coming anticipated federal bump stock ban and various state level infringements that are on the drawing board or currently in effect, I ask this simple question: Will American gun owners protest through civil disobedience? We’ve already seen it in New York and Connecticut. When those states mandated that gun owners register their firearms, many (most?) chose not to, effectively telling their representatives to pound sand.
Americans have a long history of civil disobedience, going as far back as to the founding of our nation. The patriots that took on the red coats during the battles of Lexington and Concord started as civil disobedience. The Sons of Liberty openly flouted the Crown’s excise taxes. They openly spoke out against taxation without representation, they dumped tea into the harbor, and they kept their arms that the British wanted to confiscate.
They were defiant and fought both morally and physically against the Crown to help found this very country.
Later in our nation’s history, oppressed black Americans sat at lunch counters, in the fronts of busses, and drank from fountains they were forbidden from using. They very publicly marched down streets and told their oppressors that they will not go quietly into the night. They faced beatings, dog attacks, water hoses, arrests, and even death.
They did this so their children and grandchildren would be free. So they could pursue their lives as they see fit.
More recently, the gay community in our country also publicly protested and engaged in civil disobedience, demanding equal treatment under the law. They openly lived their lives in defiance of what was dictated by society and by the law. They marched in the streets, flouted local laws, and pushed the public boundaries of what was considered appropriate so they could live their lives as equally as their neighbors.
They faced public criticism, violence, and loss of employment so they could enjoy the same rights that other Americans have taken for granted.
Will gun owners take the same road? Will they start to openly defy and violate gun control laws? We have stories across the country so far from places like Colorado where gun shops only sell 30-round AR magazines, like the failure of firearm registration in New York and Connecticut mentioned earlier. Will gun owners take part in civil disobedience by not turning in their bump fire stocks? Will they openly use them at ranges when the date making them verboten passes?
In regards to carry rights, will more gun owners simply bypass government permission in states like California Florida and march while open carrying? In Washington State, will gun owners go to their Capitol and publicly trade firearms without a background completed?
I ask these questions because change doesn’t come by asking permission. History has shown that change comes by demanding it and fighting for it. Fighting for civil liberties isn’t just in the form of open violence. The Founding Fathers knew that the Freedom of Speech (Civil Disobedience) is tied directly to the Right to Keep and Bear Arms (Threat of Violence).
The expansion of civil rights occur since those that demand its expansion threaten those that restrict them with violence, but promise to hold back if an agreement is met and rights are expanded. That is what our rights is all about. The ability to back up our barks with bites. Gun Owners as a whole thump their chest online and in person at gun shops and shooting ranges. But publicly, they don’t. Many fear getting in trouble and losing what they’ve built. Which, is understandable but in the end. That fear is what causes us to lose.
Our Founding Fathers pledged their wealth, their property, their honor, and their lives. A number gave all for the cause. The question now, will gun owners eventually make the same pledge?
We have a few in the gun owning community that have stood up and exercised their rights through civil disobedience. For example, Mike Taylor publicly exercised his rights and was taken into custody yet he still continues to fight for his carry rights.
But sadly, 7,000 Florida gun owners visited the Tampa Gun Show to buy more stuff to horde than take to the streets like what Mr. Taylor has done. At the last pro 2nd Amendment rally in Tallahassee. Only about 500 gun owners showed up. Yet Florida alone has over 1 million CCW permits.
So will gun owners stop being sunshine patriots? Will they stand up and fight for our rights and those of their fellow man and woman. Will they back up their boisterous statements like “from my cold dead hands” by actually taking action? Will they stop relying on others and do what’s needed before they get to the ballot box (never mind any other boxes). Will they search out their elected officials and openly flaunt their despotic rule making through civil disobedience? Will they meet with them and make their voice heard.
Will Gun Owners start to exercise their rights as the Founders intended? That is the question.