A liberal is a conservative who hasn’t been mugged yet. Anyone who’s stared into the cold dead eyes of an aggressor — someone ready, willing and able to mess you up just ’cause — may suddenly find their opinion of armed self-defense “evolving.” justinwoolee’s wife illustrates the point perfectly. Truth be told, both myself and Nick Leghorn made a similar journey. Are there other former anti-gun liberals amongst our Armed Intelligentsia? To paraphrase the Talking Heads, well, how did you get here?

87 Responses to Question of the Day: Were You an Anti-Gun Liberal?

    • Was never anti-gun, used to be pretty liberal. I had hoped that President Obama wouldn’t have just continued policies like TARP, rendition, drone warfare, and indefinite detention, but he kept (and expanded) all of the above.

      It was pretty darned disillusioning. There aren’t too many real options for someone who’s not fond of Leviathan’s expansion, because the neocons are determined to retain their grasp on the GOP, c.f. how Rove pumped money into primaries to roust Tea Party candidates in the last election.

    • I was a liberal, I have always liked guns. I was however asleep at the liberty wheel. That being said I am not that way anymore.

  1. I grew up in NYC and have always liked guns from the first time shooting one at 6 years old. There was even a gun shop in Sheepshead Bay where i used to go buy pellets as a kid until it closed in the 90s.

    • I grew up in Sheepshead too. There where a few gun shops I remember. That one, CIA & X. Carnival by Ave P. Frank’s on 86th. One on New Utrech. I don’t think any are left. But my favorites one was Edelmans on LI. Also long gone.

  2. I was never anti-gun, but I was liberal… still am in some ways. I was pretty indifferent to guns and didn’t think much about how important an issue I think they are now. Thanks in large part to blogs like this an some awesome content on youtube

    • Never been anti gun, although my thoughts on the true meaning of “shall not be infringed” has moved more towards “all gun regulation is unconstitutional” than before. I’ve never been liberal, although I’m libertarian.

  3. I was never anti-gun, but for a large part of my life I didn’t care much for them. I’m a live and let live person, so I didn’t care if others wanted them. Then I went out to a range with a friend of mine and I was hooked.

    • +1

      I was never in favor of gun control even when I was almost entirely apolitical years and years ago.

      I’m a live and let live person too. I always recoiled (and still do) when other people wanted to tell me what to do in my private life or tell me what I should or shouldn’t be allowed to own.

      I refuse to be anyone’s slave.

    • That is why we win – the smile that automatically appears when a new shooter blasts a big hole in a poor, defenseless bullseye.

      • Just took a couple to the range for the first time. Started with a .22 revolver to get their feet wet, and they both enjoyed it. Then we moved on to the 1911, and that’s when you see that giant grin of someone that is hopelessly hooked.

  4. Yup. I used to be a confiscate all guns shoot those who don’t comply type anti-gunner of the mind that only cops and the military should have them. Then Hurricane Katrina happened. I supported the Governors idea that guns be confiscated (I shudder at that now) but it baffled me why people were clinging on to them. Then the Danzinger Bridge controversy exploded. I was outraged that cops would shoot unarmed citizens unlawfully like dogs and expressed such outrage to my friends. One of them who was a Person of the Gun made a sly comment about how it really made me want to have a gun myself huh? I fully supported that people should be able to rise up against government slights, but my friend and I disagreed how. He offered to take me shooting one day and I agreed. We spent a Saturday shooting all sorts of guns and learning about all types and functions. My anti-gun extremism lessened and I conceded people should be able to own guns. Just not certain evil types. A year later walking home on a date with one of my ex-girlfriend’s we were both robbed at gunpoint. They actually debated taking my girlfriend with them in the car but decided against it for some odd reason I will never know (and thank God for). I bought an SKS and 200 rounds of ammo and borrowed my friends 9mm Hi-Point and thus began my transformation.

  5. Never, not even a little. Grew up in KY, had a BB gun at 10 and a rifle at 18 (parents weren’t shooters, but never demonized guns either).

    That said, i didn’t always see them as a tool for self defense. Hunting and plinking were all I Saw them as useful for until i moved into an apartment off campus in college. Never been a victim of a crime, but still understand that doesn’t mean I never will be.

