Gun owners need to step up
I’m a firm supporter of the Second Amendment. I don’t think anyone who has read my work previously has a lot of doubt about that. I’m not one of those luke warm supporters either, but a died in the the wool 2A kind of guy. You won’t hear me touting “sporting purposes” as a reason to keep some guns legal, but instead hear me say “the Second Amendment doesn’t care what kind of gun it is”. However, we gun rights supporters have an image problem that we need to work harder to fix.
With some folks, we will never change the perception of gun rights advocates as a bunch of hicks. Some gun control advocates are so biased that they refuse to see any possible scenario where a gun rights person can actually be intelligent. However, those die hard folks are fairly few and far between.
There is a segment of the population, a fairly sizable one at that, that believes gun rights advocates support people who are irresponsible about storing their firearms. They cite discussions that invariably spring up after an incident where a child gets his or her hands on a gun and someone gets hurt. Because gun rights advocates step up and support the right to bear arms, it gets interpreted as support for idiots leaving guns laying around for kids to play with.
This has come to the forefront down in Florida where they are considering a law that will prevent doctors from asking about firearms in the home. Frankly, if my doctor asks if we have guns in the home, my response is that it’s none of his damn business. I don’t support such a law because in infringes on the doctor’s right to ask questions. I also don’t believe it’s a doctor’s place to know anything about what I own or don’t own.
However, at ThinkProgress, a progressive blog, I read this comment:
Every infant has the RIGHT to shoot themselves in the head since their inbred tea trash parents are too stupid to lock up their guns correctly. Right, tea trash?
Granted, the ThinkProgress folks probably aren’t going to change their perceptions. However, there are others who will hear this and without strong commentary from the gun rights side against people doing just that, we will still have a perception problem among a number of folks.
The image of a gun rights advocate is typically that of a knuckle dragging Neanderthal who spends half his time glued to NASCAR and the other half beating his wife/sister (they’re the same person after all). However, I don’t know a single person in the gun rights community that actually fits this. None. We have to change that image. Why? Because if we change that image, we make it harder to discount what we say out of hand when people realize we are intelligent, often highly educated, and patriotic Americans who simply disagree on an issue.
It’s beyond time to change that image.