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(Gun rights) should not be a liberal versus conservative conversation. But it continues to be and that, I believe, is partially our failure as a community. We continue to attack and alienate target demographics that could benefit us, especially in regards to more liberal politicians who are interested in reducing our Second Amendment rights. Politicians play to their constituents, and if . . . liberal politicians were to realize that all the 20-something hipsters would be upset if their 9mm Makarovs were taken away it would be a major asset to our community.

– Shelley Rae Sargent, It’s Time for Gun Culture 3.0 [via]

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  1. She is not wrong and same goes for the NRA and the Republican Party in general. Obama won not because he is some great leader but because he has the emotional pulse of the majority of the people. This is why the Republicans need to let the tax for the wealthy meme have its course so that they do not look like they are “for just the rich” The Democratic class warfare message has won and things need to be done to change the message once blood has been spilled. If we want to keep our gun rights in the future we will need young, blacks and hispanics to join the fight. It cannot be an exclusive OFWG club

    • +1000!!!!! We need every class, every race, every gender we can get converted to pro 2a. Take them shooting, educate them in self defense, and the reasons why they need to be able to defend themselves, show them and tell them.
      I try to talk pro gun to most everyone I meet on a daily basis. It may be nothing more than asking them if they pistol hunt, or recreational shooting, skeet, cowboy action, etc etc.
      But I try to bring it up in every conversation I can.

      • “I try to talk pro gun to most everyone I meet on a daily basis…” “…I try to bring it up in every conversation I can.” -Speedracer


        While I agree with my freinds that why we carry is no ones business, I dont agree that they avoid talking about guns to others. We are doing a diservice to ourseoves if we are not willing to talk pro 2A. Yes we all know how stubborn antis can be even when you have facts and they dont, but the truth is that is not everyone who asks about your gun.

        I am fortunate to live in an open carry state and while I almost always conceal I dont go out of my way to make sure its 100% hidden. If I print and someone asks, Ill talk about it. I size them up first, if they look shady I wont say a thing.

        Some people just dont know about guns, its our job to educate them! Ignorance does not spell anti.

  2. I concur with Shellie Rae Sargent’s assessment. I have been trying to educate my fellow urban Generation Y peers for the past few years. As Rae says, “it’s time for gun culture 3.0!”

  3. Such intelligent comments, well said. Pascal, I would add women and gays to your list.

    A few years ago, I had a lesbian couple came to my classes. They were both nurses and while one was very afraid of guns, they both realized they needed something to protect their house that they have been living together for many years.

  4. To quote a Gun Dude: “take someone shooting”. Even a gen Y or Z person. The more we educate, the more likely we are to eliminate firearm ignorance. After a range session, I haven’t seen any of my new shooters say,”you know what, I still don’t like guns and the second amendment”. Instead — they all love shooting. One more enthusiast, one less anti.

  5. The trouble is, it’s so easy for other political topics to slide into the second amendment conversation, and for people to start rooting for or against those other topics, and to start arguing about whether they are or should be linked to support of the second amendment, etc. And before you can stop it, the conversation moves into territory that it ought to avoid.

    For example, where Pascal above sees “class warfare” in the Democratic message this time around, others might see it in Romney deriding everyone who gets anything at all from the government (even veterans and elderly retirees living off a pittance from Social Security) as “entitled people” who “think they are victims.” Whether Pascal is right, or his opponent in this case is right, has nothing to do with support of the second amendment. But, this is what happens so often in these online forums. A bunch of other ancillary topics are raised, often in an attempt to rule certain people in and certain people out. Support of the second amendment should not be a litmus test, nor should supporters be kicked out of the nest, so to speak, just because they don’t line up exactly with someone’s notion of how a second amendment supporter should think in every other political respect.

    Good people can disagree about whether Obama or Romney (or both!) engaged in the politics of class warfare. But, that disagreement often results in potential allies feeling that they don’t belong in the second amendment camp.

    • Yep. Which is why I endorse the “Thanksgiving Dinner” approach to enjoying shooting sports — leave sex, religion, and politics at the door and amazingly enough, people find common ground and get along just fine.

      Regarding that last point: I’m particularly fond of being told that I should turn in my guns, refrain from patronizing certain businesses, and/or turn in my “man card” because I voted for Obama.

  6. Not to insult the esteemed Shellie Sargent, but the woman is incorrect, and here is why.

    The fundamental philosophy behind gun ownership is that the individual is empowered to act for their own best interest when it conflicts with the government. It is after all why the 2nd Amendment exists in the Constitution.

