I forgot to mention in my earlier post a personal experience. This has not affected my opinion about guns.
I have looked down the barrel of a loaded Colt .45, held by an angry man. His anger, driven by fear, was aimed at me. He feared being branded a failure by comrades, because of something I was unable to deliver. His action made me angry, not afraid. I was angry, because he pointed his pistol at my head and because he refused to accept my word.
I was assigned as adviser to the Korean Tiger Division in Vietnam. The Korean government provided naked bodies, and the US government provided everything they might need to fight a war (plus a whole lot more, but that's another story).
I was responsible for aviation support and was the liaison between my unit and the division. My counterpart was an officer of equal rank, who was the division aviation officer. Each day, our helicopters would help the division fulfill its mission, but also supply the far-flung fire bases. The Koreans tended to plant these on the tops of mountains, inaccessible by road. The poor bastards depended upon air support for their daily rice. water, and kimchi.
One day, maintenance problems grounded most of the aircraft. The remaining one could not meet the demands of delivering supplies to all fire bases. The radio in the command bunker blared with pleading from commanders. Confronted by a screaming counterpart, I tried to explain the mechanics of broken aircraft. He did not understand the word "sorry" and pulled his gun. He expected that to produce aircraft. As I wrote above, it made me angry.
I turned and walked out, taking my staff with me. I did not turn to see his reaction...but was pleased that he did not pull the trigger.
I reported the incident to my commander, who reacted as I expected: the division commander was read the riot act. Americans do not take kindly to being treated badly by allies. The officer was sent home in disgrace, and I returned to the bunker and ran my aircraft. It was a sad end for a graduate of the Korean elite military academy, but a happy ending for me. I was not shot and was awarded a medal by the Korean government for my service.
Prior to writing novels, the author enjoyed a multifaceted career: from decorated combat aviator to advertising professional to global communications director of a major consumer brand. He has traveled the world and met sports, film and television stars, political leaders, and royalty. He graduated from Middlebury College, is married, lives in Germany, and has two grown children.