Inspired by Fate of Destinee’s YouTube video about gender inequality in the gun world, I have decided to indulge in my own rant today. My rant doesn’t have anything to do with being a woman, but it has everything to do with stereotyping and passing snap judgements on others.
Let me start off by telling you a little story. This is a story about Twitter. When I first created a Twitter account for RebeccaGuns, I was so excited to find all of the cool gun people I could follow. There were so many of them! And they were all into guns! I thought I had found the happiest place ever. And I would say, by and large, I have overwhelmingly positive interactions with other gun people on the interwebz. However, I started to notice that some days my Twitter feed was full of posts that just seem designed to put other groups of people down. Now I’m not talking about other groups of people like the The Charles Manson Liberation Society or Proud Pedophiles of America. I’m just talking about other groups that may practice a different religion, subscribe to an alternate political point of view or have been born some other race. When I read these posts, I was angry. I still am. I’m angry because this is not an accurate representation of the gun community, and frankly, it’s often just hate mongering. I have thought about breaking up with Twitter, so I don’t have to be so angry. But, the thing is, there are a lot of people out there who post really interesting, informative content about firearms which I very much enjoy reading. So instead, I just click “Unfollow” and I don’t have to be exposed to the haters hatin’ anymore. Problem solved. If only there were such a thing in real life.
Please don’t misunderstand me. If you are into being a Republican or a Democrat, or believing in Jesus Christ or the Prophet Muhammad, I think that is excellent. It’s good to be passionate about the things you believe in. But there is absolutely no reason to use your gun related social media platforms to bash opposing points of view.
Let me suggest that it might behoove us all to remember why we own guns in the first place. My understanding is that we are a community of people who believe that all of our citizens have the right to defend themselves and their families, regardless of race, politics, sexual orientation or religion. And this right is what keeps us free. If we belittle and blame others who don’t agree with all of the same things we believe, we are undermining the very spirit of the principals that allow us to own guns in the first place.
Pejorative statements about “others” erode solidarity within the community, as well as paint us in a pretty unflattering light to the rest of the world. I believe that the more folks we can get involved in the shooting sports, and interested in concealed carry, the safer our country will be, both from criminals and those in power who seek to exploit and manipulate the masses. And from my vantage point, it seems like we are well on the way to having a diverse and rapidly expanding firearms community. So NOW IS THE TIME to leave behind all of those antiquated ideas about which political party or religion is most worthy of gun ownership. Because we all are. Every last able-bodied, sound-minded one of us is entitled by the Constitution to the right to bear arms. The more of us there are, the harder it will be for Congress or the President to push us around.
So let’s open our arms to the liberals, vegans, Muslims, Jews, blacks, Latinos, gays, women, etc, etc. Because this is how we grow. This is how we evolve. This is how we make sure that our country doesn’t fall apart around us. If we are too busy quibbling amongst ourselves over superficial differences, we will miss this opportunity to strengthen our numbers and come together as a group who welcomes all freedom-loving individuals.