    That principle is directly opposed to the philosophical foundation of modern day Progressivism. One cannot delegate their right of self defense to the government and at the same time still preserve their option of self defense against that same government. Asking for the Progressive Lobby to recognize inalienable gun rights is thus akin to demanding Fried Ice. While a perfect world would permit “Gun Rights 2.0”, in historical reality gun rights are deleted by a progressive government as soon as they take power.

      • I disagree. Personal responsibility has nothing to do with ones attitude towards government. I work very hard, pay my taxes, volunteer whenever I can, but I also look to government to do its job. I can’t regulate industry. I cannot defend the countries borders. No matter how I step up as an individual, I cannot do the heavy lifting that our government can do. Personal responsibility can live in perfect harmony with a desire to see the government do the work that I cannot.

        • You missed a key word in his statement – he said that the second amendment is not compatible with big government, meaning welfare and other wealth redistribution programs.

        • Agreed with crosswired – This social liberal spent yesterday evening waxing snowboards and cleaning guns before watching The Daily Show. If the Republican party could disconnect itself from the questionable business of telling me what my morals should be I would be deeply interested. Until then we are never, ever, ever getting back together. Blue Steel Democrats need to blow the dust off their website and get that rolling.

        • wrong. You’re putting “all” government in his mouth instead of “big” government. Key difference makes everything you said irrelevant. Government is not bad, when it stays in the corner and behaves itself. It is Big government specifically that is antithetical to personal responsibility. Saying people who hate big gov want no government is the most tired incorrect argument.

    • As soon as you posit this sort of grand, black and white, us versus them, everyone who disagrees with me is out to take my Glock tomorrow proposition, you’ve written off thousands of people who might end up on your side. Most people do not think through their political positions to this extent, or spend hours in the attempt to make sure that every action they take aligns with the tenets of their political philosophy (and especially not their political philosophy as determined and defined by you). The “left” is not so monolithic. Why do so many of you delight in these sweeping generalizations, that only end up demonizing people who are not so demonic, and aggrandizing yourselves?

        • The tent HAS gotten bigger. The problem is that a lot of the people in it don’t seem to think so.

          Guess what? We’re here, we don’t give a shit who you want to marry and we believe that women are also free, and we’re armed.

      • It seems stating a fact has become unpopular, and that’s a tragic thing. That being stated, it is the truth that the 2nd Amendment is established to guard individual liberty, and the Progressive/liberal/Leftist movement is opposed to individual liberty. That’s not “black and white” hate speech, its the truth.

        What Ms Sargent and many others are proposing is that if we separate the political aspect from gun ownership that more people will adopt and like shooting. The problem is that approach is that the political aspects ARE why we have the RKBA today.

        Omit that from the discussion, and firearm ownership becomes just another hobby which can be taxed, regulated, or eventually outlawed as the social whims see fit. If we present gun ownership as a hobby to gain more supporters, we shouldn’t be surprised when they try to regulate it like one.

        • But, again, neither side is so monolithic. I know plenty of conservative republicans who do not love the second amendment and would scarcely mourn its demise. I know plenty of people who vote democratic who strongly believe in the inherent right to protect oneself.

          Beyond that, it’s silly to say, “the Progressive/liberal/leftist movement is opposed to individual liberty.” First, again, it’s a gigantic generalization, created by lumping together millions of people with disparate opinions. Second, it’s not a fact, it’s an interpretation by you of what those groups are, what they want (when it’s impossible to find a single definition of “they” or of what “they want”), and what individual liberty means.

          If a liberal supports increased regulation of a coal-powered energy plant, a conservative might scream about this “typical leftist attempt to curtail the rights of the individual who owns that power plant, who should be free to make his profits, etc.”
          And the progressive would scream back that THEY are supporting individual liberty (the right of the individual to breathe cleaner air, etc.).

          Even your first proposition is an interpretation, and not a fact. The second amendment reads: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed.” Where in that statement do you find support for your conclusion that the goal of the amendment is the safe-guarding of individual liberty?

        • This is for Phil H.

          I respectfully disagree that you know plenty of conservative Republicans who do not love the Second Amendment. You know Republicans who do not, but they are definitionally not conservative (See, e.g., Chris Christie).