    Now me and the wife are waiting for our appointment with the sheriff to get our CCWs. There was over a month wait from scheduling the appointment to the first available appointment due to high volume of applications. Longing for constitutional carry about now

  6. Have always been pro-gun/pro self-defense. However, I started carrying regularly in the city (Phoenix) after some pervert started taking pics of my then-6-year-old daughter trying on clothes at a department store, and after being approached and asked, rather unpolitely, for money while at the self-serve car wash.

    I started carrying while bowhunting in Southern Arizona about 10 years ago, after being asked, very unpolitely, for water, food and my truck keys by border crossers who were “just looking for a better life” in the United States.

  7. I was always neutral about guns, knowing there’s a place in the world for this (although I couldn’t really identify it aside from wars). Then I played Counterstrike… and I got into the notion of guns more. Then my buddy sold me his AR last year and I was hooked.

  8. How can I be such contradictory things at the same time? I am liberal, so I support the right to bear arms? People who don’t are not liberal, regardless of what they claim to be.

    • In the classic sense, Liberal meant you supported liberty. Alas, today those who call themselves are either not for liberty or only favor liberty in some aspects of life and not others.

    • Years ago I kept handy a newspaper clipping with a headline:

      “Liberal lawmakers oppose liberalized gun bill”

      I used to present it when assorted pinkos in our circles claimed to be liberals. It was fun.

  9. Still a liberal but never anti gun. One February morning I was making my way across an icy parking lot. On crutches. In a body cast. 2 men appeared from nowhere, blocked my way, fists clenched, and demanded money. I recognized one from high school, and when I called him by name, the 2 left hurriedly. 35 years later I was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy (weak muscles for life). I went from being gun indifferent to being pro gun for self preservation.

  10. > A liberal is a conservative who hasn’t been mugged yet.

    A conservative is a liberal who’s been mugged.

    A libertarian is a conservative who’s been arrested.

    • Never been anti-gun. Never understood the mindset, other than just being a pussy.

      > A libertarian is a conservative who’s been arrested.

      That explains it! 😉 Although I was libertarian before I was arrested and relieved of several hundred dollars for a “clerical error”. Nothing beats being locked up and having your shit stolen by police to make a citizen and their family and friends hate cops.

  11. I’ve always been pretty much a socialist (grew up in Europe), but I’ve never been anti gun. I just think it’s cheaper for everyone in the long run if the Gov. provides services like health care and education instead of letting the !@#$%$# insurance companies rob us blind.

  12. No, being born in the early 60’s, Deepinthehearta, don’t think it was allowed. Got a .22 for Christmas when I was 6…

  13. Since I’ve never been a liberal (in the current sense of the word), the answer would be “no.” I’ve been a Goldwater conservative since I read “Conscience of a Conservative” in the early 60s, which is a couple of years after I decided that I loved shooting.

  14. As I was growing up, my dad was and still is a collector, and owing to his work with the military in R&D had an incredible selection of hardware which although I loved, my mom was absolutely horrified by.

    Once they split, I wasn’t really around that hardware much, so I think my gun lust faded but never entirely died. I was always a FAN of the concept of guns, but it has only been more recently I have been such a staunch advocate for the legal right to bear arms. I would still call myself a liberal on many, many issues however.

  15. I have always been pro-gun, my wife however was not until Mother’s Day 2012:

    The truck was in the driveway, I started it and ran back inside to grab the kiddos and the wife as we were on the way to my mother’s house for the day… no longer than 90 seconds later, I came back out and the truck was gone (well going, I saw the tail end of it turn the corner up the road)…. After panicked calls to the police, Low Jack and the insurance company, my wife was pretty much at wits end.

    -Yes, I know, I know… never leave your vehicle running and unattended, but in my defense, I grew up in a small town, where you never locked your doors at night, and you were just as likely to see guns in the back window of a truck as you were a dog in the bed.

    Now, not only was my truck stolen, but my house keys were also on the key chain… Not good news when you are trying to console a wife getting madder by the second…

    About an hour and a half later, we get a call from the police, and they have located the truck.. no keys in the truck, but no damage either… and only 6 miles down the road..

    We recover the truck, and as soon as we get back home the wife calls her grandmother to come over and watch the kids. We were then off to Bass Pro to purchase her a firearm of her own (I already own several that were, up to this point, not allowed in the house and kept in the detached garage).$1200 later, we walk out of Bass Pro sporting a new .40 SA XD, a fireproof long-gun safe, and ammunition for all of ‘our’ guns.

