We Are More Than The ‘Gun Culture,’ We Are The American Family

I am a gun owner.

I am a gun owner.

There are a lot of elements of Second Amendment culture that those who aren’t a part of it will never understand. In my experience, one of the most fundamental elements that those on the outside have difficulty grasping is that we are a huge family.

We’re a family of diverse individuals from all walks of life, all working together across an incredible spectrum of firearm ownership.

The 30-year-old, steely-eyed liberal divorcee who finds herself training at the range because her abusive ex-husband is about to get released from prison. No one will ever touch her kids again.

The 62-year-old hunter in Iowa exhaling deeply as he looks across an epic expanse of wilderness. He just sold his business and is finally able to make time for himself.

The 21-year-old anarchic technologist coding 3D blueprints in her basement with creativity in her heart and liberty in her soul. She has seen too much evil in the world for her age, she seeks to change it for the better.

The 53-year-old transgender combat veteran building his first firearm from scratch. He needs to save money because he was disowned by his friends and family upon coming out, fired from his job, and is now living in a rough, low-income neighborhood. He is unwilling to become a statistic.

The 46-year-old black man entering his first firearm shop to inquire as to where to get started because the police don’t come to his neighborhood. He doesn’t know what else to do, but he knows he will not be beaten and robbed again.

The 14-year-old being taught the basics of firearm safety by her two moms because last night they were harassed and followed home by some local bigots in their tiny town. She’s not scared, she’s empowered.

The 55-year-old exhausted factory worker in the midwest with an injured leg deciding to now carry every day because he can’t physically defend himself as well since the accident. He wants to retire, but gets up at 4:00am to get on dangerous public transit so he can provide for his kids.

We are all family. This is why liberty will always be defended. This is why we will always win in the long run.

(Every example I gave here is based on people I know in person or who have reached out to me from all across the US in the last few years.)

 

Piper Smith is the founder & executive director of Armed Equality.

Armed Equality National Discussion Group

Armed Equality SoCal Training Group

comments

  1. avatar Carrucan says:

    Thanks Piper. Excellent examples. A little proofreading would help this post quite a bit.

    1. avatar MarkPA says:

      We should all be applauding Piper – a member of a small minority group – for calling our attention to our own greatest strength. We believe that gun-owning families comprise 40%+ of the population. That is a large enough sample to be representative of the whole.

      We can’t all be OFWGs; we can’t all be rednecks. Nor hunters nor markswomen nor any other narrow cross-section of the American mosaic. We represent virtually every material sub-group of the whole. Why, I wouldn’t doubt that Michel Bloomberg himself is a law-abiding gun owner.

      We ought to look for innovative ways – exemplified by the cover photo to this article – to show the other 50% who we are. Thereupon, it might just soak in that we are their neighbors and friends; we aren’t the characterizations they have been lead to imagine.

  2. avatar Geoff "Mess with the Bull, get the Horns" PR says:

    “He wants to retire, but gets up at 4:00am to get on dangerous mass transit so he can provide for his kids.”

    One thing we need to work on is armed rights when using mass transit.

    It’s a crime to be trapped in a subway car underground with a predator(s)…

  3. avatar uncommon_sense says:

    Piper,

    … because last night they were harassed and followed home by some local bigots

    I appreciate your commentary in general. And yes, gun culture encompasses pretty much every flavor of person in our nation, which I believe is a good and positive trait.

    And I have a very strong suggestion: do not label people as “bigots” who disagree with your sexual practices. Case in point: there is a small and active movement of people who are trying mainstream adult-child “consensual” sex. Do you disapprove of adult-child “consensual” sex? Would an advocate of adult-child “consensual” sex be justified in calling you a bigot for not approving of their “lifestyle” or “identity”?

    1. avatar Dan says:

      false equivalency, children are simply not developed enough to make those choices in both body and mind and the negative effects on them, in those children that have made that “choice”, have much evidence and research to back up that it is wrong. A person is a bigot if they harass (being intolerant toward those holding different opinions) someone for making personal choices with consenting adults, you are welcome to disagree, but you are a bigot if you go out of your way to shove your opinions down someones throat when they are simply trying to go home and have no interest in the conversation, “followed home” is definitely something to be worried about.