          This is part of a wider problem of conservatives generally, since we have allowed conservatism to mean social conservatism. Which is why statements like “I don’t mind gay marriage, women should be free, and I like my guns” can be made.

          RKBA simply does not make sense in the Progressive worldview where rights come from the government and are enforced by the state (e.g., the “right” not to breathe polluted air), rather than rights coming from elsewhere and are enforced AGAINST the state (e.g., everything in the Bill of Rights ).

        • The left tends to emphasize abortion, sex, and sometimes free speech as the only inalienable rights. I’d be comforted if we could get them to add guns to that list but I don’t see it happening.

          The thing is, their leaders want people to be dependent. Say what you want of the rank and file, not all think that way (as evidenced by the pro-gun progs here), but their pols typically do. Just as there are some Repubs that reject social conservative values (there are even atheist Repubs), but have leaders who harp on them.

          People need to realize that as the welfare state grows, individual liberty MUST shrink because every aspect of a person’s life has an impact on this program or that thing and needs to be regulated to insure the solvency of the system.

        • “The left tends to emphasize abortion, sex, and sometimes free speech as the only inalienable rights. I’d be comforted if we could get them to add guns to that list but I don’t see it happening.”

          I’m working on it.

      • As soon as you posit this sort of grand, black and white, us versus them, everyone who disagrees with me is out to take my Glock tomorrow proposition, you’ve written off millions of people who might end up on your side.

        Fixed that for you.

    • Yup. Big Gov cannot control (the way they would like) without total gun control.
      Still, Nicely pointing these paradoxes (among others) in a gentle fashion cant hurt.

  7. Heh, hipsters gunnies use obscure calibers no one has ever heard of before they become cool.

    Does that make Leghorn with his .300 AAC Blackout obsession a hipster?

    Also, in regards to ideology, would you rather have someone who has never been shooting, or someone who has and enjoyed it? Once again, writing off people with seeming ideological incompatibilities without even trying is not a viable strategy. Even if you only convert 1 of of every 10 people you take shooting, that is still more supporters gun rights. The vast majority of people are not driven exclusively by rigid adherence to some vast, complicated political philosophy. It’s all shades of gray (either less than or more than 50, but not exactly 50, for the record). Simply put, would you rather have people who fear guns or people who don’t? It’s all a start and a push in the right direction.

  8. Look I’m still digesting the election and its meaning. But as I’ve previously posted, I am a numbers guy. Not enough folks are interested in math, hence can’t understand their importance. In every breakdown I’ve seen, the percentages of left wing/liberal vote grew. Then on top of that, the country is adding approx. 200 THOUSAND adults into the population every MONTH. The vast majority of which is in the demographic supporting these left wing/liberal ideals. NRA outreach, Appleseed, “take a kid to the range”, are all good. But they have no way of even keeping up with the numbers. The media drone, the pervasive culture is pushing against us. The way it looks to me, we’re screwed.

    • > “NRA outreach, Appleseed, ‘take a kid to the range’, are all good.”

      There is a demand for places to shoot, but for some reason the market has failed to meet it. Some of that is due to government interference, but I think most of the blame can be placed on the short-sightedness of the gun culture.

      As long as there is no place to shoot, it will be nearly impossible to get “fence sitters”, or whatever you want to call them, interested.

      For reasons I won’t go into here, most shooting ranges that do exist suck, and seem to strive to make shooting as unpleasant of an experience as possible.

      Most people aren’t “into guns” or “gun-centric” as much as we are, and won’t put up with the crap we do to engage in our hobby. Those who are curious or mildly interested in gun ownership can be quickly discouraged, and move on to other, more important, things in their lives.

      Until there is a proliferation of shooting ranges that make the experience affordable, convenient, comfortable, and enjoyable for the growing demographic, we can bitch and complain all we want. But it won’t change a thing.

      • NIMBY is one reason why there aren’t as many shooting ranges.

        Then you have the enviros that throw a fit and scream about lead poisoning and pollution. Real problems in an indoor range, mind you, but not so much in an outdoor one.

        But then the issue of noise pollution comes up and suppressors are ridiculously expensive and regulated.

    • I must disagree, TK. What happens when a person has a new, enjoyable experience? Be it a new restaurant,TV show, or that first visit to the range, they tell someone else about it and start figuring how soon they can do it again. In this day and age, they tell others by social media,advertising their good time to all their friends and acquaintences.
      Our efforts can expand our pro-gun influence far beyond that one person at the range.
      Keep the faith!

