Video Shows Breadth of Gun Ownership

A new video from The Guardian provides a brief, but informative and eye-opening (to some) look at the diversity and breadth of the gun world, and those who live a shooting lifestyle.

The piece is basically a five-minute interview of three people.

First up is Kristin Beck, a former Navy SEAL and gun advocate who is running for congress as a Democrat in Maryland's 5th District.

"I want to go about my life in peace. if it takes me carrying my gun all the time, then that's what it takes," says Beck. "I was a Navy SEAL for 20 years, and in 2013 I came out as transgender and I started living my life as Kristin instead of Christopher. There's a huge amount of violence against LGBT people, and so I'd say that you do need to protect yourselves and if it takes you carrying a weapon because weapons are being used against you, then that's what you have to do."


Kristin Beck, a retired Navy SEAL of 20 years, is running for congress in Maryland's 5th District.CNN Staff

The second person is Kurt Mausert, a Hare Krishna devotee and attorney.

"In criminal defense, I've tried murder cases. My clients were convicted, I've had death threats. It's given me a view into society that most people don't have. Even if I were to retired tomorrow, I would still own firearms," Mausert says.

"I decided when I was 20 years old to shave my head and become a monk and live in the Hare Krishna. We believe that any genuine spiritual tradition will require you to avoid unnecessary violence. Now, the 'unnecessary' is the operative word in that sentence. So there's no contradiction between my spiritual life and my role as a protector," he added. "I grew up very disinterested in guns. When I was 21 my eldest brother lost his life coming to the rescue of someone who was being attacked. Unfortunately my brother didn't know the attacker had a knife and he was stabbed in the heart. That led me to looking at firearms as an effective tool for self defense."

Attorney and Hare Krishna devotee Kurt Mausert, shooting with an old-school, strong-arm stance.

Mausert went on to say he has found more acceptance among his conservative friends than liberal friends.

"(Conservatives) can be tolerant of my democratic, socialist views and my veganism. But my liberal friends—you own a gun and you are a pariah. They just don't get it," he says.

The last person interviewed is a familiar face in the gun world. Chris Cheng is a competitive shooter, and that's his job. He was the champion of season four of Top Shot and is a vocal gun advocate.

Cheng says that he finds his own spirituality in shooting.

"Shooting, for me is…very therapeutic. I like to actually compare marksmanship to yoga. It's both physical and mental and it's very spiritual," he says.

Chris Cheng worked at Google's headquarters when he won Season 4 of Top Shot.

Cheng's remarks mostly focused on gun control legislation.

"To anti-gun extremists who say taking away 320 million guns in America is going to solve the problem, it's a total pipe dream," Cheng says at the opening of the video. "The problem is, all gun owners and users are getting lumped into one entity, the good and the bad. And solutions that are being proposed and applied are disproportionately affecting the good people, and, honestly, some of the proposals are not even attacking or restricting the bad people."

We couldn't embed the video, so go here to watch it in full.