I have been a shooter, a gun enthusiast and a gun owner for more the 30 years. I am a responsible member of the gun community and support the Second Amendment. I always have and I always will.
I am also liberal where a number of social issues are concerned. For instance, while abortion sickens me personally, I am pro-choice politically. I don’t feel that my personal aversion to this issue is a reason to prevent a woman from making the choice for herself.
I also support the right to marry, no matter who you are and who you love. Why? I understand that most Christian, Jewish and Muslim religions view the issue of homosexuality as immoral, I don’t. There are two reasons for this. One, I believe that laws must be based on logic and there is no logical reason not to allow gays to marry. Secondly, and most importantly, I think that love is the operative part of the equation. All the rest is based on personal morals and that has no place in making laws.
I bring these points up because Robert Farago has been running a series at his site, “The Truth About Guns”, requesting that readers send him photos in which the sender tells a little about themselves. The point of the project is to put a face on gun owners and show just how diverse we are. I sent a picture in which I expressed that I support these two issues in addition to the Second Amendment. I did this in order to show just how diverse gun owners are, in keeping with spirit of the series. What happened in comments section was a little upsetting.
Most of the posters were welcoming, some expressed concerns related to points that we disagreed on, but for the most part friendly. On the other hand there were a small number of posters that automatically assumed me to be lying about my support for the Second and one that even assumed I had voted for President Obama. They assumed that things and that automatically made me the enemy.
To come to my point, this kind of divisiveness is anathema to our cause. Just like the skeet shooter and hunters that don’t think that they have any skin in the game where the so called “assault” weapons ban is concerned, and so don’t care, this unwillingness to accept that an ally that may have different beliefs on other issues is destructive to our cause.
Live and let live should be our motto where outside issues are concerned. We should agree to work on this issue together until we defeat the legislation. After that we can argue the other points, try to find a middle ground or stand firm on our convictions and defend our positions later. The most important thing in this fight is to stand together as a united community until all of this nonsense is put to bed for good. We have a long fight ahead of us and if we can’t get out of the grass because we refuse to trust each other we lose.
Let’s get it together folks, we have a lot to lose.