By Jay Chambers
There was a time in the United States when owning a gun wasn’t considered an indicator of what sort of person you were. Owning a gun didn’t mean anything more than owning a wrench did. They’re both tools. And they were regarded as such.
Unfortunately, legal gun ownership and use carries much more social and political baggage than it used to. People have formed prejudices against legal gun use that can make guns an uncomfortable topic for gun owners.
Some of these prejudices are manufactured to push a political agenda. Some have occurred more organically. However, they’re all problematic for the same reason: they’re wrong.
And, these prejudices are especially damaging because they not only stigmatize legal gun owners, they scare potential new gun owners away from purchasing firearms—even when they may have a completely legitimate reason for getting a gun, such as personal defense.
Unfortunately, the most common prejudices are repeated often on social media, and are even “verified” by certain news outlets.
These are the common prejudices that get favorable treatment in a lot of circles.
1) All Gun Owners are Extreme Conservatives
First, yes, it’s true that many conservatives own guns. But there are also a lot of liberals who own guns, too. There’s even a Liberal Gun Club.
Unfortunately, the politics of gun rights and the Second Amendment have been painted as a partisan issue. Maybe it’s a strategic move to fracture support for the Second Amendment and reduce coordinated resistance to gun control regulation.
Either way, the fact remains that nobody can discern who you voted for, or even which party you might affiliate with, just based on whether or not you own a gun.
Additionally, owning a gun doesn’t indicate any malice or hatred for the government. Opposing regulation that you don’t agree with isn’t resistance or belligerence. People should have input in the formation of new laws and regulations that affect them. Whether or not you support new regulations isn’t an indicator of a desire to start a rebellion or insurgency.
2) Possessing a Gun Indicates Violent Behavior
This opinion gets touted a lot by biased news media. People claim that the only reason to carry a gun is if you’re looking for a fight. Or maybe you’ve had someone ask you why you have a firearm ready for home defense as if you’d be crazy to have a gun in your house.
The idea that the only reason you’d have a gun is because you’re actively looking to engage in violence is a fallacy. The mere possession of a tool does is not an adequate indicator of intent.
Guns are tools. And, just like other tools, there are multiple uses and various needs, for guns. Simply having a gun does not indicate which of those uses you intend to use the gun for.
Furthermore, the total number of firearm homicides in the U.S. each year is far less than one hundredth of one percent of the total population. Even the total number of violent crimes reported in 2017 was only 5.3 million, which would be just under two percent of the population. So the actual data reveals that owning a gun is not a good predictor of violent behavior.
Anyone who believes that mere possession of a gun proves a certain intent has made a predetermined decision, without enough information to accurately reach that conclusion. It’s textbook prejudice.
3) Gun Owners Are More Likely to Be Racist than Those Who Do Not Own Guns
This one comes and goes in terms of popularity. In 2013, the Huffington Post published an article which cited a study that “showed” this. However, the study used something called “symbolic racism” to evaluate people’s biases, and more recent articles mostly cite anecdotal evidence.
So this assertion is another predetermined judgement based on inadequate information.
Is it true that racists own guns? Sure. But people who aren’t racists also own guns. Even though the numbers are somewhat tougher to work out on this one, with over 100 million gun owners in the US — about half of all American households — the number of upstanding gun owners far outnumbers the number of racists who happen to own guns.
Just addressing this issue requires a lot of assumption and inference, because it’s so hard to get any good information here. That means there’s not enough information to make a dependable judgement as the the racial beliefs and biases of gun owners. So this assumption about gun owners is certainly painting everyone who owns a firearm with a very broad, inaccurate brush.
Let the Prejudices Lie
Although these prejudices can make things uncomfortable, especially in conversations about guns rights and gun ownership, they’re most deeply held by people who occupy the extremes of the political spectrum. People with their own deeply held prejudices.
Chances are that the majority of people don’t buy these ideas wholesale. We gun owners, from various walks of life, can work against these prejudices by clearly articulating why we own guns and how to make gun ownership safe and useful for everyone.
We have the facts and the pride to fight these prejudices. We just need to do it.
Jay Chambers is a Texas business owner, archer, shooter and survivalist. He believes in free speech, resiliency and self-sufficiency in an increasingly unpredictable world.
This article originally appeared at drgo.us and is reprinted here with permission.
Golly I’m none of the above! Whatever shall I do😋
Come hang out with me, I’m none of the above either.
And number #4, Gun owners are way more likely to have a gun than non-gun owners.
Oh wait, that one is always true.
