As the impending legislation of an “Assault Weapons Ban”, and a “High Capacity Magazine Ban” draws imminently closer, I’ve noticed a distinct rift amongst gun owners. This gap, or dare I call it a “separation”, was evident BEFORE Aurora, Colorado, before Clackamas, Oregon, and before Newtown, Connecticut. This split has existed between those who consider themselves “action shooters”, and those who feel they are “sportsmen” for quite some time.
As I said, there was a distinction made between the different “classes” of shooters LONG before any of the most recent tragedies had occurred. There was even a notorious article written by Jim Zumbo in 2007 in the Outdoor Life Magazine, where he said that AR-15’s were “terrorist weapons”, and had no “sporting or hunting” purpose. Even after that article, and Zumbo’s admittance to being wrong, the misconceptions continue today. Look at the debacle with RECOIL Magazine this past fall. That WHOLE article was a win for the “other” side. I’ve seen it for years at my local shooting range…err…I mean “Sportsman’s Club”. The trap shooters fight with the skeet shooters, the cowboy action shooters fight with the IDPA shooters, and the long distance shooters fight with the silhouette shooters. I remember sitting at a meeting once at my local club, as words were exchanged between “sportsmen” of different disciplines. All I could think to myself was, “wow, all an anti-gun person needs to do would be to sit in on one of these meetings, and they’d have endless fuel to add to their fire!” Any anti-gun person could sit there, listen to insults being hurled around, childish accusations being made, and argue that if we couldn’t even get along with each other, how dare we claim to be responsible enough to own guns? It was sad to say the least, and I had hoped that the shenanigans that I witnessed were only confined to the four walls of our meeting hall. Boy was I wrong!
As the AWB of 2013 looms closer and closer, the rift seems to be growing more and more. There seems to be a distinct line in the sand that many gun owners are refusing to cross. There is the crowd that believes in our RIGHT to own MODERN SPORTING RIFLES, then there’s the crowd that sees no need for anything more than a 3 round bolt action hunting rifle. There are those that will argue that they see a need for those types of “high capacity” rifles, but not for use in the hands of civilians. They don’t see a “sporting” purpose for the rifle. They don’t believe they have any application for hunting, competition, or self defense. Ask your local hunter how many rounds his pump shotgun holds. If he tells you 5+1, ask him how many pellets of 00 buckshot that is. If he answers you 54 pellets, ask him why it’s ok for him to be able to defend his home with 54 projectiles but you can’t defend yours with 30? Ask him why it’s totally acceptable for him to be able to shoot nine projectiles uncontrollably with one pull of the trigger, but why you can’t deliver one well aimed round from your 30 round magazine with each pull of the trigger.
At the end of the day, why is it necessary to fight amongst ourselves? At which point will we, as a culture, the “gun culture”, stand side by side in defense of our sport, or hobby, our RIGHTS? After all, that is what we are fighting for. There is no PRO-gun or ANTI-gun, we’ve gone way beyond that at this point. We are dealing with the Bill of Rights, the Second Amendment, the RIGHT to keep and bear arms. This fight has gone past the norms of the pro/anti gun debate. We are now talking about our RIGHTS as Americans. I stood on the stairs of the Massachusetts State House, and watched a Chinese-American citizen, Chinese by birth, American by choice, who had more of a solid grasp of logic, and understanding of this country’s history than many of those who are born and raised here, speak on these RIGHTS. The Second Amendment isn’t about hunting, or muskets, or militias. It’s about the RIGHT of a FREE man, to defend himself against tyranny, and those who would choose to oppress him.
The reason for these current issues is that we have become a country of takers, and not makers. We are relying on others to fight the fight for us. We are too quick to say “it won’t happen to us” or “I don’t own an AR-15, so I’m not worried about it”. Folks have become content and complacent with the fact that a firearms ban or all out confiscation won’t happen. They want resolution, but have no desire to contribute to it. Why? It’s what society has become. Let someone else do the heavy lifting and reap the benefits. If that person or group fails, then fear not, someone will be along shortly to take care of you. After all, this is America right? “Land of the free and home of the lazy.” Why try and be self sufficient when someone else will blaze a trail for you, and then you can just fall in line behind all the other drones?
What does it all boil down to? The truth of the matter is this: they won’t stop until they have EXACTLY what they want. What do they want? EVERYTHING. Reagan spoke of the last bastion of freedom. It’s THAT which the Second Amendment protects. Our freedom. Those who “support” our right to own firearms but do nothing to defend it, are no better than the proverbial sheep. They are afraid. Afraid of what? Afraid of being outspoken, afraid of having a voice, afraid of being more than just a nameless face in the crowd. The anti’s thrive on that. Fear marketing. Taking a quote from Max Brooks’ book World War Z, “Fear is the most valuable commodity in the universe”. By selling fear, and instilling fear in the uninformed, they will try to take our rights way one by one. How are they selling fear? Look at the terms they use to describe our home defense firearms: “assault rifle”, “high capacity assault clip”, “machine gun clip”, “battle field weaponry”. The time is now. Get up off your ass and pick a side. You are either with us or against us…there is no “not with us”. If you don’t choose to support AND defend out rights then you are part of the problem and not the solution. If you continue to try and be an ostrich with your head in the sand, then you too, will eventually have your throat slit…and you’ll never see it coming.
Choose a side…not tomorrow, or the next day, or next week…TODAY. Stand up and fight for what you believe in. Preserve our RIGHTS so that generations after us may feel the exhilaration of a rifle recoil against their shoulder, the smell of gunpowder in their nostrils, and have the RIGHT to protect them, against evil, and tyranny, so that they may live as a free person, in a free country, that respects a person’s RIGHTS.