When I was 17, my goals were to turn 18, graduate from high school, attend the University of Illinois, and make my way in the world.
Like many of my friends, I owned a rifle. It was stored safely on a rack in my bedroom, except when I was target shooting or small game hunting.
When I headed to college in the fall of 1969, that rifle remained 150 miles away, still on my bedroom wall. The thought of taking it to a protest or demonstration would have seemed ludicrous.