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“One NRA member I interviewed said something along the lines of, ‘Whenever I get pissed off at the government I go out and buy a gun.’,” sociologist Scott Meltzer told Michael Bloomberg’s anti-gun agitprop providers at The Trace. “That’s his symbolic middle finger to the government that you can’t control me, I’m an independent citizen. My weapon is a symbol of freedom, it’s not just a tool.” True story? Do you view guns that way, too?

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73 Responses to Question of the Day: Is Your Gun The Ultimate Symbol of Independence?

  1. Not really. I can’t realistically feed myself or family with a gun. However, I can protect them in a way that the government police force cannot and will not. The Supreme Court has already declared that the police have no responsibility to protect you. Anyway, if I bought a gun every time I get pissed at the government, I’d live in an arsenal and have no cash. However, when I sense a new threat to the 2nd Amendment coming, I do try to get ahead of it and sometimes buy what I may not be able to buy next year. And I still always buy ammo when I see it on sale.

  2. I think self-reliance is a more accurate term. My guns will make me better able to protect myself and possibly feed myself…

    I thought about finishing that thought with, “when the government cannot.” But then I remembered, it’s not the government’s job, anyway!

  3. My guns are only a few of the tools and strategies I use to maintain as much independence as possible. I buy guns and other things when and if I actually need them – and spend as much or more money and time doing my best to train in their use. For whatever situation may arise.

    The most important part of my independence comes from living debt free, being prepared for emergencies, and not allowing myself to be manipulated or used by the media, politicians or anyone else as much as possible.

  4. I don’t have much independence to symbolize but I sure would like it if I had enough money to buy a gun each time the government irritated me.

  5. I’ve always said that moving to the USA brought similar feelings to getting my drivers license and first car. Lots of independance and freedom, with a good side of personal responsibility mixed in.

    Guns are a good part of that.

  6. Yeah, it’s one symbol. But certainly isn’t the entirety of it by any means. Takes a hell of a lot more than a gun obviously to be ‘independent’, as noted well in the comments above. But our second amendment rights themselves are very symbolic of the freedoms that we have and are in my mind perhaps the biggest protector of those freedoms, not so much individually, but as a deterrent to tyranny or even invasion, as has been witnessed many times in history.
    God Bless America. Land of the free, home of the brave.

  7. Because I have read Negroes with Guns by Robert F Williams, (1962), as a former California resident, that is exactly how I look at all my gun and ammunition purchases and training.

    And I love shooting my Mossberg 590 with the bayonet lug, and my tarus judge. I believe both are illegal in California.

  8. A symbol of independence? Yes, one of the last few they haven’t totally taken from us. Is it anywhere near ultimate? No. The gummint has its grubby little fingers in everything, including guns. They’ve already neutered things like the 2A with 1934 GCA and 1968 NFA, ATF rules, import restrictions, etc. We’re clinging to a memory of a freedom that once was total, and we believe should be once again.

  9. Actually, for me it’s my voice, and my willingness to use it.

    However, a gun can protect against those who would suppress the use of one’s voice. So it’s a good, important aspect of the whole package. But not the core.

  10. Yes,

    Because I live in the oppressed state of MD, where law makers thought it best to ban “assault weapons”. So whenever I find a rifle that’s not on the “list” of banned weapons, you bet your ass it’s a giant flipping middle finger to extremist mediocrity that is the MD legislator.

    Those are just my two cents 😉

  11. Would a better question be if government ended infringement, would you be comfortable enough sell one?

    The ultimate Symbol of Independence is not buying another gun, it’s using the one you have defense of life & liberty. When annoyed at government, I head to the range and work at hitting man size targets at 500 yards.

    The hope is Trump will ease the number of trips I make to the range.

  12. Of course it is. Without our ability and willingness to use firearms, we would never have been able to declare, and then fight for and win our independence from England. Also the symbol of a free person, versus a peasant, peon and slave for most of recorded history has been the open carrying of a personal side arm that was commonly used on the battle field. A sword in the past; now a pistol or rifle.

    Or as Hitler said about those pesky firearms owned by the people.

    “The most foolish mistake we could possibly make would be to allow the subject races to possess arms. History shows that all conquerors who have allowed their subject races to carry arms have prepared their own downfall by so doing. Indeed, I would go so far as to say that the supply of arms to the underdogs is a sine qua non for the overthrow of any sovereignty.”
    – Adolf Hitler

  13. Mine put food on the plate and provide security for me and my family.
    Plus they have proven to be good investments. How great is that?

  14. I would say my mind, as the older I grow, the more I appreciate the ability to reject GroupThink, and enjoy committing ThoughtCrimes. But guns are sure high on that list, for if they ever come for me for daring to think for myself.