    On our way home, my wife looks over at me and says, “you know, I wouldn’t have minded you putting a couple of holes in your truck to stop the guy from driving away”… I didn’t respond, but my first thought was that’d be kinda hard since you make me keep my guns in the garage… My second was who the hell is this woman?? Armed response? Really? I just smiled and agreed vigorously with her…

    The irony is that the previous weekend she had looked at me as I was heading to the garage to clean my firearms and said that if anyone ever broke in our house we should just give them what they want… Funny how the tune changes when something like that actually does happen!!!

    So, now almost a year later, she wants another one and I am looking at a little .380 acp for her… Love me some ex-liberal-anti that came over to the ‘dark-side’

  16. I was a progressive liberal once. I believed in the “for the good of the whole” mentality. I believed that all forms of violence were absolutely evil, even when used by a law-abiding citizen to defend themselves and others from thuggish criminals. I believed that the government should be afforded more power, so that they could better “protect” the citizenry.

    But then, something happened that changed all that:
    I grew up and joined the working class.

  17. I grew up in a very independent minded household, but there is one thing my mother would categorically not allow in the house, and those were guns, water or otherwise. As I got older, I grew more libertarian minded, until I went to college, where my leanings went into overdrive. I never thought much of firearms one way or another, as no one in my family ever had any. My only encounter with a real one at that point was shooting a .22 lr once in grade school, and then shooting bb guns over the years here and there.

    Truth be told, what really sparked my interest in firearms was Penn & Teller’s Bullshit episode on gun control (If you’ve never seen it, you can thank me later. Keep in mind that it is from 2005, which are the pre-Heller and pre-McDonald days – http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=ec7_1251312990). Then I met a beautiful young woman who had a hunter for a father, and he made a convert out of me. He and I took our CCW class together once WI finally joined the ranks of the sane…

  18. I was a confused pro-gun person who thought States had the right to regulate guns, but the federal government did not.

    Then I started doing some reading and realized an inalienable right meant that NO ONE is allowed to regulate or abridge Natural or God given rights.

  19. I’ve got a friend from Chicago who has been held up for his wallet several times. He’ll go shooting with me but still feels that carrying is something he’d never do. I just can’t understand his rationalization for that. I get that you can’t carry concealed in IL but he’s dead against carry in any case.

  20. Been around guns my entire life. I’ve never been against them. I was spoiled as a child – the primary reason my parents had guns was for self defense. Hunting and sport were secondary.

  21. I’ve always been liberal…but I’ve never been anti-gun. Then again, I grew up with them. I bet the vast majority of people who are anti-gun simply have little or no experience with them. Unfortunately, gun control has become so polarized and politicized (like so many other issues), that its impossible to have even a rudimentary discussion about it in mainstream media, whether its msnbc, npr, or fox news.

  22. I was an anti-gun liberal… I blame Obama… Actually grew up in NYC and am a pediatrician… you won’t get worse than that. Moved to a western conservative area and stayed anti-gun for almost 2 years, then had a stalker, bought a gun for protection… went out shooting… and never turned back. I realized many truth’s during those first few months shooting. Hitting something is harder than Hollywood makes it. Objects don’t do anything without the person and intent behind them. Crusading liberals, in the interest of doing good, do the worst harm. And if the zombies come… I am prepared.

  23. Still liberal (Libertarian in regards to individual rights, commie in regards to corporate rights), but never anti-gun. I grew up in a LEO household and I think my dad had me 1st shoot his .357 when I has like 7 or 8, nearly blew it out of my little hands. Most anti-gunners have never shot a gun or even seen one other than on TV or a movie. They are generally scared of them on an emotional, not rational level. I’ve taken some of my liberal friends shooting, who had never shot before and they all had a great time. They even shot my evil from Mordor AR15! Even the most ardent assault weapon ban promulgator thought it was a fun gun to shoot. One of them even bought a gun, he’s still flaming liberal though.

  24. I used to not be a ‘gun guy’, but I was always pro-gun, even before I was a gun guy I liked guns, but had never thought to own one.

  25. I grew up in a house where there were several loaded guns at all times. Sometimes out on a gunrack on the wall. They were respected as tools like the wrenches in the truck. I was indifferent about carrying a pistol for protection because the rifles were always up on the rack in the house to dispose of the occasional varmint. That all changed when I had a run in with a couple wild hogs where I ended up getting pretty chewed up but got away. Only by pure will I survived the encounter. I had just been shooting 20 minutes earlier and had put away my 1911. The flash feeling of my mortality as they chewed on my arms and legs is unforgettable. It was an encounter that was completely unexpected which is the reason you just don’t carry when you think you need it. I suppose this is an argument that one should carry a pistol if they want to instead of being stuck with the advice from Shotgun Joe Biden. Heck, an AR15 could have saved me too if that had been strapped to my back. A double barrel shotgun would have been too long to be much good for that close encounter.