    • I agree with your numbers, Tommy. But, somewhat disagree with the direction people are taking.

      There are trends in out culture that continue to bring many to side of gun rights. First, Since 1990, the numbers have changed dramatically. in 1990, 78% of adults against guns. In 2010, only 44% against guns. 34% swing in 20 years.

      So, the question is, what changed their minds? Research points to multiple reasons: more awareness of violent crime, safety for self and family, more introduced to gun sports, and ownership, influence from military, LEO, family and friend influence, and education.

      My personal feelings that regardless of political leanings, race, or any of those factors, self defense is paramount. With that said, I have met many CHL holders who started out not liking guns at all. Some, to this day, are not fond, or enjoy shooting.. To them time at the gun range is a necessity, like mowing the grass.

      Where did they change. They are now fully supporting 2A. Why? This is driven by their concern for safety.

      Not every gun owner will place 2A as their #1 priority. As long as they do care, and are willing to stand up for 2A when the time comes, I am happy.

  9. She’s right.

    The 2A needs diversity and vitality if it is to survive the future. I’m a hard core conservative, but I need to be better at welcoming hard core liberals who support the 2A. To be honest, I’m not sure how that works – I tend to see the red states and cities as supporting firearms while the blue states and cities tend not to.

    • Well cut that shit out. I live in Seattle, ferchrissake, and I own a dozen guns and am at the range most weekends.

      I am also what you would probably call a “hardcore liberal” in that I believe that freedom really means that. Example: Restricting who marries whom because you find it icky is just as loathsome as restricting what gun I can buy because someone else thinks they are icky.

      • Regardless, it isn’t about correlating a state or city in terms of redness and blueness and overlapping those with gun laws. It is hard for me to get past the correlation, but that is the task ahead. If ALL states could have intelligent gun laws and freedom, I’m all in.

        I’ve apologized to crossword before, and he seems like a very decent chap. One of the many temptations in the human condition is to generalize, and all sides share guilt in that.

        I’ll be hunting deer with my stepson this weekend in WI with my relatively liberal father. Life is good, and my father is great.

    • It’s not easy to admit that some of what needs to change is one’s own behavior & attitudes, and I admire you for saying as much.

      It’s far too easy to let this turn into a tribal us-vs-them situation as you outline. Sharing your knowledge & experience on 2A topics without straying into judgment about politics/religion/sex/etc. can be difficult but worthwhile.

  10. I read Shelly Rae Sargent’s article and the Comments posted after. My takeaway is that her “Gun Culture 3.0” is the synthesis of the polarized situation that has held the USA hostage for the past few years. The deadlock is not going to be broken by more of the same, but by new ways of thinking. This may include: support for 2A Rights, social inclusion, Obama’s “shared prosperity”, liberal views of what the Government can and should do and re-defining the individual’s sense of personal responsibility and relationship to the Government.
    It may not fit neatly into the current definitions of these concepts, but may be the only way out of the present dysfunctional situation. She’s one the right track.

    • Great, an America composed of Commies with guns. Just what I wanted all my life. Just what millions of GI’s fought and died for. Just what the founders wanted.

      • They are dead, we inherited the world, go to an Indian reservation and cry.

        The US has been very communist for a LONG time. A hundred years ago college was practically free, our gas is subsidized nearly 50%, and so it our food. We have been in the red closet for a long time, it’s time to come out.

        • @TEH, You have a point which many people are in denial about. I don’t know if I’d characterize it as Communist, but certainly Socialist. Now, we are sort of “hooked” on those aspects of our society and there’s no viable relief.

          I don’t know why my next comment fell as if replying to you, but it is directed to Tommy Knocker.

      • @ TK Thank-you for aptly illustrating the kind of “my way or the highway” thought-process that has brought us to the deadlock we are experiencing politically in the US today.
        Ms. Sargent states she is a Libertarian, which last time I checked was pretty much antithetical to “Commies with guns”.
        I am merely suggesting there may be a synthesis amongst the younger generations, who are about to take over politically, that will break the deadlock in ways we have not anticipated. It is up to them to create those new definitions as have previous generations. It appears they are doing so, and they will have to deal with the world they make. We are now dealing (rather unsuccessfully) with the world we made. Categorically rejecting their ideas will only serve to alienate them and marginalize us.
        If I were in their shoes, I would now just be hoping the older folks don’t f**k it up too much worse than they already have..

