Today’s quick, ordinary citizen profile is with Rob Province – @RobProvince on Twitter.
Why are you a gun owner?
I’ve been around guns my whole life. I was raised in southern Missouri and spent almost all my summers in Shell Knob, MO where hunting and fishing is as common as breathing. My dad is a Vietnam vet but never had the number of guns I do because he never had the disposable income I do and loved cars more. My first “gun” was a .177 air rifle. My first real gun was, like everyone, else a Ruger 10/22. My first real memory of wanting to collect firearms came in 1994 with the Clinton Ban. It really shocked me that something you could walk into the store and buy was suddenly illegal and could send you to jail. I was 20 at the time and couldn’t buy a handgun so I went to a gun show and bought a Glock 33-round stick mag for $100, the same mag would have cost $25 just the week before. I still have that mag to this day. This was also my first real-world experience with investing as well. Something that had been $25 just a week ago was now 4 times as much money. From that moment on I saw guns not only as for self defense and hunting, but an investment. When I turned 21 I bought my first handgun, a Springfield Armory 1911. Still have it.
For most of my life I didn’t have the extra money to buy guns, mags, or ammo as I do now. That’s a recent thing. Like most gun guys I was sure Hillary was going to win and bought every AR lower I could find. I had taught myself how to build ARs through YouTube Videos and friends on Twitter. I now have about 9 or 10 in various configurations and calibers. My first AR was a Daniel Defense DDM4 V11 LW I bought during the Ferguson riots. It was a bizarre experience for those of us here in St Louis. Police didn’t seem too have control of anything and the Governor was unwilling to do really anything. I realized then that when things got really bad the system we all rely on doesn’t work… it was on me. That’s when my interest in firearms changed from deer rifles, shotguns, and handguns to modern sporting rifles. And as the calls for more gun control came, my collection grew as an investment.
Do you carry daily?
I do when I can (Glock 26), but being a medical professional I can’t carry at work and I don’t carry where it’s prohibited. Being in Missouri it’s easier than most states, as we have Constitutional Carry and CCW that works in a lot of other states.
What’s your fave rifle or fave pistol?
Daniel Defense AR with MRO red dot, Glock 26 with night sights.
What worries you most about American culture today?
Not much. I’ve hit a “fuck it” place in my life. I’m 44 with no kids so my only concern is living my life with my wife as best I can. I’ll let everyone else worry about where things are going. I’ll just focus on where I am because at my age I’m going to do what I want.
So much of “journalism” today describes a society where The American Dream is long over. How is it you ended up being able to do what you want instead of being thrall to the government?
I think the idea that the “American Dream” (a job, family, home) is dead is just silly and lazy. People today have it easier than almost any generation before them. My grandparents had to deal with the Great Depression, the Dust Bowl, and WW2. I think kids got the idea that all they had to do was go to a good college and get any degree and life would be laid out for them. The luxuries of life have never been cheaper. Home loans are at historic low interest rates. Credit is available to almost everyone. Unemployment is below 4%. The stock market is doing well. We have more food than we can eat and its cheap. We are actually living in a golden age historically. You just have to actually study or get a skill people want to employ. I did my research in the 90’s of what jobs needed to be filled and nursing was #1 with a bullet. So I majored in Nursing and I’ve been able to find jobs because I picked a skill that was in demand.
What’s your argument against the popular idea that firearms are something Americans need to work to remove from society with “common sense” reforms?
Easy: every government that has sought to disarm its citizens has then abused its citizens.
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Here is some of Rob’s collection…