  26. Born and raised in Mass by gun hating liberal democrat parents. Fortunately I had some crazy uncles that lived to hunt & fish. I learned to shoot at 7 and didn’t own a gun personally that wasnt loaned to me until I turned 21 and bought it myself. I wouldn’t say that I’ve ever loved guns, even now, but I do love my right to have one.

  27. I’ve always been a pro-gun liberal. I guess I’m a unique snowflake.

    To be fair I’ve always considered myself an independent, I don’t normally call myself a iiberal. However on gun blogs and forums I might as well be a pinko-Commie, so I’ve pretty much given up trying to convince anyone otherwise.

    In theory I should be a swing voter, but I’ve pretty much given up on the Republican Party as a whole. Since I’ve been a voting adult it’s basically become the party of war-mongering Christian-conservative authoritarians who are conveniently anti-government as soon as a Democrat is in power.

    I’m the kind of guy that would probably vote for someone like Jon Huntsman if I had the chance, but instead had to watch the GOP primary in embarrassment watching the likes of Michelle Bachmann and Herman Cain and Rick Santorum actually taken seriously as potential leaders of our nation.

    • >> I’ve always been a pro-gun liberal. I guess I’m a unique snowflake.

      You aren’t. There are plenty of us around. The problem is that we generally quiet, and our voice on the left is drowned out in that of mainstream.(which is anti-gun). Right-wingers, on the other hand, tend to automatically assign all liberals to anti-gun without a second thought.

        • I think the challenge is that, as an isolated issue, gun rights aren’t enough to sway a liberal’s voting viewpoint. (I know, I am one.) Gun rights aren’t the be-all-and-end-all of political persuasion. I imagine it would be the same if an otherwise hard-right politician supported a woman’s right to choose…I can’t see many republicans jumping ship on that single point. And frankly, if you’re a staunch conservative and the ONLY thing you care about is gun rights, then you ought to pay more attention to what’s going on in the world.

  28. I was a naive, pacifist, liberal, fool with zero exposure to firearms who voted for Carter and wasn’t so sure that military and law enforcement should be armed. Then I ended up taking the only job available to me in the Spring of 1984 and my first “luxury cruise” of the Pacific Rim on a warship began the process of a complete transformation of my world view. I left DOD in 1997 a very different person. Interestingly, I recall telling folks at the time that I feared the next war would be ugly. I wish I had been wrong.

  29. Living in Portland, OR for many years removed any vestiges of Liberalism I had left. However I was never anti gun as my grandfather let me shoot at an early age.

  30. I used to be neutral on guns and mostly left of center on other issues. I was in high school when the first AWB was enacted. At the time I thought it was about banning full-auto guns being unaware that a previous ban on them was already in affect. I live in a small town so there’s never been much crime to worry about. Never grew up around guns and the only family members who had them that I was aware of was one of my uncles who hunted deer and my grandfathers who both had varmint rifles on their farms before they retired. My mom was and still is fairly anti-gun. She hates when my dad watches war movies.

    What really pushed me over to the solidly Pro-2A side was what I saw coming from the far-right. In my opinion conservatives are not above trampling on the Constitution, specifically the 1st Amendment. The attitude I see coming from them is that the so-called Freedom of Religion clause only applies to Christians and Jews and no one else. Then last year there was the disturbing attempt (that was later rescinded) by Virginia Republicans to force Republican primary voters to sign a loyalty oath. On top that, their disastrous choice of Romney in 2012 was just as bad as the reason so many voted for Obama in 2008. i.e. he’s not the other guy we’re sick of and he has the best chance of winning. It reminds me of a line from Douglas Adams’ Hitchhiker books: “It is a well-known fact that those people who must want to rule people are, ipso facto, those least suited to do it… anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job.”

    Liberals often call the Armed Inteligentsia a bunch of paranoid right wing gun nuts bent on overthrowing an imaginary tyrannical government. The fact is Liberals are themselves not paranoid enough about tyranny. I highly doubt that far right is actually worried about tyrants in general so much as they are worried about a left wing tyrant, which is what they call Obama. If a right wing tyrant did rise to power it would most likely be because the right voted him into power and they would allow him to do just about anything if it only harmed liberals and anyone who isn’t a conservative Christian or Jew.