Be careful with comments like that. They make good common sense and there is no place for common sense when Liberals start talking about gun control. Besides, if you say too much, State Sen. Kevin de Leon, D-Los Angeles might come try to confiscate your .30 caliber clip that he ways will disperse 30 bullets within 1/2 second.
This country has no mandatory ideology. Everyone has as much right to hold views that some might characterize as “racist” as they do to hold any religious view or being a Cubs fan.
The correct view is that no American citizen should surrender one millimeter of their liberty to pander to paranoid busybodies.
Nicely phrased. I hope you don’t mind if I use some of your wording in future discussions with intolerant authoritarian types.
And here I thought being a Cubs fan was more of a burden than anything else….
I love it. I hope you don’t mind if I spread this thought.
“Golly I’m none of the above! Whatever shall I do”
That’s just what YOU think, you gun owner pervert bitter-clinger… 🙂 Just ask Matt Lauer or Fredo Cuomo.
All those armed antifa are conservatives? I knew they were racist but I didn’t realize they were conservatives.
Clearly you haven’t been watching enough CNN.
Clearly. My bad. But in my defense I get the shits when I watch cnn.
Oh, that explains the nausea I get whenever I mistakenly click on a link for a CNN-derived story.
The author is correct, guns are tools.
I have to keep my 18″ crescent wrenches locked up so they don’t sneak out and commit wrench violence, same with my 2oz ballpeen hammer.
We must be extra careful with cordless tools too. Who knows when or where my cordless screwdriver will strike, and it does look like an evil gun thingy.
Confounded Stillson wrenches…they have a way of monkeying up the works…licensure and safe storage should be MANDATORY!
Be careful old timer these young Buck don’t know what Stillson wrenche is. And they sure know what a monkey wrench is!
We must be from the same generation…..
I have a framing hammer that has drawn blood. Dirty, vicious damn thing.
Most of my hand tools have drawn a good deal more blood (mostly mine) than any of my guns.
I can’t get out a tool without somehow making myself bleed.
Unless you’ve been a mechanic, you don’t know just how much pain a hand tool can deliver.
Even carpenters don’t really know.
Blacksmiths might come close, though.
My Death Stick Hammer hasn’t yet drawn blood, but it wants to….
The only tool in my house that ever attacked my was a cast iron pan. Oh, now I think about it, its ballistic trajectory was initiated by my ex-wife’s arm.
She was only a tool in racist pan hand le !
Don’t even get me started on those damn Sawzalls, running around in gangs and sawing all the things.
I keep the blades of my sawzall separate from from the evil thing itself.
I keep the batteries removed and stored separately when transporting my Sawzall. Here in CA, they’re separated, in locked containers, and out of reach & sight. And we’re limited to 6″ blades, unless you were fortunate enough to participate in Freedom Week earlier this year like I was. I now have standard 9″ and 12″ blades.
As a current CA inmate I find these comment funny. Sad but funny.
Is the forward side grip stil CA legal or is its use constitute an “assault tool”?
I’m surprised my chainsaw hasn’t started slaying zombies on its own, they are like superheros and evil masterminds, its a cosmic attraction. I wonder if my cordless drill will ever start randomly screwing people?
Is your cordless drill a politician? If so it already has.
My drill isn’t a politician, but I believe my politicians are drills because how often I get screwed.
Everybody knows that people who own 18″ crescent wrenches are racists. Anybody who would use a crescent wrench instead of a proper wrench that actually fits is lazy. And everybody knows that lazy people are also racists. And I once saw a guy who sure looked like he was a lazy racist pick up a crescent wrench when he could have chosen as real wrench so that has to mean something right there.
If you live in California you have get license for a air compressor if it has a high capacity tank (over 150 pounds or 11.5 gallons).
…and the mandatory IOT “black box” reports to PG&E and the PoPo if your tank pressure exceeds 100 psi…do you have any idea how dangerous 101+ psi can be…it’s for the children.
“…and the mandatory IOT “black box” reports to PG&E and the PoPo if your tank pressure exceeds 100 psi…”
Is that actual?
The IOT data monitoring / control boxes are a reality. Many utilities use them to monitor (mostly) electric water heaters. The utility has the ability to turn off your heater during peak demand times to help spread the load on their generating equipment.
As far as tying them into your air compressor…that was sarcasm on my part. I guess that I shouldn’t give them any ideas seeing as how I like having 190 psi available in the shop.
I am prejudiced against stupid people who refuse to learn. And I am prejudiced against no good dirty nasty legs, especially dopes on a rope 🙂
We all have prejudices, when it comes to those mentioned in the article I always look at who makes the assertion and ask them why the are being prejudiced in their judgement of others. Most cannot formulate a coherent reply to that question.
