Personal experience has shown that people take one look at me on the range and think I’m a hard core, screaming right wing extremist. It might have to do with the firearm in my hand. Last week I discussed the stereotype that liberal = anti gun/right to keep and bear arms in some vague terms. Today, we’ll explore that a little bit.
When it comes down to the Second Amendment, liberals have the reputation of being anti-gun. I have to admit, there is some truth behind that when it comes to history and local politics. Democrats were the party of gun control (and rather ridiculous gun control at that) for years. Lately (last 1/2 decade or so) on the national level there has been a breakthrough with regards to the Democratic Party stance: the gun control plank was removed.
Understandably, pro-right to keep and bear arms voters of the more conservative bent are leery of the Democratic party and liberals in general based on legislation on the federal level (Clinton Assault Weapons Ban anyone?) and on the local level (no concealed carry in Illinois, silly ‘assault weapons’ laws in Cali, NY, and MA). What can be done to remedy this? Should it be remedied?
Yes, it should be remedied. No matter who happens to be in power, I’ll bet that since you’re reading this, you support the right to keep and bear arms (RKBA) and would like to not worry about which political party is in power. Though, to be clear, I’m specifically saying worrying about the right to keep and bear arms. No matter which party holds the House, Senate or the Presidency, there are always things to worry about. Removing the Second Amendment as a wedge issue would allow both major parties to focus on other items and the RKBA single issue voters are free to vote based on those other issues.
On to the first question: what can be done to remedy this “If you’re not a right wing conservative, you can’t be pro-gun” mindset?
There are a multitude of things that are possible.
Are you a liberal or a moderate and enjoy shooting? Do you go to the range or just plink around the house? Instead of shirking politics on the range or around the water cooler, mention that you’re a moderate, liberal, communist, green party, socialist and you support RKBA. You might catch flak for not holding the same political views but even the fact that those people now know there are armed liberals/moderates/etc out there will make a slight adjustment in their point of view.
Talk to your local politicians. Talk to your national politicians. Get involved in the political process. I’ve sent multiple emails and called my elected officials. Don’t just speak to your US Representative or Senator. Speak to your state Senator and Representative. Email your governor. Show up at local town hall meetings and make your feelings known.
What else can you do to help dissuade people from thinking that the only people who can be pro-RKBA are conservatives? Please join us in the forum to discuss.
To answer my rhetorical question in the title of this post: No, the LGC is not an oxymoron. People from all sides of the political spectrum support the right to keep and bear arms.