    Then there is the military. Statistically it’s members are a solid pro-Republican majority. This gives any right wing dictator the advantage and why Obama has no real chance of becoming the Hitler-like tyrant that the right accuses him of being. Recent history in Egypt proves that no dictator who loses the support of the military/police can avoid being deposed by internal opposition.

    There’s a picture floating around the Occupy Wall Street movement complaining about how openly armed Tea Party protesters are being left alone by the police while unarmed OWS protestors are being rounded up in mass arrests by police in riot gear spraying tear gas and bean bag guns. Well OWS. Wake the f*ck up! That can tell you one of three things. 1. The police hate your movement and don’t care that their Wall Street masters make millions of dollars an hour. 2. The police are afraid of well armed citizens. 3. Or both.

    To sum all that up the left needs to wake up, stop trying to destroy the 2nd Amendment, and grab guns for themselves. If they don’t they might as well start lining up in front of the mass graves and gas chambers because the Right has them vastly out gunned and they aren’t gonna defend them against a right wing tyrant.

  31. Not really sure how anyone can be anti-gun without rejecting certain realities to begin with.

    Realities like:

    1. Guns are just the apex weapon that our society has come up with. It used to be stones, spears, slings, swords, arrows, and now it’s bullets and guns. Throughout history both good and bad guys gravitate towards using the apex weapon of choice to do their deeds because of efficiency and expedience. And there are many other tools they employ to fit the desired outcome (ie. planes, gas, bombs, for terrorism, guns for mass shootings).

    2. No matter where you are from or what class you were born into, guns have shaped the society you now live in. Every civilization on the planet that is developed has a standing army with guns. They also have law enforcement with guns. Guns promote order and peace, that is the purpose of any weapons in the hands of a “good guy”.

    3. Law-abiding citizens with guns (or any other tool) are “good guys”.

    4. Guns aren’t going anywhere. There are too many out there in the hands of bad guys that good guys need them for defensive purposes. The cat is out of the bag on that issue. You can’t take the guns back starting with the good guys. That’s completely stupid. Disarm the criminals first, then maybe, once we have 100 years of zero crime, can you even think about disarming the good guys. This is assuming we have a form of government that also has no weapons and we have world peace….

    5. Any good guy that uses a gun to harm another is by default a criminal. No one wants guns in the hands of a criminal which is why we have things like laws and jail. That and all bad guys are enemies of good guy by definition. It’s a self-regulated system that really doesn’t need govt. assistance to let us know who the bad guys are or when good guys should be using for their own protection. In the end, good guys should have enough firepower to deter and fight off the bad guys. End of story.

    So I really don’t see any sense at all in any law disarming the good guys and giving an advantage to the bad guys since that would mean the world you anti-gunners live in would cease to exist and the bad guys would take over. And I’ll not be a party to that outcome.

    • I posted my own story below, which might lend more context to my response here, but the gist of it is this:

      I was “anti-gun” out of an optimistic belief that humankind can simply choose to stop killing one another and that hunting is an archaic and unnecessary means of acquiring food in modern times. In other words, I was pretty much OK with drying up the gun supply (for civilians at least) because guns didn’t seem necessary to me in modern times.

      In the big picture sense, I suppose I still believe that mankind can and should abandon violence in principle, but I now see “getting rid of guns” as a cart-before-the-horse approach. After all, if mankind can abandon violence, then guns won’t be used violently and therefore won’t be a problem. And as long as mankind does not abandon violence, guns can play a defensive role. In fact, I can own a gun and defend myself or others with it without ever firing it, and I can do so without abandoning my own principles toward nonviolence.

      You can blame the media, I suppose. Guns typically only get mentioned when people get shot or killed, so if you’re only casually paying attention you’ll wind up with the vague notion that “guns = people hurt or dead.” I didn’t grow up with guns, so I didn’t understand them like “gun guys” do. That negative exposure was pretty much my only exposure, and it’s hard to see around it unless / until you have a reason to examine the notion that “maybe guns aren’t all bad.”

  32. Good for y’all who have never changed your mind. I personally like exploring the merits of different views. I was a straight-ticket Democrat voter/liberal until NOW defended a certain sexual harassing President.