  11. I’ve said this before. In many regards I’m quite liberal. I don’t care who you marry, hell my wife’s a mormon and wants me to bring another wife home. I don’t want to mess about in a woman’s reproductive rights. I’ve spoken out here for legalizing drugs.

    If the left would back off my gun rights I would not oppose them at all. All they have to do is support my rights and I’ll support theirs.

  12. I completely disagree. The last thing we need is a bunch of freedom hating leftist’s that are also armed.
    Regardless what you all think. The fact is that every thing bad that has happened in the last century has been caused by leftist ideology and will most definitely be the end of freedom if we don’t get a handle on it soon.

    A leftist is not my friend because they also like guns, they are just a more dangerous enemy. And yes all of you leftists are my enemy and always will be.

    • Like when we deregulated banks and the economy crashed? Or the fact that we have one of the worst education systems amongst developed nations? Are those typical leftist things? But perhaps you are referring to things like wars. Well, the Bolsheviks rebelled because their country was shit, and they wanted a better one. Then they defeated the Nazis. Sure there was Korea, and Vietnam, more communists, so we fought them. Which is strange, because I am pretty sure they have a right to govern themselves. So was it conservative or liberal when we overthrew the new, legitimate, and democratic, government of Iran and gave them back an Emperor, all because we wanted some oil.

      • Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are most to blame for the economy collapsing. And the department of education is most to blame for our poor education system. And communist country’s don’t govern themselves, they are ruled.

        • Then what IS to blame for the economy crashing?
          And if there was no public education system, how dumb would the nation be then? Millions of kids would just have no education.
          And what is your citation for communists being “ruled” instead of governed? Isn’t it no different here? Obama won, and you hate it, if Romney won, the other half of the country would hate it. No matter what, one half of the country is being ruled. One by the government, the other by whatever corporation is on top of the free market.

        • Well you obviously don’t know that the department of education has only been around since 1979 and test scores have only went down since. And I really don’t have the time to explain to you how Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac buying up worthless loans with government money played a huge roll in collapsing the economy.

        • And you, good sir, apparently have forgotten that public education existed in the United States long before 1979. it is plagued with problems though, I will give you that. Though it is worth noting that the only ‘tests’ I know about are IQ tests, which have been going up over time.

          Let me ask you something, do you think “under god” should be in the pledge of allegiance? What of the pledge in general?

          And it’s ok, I would not want to spend hours explaining the causes of economic troubles either. The economy is a varied and dynamic beast.

        • You’re the one that suggested that without the department of education there would be no public education system. And regardless what all the leftists think, it is in fact an over grown government that is our problem, you name the problem and it is more than likely government that created the problem in the first place, or at the very least made is worse. But it seems that people still think that more laws and more government is the answer.

          To quote Frederic Bastiat. “Government is the great fiction through which everybody endeavors to live at the expense of everybody else”

          And I have better things to worry about than what’s in the pledge of allegiance.

  13. Long-time reader, first-time poster. And I couldn’t agree more with the sentiments expressed in the linked opinion. As a freakshow liberal in the blue-est part of a historically blue state, I work very hard to divorce labels from issues and activities. I am a daily visitor to TTAG because it challenges what I believe (not because it consistently affirms it). Sometimes I am offended, sometimes I nod in agreement. Mostly, I find it deeply informative and enjoy the company and knowledge of individuals with a shared interest. While many readers/posters here would not agree with me on many issues (even though I’d bet dollars-to-donuts we’d have a fine time drinking a beer together), we’d find significant common ground on 2A issues as well as “guns as tools for recreation and defense” issues.

    That said, and to the point of the original post, liberal gun fans get it coming and going: we get hollered at by conservatives for being liberal, and we get hollered at by liberals for being people of the gun. The net effect is that the people best-equiped to bring the message to a new and/or marginally-receptive audience (i.e. liberals of the non-gun-owning/shooting sort) are the quietest people. Once all other idealogical barriers are out-of-the-way, it’s pretty easy to have a logical, rubber-meets-the-road discussion with other lefties about the wisdom, practicality and relevant history of gun ownership and use. Of course, some people will not be swayed, but as the statistics of gun ownership vs. party affiliation indicate, folks who fit into this category are a vocal minority.

    Anyhow, cheers! And keep up the good and interesting work!