Although the article is well-written, it sort of begs the question – who cares? If a racist, extreme conservative who distrusts the government owns one, or many guns, and doesn’t act out on any of the fears that others may have toward him and his compatriots, what’s the net harm to society? You can be racist and still be a good neighbor, hard worker, and asset to your community. You can be a conservative and still care for many of the values that liberals have – environment, poverty, etc. And if you DON’T distrust some elements of the government – no matter who is in office – you’re either deluded or don’t get out much.
All of those stereotypes are examples of projection – the first ones to yell “racist” are probably the most closeted racists of all. Those that look down their noses at people who distrust the .gov are the very same that are enthusiastic about increasing government taxation and regulation of the very same people that harbor that distrust. and down the line with the other stereotypes as well.
The Liberal Gun Club” link in the article is incorrect, but is for sale for $20 large.
I don’t care what anyone thinks about me except for my girlfriend. I really don’t expect my boss to like me. Many of my neighbors have never spoken to me and clearly avoid eye contact. Needing to be liked is a damaging addiction. Some will say “this will hurt you in a red flag situation.” Really? When my attorney asks “Can you say how often you have talked with my client? Never? Not at all?”
I just hope you make it long enough to get to speak with your lawyer. It used to be called SWATing, and it was a crime. So they just re-named it and now the perp gets to be a hero!
People are far too needy these days and base their success in life on the number of likes they get. Its beneficial to be a part of a local church so you can have plenty of character witnesses and otherwise conduct yourself in a respectable manner in public and in the work place, where you are required to interact with other people. Other than that, there isn’t much benefit to conversing with every single person, who cares what they think.
Those that mind, don’t matter, and those that matter, don’t mind.
Gun owners are like any other group. Winners, losers, normal people and assholes. Color me shocked.
But… #3 is a forgivable prejudice against us. You’d think that with all the “any one who disagrees with me is racist” shit that goes on in the media people would watch themselves and be more “like Caesar’s wife” when it came to saying plainly and overly racist/bigoted things. You’d think they’d get the idea that maybe if “racism” is being painted as unacceptable nationwide that they should maybe not run out and publicly scream blatantly racist things.
Nope. Still people right here on TTAG commenting about the evil joooooos, “welfare baboons” and the like.
Something about bad apples spoiling bunches and things and stuff.
You’d think they’d get the idea that maybe if X is being painted as unacceptable nationwide that they should maybe not run out and publicly engage in X.
X=supporting the Constitution
X=believing in individual liberty
Yeah, that’s a losing proposition there. Appeasement won’t work. Racist speech is still free speech and I defend it vehemently.
Your conflation of arguments is noted. *Eyeroll* duly applied.
This is why I’m starting to tire of TTAG. Happy day horseshit abounds in ever greater amounts. And it’s why, over time, you’re going to find that selling actual intelligent policy to the public, or by extension politicians of any stripe, is getting harder and harder to the eventual point of impossibility.
If you can’t figure out super basic shit like that there’s a difference between defending free speech and maybe telling people *screaming* racist epithets to tone it down a bit because it’s making the entire 2A community look bad, and that in fact you can do both AT THE SAME TIME, then I don’t really know what to tell you other than that maybe you should head back to kindergarten.
The public sees a paw they *know* it’s attached to lion, that’s how our brain works. You show a paw but then cry that you’re not a lion, yeah well that’s not actually gonna work where the rubber meets the road. It’s either an incredible act of undeserved intellectual charity towards others or rank stupidity. More and more it falls into the latter category.
To me the left is more racist then the right is. I mean have you ever seen/heard white liberals talk about Clarence Thomas or black conservatives like Ben Carson or Herman Cain? They throw that word around like it’s a Democrat party meeting from 1933. The term democrat plantation is very real.
The progs have screamed “racist” so often in the last 40yrs that the word, and concept, is meaningless. Unless you’re a prog. Get on with your life. The ‘rasism” of another really have ANYTHING to do with your life in 2019.
If another dislikes you because you are an idiot, talk funny, of your appearance. Who cares. stop whining snowflake and get on with your life.
“The progs have screamed “racist” so often in the last 40yrs that the word, and concept, is meaningless. Unless you’re a prog. Get on with your life. The ‘rasism” of another really have ANYTHING to do with your life in 2019.
If another dislikes you because you are an idiot, talk funny, of your appearance. Who cares. stop whining snowflake and get on with your life.”
Nope, strych9. My argument is simple and solid. It needs no insulting reply to sell it. The truth sells itself. You advocate appeasement. Go ahead and throw freedom of speech under the bus. That won’t work out like you think it will, my friend.
