I hate politics, and I’ve tried to avoid them wherever possible in this blog. Hell, this post is about avoiding them. Sort of. Yet politics are very much central to this.
Democrats these days seem to be hewing to a strict gun control platform. Note- I said Democrats, not Liberals. The two main parties have been working to divide this country along partisan lines for decades, and each in their own way has used fear tactics to do this. The biggest difference is which fears they choose to focus on, but both are guilty. One of the things each has focussed on in their own way is the 2nd Amendment. They have done everything in their power to keep this issue from being settled one way or another, because they have made it part of their platform and need to keep the issue alive as way of dividing us. This is a fight that should have been resolved decades ago, and I think would have been but for totalitarian partisanship created and encouraged by the two major parties.
The idea that has been fostered is one of a ‘Culture War.’ Yes, Americans are an exceptionally diverse people, with many regional and ethnic cultures in the mix. But we only have one Constitution, and I have sworn to uphold it.
It’s very popular in mainstream gun culture to demonize Liberals and poke fun at them. But the fact of the matter is that by the latest estimates a minimum of 30% of gun owners in this country identify as ‘Liberal,’ and we can no longer afford to demonize almost 1/3 of the folks on our side. The NRA began pushing the notion of a ‘Culture war,’ and by all accounts they lost members. Probably an awful lot of those were Liberal gun owners.
Don’t mistake Democrats for Liberals either; they haven’t been the same thing for many years, and most liberals that I know consider the current Democrats to be ‘Center-Right’ rather than leftists. Leftists with any sense of history are very keen on private gun ownership, but we needn’t get into that.
The point is, now more than ever, America’s 2nd Amendment supporters need to discard totalitarian, party-line views about each other and come together. We all support the 2nd Amendment, and that’s more important than the things that divide us. There was a survey a few years back that was carefully worded to avoid political hot-buttons, and it determined that Conservative and Liberal Americans agreed on 80% of the issues. We have more common ground than not, and right now we can’t afford to worry about that other 20%. Win this fight and we can argue over the other stuff later. Right now we have bigger fish to fry.
The NRA is on the ropes- we needn’t get into why- and has not been particularly effective in recent years anyway. Other major groups don’t have the deep pockets and resources to fight every fight; they need to pick and choose their battles, and some fights that need to be fought slip through the cracks. If we come together we are more likely to be able to muster the resources we need.
Now more than ever we need to present a unified front. Liberal, Conservative, black, white, hispanic, gay, straight, trans, Christian, heathen- all secondary concerns.* The new standard needs to be ‘If you’re with us you’re welcome.’ Quit with the name calling, belittling and bullshit. Our commonality is greater than that which divides us. As a rather famous wit once said, ‘We must hang together, or surely we will hang separately!’
There is in fact an organization dedicated to this proposition, and I would encourage all of you to look into them, follow them on Twitter etc. You can find them at https://opensourcedefense.org
Michael Tinker Pearce, 24 July 2019
*The exception I would have to make to this would be race/religion based hate groups and the like; they poison the brand of gun owners. Besides, they are the worst.
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It has long been my opinion (as a 35 year life member) that the NRA is and will remain a failure on the political front until it puts full effort into finding and supporting at least one true pro-2nd candidate in every primary election for every major political party. Writing off half the American people as useless in defense of 2A is a myopic, divisive, and ultimately failed approach.