      1. avatar anonymoose says:

        Doesn’t change the fact that the Left is trying to make pedophiles they’re new poster boys. They’ve used up the women’s rights, ethnic/religious minority rights, and LGBTQQIAAC++ZOMFGWTFBBQ rights, and foreign migrant rights movements, and now they need a new group to “champion,” and it’s pedos…or at least Salon and some “feminists” and such were promoting kiddy-diddler equality fairly recently.

        1. avatar anonymoose says:

          *their

        2. avatar Garrison Hall says:

          Well said. Between Kat and now Piper I’ve quite had my fill of hectoring progressive twaddle.

    2. avatar jwm says:

      Following folks to their homes and harassing them ain’t bigoted. It’s criminal. And if you get shot for doing it you got nobody to blame but yourself.

      Don’t we have enough drama in the world without you going out of your way to create more?

      And comparing hassling a law abiding couple on their way home to protesting a pedo is a bit of a stretch.

      Both you guys need to rethink your argument.

    3. avatar Jane Galt says:

      Perhaps pay closer attention to the “harassed and followed home” part next time…

      Sheeesh…

      Thanks for showing your true colors though.

    4. avatar uncommon_sense says:

      Oh, come on people. All manner of homosexual proponents will label me a bigot for doing nothing more than simply stating that homosexual sex is wrong and destructive for society. That is where I am going with my comment. I was not condoning stalking.

      Note that I did not apply any label to anyone. I simply encouraged Piper to refrain from calling people bigots who do not support unusual and unnatural sexual practices.

      And your replies prove my point.

      And yes, homosexual sex is wrong and destructive to society. As I understand it, homosexuals have significantly higher rates of H.I.V. infection, depression, and suicide than our heterosexual population. Even more importantly, homosexuals do not produce and raise the next generation of younger people necessary to do the “heavy lifting” (both literal and figurative) that an aging population can no longer do.

      Once again, though, notice that I am not applying disparaging labels on people nor disparaging them for having different opinions than me. Rather, I am calling out the negative consequences of a group of people’s choices and actions. That does NOT make me a bigot.

      1. avatar Ing says:

        I beg to differ. The way you’ve responded here makes you look very much like a bigot. Are you truly one? I don’t know.

        If gay people are bad and wrong, what should be done about it? How should we treat these people? A truthful answer would tell me whether you’re truly a bigot or just sound like one on the internet.

        1. avatar Ing says:

          Tried to edit my comment, but it wouldn’t work. I don’t want to call you a bigot here. What I did want to do was point out that bigots say a lot of the same things you just said — and the difference between being bigoted and simply having a non-PC opinion lies in how you think they should be treated (and most importantly, in how you yourself treat them).

        2. avatar uncommon_sense says:

          I treat homosexuals the same way I treat everyone else. I encourage them where I think their actions are good for themselves and society and point out where I think their actions are destructive for themselves and society.

          I do not stalk them. I do not call them names. I do not disparage them.

          As I stated, all of that does not make me a bigot. It shows that I have positions based on facts and that I speak those positions in the hope of reducing destructive actions for individual lives and society.

        3. avatar Chris T from KY says:

          I have seen many homosexuals who are bigots. The idea that they aren’t capable of expressing bigotry and intolerance, are just examples of people who are in denial.

      2. avatar Jon says:

        Uncommon Sense:
        Everyone just proved your point.
        Logic: If a man speaks against what he believes is wrong then he must be a bigot.
        By that logic, everyone who speaks out against you for speaking your mind must be a bigot.

        1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

          Jon,

          Logic: If a man speaks against what he believes is wrong then he must be a bigot.

          Your “logic” statement is incorrect and it is not my logic.

          Someone who declares that actions are wrong because they are destructive to an individual and society is illustrating the consequences of actions. A person who does that is not a bigot.