I support liberty, including speech I don’t like.
There’s a difference between tolerating speech you don’t like and affirming it.
I tolerate the fact that some people spout racist garbage because I believe the evil of suppressing their right to speak outweighs the evil (and it IS evil) of the vile, nonsensical things they say.
This doesn’t mean I need to affirm their speech, praise it, or welcome it. I am a private individual, and I have no policy-making authority. As such, when I say, “shut up you clownish, moronic racists, you’re making the rest of us look bad,” I’m not trampling anyone’s rights – I’m just exercising my own.
Appeasement is supporting LAWS that sanction or silence the people you don’t agree with, not the act of disagreeing with them.
Read my original reply again. I simply inserted all of the other things that the left rants about as a prop. When we drop in each and follow what Strych9 suggests then we end up in a very bad place for liberty.
If someone wants to say cracker, nigger, kike, spic, wap, dago, chink, slope, etc then more power to them. It is their criminal action, if any, that matter more.
It is certainly true that gun owners are not all conservatives. But you can thank outfits like the NRA and even TTAG for helping to obscure that fact.
NRA endorses Democrats and liberals. Yes, not a lot of them; but there are a few who are not “gun-safety” nuts. Did you know? Leader Harry Reid himself was once endorsed by the NRA until Harry turned on gun owners. Then NRA turned on Harry Reid. NRA has your back if you’re a gun owner. Beto, et al. do not.
Thank the political left instead. Is there even a single D senator who can truly be called pro 2A? Meaning they’ve voted against every bit of gun control, or hell, even voted against at least 75% of it, that has crossed their desk? Voting Democrat and owning guns, or even supporting gun rights, is great an all but don’t expect us to accept you, since you literally vote for ever increasing restrictions on our rights; gun control has become one of the Democrats’ most important and consistent positions.
Asking us to accept you if you vote D and own guns, even if you genuinely do support civil rights, would be like me going to a tranny meeting and telling them how vehemently I supported their “rights” even though I vote R. And then getting angry when they (understandably) tell me to pound sand
4. The NRA is on our side
I’m from the NRA and I am here to help.
Now that was Funny! Also a bit sad as a soon to be ex-NRA member.
They called me a couple of days ago and before the young man could get his begging even started, I gave him a three minute lecture on just why I would not be giving money or renewing, following up with “Until Wayne and the entire Board are gone, not one more dime!” Do you think they will call me back?
5. NRA trollers are progun vs tools of Soros/ilk. GO GET A JOB.
I guess you don’t remember ’94. We were really afraid to talk about guns and gun stuff then. We wouldn’t talk about it at work unless we knew the other person was cool, and even then only behind closed doors. We wouldn’t talk about it in public. It was a different world. The big 3 media had us convinced we were a small minority
There may be prejudices against us today, but man, we are out and proud. I take a few new people shooting for their first time every year because I talk about guns openly at work, show off gun pics, and hand out PA gun law books and fliers. They are mostly black, so I guess there goes the racism. The other day my wife and I were openly having a gun conversation as we were walking into a big mall. No fear or concern at all about people overhearing us.
Concealed carry has swept the nation, and open carry and constitutional carry are around enough that most non gun people have heard of them.
There may be prejudices, but we’ve come a long way baby.
Could you please explain to me so’s I can unstand. Why did we have to make the trip in the first place. Our founding fathers did for us. We just didn’t keep up the pace.
“I guess you don’t remember ’94. We were really afraid to talk about guns and gun stuff then. We wouldn’t talk about it at work unless we knew the other person was cool, and even then only behind closed doors. We wouldn’t talk about it in public.”
in 1994 myself and all of my friends were freely discussing firearms and publicly quoting the likes of Thomas Jefferson. We were at anti-UN protests and training with gear openly. You might have been afraid and in the background but that does mean all of us were. We were openly and actively recruiting people to train to defend liberty, by force of arms if necessary.
Back then, we (myself and my acquaintances) spoke far more freely than we believe we can today. Freedom of speech has been chilled since then, IMHO.
Heck, I got into a one-on-one argument with Morris Dees at a campus reception after one of his hate speeches back then. I was in militia attire at the time and was an older college student. I’m not sure I would be as quick to do something like that these days without giving it much more forethought.
