I want to take a moment to welcome members of the LGBT community to a collective we like to call The People of the Gun. It’s a tongue-in-cheek name we’ve given ourselves to affirm our mutual, natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms.
There are no hard and fast rules for membership. Anyone who supports and/or exercises their gun rights is welcome. It doesn’t matter if you’re gay or straight; male, female or transgender; old or young; white or black or brown; native or immigrant, whatever.
That said, there are a some shared beliefs underpinning the POTG’s culture. Here are five things you can do to ease your entry into this diverse and welcoming firearms fellowship.
1. Master and practice gun safety
Carry your gun safely. Shoot your gun safely. Store your gun safely. We don’t want you or any other American to shoot themselves or anyone else — unless that person or persons on the receiving end poses an imminent, credible threat of death or grievous bodily harm.
2. Support gun rights
Many POTG feel that ALL gun control laws degrade and destroy our gun rights, violating the Second Amendment’s prohibition against ANY government regulation of the right to keep and bear arms. Not use. Keep and bear.
You may not be ready to oppose background checks or government-mandated training. You may think these laws are “common sense” and important for society’s safety. But take a closer look and keep an open mind. Understand that people who oppose these laws are on your side.
3. Support the Constitution
The POTG believe that gun rights do not come from the government. They consider the right to keep and bear arms either a natural right (i.e., a manifestation of our right or even obligation to defend innocent life) or a God-given one. Or both.
The POTG consider the Second Amendment to be an irreplaceable protection of that natural or God-given right. They support the Constitution’s other prohibitions, such as amendments that ban the government from violating your freedom of speech and ensure due process. It’s all part and parcel of the same ideology that enables firearms freedom.
4. Learn the history of your right to keep and bear arms
You probably chose to exercise your gun rights simply to protect yourself, your loved ones and your community. There’s nothing wrong with that. In fact, there’s everything right with it. But the right to keep and bear arms was guaranteed by the Constitution so that free men and women (and now transgenders) can defend themselves against government tyranny. Google is your friend.
5. Respect other gun owners
While we rarely encounter them on this, the world’s most popular firearms blog, there are some gun owners who are racists and/or homophobes. To further the cause of civilian disarmament, the anti-gun mainstream media like to portray all gun owners as ignorant, racist “right-wing extremists” or “violent insurrectionists.”
It’s simply not true. Sure, some members of the POTG don’t approve of your “lifestyle.” They may not support gay marriage, abortion, public education, income redistribution, socialized medicine, laws that address global warming or other of your political beliefs. But the POTG have an over-riding concern: government should stay out of its citizens’ business, to the extent that the Constitution dictates.
All that means is that the POTG believe in firm boundaries for government intervention. Boundaries that protect and encourage self-reliance. Tolerance. Respect. Shielding them and you from government tyranny (yes that again). That’s a belief you should tolerate, if not endorse.
Shooting at a gun range is perhaps the most important step you can take in the journey you find yourself on. All of what I’ve just written is the truth about guns and gun owners. Sharing your firearms skills with the POTG, talking to them, getting to know and appreciate them, will prove me right.