          What I am saying: it is wrong and destructive to society to call someone a bigot because they fail to embrace destructive behavior. And that is exactly what many homosexuals will do to people such as myself. It is also what many homosexual sympathizers will do to people such as myself. Ironically, that makes them bigots.

          Saying it another way: examining someone’s ACTIONS and declaring that their actions are wrong when they are destructive to themselves and/or society does NOT make you a bigot. If I tell a drug addict that their actions are destructive to themselves and society, does that make me a bigot?

          Civil discourse about the destructive consequences of actions are NEVER destructive to an individual nor society. Rather, such discourse is constructive.

    5. avatar Red in CO says:

      That’s quite a leap there. I would have also advised her against using the word “bigot” as well, but only because the left has overused it to such an extent that it’s now utterly meaningless

      And while the gay community (less so with lesbians, it seems) has its share of issues, those aren’t universally true. And most gays or lesbians are just as appalled as you at the thought of pedophiles being accepted

  4. avatar Ranger Rick says:

    Like any right in this country, it applies to all of its citizens.

  5. avatar rt66paul says:

    It sounds to me like the fore mentioned “bigots” had problems with the 14 year old’s 2 mothers, and were giving the 14 grief about it. Being able to just shoot a gun, makes you feel a little more secure, even if you can’t carry it.

  6. avatar jwm says:

    It saddens me to see gun people yelling about their rights and defeating slavery, etc. and in the next breath they protest the rights of others.

    We are not a Christian Theocracy. Our rights are granted by the BOR and the constitution. Not the bible. If you don’t like gays, fine, don’t like them. But hassling or stalking or attempting to abridge their legal rights puts you firmly in the criminal camp along with antifa/blm and that lefty crowd.

    1. avatar Tim says:

      “Our rights are granted by the BOR and the constitution. Not the bible.”

      Wrong way around. The human rights exercised by Americans are in fact granted by our Creator. The bill of rights *guarantees* those rights.

      1. avatar Baldwin says:

        The Bill of Rights does not “grant” rights. Nor does it “guarantee” those rights. It simply lists 10 of our human rights that pre-exist and supercede the Constitution and the government. The American people guarantee their own rights…not so well in recent decades but I have hope for the future.

        1. avatar Ing says:

          PROTECTED is probably the most accurate term.

          The Bill of Rights by itself isn’t a guarantee, and it didn’t create those rights — although it did grant them in the sense that rights which historically had always been held by government were assigned by law to the people instead.

      2. avatar New Continental Army says:

        The only thing that garuntees any right is your ability to defend it.

      3. avatar Kurt says:

        You’re both wrong…

        Rights inhere in the nature of humanity. They are not granted by the Bill of Rights, nor by non-existent God(s).

        They pre-exist any document, and all the Bill of Rights does is codify them – incompletely.

        So yes, 2A rights are real for all, documented or not, on this land mass or any other.

        1. avatar Chris T from KY says:

          No. 2A rights are not for all. The Mexicans, and everyone else, are going to have to KILL for it. Just like the Americans had to KILL for it.

          They can hang their leaders from lamp posts and start over from the beginning, in their own country. It will take them 400 year’s, just as it took the USA, 400 year’s to get the civil rights part correct.

          People who support open borders, don’t support the Bill of Rights.

      4. avatar Ansel Hazen says:

        InALIENable. Therefore, by an ALIEN. Of which if God exists maybe he is responsible.

  7. avatar Forget it. says:

    Well I think I’m done coming here. Enjoy the new truth about guns.

    1. avatar jwm says:

      Well. Bye.

    2. avatar Jane Galt says:

      Good.

    3. avatar Red in CO says:

      Bye! Don’t forget to let the door hit you on the way out!

  8. avatar Rocketman says:

    The thing to remember is that this is a civil rights issue. Every time that you say that a person shouldn’t have a certain right because he/she is a (fill in the blank) your making it easier for the intolerants of the world to gain ground so that they ultimately can strip you of those self same rights.

    1. avatar Jon says:

      I used to think this way.