    • we kind of have a hard time seeing where folks like you are at. It’s all well and good to say how much you like guns but if you support people that undermine that it sends a mixed message. One cannot be pro 2a and vote for anyone but a constitutionalist without contradicting themselves. If it provides any clarity, I am pro two things. Pro peace and pro leave me the hell be, this causes me to hate both Obama and Romney as supporting either would have automatically made me a hypocrite. None of that “take the good with the bad” “lesser of two evils” junk for me. Its the people that act like that’s all we have that cause the problems.

      • Right. And this is the crux of the problem. Progressivism demands that everyone be engaged to support their programs. You have no choice. You cannot be left alone.

        What are you, anti-social? Clearly that’s a mental disorder or a behavioral one. You need medication. Perhaps some therapy to get your mind straight.

        Who would be against the welfare state? You must be crazy. Come now, let’s get you some treatment until you think like us.

        • A lot of people think that when we say “death to the welfare state” we mean “fuck the poor”. That’s not the case at all.

          I donate to every salvation army bucket and stop child abuse tin I happen to come across. When the nice girl at the movie theater asks me if I’d like to donate a dollar to help cure cancer I give her a 5. In high school I volunteered at a horseback riding center for mentally retarded children every Saturday morning because I love horses and wanted to make kids happy, to say it was a sobering experience is an understatement. By no means do I not care about helping others, But I did all of that BY MY OWN CHOICE.

          The modern progressive movement calls for charity, in the form of forced confiscation of money from others. It’s a “We don’t care how much you do to help, we’re taking $1.5 of your 2 million annual income and redistributing it, for the common good” kind of game.

          I donate to charity because it makes me feel like a better person. If some entity of the state sent me a letter saying 65% of my annual income has gone “POOF!” I could care less what the cause is I’d be pissed off. Let the government tax the wealthy by a 5% increase tomorrow and I guarantee you we’ll end up like France with their 75% for the rich peoples’ club within a decade.

  14. She is right — holy huddles don’t work for religion, and they don’t work here. I used to be one of the “horrible” people who thought the AWB was good, “common sense” gun control. A buddy of mine, rather than chastise me or call me a commie, told me to read the law and see what I thought. I quickly realized what a joke it was. 10 years later, after a few friends took me shooting, I am now waiting for my CHL to come in, and I come to this site at least once a day.

    If you want your cause to be heard and understood, you have to patiently and respectfully share it. I went to my first gun show earlier this month — a place my liberal friends told me I would never be welcome. I had a great time, people were very nice, but sadly, the lingering image for me is the racist anti-Obama bumper sticker prominently displayed at one of the tables. That does not help the cause.

    gen4n9: Leftists and commies should have guns – racists and TPers should have free speech. That is why the Constitution is great. Rights are meaningless if rationed out on the basis of political correctness, or how much of a “real American” one is.

  15. What we must remembered about common ground is that it takes two to tango.

    IMO, the Conservatives are not the only ones being parochial and one-sided on the matter.

    Any time I engage a liberal with a positive dialogue on gun rights, the conversation devolves into ad hominem BS. You cannot change a mind that’s already made up, and I speak from experience when I say that millions of minds in Chicago, New York City, and other liberal sections of America ARE made up regarding firearm rights.

    Oh BTW, the range invite tactic doesn’t work 100% of the time . I took my ex-gf shooting, and her NYC upbringing and political nature trounced logic and range time fun. She was a gun hating liberal before I took her to the range, and she stayed that way afterward.

    In order for gun rights to be an accepted principle across party lines, BOTH sides must bury the hatchet. Good luck with that strategy.

    • Oh BTW, the range invite tactic doesn’t work 100% of the time . I took my ex-gf shooting, and her NYC upbringing and political nature trounced logic and range time fun. She was a gun hating liberal before I took her to the range, and she stayed that way afterward.

      ST, as with any other major societal issue, not everyone is going to be open to changing their minds through personal experience. Some things are just too deeply ingrained in some people, to the point that you have to take the long-term view and work for change over generations instead of months. Like racism and homophobia, sometimes it just takes time for the inflexible to die out or decline in numbers & influence to the point of irrelevancy.

  16. Gun ownership represents a degree of independence; the welfare state promotes dependence on a central authority. How can anyone ever reconcile the two? Sorry, but gun ownership and the welfare state are completely incompatible.

    Can individuals be “converted?” Some, yeah, but not most. When it comes to choosing between guns and free sh!t, most people will choose free sh!t. Until the welfare state collapses of it’s own weight as it has in Greece, gun rights will remain under seige.

