I grew up around guns, in a swampy pine forest, in the US. Where I lived, everyone had guns. We used them to put food on the table, poke holes in paper, and keep pigs out of the garden. Mostly though, my rifle was what stood between me and the alligators, boars, and whatever else wanted to eat me.All of my jobs, including my current job, involved guns. I’ve been an armed guard, a range safety officer, a weapons instructor, and a bouncer. I’ve also spent seven years of my life (total) running around deserts, with a rifle strapped to my chest. That rifle was the thing that stood between me, and the people who wanted to kill me. Walking out of a room without, or losing my rifle would’ve been suicidal. I would have nightmares, where I had woke up, went to the bathroom, left my rifle out there in the darkness, and then went back to bed. There is no bathroom in the tent where you sleep, so you have to walk a good distance. I would wake up in a panic, to find my rifle beside me, where it belonged. A sigh of relief, back to sleep.Now, back at home, but in a different part of the US, I sometimes walk out of a room, or walk outside, and I’ll have a little, “Shit! Where’s my rifle??” anxiety moment.Now I have a wife, and a tiny little daughter. I read in the news about a woman standing on a corner, a few blocks from our apartment, holding her infant son. They were both stabbed to death, for absolutely no reason, by a complete stranger. I read about a freshman college girl, who was found naked, raped, and bleeding out, in the condo building elevator, right next to mine. I found out about the elderly Korean couple who used to live in the apartment next door to mine. They had left their kitchen door open one night, while they cooked. A young couple walked in, and used hatchets to end their lives. The young couple were into Meth, and were looking for things to steal. All of these criminals were caught. But still, when I hear these things, I can’t help but look at my wife, and daughter. Then I look down at my hip, where protection should be, but isn’t. I can’t help but think how powerless I would be to stop those kinds of things from happening to them. Then I walk outside. Shit! Where’s my rifle?? Oh yea, I’m back in America. My rifle is in a safe, in my bedroom. And, so is my pistol. They’re there, because where I live now, my state’s government, has enacted tyrannical gun laws. These laws allow us to keep guns, but we are debarred from bearing them. Our civil rights have been taken without a judge or jury or even a trial having found us guilty. I know this sounds like a pro-gun ad disguised as a sob story. It’s not. This is my anxiety confession. I live in a liberal State, where I would be ridiculed, if anyone found out that I own personal weapons, let alone that I feel naked and vulnerable without one. I’m also afraid that if anyone found out about my anxiety, I would lose my job (I carry a weapon at work). So, I can’t even confess just that part to a mental health professional. I’m writing this to get it off my chest, and make some sense of it. Maybe somebody else will read it, and understand what other people are going through.