    As for guns, I thought my brother-in-law who lived in a secure building was an idiot for keeping a gun “for protection” until he told me it was 9/11 that prompted him to gun up. I realized if I lived in Arlington, as he did, I would probably have considered the same.

    Then when Obama came into power, it did strike me that here was a right that was in jeopardy. The “true liberal” part of me did not like that. I visited a gun show, then a gun store, and finally consulted with my wife about a .380 for the house. I’ve always liked shooting (I owned a .22 rifle), but this is when the bug bit. I now have 11 assorted firearms, a “cache of ammo” and understand the right to keep and bear arms is absolute, the same as the right to speech, worship, press, assembly and so on. My kids shoot, and now we’re working on moving out to a homestead and practicing true self-sufficiency. I love the urban life, but I see how it can enable people to become dependent and freedom-blind.

  33. Well, I was mostly liberal through college and then real life happened. Once you have to deal with real world politics and economics, government nonsense and propaganda go out the window. Shortly after college I started turning libertarian and that’s when I became pro-gun. I was never anti-gun, I was actually always curious about and interested in the military, but back then guns seemed more like a liability than a defensive tool. That’s especially true if you happen to grow up in one of the blue states where relatively few people own guns, and the ones who do don’t talk about them. And I can’t really blame them, since every TV anchor, cop, politician and their grandmother vilifies guns every chance they get, people perceive guns as a hazard more than anything else. No single person or event changed my mind, I simply decided to protect myself and my family by exercising my rights. You grow older and perhaps a little wiser, I guess.

  34. It took me getting mugged and living in a hellhole neighborhood of East Baltimore to come to my senses. Still liberal on social issues, but more conservative now on CCW/CHP rights, castle doctrine and don’t even get me started on Section-8 housing, aka the “Nice-neighborhood Destruction Program”. Still believe in universal healthcare (even if I don’t like Obamacare), gay rights and rights for the working and middle classes.

  35. Once I left the confines of a Communist Dominated California School System the few vestages of indoctrination fell away, however I was Never anti-gun I worked in a gunstore after school and packed heat as befitting a free man

  36. If the legends are true I was born late in the cold winter of ‘76 already armed, and loudly protesting Carters election. Honestly, I don’t recall my parents discussing politics nor weapons, but I was a hoplophile from the very beginning, and conservative with a libertarian bent since earliest memory. My parents actually didn’t own guns when I was a child, but my maternal grandfather and all my (quite numerous) uncles on that side were both deeply conservative and heavily armed. I identified strongly with that side of the family and after considerable pressure from all sides was myself personally armed with a .22 cal rifle at the age of 8. Then again, we come from a rural area and such things as when to buy Jr. his first gun was only a matter of waiting for the child to mature enough to accept the responsibility that came with the arm, not a question of whether to do it in the first place.
    In a nutshell, I’ve really never been anything but a conservative, and a’ gun guy’.
    Several people brought up an interesting concept, that to be ‘liberal’ and anti-gun (or anti-rights at all) is oxymoronic and difficult to understand. I’ll spare everyone the political treatise on the topic that weaves through my tangled brain and instead offer only a summation; liberalism as expressed in the United States has nothing whatsoever to do with liberty, or even with recognizable liberalism, and isn’t so much a school of political thought as a sort of mass hysteria. Having said that, I can in no way defend the more radically conservative elements of the opposite side of the spectrum, and suspect that the majority of us (meaning us here) are neither liberal nor conservative, and are instead a hybrid of the more moderate ideas of both camps, perhaps falling under the auspices of libertarians, perhaps not.
    As for myself, democrat is considered a vulgar word in my house, but I’d make a deal with the devil so long as he stood for the constitution and the republic, and was ready to assist me in facing down tyranny. All other differences are petty in comparison.

    Ardent.3.22.13

  37. I come from a mixed family (half Democrat, half Republican). My mom is a conservative Democrat and my dad a classic Republican. They supported the right to keep and bear arms, they just found it tacky to actually, you know, exercise it. My grandpa (paternal), God rest his soul, made Rush Limbaugh look like a bleeding heart liberal. It was when I went to his house at the age of 12 that I first held a gun. He took me to the range and let me shoot a .22 pistol, and showed me his reloading equipment. If he hadn’t done that, then to this day I would have had the same attitude as my parents. But that one trip to the range was all it took to make me not completely scared of guns, so when I became an adult I resolved to become a responsible gun owner. It took a looooong while, but now I’m comfortable with firearms, I own several responsibly, and I have my concealed carry permit.

