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MILLER: The American Gun Owner - a brother with Down Syndrome
If you only follow liberal media and listen to President Obama, it would be easy to believe that gun owners are all bitter clingers, reckless hicks or criminals.
The truth is that the 100 million gun owners in America are among the most responsible, patriotic, family-oriented citizens in our nation.
This mischaracterization is one of the myths I want to dispel in my upcoming book, “Emily Gets Her Gun ... But Obama Wants to Take Yours.” To do so, I’ve asked law-abiding gun owners to send photographs of themselves to be included in a spread in the book.
We’ve been inundated with almost 1,000 photos so far that show Americans -- men and women, young and old -- exercising their Second Amendment rights.
(Every photo submitted will be published. To do so, email a high-resolution version by July 9 to EmilysGuns@gmail.com.)
Along with the photos, many people have written notes explaining why they chose to get firearms and how they use them. I have been so overwhelmed with emotion by these powerful stories, that I decided to ask permission from the contributors to publish some in The Washington Times. I’m grateful to those who agreed.
This series, “The American Gun Owner,” will help illuminate the positives of gun ownership that are rarely seen in the media. My first story is about two brothers.
Daniel Parvin, 26, sent me a photo of his younger brother, Sam, who has Down Syndrome, shooting a .22 rifle.
“I don't care if you graduated from Harvard, or if you have Down Syndrome, there is nothing dangerous or intimidating about a gun unless you are uneducated and uninformed,” Daniel wrote to me.
The Parvin brothers, who are just 18 months apart, grew up around guns. They lived in Texas until Daniel was 10 years old, then moved to Florida, where they still live. Their father, who had a safe full of firearms, taught the boys when they were very young to never touch or pick up a gun.
“When Sam and I were kids, maybe five or six, we were running around outside and found a gun in the bushes. We immediately ran inside, got my dad, who then notified the police. I never did learn what happened to the gun or where it came from, but we knew to never touch them,” Parvin wrote to me. “As we got older, we learned how to shoot, and how to properly and safely handle firearms.”
Sam, 24, lives with Daniel now. “He knows where I keep my .40 [caliber Springfield XD handgun], but he also knows to never touch it,” Daniel said. “In the case that I am injured and can't use it, I know that he can because we have taught him how to fire a gun and how to do it safely.”
Daniel said that Sam enjoys shoots with him for sport. “He loves going with the boys out to the old dirt pit and shooting at clays or old cans for that matter.”
I cried when I read Daniel’s first email. I replied that I was honored to know to know such great Americans.
“We are just simple people who love God and love this country,” Daniel responded. “We were raised to love the Lord, love our mama, and love the freedoms and rights that this great country provides.”
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Emily Miller is senior editor of opinion for The Washington Times. She is the author of “Emily Gets Her Gun … But Obama Wants to Take Yours” (Regnery 2013). Miller won the 2012 Clark Mollenhoff Award for Investigative Reporting from the Institute on Political Journalism.
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