  15. A gun in the hands of hatemongers that called themselves the “people of the gun” is a symbol of oppression and hate.

    Europe (Which I may be heading to in a few weeks), Canada, Australia and Japan don’t suffer under the nihilistic philosophy of the “world is an evil place, people are always out to get you and that civilized gun-free countries are Orwellian hellholes.”. These countries don’t suffer mass shootings or violent murders on a daily basis.

    I still challenge the racist hate-mongering Robert farrago and his neo-nazi shrills on this website to compare the numbers of mass shootings and murders and suicides by firearms in this country versus the number of shootings and gun murders committed in those countries.

    Most of the world doesn’t want your “right”.

    American’s shouldn’t fear being brainwashed or forced against their own will into buying a weapon that is statistically more likely to kill them or a loved one then stopping a criminal threat.

    Americans have the right to not being murdered in their homes, churches, schools, malls, places of business.

    The right to safety, freedom and peace is more stronger than the oppressive “right” of armed extremism, murder and hate.

      • He’s a perfect example of the hatred, bigotry and intolerance of the left. He is also a good example of why it has been mostly leftists and those that vote liberal/regressive that have been mass shooters, or the ones that are rioting, looting and burning businesses. It just that they are so full of the self-hatred spawned from the sense of impotent powerlessness that is cultivated by the left with their glorifying of being a “victim”. and the blaming of their “victimhood” upon society.

    • “Most of the world doesn’t want your “right”

      Exception being millions murdered by Chairman Mao, Joseph Stalin, Hitler, wide swaths of African Countries and Germany infected by Muslims, the majority of the Middle East, South Koreans fearing that guy with a funny haircut, murdered Iranians, those folks making 1911’s in the Philippines, and Californians.

      Hope that ticket to Utopia Europe is one way.

    • “compare the numbers of mass shootings and murders and suicides by firearms in this country versus the number of shootings and gun murders committed in those countries.”

      Why? Every time someone posts a fact or statistic you claim it isn’t valid, regardless of source, and you never admit your own posts’ errors.

      Basically, you’re not worth engaging.

      Have a nice trip to Europe. If you stay in the tourist areas you should be fine.

    • “The right to safety, freedom and peace is more stronger than the oppressive “right” of armed extremism, murder and hate.”

      I do no think those words mean what you think they mean.

      Leaving aside the profound misunderstanding of “right”, there’s a difference between extremists and murderers who #shootfirst and peaceful armed citizens who might #shootback.

      I can’t do any better than Bill Buckley on the moral distinction

      “…the equivalent of saying that the man who pushes an old lady into the path of a hurtling bus is not to be distinguished from the man who pushes an old lady out of the path of a hurtling bus: on the grounds that, after all, in both cases someone is pushing old ladies around.”

      Indeed, it’s easy to tell who’s who. The people shooting at you for your opinions, your stuff, or just for fun are extremists or murderers. The armed people *not* shooting at you are just other citizens who’d like an additional option if someone shoots at them. Simple.

    • Your post is a perfect summation of all things liberal. You’ve got angry, hateful rhetoric, you make baseless claims of racism and nazism, and you view the rest of the world as being superior to America. Well done!

    • AMPAGO said “Americans have the right to not being murdered in their homes, churches, schools, malls, places of business.”

      What, exactly, provides that right? Where is it written? What mechanism protects it?

      Oh, that’s right. It’s people with guns who stand for the right thing and oppose the vicious, self-interested, lawless aggressive types. You know, the gangs, the cartels, the rapists, the murderers who would mow you down in a New York minute given the slightest chance. Whether your protectors are the police, the military or just your friends and neighbors, you don’t seem to recognize: there is no mechanism guaranteed to you. Literally the only thing which you can guarantee is your own tools, skills, knowledge and diligence for your own protection. Otherwise, you’re just crossing your fingers and hoping nobody wants to hurt you.

    • You will have a problem with this but I’ll just have to drop it on you anyway. The reason we all think the world is evil is because the Bible tells us so. The world and everything in it was corrupted way back in the garden of Eden. That may sound quaint but remember who founded this country. It was Christians leaving persecution in Europe who finally settled here and really got serious about founding a new and free country. Now we may have strayed from our Christian roots and even a lot of Christians can’t even give a good explanation of what the Gospel is or means, but that is why we hold on to the belief that the world is evil. I’m sure you hate my response but the Bible also tells us that those who love darkness hate light.

      It’s amazing all the answers you can find in the Word of God. It’s even more amazing God the Father sent his only Son down to suffer and take upon himself the sins of everyone who believes and has faith in Him even though we are all completely undeserving of such an act. Being able to state that freely is the ultimate symbol of independence.