  38. My family has never owned guns. My parents are vegetarian, peace-loving and anti-war. I grew up in an environment where guns were understood to be devices designed for the sole purpose of killing people. By extension, people who own guns must be OK with the idea of killing other people, at least on some level. That has always been a difficult thing to wrap my mind around. In many ways it seems like the ultimate rebuttal to the Golden Rule.

    In part because of my anti-war upbringing I joined an ROTC program in high school; I didn’t understand the military, and this was a “safe” way for me to get a window in on that world without necessarily committing to service in the armed forces. I got my first real exposure to firearms (e.g., safety, marksmanship, etc.) in these years. Then I went to college and left all thought of guns alone for a number of years.

    Some of my best friends are hunters and took me shooting occasionally. Plinking was fun. Maybe that rubbed off on me a little.

    A few years ago I finally decided to get a gun of my own for plinking. I picked up a 92FS for my birthday. Go ahead and poke fun, but one of the main reasons for my renewed interest in target shooting, and the primary reason for my selection of that gun in particular, was many hours “hunting terrorists” with friends on my XBox (Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Vegas). It was a big step outside my comfort zone to actually buy a gun, but one I could justify since I only got it for target shooting.

    I suppose that buying my Beretta started me down a path of realizing how naive my attitudes toward firearms had been, how little I knew, and how much I had assumed about guns and gun owners. After all, I’m a gun owner now, and I know how anti-violence I am. I’ve had to re-evaluate a lot of my old beliefs since they don’t fit anymore when I apply them to myself. I’ve also discovered just how crazy gun laws are and what a mess it can be to be a responsible law-abiding gun owner. VFG on an AR pistol, anyone?!

    These days I have a decent collection of firearms, and have been called a “gun nut” by some of my friends (ha!). One friend called me a “strange hippie,” which is a label I can wear with pride. I am squarely in the corner for gun rights. I had been working on getting my CCW in early December. I found this site after Newtown and have been following it daily. I’m writing my reps and taking newbies shooting.

  39. I wouldn’t say I was ever and anti-gun liberal, but at one time I was an agnostic about guns and middle of the road politically. I’ve been around guns since I was 8 years old, and always enjoyed shooting. It’s always been an enjoyable challenge.

    But when I was in my mid-20’s I didn’t really have an opinion on guns, until the ’94 AWB passed. Then my opinion changed overnite because of this action and I became pro-2A gun guy. I remember thinking the bill would never pass, and it did by one vote and Billy Jeff signed it into law. Restricting my rights, no matter which party does it, pisses me off.

  40. I’m a pro-gun agnostic independent geek/gamer vegan feminist auto mechanic. Have fun wrapping your head around that one.
    I grew up an anti-gun liberal because that was all I knew at the time. Mom didn’t like guns, so we didn’t have any. Thanks to some friends (and exes) along the way in the past few years I’ve now got a pretty good grasp of the second amendment. I got my CHP about a year ago(mom was not so happy to hear about that) and I’m in the process of selecting a carry pistol (what mom doesn’t know won’t worry her, right?).

      • Very carefully. Its a similar approach to choosing a firearm. I research what’s available/who is running then figure out what features/views are requirements, deal breakers, and available for compromise. I haven’t found the perfect candidate (and short of running for office myself I doubt I ever will), but some third party candidates are a much better fit to my views than the Democrats and the Republicans.

  41. Was previously anti-gun, but not so much in the modern left “guns are icky and dangerous” sense as in the “guns? dishonorable! real warriors kill people with swords!” sense.

    Yeah I was kinda dumb in middle school.

  42. I don’t know how but this is pretty much how I felt about freedom and liberty (guns included of course)since I can remember:
    If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom — go from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or your arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen.

  43. I truly do not know how to describe who I am. I detest labels like liberal, conservative, democrat, republican. I am none of these things and I reject any labels. I am myself, I have my own opinions my own sense of right and wrong.. I have my lines that I will not cross.

    That said I have always leaned in the direction of Freedom. The older I get (currently 22) the more I learn and the more what I feel is right has been reinforced. I have always felt the need to defend oneself and I feel a duty to help others.

    In the armed self defense scenarios if you flee and others come to harm because of your inaction you are in part responsible. Not that you should be punished in a court of law for your inaction but you will have to live with how you acted, or rather how you did not.

