PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Heading toward a Starbucks on the pricey side of town, Rob Farago is packing. The Glock 30SF lives on his right hip, holstered under his jacket, with 10 rounds in the magazine and one in the chamber. Backup ammo is in another pocket.
Farago didn’t used to be a gun guy. He was a car guy. He had a popular blog called the Truth About Cars. He sold it in 2009 and searched for a new consumer topic, landing on guns.
He bought his first gun a week before the debut of TheTruthAboutGuns.com. He took a firearms class. He filled out the paperwork and went through the background check to get a permit to carry a gun. He now owns 18 guns.
“Once you put a gun on, you gain situational awareness,” he says. After he bought his first gun, he says, “I felt grown up. It was like a coming-of-age thing. I felt like an adult.”
Farago talks of the visceral pleasure of firing a gun. There is the moment before, and the moment after. Time slows. It almost stops.
“It’s a Zen thing,” he says. “You can control time down to that 1/1,000th of a second.”
But there are other visceral emotions in New England these days. There’s horror. There’s revulsion. There’s gut-churning pain. No one can talk about guns, not even the gun rights people, without reference to what happened in December in Newtown, Conn. This past week, parents of slain first-graders at Sandy Hook Elementary School testified in gun-control hearings at the State Capitol in Connecticut. One mother said of her slain son, “He lies forever motionless in the earth.”
New York state has already tightened its ban on assault weapons and limited ammunition magazines to seven rounds. Just a couple of miles from Farago’s house, the Rhode Island legislature is considering gun-control laws just as tight as those in New York.
Farago wants to move to Texas, which is more gun-friendly than Rhode Island. But in the meantime, his blog is going gangbusters. Page views have spiked since the massacre in Newtown and the resulting push for gun control.
There’s a run across the country on ammo, and on military-style semiautomatic rifles. The gun rights advocates have long feared that the government would come after their firearms. They’re in the fight of their lives. They’re geared up, on high alert and situationally aware.