If I made a list of things anti-gunners didn’t understand, it would start with our basic Civil Rights and end with how to use toilet paper. Ultimately, I couldn’t list everything they don’t get, especially about guns, short of writing an entire book.
I want to cover something here that’s not often talked about and maybe even something most pro-gun folks don’t recognize as a benefit of the Second Amendment. That benefit is community.
The Second Amendment Community
Community is likely low on the list of the reasons most people own firearms and why the Second Amendment should be preserved and fought for. However, it takes a community to fight for our rights.
It’s not something that fits well on a protest sign and doesn’t make for a great argument in court about why the right to keep and bear must be preserved. That said, I’d hazard a guess it’s a big part of why many of us enjoy firearms so much. A community has grown up around the Second Amendment and it’s made up of many other communities.
How many of us have fond memories at a hunting camp? I can recall sitting around many a fire, talking, learning, listening, and often eating backstrap from a deer we shot earlier that day. If you’ve never had backstrap taken directly from the deer to the grill, you don’t know what you’re missing.)
Beyond hunting camps, shooting guns was likely a way for many of us to bond with our fathers. My dad and I are very different people, but we share a love of shooting, and it’s one of the skills I have that he still brags about to his friends and family.
While a smaller percentage of the population hunts, hunting is considered somewhat obscure by some these days. The majority of people who are introduced to firearms these days — and there are lots of them — are unlikely to become hunters.
That doesn’t mean they can’t be part of a community. I enjoy shooting competitively and I enjoy pretty much all the shooting sports I’ve tried, regardless of my skill level. I shoot trap and skeet, steel challenge, action steel, and I have recently tried my hand at USPSA.
Each of these sports has its own community, and I’ve come to make friends with a fairly diverse crowd of shooters. Even the gun industry itself is a community that I enjoy.
Every year at SHOT Show, I get to see friends and meet new ones. One year, I was at the Mossberg booth talking shotguns with a gentleman. I looked at his badge and saw his last name was Mossberg. I love being part of an industry in which a Joe Schmoe can casually talk shotguns with the owner of the biggest American shotgun company.
Why It Matters?
The internet era was supposed to make the world a smaller place. We were all supposed to become more connected, and that’s happened in some respects. But it’s arguable that, on balance, we’ve become more isolated. A lot of people have experienced a loss of community in our own lives.
As a result of too much screen time, people are interacting less face-to-face. There seems to be a decline in activities where people gather in meatspace, engage with each other, and recreate together.
Younger men and women are more lonely than ever before. Social isolation and loneliness have been linked to premature death. Men in particular often bond by doing things with one another rather than by just hanging out other. As American jobs moved more towards offices and then toward working from home, we see even greater levels of social isolation.
Shooting is something that can be done in person with a group of people who might be different in age, religion, culture, etc., but have a shared interest. You’re spending time with like-minded people doing something you all enjoy. That’s the beginnings of a successful community and that kind of interaction contributes to your overall mental and physical wellbeing.
It’s hard to feel isolated when you meet up at the steel challenge match and everyone remembers your birthday was that week. They pop out with a donut and a candle before to the match and someone hands you a box of ammo with a bow on it.
It’s a community that might rely on you and you might come to rely on them. I was right in the center of Hurricane Idalia and the majority of people who checked on me, outside of family, were from the various shooting communities I engage in.
What They Want To Take From Us
The gun control industry and its advocates fight a war of a thousand cuts. Sure, if you limit magazine capacities to ten rounds, I can still go hunting. I can still compete in steel challenge and I can shoot trap and skeet. But that’s not where it ends. Ever.
The antigun civilian disarmament community is like that big cyborg. It can’t be bargained with. It can’t be reasoned with. It doesn’t feel pity, or remorse, and it absolutely will not stop. They will keep going, working to remove our rights by any means necessary.
They’ll add taxes and background checks to ammo purchases, which drives up the cost. They’ll make it difficult for ranges to be built or to stay in business. They’ll target retailers and FFLs for making minor clerical errors. What they can’t legislate away, they attack through the courts and the bureaucracy.
Besides disarming us, what they also want to do is to destroy the sense of community we have as gun owners. As a community, we come together, we fight, we protest, we lobby, and that’s why we are so hard to beat. It’s not special interest dollars thrown at politicians, it’s the size of the gun-owning community and how engaged we are in protecting our rights.
Anti-gunners want to take, take, take, and ultimately destroy the Second Amendment community as a whole and the sub-communities we’ve built together. The assault on our rights literally never ends.
We have to fight to preserve that community along with our individual rights. And with more people becoming gun owners every day, we have more people helping us do exactly that. It’s exactly that sense of community and the dedication of the people in it that the gun control industry and its supporters in politics and the media fail to understand.