    I think that time for revolution may be upon us, yet I fear that evil men will take advantage and in our effort to save America we destroy her. My fellow Americans, do not be lead astray. Do not go gently into the night.

  44. A liberal, sir, is someone who doesn’t tell his kid “what was good enough for me is good enough for you.”

    Liberals wrote the second amendment, along with the other original nine. To liberals, being a British subject without the advantages granted to those on the home island wasn’t good enough, so they fixed the problem.

    The people who seek to roll back our liberties – libertjes as in ACLU, as in liberal – are not liberals. They are statists.

    To equate the two is the same as equating imply and infer, which you likely do. It’s like equating heard and said.

    I’m about done with this blog. I’m a centrist, and dislike the bashing of same. Centrists are the only ones who actually DO anything in government, rather than simply voting the party line. For most blokes, you might as well just call roll.

    Not every gunnie is a conservative, long live the status quo, let’s limit government except in the bedroom ultra-rightist.

    Lots of us believe in liberty. Not in the Patriot Act and “free speech zones” of your recent “God in the White House.”

    How did I get here? I was born here, in the peace and love sixties. Did you ever have some hic in a pickup threaten you with an axe because of the length of your hair? I did, when was eight.

    I picked up a gun pretty darned early, believe you me. But I never sided with Rush Limbaugh or Sarah Palin.

    So cram the damned labels. The truth about guns does not reflect the truth about the people of same.

    ‘Bye.

  45. I grew up in California to Democrat parents, attending public “indoctrination” schools in a very safe area, so yeah, I was liberal (in the modern sense) and anti-gun. I saw no need for guns in the home as we were told not to resist criminals and to wait for the police to arrive and save the day. This was also during the Vietnam war when the military was demonized.

    Oddly enough, it was going to a public CA college that changed my mind. Moving into an apartment with other college girls and no daddy around to protect me made me finally analyze the question that had been building in the back of mind for years – how do I resolve the conflict between the ideas that 1) all violence is bad, and 2) it’s okay for police (and daddy) to use violence to protect us?

    Dropping the “all” from #1 was quite easy, but determining the parameters of “good” violence versus “bad” violence took a little longer. It was resolved by my hearing, for the first time, the saying, “Men sleep peacefully in their beds at night because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.” That also resolved the question of whether it was morally permissible for me, personally, to commit violence in self-defense. (That seems like a no-brainer now, but I was a thoroughly indoctrinated CA liberal of only about 19 years.)

    Once that was established, I realized that the choice of weapon was irrelevant, and therefore people should have the right to their weapon of choice. My weapons of choice for most of my life were mace, knives, and pepper spray. I only got a gun when I finally had someone to teach me how to use it (all of the ins and outs, not just how to fire it), and I could afford it.

    I became conservative shortly after, but that’s another story.

  46. I grew up around guns with very stereotypical republican parents so I’ve never been anti gun. I was, however, statist for a good portion of my life. Anti gay marriage, pro drug war, pro police state etc. Since getting more into guns and inevitably into politics, I’ve quickly become a full blown libertarian.

    I’ve also started working on my parents. It’s slow but steady work. I’m trying to reverse years of uninformed voting but I think they were libertarian leaning and didn’t know it.

  47. Interesting topic! As a little kid, I bird-dogged for my bird hunting Dad and Uncle. One day Dad was hunting ducks and at the end of the day, he took me into a field, put the 12 gauge Remington 29 pump-gun in my hands and said “Shoot that box over there”. I was 10 years old. I shot the box and haven’t looked back. Since that day, I’ve had 58 years of some fine bird, deer and antelope hunting. I have a good number of guns and a carry permit. I love to shoot. I love the smell of gunpowder in the morning and that special smell of gun oil.

    Dad was a Democrat turned Republican. But the party was different then. I used to be a Republican but now, for a number of reasons I won’t get into here, I’m an Independent Conservative. I’m a combat veteran, member of a gun club, Life Member of the NRA and I think they do a great job but I don’t always agree with them. I believe they are correct concerning our latest crisis. The NRA does a lot of good things for the shooting sports but the main thing they are in business for is to protect our 2nd Amendment rights and I know they are working hard to do that. In that one area, we all need to unite and support their efforts.

    By the Way, Thanks Dad, it’s still a great ride!

  48. Used to be a mildly anti-gun liberal (thought they were OK, but that they ought to be extremely strictly controlled). Am now an extremely pro-gun liberal. Firearms right are about putting power in the hands of the common people.

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