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To understand GuardAmerican, click this to see what we're doing, would like to do, our raison d'être.

The Backstory

GuardAmerican started because founder, Kirk W. Kelsen, decided to exercise his Second Amendment Right to Keep and Bear Arms. Kirk wanted to create a better way for new gun owners to learn about their new responsibility -- with a particular focus on the rapidly growing community of responsibly-armed women. Millions of Americans are buying their first gun(s), men and women alike. We're here to help.

As we build this company from the ground up, we will invite you to learn more about our Team. When the time comes, more information will be added here.

At the links above are videos introducing you to our expert, Capt. Nicholas Gottuso (Ret.); and Team Members Erin Hyden, Ross Pearson, and Todd Oliva. Under Captain Nick's watchful eye, Erin, Ross and Todd have started their gun oddysseys by first exploring: Personal Self Defense, Long Distance Precision Rifle Training, and Multi-Gun Cross Training.

In the future, Ross, Erin and Todd will expand beyond these subjects to other areas. There really is no end to what they and GuardAmerican can do, show, and teach.

In a sense, GuardAmerican will be quite literally "about us" -- all of us, including you --  as we share this journey on who and what GuardAmerican becomes.


Character and Demeanor of GuardAmerican

Because the purpose is to instruct and welcome gun owners, it is important that GuardAmerican identify clearly how we operate. To foster this, in the videos documenting our team learning, in our online commentary, and in our member forum:

  1. There is no such thing as a stupid question.
  2. Mistakes made are documented to show everyone the mistake.
  3. The enterprise will be a trustworthy, courteous, and open space for commentary.
  4. Controversy will be handled with wit and good humor.
  5. No ad hominem (personal) attacks are permitted
  6. No one will be urged to become advocates other than for their individual responsibility to protect and defend themselves and their families, and pursue their gun-related interests.
  7. Education will be fact-based and as scientific as resources allow.
  8. Anti-gun rhetoric will be permitted on a moderated basis, subject to deletion.
  9. Broad political polemics will generally not be conducted nor permitted unless in the "Politics" area of the Forum. We expect the conversation to be lively.

These are the guidelines we hold ourselves to, and for you: our valued reader, commenter, and hopefully prized member.


A Podcast from Kirk W. Kelsen - "Who We Are"

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Guns and Politics…Why do they always seem to go together?

By Capt. Nicholas Gottuso (Ret.)

The purpose and passion at GuardAmerican is to educate you about all things “gun” in a welcoming, open manner. It is not to preach politics, extoll the virtues of one candidate or political party over another, or cast aspersions on anyone’s views. GuardAmerican is not a political project.


In spite of this, you will notice a certain slant to some of our information, blogs and forums. It’s really more of a side-effect of becoming involved with the firearms community rather than a deliberate manifestation of our main goal. 


We have observed that, in today’s political landscape, conservative politicians and policies generally favor private ownership of guns and respect for the Second Amendment, and liberal politicians and policies favor the opposite. Like everything else in politics, these are not absolutes. For instance, there are some pro-gun Democrats (mostly from western hunting states) and some anti-gun Republicans (such as New York City's Mayor Bloomberg), but these folks are the anomaly. Conservatives tend to believe that government’s role in our lives should be scaled back and our taxes lowered, while liberals generally believe we should pay higher taxes and support a large central government regulating the public good. This is painting with broad brush strokes, we know. It's an attempt to state the general nature of America's cultural and political landscape in an extremely condensed form.


Just as there are fiercely loyal adherents to the notion that abortion should be legal, and those just as fiercely opposed to it, so it is also with gun ownership. This is not surprising because both subjects, in one way or another, are directly connected with individual freedom and individual human life. Increasingly, both debates are turning more acrimonious on the national and state level. Quite naturally, those of us who are personally and professionally devoted to the responsible, legal and civil exercise of our Constitutionally-enumerated right to keep and bear arms are more aligned with conservative politics and politicians because they generally share GuardAmerican's deep commitment to personal freedom, individual responsibility and independence.


So if you detect a prominence of conservative opinion throughout our website, you know where it’s coming from. There are politicians in America who do not want you to be armed and will do almost anything to try to ensure that you are not. History is filled with terrible tyrants whose first step was to disarm their nation's public in order to more easily dominate them. Our Founding Fathers understood this premise very well and the Constitution and the Federalist Papers are replete with examples of this knowledge. It is easy to understand why: America's founders pledged their individual lives and fortunes to throwing off tyranny. They were suspicious of government power and its natural tendency to grow. It took years for the original independent states to agree to creating a federal government at all. In fact, colonial-era leaders so deeply distrusted centralized power it almost did not happen.


During election cycles, some left-leaning politicians urge "common sense" gun laws while promising voters that they do not want to take away duck-hunting shotguns or dad’s deer rifle. In our observations, this is a red flag. We've observed that politicians extolling the virtues of "hunting" are often disguising their intent to incrementally limit, control and eventually eliminate your highly-specific right to keep and bear arms. If the Founders wanted merely to protect sporting use of firearms, they would have written it that way into the Constitution. They did not.


Instead, the Founding Fathers recognized a right to keep and bear arms in language that is very plain. Remember this: the United States Constitution was subject to intense debate. Nothing is in it (or left out of it) by mistake. As remarkable as it may sound, the Second Amendment has nothing to do with target shooting, hunting or even personal- or home-defense. Any historically-informed understanding of the Founders' intent -- which requires reading the source documents written by the Founders themselves -- leaves no doubt that the Second Amendment is, absolutely, one more “check and balance” that preserves your cherished freedoms as American citizens.


It has become fashionable lately for some to declare that the United States Constitution is a "living and breathing" document, that it must be updated and changed to accommodate modern wishes, hopes and desires -- that the Founders never could have foreseen nor understood the needs of our times. GuardAmerican does not subscribe to this view. We see the Constitution as a contract, a flexible framework to govern society.


Americans have available to them a process that permits them to amend this framework and have done so 27 times (though the first 10, the Bill of Rights, were ratified with the Constitution, itself). The last amendment was proposed in 1789 and enacted in 1992. Because the amendment process is difficult, those subscribing to the "living and breathing" viewpoint tend to interpret individual words to circumvent an often drawn-out process. We believe that doing so distorts the framers' clear intent and find such arguments unpersuasive. Instead, GuardAmerican views individual men and women as "living and breathing," not the document nor its words.


In political races, GuardAmerican strongly believes that everyone should decide which issues are most important to them, learn through personal research (we recommend the Internet over traditional broadcast resources) which candidates, party or issue most closely represents their views, and vote accordingly. If you do this, and you are truly interested in becoming a responsibly armed citizen, we are pretty sure you’ll come to the right conclusion every election day. GuardAmerican trusts in the good sense of the American public.


We are each the children of parents who likely sacrificed much, and their parents before them. Similarly, each generation benefits from the Civil Society we are blessed with today, imperfect though it may be. In a very real sense, no matter who we are, every American inherits this nation's magnificent legacy, passed on from those before. Your children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews are counting on you to be good stewards of the Civil Society today to ensure their future liberties tomorrow, and the day after that.


GuardAmerican exists in part to actively promote the Civil Society. We observe that our political system can ensure one -- if we choose it to be so. This is not a left-right issue. It's about choosing to be free. We observe threats to freedom in America today and jealously guard our Constitutionally-protected rights. We choose to support the Civil Society.


And so we welcome you here, freeborn citizens of every stripe, politically-minded or not, to join us in that noble goal.