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.
Farago, 53, lives in an elegant house on the east side of town. He drives a Mercedes. He’s got an exquisite art collection. He has beautiful Persian rugs. Before he takes his miniature schnauzers on a walk in his upscale neighborhood, he fits them with doggie parkas.
His parents were major art benefactors, and his mother donated a huge collection of works to a fine arts museum in Boston. She’s a liberal who doesn’t like his new interest in guns and won’t let him discuss the subject at family gatherings. He says his father, who died three years ago, cherished his Second Amendment rights, but now Rob is the only gun person in his family.
Farago (fa-RAH-go) has been through many transitions. Years ago he worked for CNN as a cameraman and producer. He lived for a while in England, freelancing articles. He’s twice divorced, with two grown kids from the first marriage and a 9-year-old daughter, who lives with him, from the second. He speaks often of his desire to be a protective father, to keep the child safe in a dangerous world.