      • Well, we also know the world is evil because the anti-gunners scream about it every day, about all the hordes of bad guys out there. With all those bad guys, it only makes sense to carry protection, especially when numerous federal courts right up to the top have told us over and again that the government has no obligation to do so.

  16. Not really. I mean, when the Colorado laws were looming I bought an M1A NIB that was a ridiculous deal. That was a combination of retardedly low pricing and a bit of RATM “Fuck you I won’t do what you tell me” but that’s not generally how I roll.

    I like guns because I like mechanical things. I like working on cars in my spare time too. Engines, diffs, clutches, transmissions… doesn’t matter. I like to take it apart and put it back together (Usually it works afterwards too.)

    As for a symbol of freedom I think my loud mouth and lack of internal filter probably has that covered. My wife got me a shirt that says “If I haven’t offended you yet please be patient. I’ll get to you”.

    • I hear you re the mechanical aspect.

      I got into guns as an adult for moral reasons, and then proceeded to acquire a collection having different operating mechanisms etc. all for the sheer fun of learning how it all works. (Now if only I can find magazines for a Boberg .45.)

      My wife understands that the gun hobby is both less expensive and less space-consuming than classic cars, and if it hadn’t been the one it likely would have been the other…

  17. Laughable statement about being free of government control…. “If we don’t have the right in this country to make health care choices, including vaccine choices, that impact our bodies and the bodies of our children, we’re really not free in any sense of the word.” Barbara Fisher, NVIC.

  18. As mama liberty says, being debt free is the first step in freedom. Guns are just one tool, step, in being free.

    So long as you’re in debt you cannot be free.

    • And, under the current system, you’ll never be debt free.

      You will always owe .gov something and if you don’t give it up they’ll take everything you have.

      • You will always have to render onto Ceasar. But it’s a lot easier paying his due if you’re not also paying out the wazoo for credit cards, car notes and house notes.

        If you can arrange your life to only having taxes as your debt load you’re ahead of the game.

        • Unfortunately the number of people who can pay cash for a house is vanishingly small once you remove institutional investors, empty-nesters and wealthy folks looking to start a renting company of their own or flip the house.

          That’s especially true with the new banking regs that basically say cash in the bank can’t be used to buy a house unless you can prove that each individual dollar in the account has been there for 12 months plus a day. Cash in hand basically can only be done via a private sale these days and even that’s under scrutiny because were did you get that $10K+? The IRS is dying to know. After all, you might be a terrorist or a drug lord if you have cash. In fact, simply having a lot of cash is grounds to seize your shit under civil asset forfeiture. If you’re lucky you might get 40% of your money back… after you pay twice that amount in legal fees and sign an NDA.

          Credit cards should be treated like a debit card (which you should never have btw) unless you have a true-blue emergency. If there isn’t cash in the bank and it’s not an emergency you shouldn’t be spending that money.

          The flip side of all of this of course is that if you do have the ability to pay cash for everything you’ll have nearly no credit history which makes you very, very sketchy to a lot of people especially the aforementioned .gov folks. A friend of mine tried to buy a new Jeep Grand Cherokee in cash. The dealer ran a credit check on him and came up with very little because he’s always dealt in cash. The sale was flatly refused even when he had stacks of $100 bills in excess of the car’s value. The dealership wanted no part of someone who was potentially on a government shit list.

        • S9, debt for a house is understandable. Most folks need to carry the note. But pay it down as quick as possible. There is no excuse for debt for clothes, tv’s, etc. or even guns. I always buy used cars that I can pay cash for.

          In the interest of full disclosure. I married wealth. My wife paid cash for the house we live in. But she also works a steady job and shops in thrift stores. None of that Kardashian bs for her.

          I did not realise til we had “the talk” after I married her that she had money.

        • jwm:

          I never pay for anything large with “cash” itself. I have the cash and I use that to pay off the credit card I put the item on as soon as I get the bill. Living in some of the places I’ve lived made me paranoid about carrying large amounts of cash. I’d much rather throw some guy my wallet and let Amex nail him to the wall, if he’s dumb enough to use it, than hand him $3K in cash which I will never get back.

          As for the house my rule on any type of loan like that is that you need to be able to afford the payment plus at least 25% so long as you live in a state that doesn’t allow early pay-off penalties. Screw paying all that interest.

          Personally, I don’t do used cars anymore unless I know the owner personally. I’ve had to fix way, way too many things “Bubba” got into that said, I don’t buy anything I can’t afford now or to way overpay on the monthly payment. I paid off my wife’s Tundra in a year and, with trade in, just bought my car outright.

          Of course none of this gets to my point that .gov can simply make demands of you and enforce them at the point of a gun regardless of if those demands are reasonable or even legal. My dad’s been involved in a lawsuit against his country for years due to their refusal to reappraise land values after the crash for the specific purpose of inflating taxable value. He probably got juiced for $20K worth of taxes from 2008-2014 but if he didn’t pay it they’d simply have taken his house and land.

