A Gun-Toting Liberal? How is that?
How can You be a Liberal and still Own Guns?
For many years I have had numerous people ask me this question, “How can you be a Liberal and yet be Pro-Gun?” As though the two are mutually exclusive, which is absolutely not the case.
First off, I am not necessarily “pro” gun in the sense that I do not believe everyone should be a proud gun owner, though most everyone certainly could be such as a citizen. Secondly, this is really a loaded question as there is an assumption being asserted that somehow a politically Liberal person cannot be a proud gun owner.
I understand where this mindset comes from, as it is due to the NRA and Republican Lawmakers’ constant framing of this argument publicly. The NRA and Republicans continually claim that if you elect a Liberal person, then you will then lose your gun rights, because all liberals are anti-gun and will work to take them away.
However, as the past 30 years have shown us, this is NOT the truth. Liberal and Progressive leaders such as Senator Bernie Sanders have also stepped forward, publicly explaining that they have no issues with legal and responsible gun ownership. (Maybe some elected “liberal” Representatives are anti-gun, however, this is not the case in point for most Liberals. Some may shy away from speaking openly about legal gun-ownership for fear of their own anti-gun constituents, yet they all recognize that this is a Constitutional Right upheld by the Supreme Court.)
Additionally, of the many surveys and studies conducted about gun ownership in the US, the most recent indicates that overall gun ownership is down again. However, according to Gallup, nearly 40% of Democrats have a firearm at their disposal, compared to nearly 60% of Republicans. Whereas, Pew Research states that only 22% of Democrats own a firearm, compared to 49% of Republicans and 37% of Independents.
(Though, Pew was looking at “Gun Ownership directly” as opposed to Gallup’s question of “Is there is a firearm on your property?”) We do know that Gun Ownership among Democrats spiked recently when Trump won the Presidency (as also happens to Republicans when a Democrat becomes the President).
Legal Firearm Ownership is a Constitutional Right
Many Liberals are actually pro-sensible-gun-regulations, which is inline with the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court has ruled that restrictions and regulations on what constitutes “legal gun ownership” is Constitutionally acceptable (and indeed the Founding Fathers expected regulations on firearms). Very few Constitutional Rights can be demonstrated free of any legal responsibilities in regard to that Right.
Lawful gun ownership is protected by the 2nd Amendment to the US Constitution, recorded as “the right to bear arms.” Now, there has been some debate as to the “original intent” of the Founding Fathers, but the matter has been settled by the Supreme Court on several occasions. The Supreme Court has ruled that it is a Constitutional Right as a citizen of the US to be permitted to own a firearm.
However, the exercise of this Right needs to be conducted responsibly, as a Firearm can obviously be used as a dangerous weapon. Just as a motor vehicle can also be a dangerous object and therefore requires licensing and entails regulations that ensure the vehicle be within specific guidelines (for safety purposes), so too guns should be licensed and regulated. Just as there are no loopholes with the Department of Motor Vehicles in regard to driving a car, so too there should be no loopholes in regard to purchasing a gun legally.
There should be no “loopholes” that allow a person to be able to purchase a firearm, when indeed they are not legally permitted to own such. Currently, the “gun-show loophole” is one instance of this, and it needs to be corrected. This is no different than taking a motor vehicle license away from a person due to reckless behavior and having it enforced by a legal process.
If you do not prove yourself to be responsible enough to drive a car, then we do not allow you to legally drive a car. The same holds true for gun ownership, and there should be no loopholes. Gun regulations make sense.
Why Do I Own Firearms
I have always been intrigued with guns, starting as a child. I was born in the 1970’s & grew up into the 80’s, and as a little boy I had numerous toy guns, which were among my favorite toys. As a kid, my older brother had a Crossman CO2 BB Gun, and we practiced target-shooting in our basement. At age 11, I purchased my own first BB Gun, a Daisy pump-action, and continued to target shoot occasionally throughout my teens.
However, in my 20’s I purchased actual firearms. My first gun being a .22 Caliber bolt-action Remington Rifle with a decent scope and 8-round clip. I love the gun still, as it is very easy to shoot and accurate, yet is safe enough for a teenager to learn on. As I approached 30 years old, I purchased a Mossberg Persuader 12-gauge Shotgun. A much more substantial firearm, allowing for 12-gauge cartridges. The 12 gauge shotgun is quite versatile in that you can use small birdshot pellets or a heavy projectile slug, allowing for multiple purposes and tactics. Not to mention the modifications you can do to the stock, barrel and pump.
Currently, over the past few years, I have purchased three Crossbows as I enjoy the mixture of a firearm stock & trigger with an archery projectile. Cross bows have been around for thousands of years, going back far into Chinese history and continuing through into eastern Europe through Greece. The history of the crossbow is alluring to me. I know that the Crossbow is not a firearm in the legal sense, because it does not discharge an explosive projectile. However, right now, my Crossbow is my favorite “firearm.”
The takeaway is this: I have an affinity for firearms. The skill to become good with a firearm or a crossbow requires a lot of practice and is truly a sport. I enjoy the challenge, as well as the mechanism.
In addition, sportsmanship also provides common ground for comradery. Sports draw together people of differing backgrounds, supporting their friendships through their shared admiration for the sport. True Sportsmanship is a uniter, not a divider.