Clearly a atemp to demonize citizens who avail themselves of their 2 nd. Amendment right as that right has been treated by the courts as a second class right,wrongly
The YouTube channel “32icon” shoots all those down in one viewing. Awesome black woman who knows guns. Quite refreshing from most of the usual PewTubers
Thanks. I hadn’t seen her channel before. Now subscribed. 🙂
You’re wrong on number three; Gun owners are most definitely more likely to be white at this point in time, and according to people who set the ‘rules’ (ha) on what constitute racisim, being white is intrinsically racist, like a sort of original sin. Sort of like how racist antebellum folk claimed blacks’ race itself doomed them to a life of slavery per biblical misinterpretation.
Well, on a guess most gun owners in the US are white because most of the US population is white (76.5% according to the Census Bureau).
But then, facts seem to be racist when inconvenient, so I guess it’s okay then.
Racism doesn’t exist.
Now excuse me while I go watch my show that portrays all successful black characters and only one white character who is the half retarded mailman that just can’t seem to stop being so goofy.
There’s even a Liberal Gun Club.
I’ve also heard that the chickens have a “Colonel Sanders Fan Club”
While I was visiting a buddy of mine down in Tennessee this past weekend, I was pleasantly surprised to see my friend’s liberal wife taking her CCW permit class Saturday. She passed the class and came home fired up and talking about getting a revolver and accessories. Never expected that to happen. I suppose being an ER nurse and having a female friend that carries had some influence. Nevertheless, a new person of the gun is born.
I am a single issue voter in regards to gun rights.
The most common one I’ve heard in the very, very, very anti-gun areas where I work and live, is that gun owners are hicks who don’t care about safety or other people. It’s the worst kind of flyover country stereotyping, and it’s far more common than specific accusations of racism, conservatism, or violence. It’s a catch all that lets people who hate guns feel smug and superior without leveling any particular (disprovable) assertions about gun owners.
This kind of person does this with all kinds of other things too: technology, social issues, food, cars, lifestyle choices, travel, culture, etc. Each of these things has been co-opted into a political stance, where one side (them) makes the “smart,” “sophisticated,” “just,” and “cool” choice, while the other side (me, us) makes “stupid,” “boorish,” “uncool” choices.
You can see this with the frothing rage over Donald Trump putting ketchup on his steak. How dare he!
I see it in my daily life with colleagues who have reacted in complete shock when I told them I chose the county I live in because it has an easier pistol permitting process. They just couldn’t fathom that I preferred the poor, broke-down, “lame” neighboring county over their oppressive utopia.
“Additionally, owning a gun doesn’t indicate any malice or hatred for the government.”
And being in favor of constrained government (e.g., a Federal Government that stays within the Constitutionally defined limits of it’s scope) doesn’t indicate malice or hatred for the government either. Though that’s a common leftist narrative: “If you don’t want us running every aspect of your life, you must be an anarchist.”
Since everything is racist now- yeah, I’m racist.
Exactly. My nigga!
Back the bus up to para4.
“even when they may have a completely legitimate reason for getting a gun, “
Where did you get that BS “Jay”? “legitimate”? “reason”? FOAD Jay. NEITHER IS needed or required in the US. See the 2nd.
Failed arguments from failed people with failed policies!
Women & Minorities gun ownership is soaring far outpacing all other demographics!
Its just a smoke screen to fool the low information libtardians who’s face is buried in their dumb me down phones… with their useless larping degrees from libtard 101 indoctrination camp.
One thing to understand….. If legal gun owners were as dangerous as the Democrats claim they are, there would be no Democrats.
Amen!!! BUT. They have a reason for taking your defense. They are all socialist or communists!!! Face it they hate Tromp because he has disrupted their plan to take us over. wouldn’t it be easy if we had no defense. ???! Pelosi is Italian and Italy has gobs of communists and years ago I read in the Chicago Trib that the communists of Italy changed their name to Democrats of the left!!!
In fact the now do called pope is one of them!!!
Is there also a prejudicial thinking that gun owners don’t want guns registered or taken out of the hands of the criminals or mentally deranged? Is it also our prejudice that we think you want to allow assault rifles in the hands of the common citizen for “protection” when a regular shotgun would do the trick? If I’m wrong, then call your congressmen and let them know you support gun regulations.
What is this ‘common citizen’ stuff? We are all Americans and we have the same rights as any and all Americans. Our civil rights are spelled out in the BOR. We all have the right to free speech, the right to vote. And we all have the right to keep and bear arms.
The people speaking in favor of gun control have a long history of human and civil rights violations. They used to concentrate their hatred and anti gun laws against people of color. Now the mask is off. They have openly declared their intent to disarm all.
As for mentally deranged. I consider antifa members and any socialist to be mentally deranged. Do we get to use my definition of mentally deranged?
Yes, there is a Liberal Gun Club. Your link doesn’t work but this one should
not the oxymoron you may think it is.