The DC Project is a non-partisan group of 50 women from 50 states who earlier this month traveled to Washington D.C. to reveal the usually unseen faces and stories of female firearms owners and Second Amendment supporters. Meeting with over 100 lawmakers and their staff members in just two and a half days, we stormed the Capitol and presented a unified face of support for our constitutional right to bear arms.
Besides being non-partisan and entirely female, the group was also unique in that we were entirely self-funded. Most of us used our vacation time, and all of us used our own funds to travel to DC, to pay for our accommodations and meals, and other expenses of the trip. We brought great enthusiasm and a depth of knowledge of the firearms world unlike any other group – members include top professional shooters, Olympians, immigrants, mothers, victims of violence, gun store owners, journalists, lawyers, women of color and disabled women, all of whom care enough about the Second Amendment to make our voices heard through the din of the polarized rhetoric normally found on the Hill.
From the first meeting, it was clear that the lawmakers and the staff we encountered were happy to see a different face in the firearms debate. Because we were not going in asking for any action on any particular legislation, our message was easier to hear – women of all political stripes support and value the Second Amendment, including liberals like me. Although our group did not (and does not) lobby at all, we were asked and provided our opinion on the topic of No-Fly – No Buy and the unity of opposition to that legislation in our group was impossible to miss. Further, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle were happy to hear that they now have a resource for factually correct information regarding firearms. They were also generally surprised but pleased to hear of the Liberal Gun Club, and many spent time discussing our mission and philosophy with me. During those discussions, especially in offices of more moderate democrats and republicans, away from the cameras and press, we saw a great commitment to getting it right, an acknowledgement of the true complexity of the issues surrounding the Second Amendment, and a expressions of hope and desire that Washington can and will do better when it comes to national firearms policy.
It was a privilege to be a part of this new group, and to bring information about the LGC to the Hill. It was a privilege to take part in a Second Amendment rally on the lawn of the Capitol, to meet with and establish positive relationships with numerous lawmakers, and to find common ground with, and make new friends with women who, while maybe not liberal themselves, wholeheartedly embraced me and the existence of liberals who support the Second Amendment. I look forward to our trip in 2017 and to further spreading the word of the Liberal Gun Club to politicians of all political leanings and to women in the firearms industry who might not otherwise know of our existence.