    And for those who think that the so-called “liberals” in Congress are afraid to tackle gun rights, get real. Obamacare was the most devisive legislation in the last quarter century, and they tackled it. The pro-gun groups have already done all the damage that they could, and they have proven to be impotent. I’m not aware of any anti-gun legislator who was kicked out in this election cycle and replaced by a pro-gun candidate. On the other hand, incumbent Alan West was rated A and lost. Incumbent Mary Bono was a long-time incumbent, rated B, and lost. And so it goes.

    • I keep hearing this “liberals believe in a welfare state” thing. I don’t ever run into people who believe that… ever. Maybe my gen has a different idea of liberalism.

      • Correction, I’ve met some ancient liberals who do totally believe in socialism. Like wackos from the 60s. I share nothing in common with them.

      • Yeah, I don’t get this either. All of the liberals I know, including (or perhaps especially) the ones who have spent time unemployed, believe in the value of a day’s work and making a meaningful contribution to society.

        Social justice and equitable treatment? Access to healthcare? Economic opportunity? Sure. Welfare state, not so much.

        • You misunderstand. The term “welfare state” isn’t some term of derision. It is the definition of what it is that many on the left want to achieve. Equality of opportunity comes second to equality of outcomes in importance, people are taken care of via government program from cradle to grave,. individual liberty is sacrificed for the “greater good.” Impediments to “progress” like the Constitution are re-interpreted enough to render their limits on federal power meaningless (see: abuse of commerce clause starting with FDR).

          Strings come attached to everything because everyone is heavily invested in everybody else. If I pay for your healthcare and you pay for mine, it is to my benefit to see that the government prohibits you from smoking, drinking, or doing whatever risky thing you might like doing because you’ll cost me and the entire system more in the long run.

          Do you think Bloomberg’s soda ban is silly? It’s a test case to see how well it’ll sell around the rest of the nation. Prepare to see a steady demonization of soda companies, junkfood companies, etc because the crusaders for progress must always have devils to fight, blame, and hoodwink the American people with. There must always be a wedge issue.

          One thing you might’ve noticed (or not) is that there is seldom talk of stopping. Is there any point in which the progressive movement will stop because it’s achieved all of its goals? I’ve never heard any such discussion take place. Undoubtedly some modern progs will one day be the next generation’s conservatives opposed to more expansion. But there is always a new cause celebre depending on the fashions of the time.

          And you wonder why conservatives and libertarians are wary of the movement. There is never a “well once we have all these things we will stop” discussion. It’s, “what can we do next?”

          Progressivism is endless political revolution and change. A revolution which, in time, could very well devour itself and leave everyone worse off.

        • Equal opportunity means that there should be no institutionalized or artificial walls constructed preventing people from becoming competitors on the playing field. Equal opportunity means that everyone should have a chance to succeed or fail based on their own merits. It does not mean some force of nature or government is expected to “deliver” success to everyone. This is the caricature it feels like conservatives are sold about the philosophy behind “equal opportunity”.

          Regulation is the means you prevent the power of the status quo from forming artificial barriers to competition. Because the best way to win is to get away with cheating. Because sometimes “profitable” is not a good enough proxy measurement for “good”.

          The end goal in all of this is to maximize the number of competitors and therefore increase your chances of good things happening.

          Progressivism acknowledges that stuff changes, resource availability changes, dynamics of power in the world change, technology and way of life changes, and the “problem of the day” changes, and therefore policy necessarily must be able to change in order to address it effectively. Fear that things will change to something “bad” should not compel you to keep things the same, it should compel you to participate in the change to make sure it is a good one. Change is scary. It means you can’t sit on your butt and rest on your laurels. It means if you were on top yesterday you aren’t guaranteed to be on top forever. There are three coping mechanisms for dealing with the stress this facet of life causes, you can outright deny the existence of a problem or trivialize a problem to rationalize “not changing” as an acceptable course of action, you can expend energy to try to keep things from changing (which is as futile as trying to hold back the tides), or you can make peace with the fact that you always need to be reworking to remain on top of what is a moving target.

        • I think the difference, AlphaGeek, is *who* is supposed to provide all those great things, and how.

          Social justice (an undefined concept, btw) and equitable treatment are great… but who is supposed to provide that?

          Healthcare is a necessity, of course, but who should provide it and how? As a service paid for, or as a right?

          Economic opportunity is wonderful, but who should provide it?

