in which to fire upon me from his property.
Well that’s a harrowing tale. Good thing you were habitually, responsibly armed. I’m struck by your family’s traditions with firearms. I had a similar upbringing, but I don’t see that as so common anymore. From what you’ve seen, do you find your family’s approach to be common or the exception?
Oh, I am quite sure we are the exception these days, even here in Idaho. The influx of Californians has turned the Southern part of the state a little less red and the sight of a firearm being carried openly is now uncommon. I have always been an advocate of concealed carry but just from a tactical standpoint. I keep my head on a swivel 24/7. This shouldn’t be misconstrued to believe that I am a scared person. I am an AWARE person. I feel like the training I had in he Army has given me situational awareness that most people don’t have. This is probably the biggest thing I teach my kids. My wife is a flight attendant for a major airline and situational awareness training post 9/11 is a big part of training for them. I supplement that with our own training at home. Most people would consider how I raise my kids as paranoid but I just think of it as my own Scout troop. Be Prepared was the Scout’s motto before the liberals screwed it up. I don’t know what it is now, probably “Don’t be Offensive” or something.
Weapons training isn’t all we do, either. my kids know how to start fires, build tools, and survive in the wild. We are actually planning a camping trip for next weekend and we will be practicing our woodcraft then. My kids love it. We also teach hand to hand combat and practice martial arts. Funny story…My daughter was playing soccer in a youth league and one of the opposing players was playing the game a little rough. The refs weren’t calling it so my daughter took it up a notch. A girl had shoved her to the ground a couple of times and she had had enough of that. When the ref turned his back, my little girl took her to the ground. HARD. The girl got up and started towards my daughter and swung at her. She ducked and put the girl back down on her back with a sweeping leg kick. She then stood over her and said, “Next time I’m not going to be so easy on you. I know Krav Maga. You might want to Google that.” She was 10. I was so proud. She got a yellow card but the other girl got a red card so it was worth it. After the game, all of our parents went to lunch together and wanted to know if my wife and I could teach their daughters a few moves.
Do you carry daily?
If you see me out in public, I have at least one pistol and one tactical knife on me. Always carry, all of the time, is my motto. Same goes for my wife. I don’t open carry because I like the element of surprise but that is a personal preference and I don’t judge others who open carry.
I believe I’ve seen you mentioned air travel with your EDC gun. Would you consider that extraordinary or just part of ordinary living?
I travel for business and sometimes fly standby because of my wife’s job. Under the rules, I am not allowed to bring my firearm unless I actually PURCHASE a ticket. I pretty much fly to the same places so I have had to rent lockers in various places to store my gun and ammo. It’s a pain in the ass but not as painful as being caught without one. Some of the states don’t have reciprocity with Idaho so I am “carrying dirty”, so to speak. I don’t recognize bullshit laws so I just play it cool and keep it concealed. I’m looking forward to the day when we have national reciprocity. I would sell most of those guns I keep in lockers as they are weapons I would not own otherwise.
Huh, lockers. That’s an interesting and useful approach! That issue aside, what got you into expanding your collection beyond one rifle and one pistol?
I spent ten years in the military, with eight of them serving as a Ranger. I love weaponry and very much enjoy shooting. I don’t kill anything I don’t eat. Here in Idaho, a favorite pastime of the locals is going out and shooting whistle pigs. No matter how many you kill, three times as many come back to take their place. I’ve been invited several times but I just can’t bring myself to do it.
Most of my guns were passed down to me from my father and grandfather. Others I have were purchases of opportunity. There’s a lot of guys who buy guns because their buddies buy guns. I like those guys because the first time they get in money trouble, I’m there with a pocket full of cash. About fifteen years ago, a guy who worked for me bought a Desert Eagle. Three months later I owned it for $311: The exact amount he owed Ford Motor Credit for his past due car payment. I’ve purchased many more and I figure I have about 3 dozen pistols and forty or so rifles.
Nice-sized collection. Would you consider yourself a collector, then? And do you acquire firearms for qualities other than the go-bang function?
A lot of the guns I have inherited are sentimental and I don’t fire often. I wouldn’t consider myself a collector. If I buy a firearm, it is for a specific purpose. I have seven children so all of them have guns for certain purposes. For example, every member of my family has a pistol. Even my 12 year old daughter. It is in her room in a drawer, loaded with one in the chamber. I am 100% confident that if she was home alone and an intruder came into our home, she would be able to take him out. But that is the only gun she has. My boy and I like to hunt, so they have shotguns and hunting rifles for deer and elk. I have one long range rifle and will probably buy another in the near future. I can see a point where it might be prudent to have a 1000 meter rifle that can stop a running engine ;).
So, in a nutshell, I buy weapons for specific purposes, not because I think they look cool and I want to have a coolest collection on the block. Most of my neighbors have no idea I even own a gun. It’s not something I advertise. I guess that goes back to the whole concealed carry preference I have.
What’s your fave rifle and/or fave pistol?
My every day carry is a Sig P320 in .45. It has a meaty grip. I’m 6′-6″ and weigh about 250. I prefer a big, heavy pistol. As far as rifles go, I use different ones for different things but if I had to pick a favorite, I have a Browning Medallion 270 that has put a lot of meat on my table.
A small sample of Tuff’s collection.
What worries you most about American culture today?
I’m not sure I could explain this unless I had a glass of whiskey and a Camacho cigar, but in a nutshell, it just seems to me that everyone is looking to be offended and people feel like if you offend them, they have the right and obligation to destroy you. There are lots of Chairborne Rangers out there, hiding safely behind their keyboard in mama’s basement who have nothing better to do than out you to the Hive. The Hive is the name I’ve given the perpetually offended liberals out there who don’t seem to have employment and seem to be hell bent on changing a world they have never experienced. If they were out in the real world, working hard to provide for their families, they wouldn’t have time to be offended, that is, until they saw the amount the government steals from their paychecks.
I agree, and lament the fact that “the hive” is supported and emboldened by a massive propaganda industry that represents itself as objective journalism. Do you see a wholesome way forward from this sad state of affairs or do you think we’re past the point of gentle correction?
I think we are past the point of the Union staying together. I think that within 30 years, there will be a bloodless civil war. Liberals don’t want us and we don’t want them. There’s really nothing to fight about except maybe some of the more ambiguous states such as Washington and Oregon, and maybe northern California. I wish this wasn’t the case but I don’t think I’m wrong.
Sober analysis. Thanks Tuff.