      The liberal mentality seems to be closely related to the “more for me, none for thee” mentality. There are of course exceptions to this rule but it seems to me that the liberals widely adopts this way of thinking. I think that in the modern era, folks who have the liberal mindset are more prone to using their freedoms to deny those same freedoms to others. That is why many 2A people are skeptical of welcoming liberals into their circle or introducing them to their constitutional freedoms.

      There is a genuine (and warranted) fear that those same liberal people (now armed and trained) will one day turn around and try to take that freedom away from everyone who disagrees with them on anything.

      I don’t shove my beliefs down anyone’s throat and I welcome anyone (liberal or not) who wants to know more about defense using firearms. But i will always keep a closer eye on the mentality of those who have the liberal mindset as I befriend them.

      1. avatar Ing says:

        Both you and Rocketman are wise. Welcome everyone to the 2A fold because we believe in rights that are inherent to all humanity — but also keep a close eye on the “liberals” because the progressive creed is corrosive, and appeals to the worst flaws that are also inherent in humanity.

    2. avatar LarryinTX says:

      Dude, that’s not even Rocket science.

  9. avatar Jon says:

    I am a 30ish year old male who has a good job, drives a crappy car so his wife can drive the nice family vehicle and I believe in Jesus Christ. I have two boys whom I teach about firearms so that when one day when someone will try to hurt them, me or my wife, they will be ready to defend themselves or others. I understand that prayer is more powerful than a .45 but also understand there is a time to use both.

    There are many other men out there like me. We are the American Family.

    1. avatar Jane Galt says:

      *We are a part of the American Family

      1. avatar Jon says:

        So Piper and her friends are THE American family, but I am just PART of THE American family?

        I am the American Family.
        Thank you for proving my point.

        1. avatar Evey259 says:

          I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: there is nothing more fragile than a white man’s ego.

          You’re part of the American family just like they are. Try to lighten up a bit.

  10. avatar Kenneth G Maiden says:

    What a wonderful article. Brought my spirits up a bit. Yes, I suffer in commie state. Where any legal law-abiding AMERICAN CITIZEN who owns and enjoys firearms is scum, dirt, dog poo on the bottom of a politican’s shoe.

  11. avatar GunTotingMotoEnthusiast says:

    I found their page on facebook and followed it.

    For the first couple decades of my life, I thought gun owners really were isolated to older white men and their families. The range my father belonged to had a pretty exclusive membership in a rural area.

    Then I joined a new and very popular range in Richmond after graduating college and was very pleasantly surprised to see the width and breadth of gun ownership in my favorite city.

    This country’s demographics are going to change dramatically in my lifetime and we need all the good men and women we can get to preserve our rights.

  12. avatar Chris T from KY says:

    If you believe in Liberty then it should not matter if a person is acceptable of the homosexual life style, or not.

    This is a test if you or anyone else really supports Liberty. If you fail the test you could be considered a Tyrant.

    A bigot who is law abiding has gun civil rights. I would hope the so called three L’s Libertarians Liberals and the Left totally support ALL their civil rights.

    I support any law abiding citizen having as many Arms as they wish. I only ask they vote for people who support the Second Amendment.

    Unfortunately many new gun owners have no history of supporting gun civil rights. And they helped put gun grabbers into office.

  13. avatar Bierce Amborse says:

    People who live a little hard, trying to make their own way understand individual gun rights — self defense and they know they may need it.

    People who say “nobody needs a gun”, well, they should get out more.

  14. avatar Heart of Texas says:

    Somehow a well intentioned article has turned into an internet-class debate about the meaning of the world bigot.

    The point here is there is no one type of gun owner. Conservatives, liberals, straight, gay, male, female, young, old, black, white, rural, urban, immigrant, domestic-born, Christian, atheist, etc… we can all be gun owners with our own reasons for having firearms. Everyone needs to be able to see themselves as gun owners in this country by identifying with others who are similar to them.

    Let’s stop debating semantics and rather look to the intended message. The more isolated and siloed gun owners appear, the more resistance there will be in the general public.

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