      • I think you have “owe” mixed up with armed robbery. I don’t actually “OWE” anything I didn’t contract for, sign for or otherwise voluntarily obligate myself for. Since all non-voluntary government “tax,” fees, levies and borrowing/printing money is theft, armed robbery… how could I actually owe any of it?

        I pay the “tax,” etc. by the same mechanism I’d give up my wallet to a mugger who got the drop on me… if I had no choice. I can shoot the free lance mugger, but can’t the “official” one.

        But avoiding optional debt and living free of much of the government theft, I’m as independent as an old lady can get. 🙂

        • If you lived on your own land and never ventured onto public roads I would find some logic in your reasoning, ML. But using societies infrastructure and then declaring yourself exempt from its upkeep isn’t legit.

        • jwm: that’s the intent of some of the tax you pay when you buy “road fuel* for your car or truck. It’s why farmers can buy diesel w/o some of the taxes, as it’s intended for vehicles like tractors and combines which never, or almost never, make use of public roads.

          I have no problem with “pay for what you use,” if only the taxes actually worked like that…

        • While I understand the technical distinction between owing and being robbed I fail to see the real-world difference.

          Whether you owed someone something or you got jacked for it is really rather immaterial. They have what you used to have and you no longer have it. The end result is the same either way.

  19. I’d have to say subscribe to that mindset. We live in a country that civilian ownership of firearms is the exception and to not possess something that pisses of an overbearing establishment seems rather short sighted. Freedom is a rather dangerous thing. The opposite is truly frightening.

  20. My gun and my computer are equally important in signifying independence and freedom. Knowledge is key and without my computer I would have a whole lot less knowledge. Youtube has taught me more about my guns than any one person has. Sounds lame but it’s a reality for someone who grew up in a gun free (but not anti gun) home.

    • This. Screw all the macho tacticool “instructors” that scoff at internet knowledge by, well, yelling at people on the internet. Be careful with the source, and be diligent in practice, the interwebz teaches a lot.

  21. I’ve bought 2 AR-15s, a Ruger Mini-14 an a Saiga Sporter as middle fingers to the state of New York. And also because they’re awesome.

  22. Weapons are tools. I am the weapon.

    It’s the brain that got us to the top of the food chain. Don’t be hung up on the tool.

  23. I believe it was Socrates that said, ‘When you see two men walking you can always tell the freeman from the slave. The freeman is armed.’

  24. Not really. I see some interesting and/or homely critter in a gun store and I end up taking it home because I can’t stand the thought of it being all lonely and unloved. Less a purchase and more an adoption. So many lonely guns out there. Just breaks my heart.

  25. No, my car is. A gun is useful but it can’t take you anywhere. I can get into my car and drive anywhere i want. That is independence.

    • Not to get too dark on the topic but technically a gun can take you anywhere you want to go.

      You see a car you want, carjack the owner, take their wallet, jewelry and anything else of value in the process, head to the pawn shop, pawn that shit and drive off for a vacation! A gun also turns people into walking ATM machines if you’re so inclined.

      They might shoot back you say? That’s why you hot them once or twice in the head before they know what’s going on. They don’t resist at all that way.

  26. I’m an independent citizen and my being armed removes the ability of you to use force to get me to do something I don’t want to do.

    Kloos says it way better than I can: https://munchkinwrangler.wordpress.com/2007/03/23/why-the-gun-is-civilization/

    “…Human beings only have two ways to deal with one another: reason and force. If you want me to do something for you, you have a choice of either convincing me via argument, or force me to do your bidding under threat of force. Every human interaction falls into one of those two categories, without exception. Reason or force, that’s it.”

    So, yeah. Being armed IS the ultimate symbol of freedom.

  27. I’ve only ever bought one gun with the attitude/mindset of “up yours” toward the government: an AK receiver. I’ve never particularly been compelled to own an AK for any specific reason, but one day I’d been reading some particularly nasty agitprop from some anti-gun politician, and went and bought myself a receiver as a result.

  28. No. Instead of the ultimate symbol, I would rate a gun as the basic cornerstone of freedom. The right to life is the most basic right we have. Without it, all our other rights are meaningless. A weapon is the basic tool that allows us to defend our lives, and guns are the weapon of the day. Maybe guns are symbolic for some, but for me they are far more than a symbol. They are an essential tool. Even though I use them for recreation and hope to never need them for their intended purpose, the satisfaction I derive from ownership and proficiency comes from knowing that I can use them to defend or feed my family should the need arise. If I want a symbol, I’ll buy a printed T shirt.

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