Waking up in Dallas for the NRA Annual Meetings on this grand, albeit rainy, morning – May the Fourth be with you by the way! – the motto of the weekend is “A Show of Strength”.  We in the 2A community undoubtedly stand united, strength in tremendous numbers, ready to fend off attacks to our right to bear arms from all enemies, both foreign and domestic.  However, this is not the group that needs convincing.  If we want to change the perception of gun ownership to those that are against it, we need to get creative and re-imagine how we ourselves perceive guns.

I am a gun designer.  For the last decade, I have worked in relative unknown inside some of the worlds largest gun companies, peeling back the layers of the gun, to understand how they function and develop new designs to carry on the legacy.  In the process I uncovered an incredible beauty from a perspective most never realize.  Efficiency of design; harnessing raw power; elegant lines – all coming together in bold fashion.  When you spend as much time inside the design and mechanics of guns as I have, you see a different side of the story.  I am here to share my vision – the beauty of the gun and what it means to be a gun owner.

I am a jewelry designer.  Two years ago, I began to re-imagine the beauty of guns and created my first jewelry inspired by the beauty of firearms, cast in solid gold and sterling silver.  By elevating the status of gun ownership into something empowering, beautiful, and non-threatening, I am starting to change the narrative.  Owning a gun does change how I feel.  I am more confident, more independent, more capable.  As is my wife.  We practice, we study, we live and breathe a mindset of independence and capability that we harness together.  We wear that confidence like a badge of honor, earned through careful study and respect for guns.

And now we outwardly share that passion, that feeling, in the form of fine jewelry.  My designs are bold, beautiful, and empowering.  But they are also non-threatening.  It has helped open the conversation to friends, family, and acquaintances not supportive of the second amendment.  By starting with a small element of the gun – like a trigger, or a bolt head – and sharing the feeling you have when you wear it, sharing the feeling you had the first time you fired the weapon, sharing the feeling you have knowing you can control such raw power with confidence, sharing the feeling you have knowing you are stronger and more capable because of your experience with firearms – you start to paint a very different picture of what it means to own a gun.

My jewelry is inspired by guns, but it manifests itself in the feeling of self-empowerment.  By re-imaging how we feel about guns, we can re-imagine how we share that feeling with others.  Elegance and style have broken barriers and opened dialogue for ages.  Join me this NRA Show in a Show of Strength AND Beauty, and lets start to change the narrative on the second amendment for everyone.

Joe Wall