I am a registered Democrat and I vote for Democrats. Not exclusively, but if every vote I had ever cast was counted, there would be more votes for Democrats than Republicans. I am also a gun owner and a strong supporter of the Second Amendment and the right to keep and bear arms. Some of you reading this probably think that I’m suffering from a rather severe case of cognitive dissonance; I assure you I’m not . . .
The simple fact of the matter is that I’m not a single-issue voter. Rather, there are a number of issues that I care about and consider when evaluating a political candidate. Sometimes I prefer a Democrat and sometimes I prefer a Republican. Further, not every Democratic candidate favors gun control. While it is very difficult (if not impossible) for me to vote for a Democrat who does emphasizes gun control, it’s equally difficult for me to vote for most Republicans.
As a supporter of the RKBA, it concerns me how gun-owning Democrats are treated by the gun community. Gun forums provide some of the best examples of the dismissive treatment Democrats receive. Rather than being welcomed, the Democrat voter is more likely to be shouted down and told how he isn’t smart enough to understand that by voting Democrat he is voting to give up his guns.
I’m enough of a gun nut that I still visit the forums and websites and just avoid the political discussion altogether. But what about those Democrats who are perhaps interested in learning more about guns and come across these comments while searching Google? Isn’t it possible that they would be put off by the way they see Democrats being discussed and the firestorm that ensues when someone actually admits that they voted Democrat?
The point I want to make is that alienating Democrats and questioning their intelligence is not the way to preserve the RKBA. In fact, alienating Democrats and making them feel as though they aren’t part of the gun community harms the RKBA. Think about it – if every Democrat was for gun control and every Republican was for the RKBA, then we as gun owners would be perilously close to losing some of our rights. However, if just half the Democrats supported the RKBA along with all Republicans then there would be no need to worry about losing our rights.
I believe that getting more Democrats to support the RKBA should be a priority for gun owners. The more Democratic gun owners that exist, the more likely it becomes that the Democratic Party as a whole will change its stance on gun control. Furthermore, those who favor gun control want us to isolate ourselves and alienate anyone who might be on the fence about the issue. The smaller our group becomes, the easier it will be to pass gun control legislation. For this reason, any gun owner should be welcomed with open arms regardless of their voting habits or personal beliefs because that person will be less likely to vote for a candidate who supports gun control.
Our ultimate goal as gun owners, and the only way to guarantee the RKBA doesn’t go away, should be to gain enough support for the RKBA across both parties that it ceases to be a political issue outside of a few zealots. Alienating potential gun owners because they aren’t single-issue voters or wouldn’t fit in with the NRA crowd will only hinder achieving this goal. I fear that if we as gun owners don’t become a more diverse group (politically and socially) by welcoming new members to the club that we face losing many of the rights we have today.