I was never into firearms before my time in the Army. (2010-2014) during Afghanistan, I was attached to (ODA, Special Forces group) for a few days to help them with communications and one of the (E5s) let me shoot his personal Glock 17, which was way lighter than the issued (Beretta) M9. I fell in love with that.
When we returned to Fort Carson, my battle buddy from my squad in 1/67 AR 4th ID took me to the PX and we tried different handguns. I’m from California with zero firearms experience and my buddy was from Idaho and had been hunting his whole life. I’m from Bayview-Hunters point area in San Francisco. I knew I was getting out of the Army so I wanted to bring one home.
For those who aren’t too familiar with the Bayview area of San Francisco- it is one of higher crime rated areas alongside the Tenderlion area, as well as the Fillmore area. Many people mistake San Francisco for being an all tourist city, while instead we house most of America’s homeless population. My grandmother moved to America in the 70s from Indonesia. So we’ve been in San Francisco for a while. But in my neighborhood, car break ins are very common, and our house has even been broken into a few times. Twice in the 90s and once as an adult when I was on R&R from the Army in the early 2010s.
Out of all of the firearms at the PX during that time(2013) the Glock 19 Gen 4 fit my hand perfectly.
Shortly after I got out of the Army (2014), I worked as a Rangemaster in South San Francisco for one summer. Here I also met my then girlfriend (now wife) where we both learned and trained on pistols and similar smaller weapon systems. I even taught some of the novice-shooter classes on basic handgun training. My respect for firearms and firearms ownership had risen tremendously, especially when you deal with people/customers who are very inexperienced with firearms handling. I’ve been flagged/muzzled so many times it’s crazy. What’s even crazier is that it was by both civilians and even law enforcement. This was when I realized everyone, including law enforcement, most of the times lack proper training. I had carried the Glock 19 Gen 4throughout my entire time working at the range, and to this day it is still my go-to pistol.
Now I have multiple (California Compliant )AR15s, multiple pistols in different calibers and now a family. I practice using all of my firearms in a defense scenario, and whenever I get a chance I try to train a family member on basic weapon manipulation. My fathers side of the family is from Indonesia, and my mothers side is from the Philippines.
Want to share your first time Gun Ownership Story? DM us on Social or email ShareYourStory@aapigo.org.