          I’m not sure what your understanding of “welfare state” is, but seems to me that if you’re interested in having the gov’t guarantee all of those things, you support the welfare state.

          It connects to gun rights directly in that if the state is supposed to guarantee things like social justice, economic opportunity, and healthcare, it necessarily follows that the state should guarantee physical security (via police) and the individual’s right to a firearm must necessarily be subject to the need of the state to guarantee that physical security for everyone.

          So, for example, allowing a six-shooter revolver or a 24″ long shotgun is probably fine, but why a civilian needs a SCAR 17 with 30-round magazines is harder to justify.

    • Ralph, I cannot believe that I am actually going to disagree with you on a topic, let alone one of political nature, but here goes…
      I agree with you in the areas of austerity, but that is where we divorce. It has been my experience that if an open mind is introduced to the aspects of the shooting sports, that person will take the topic on in a whole new light. My first ex-wife was vehemently anti, let’s just say that her opinions on the 2nd changed rather quickly. Same story with ex # 2. I have taken time to introduce new shooters at every chance afforded, and what do you know? Wow, I am batting 1000 here.
      Test my hollow words for yourself and see what I mean. The point here is to attract new shooters to replace us aging, fat white guys. We will not be around forever, so let’s give the up and comers a chance.
      As a simple side here, when I was 17, I raised my right hand and swore an oath. The way that oath was originally written did not take race, creed, gender or political affiliation into consideration. If the words were true then, they are true enough today. In the end, Right, Left or somewhere in between, we are all Americans. Perhaps we should start acting like it.

  17. Take a newbie to the range, period. I do not care about political affiliations, just get more people away from the X-Box and out shooting. Just like gardening, you reap what you sow.
    That is all…

    • +1

      Simple and well put. The range I shootat has a great selection of rentals including “evil” black guns in full auto, SBR and suppressed.

      They also have a restuaunt with inexpensive, great food and it overlooks the shooting lanes. It is a great experience for first timers.

      • Just this last weekend I dragged…err…invited one of my fellow students from A&P out to a family farm and gave him some simple instruction. A few dozen rounds of carefully observed firing later, he took correction and decided right then and there that guns are not half bad. He decided to the point of devouring most of the rimfire and all but a few rounds of the .45 ACP and 9mm that I brought out. I like to think of it as investing in our future.
        To the point, I would rather help a young liberal learn the truth than allow one to remain opinionated without reason. Feel free to replace the word liberal with any that you can think of, the result will still be the same.

      • If your handle is relevant to where you live…is that range where they do the Silencer Shoot every year or is it actually in West Memphis???

  18. I’m a black, liberal, gun-loving, college-educated retired veteran with combat experience. I’m from Chicago but now reside in a red state that has a 51% majority black population. I really enjoy everyone telling me that I’m confused, followed by attempts to adopt and “fix me”. Usually the “fixing” process typically entails them telling me how stupid, ignorant, hateful, greedy, lazy, and narrow-minded other “broken” folks are, and how that I shouldn’t think or behave like them. So I don’t.

  19. My take away from all of this (the election, my regular podcasts, TTAG, and this post) is to take someone shooting. more often than not they will change their minds for the better and realize that its fun, and useful. Take them twice and they may become passionate enough about it for them to take a friend, or even change the way the vote.

  20. I think my soft, heart broken affection for redheads just went in to an all in, upheaval to find her. An intelligent, progun redhead? I could die happy.

  21. I’m a liberal atheist that believes in the Republic and the set of laws that govern her and protect the minority voice (like gun owners). I like to link to JFK’s Liberal party acceptance speech when I define my liberalism, because it is the closest to who I am as a liberal:

    Being a liberal who believes in the Constitution doesn’t seem like a bad thing, but in all the gun sites and organizations I have tried to become a part of it often becomes an issue. The most recent one was a friend’s Facebook page. It was all good and dandy until someone started a rant about the evil gays and potheads–I chose to leave that group instead of doing what I usually do and arguing. I just don’t have the time or desire for all the belly bumping. I just want big GOP out of my bedroom and off my phone lines. I don’t want to get into a rant here, but they couldn’t keep their paws off a husband who made a choice for his vegetative wife–how long before they decide we actually can’t have our guns?

    This site is, by far, the most rational and informative site I’ve seen, and that what keeps me reading the dozen or so articles put out daily (seriously, how are you guys so prolific?). I may not agree with everything, but it beats the hell out of the majority of firearm sites out there.


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