law abiding gun owners
Courtesy John Boch
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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.

daines hunting photo pic
Courtesy Steve Daines

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

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.

Team FN competition shooting 3-gun
Foghorn for TTAG

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.I’ve got friends who’ve taught me how to build AKs, and mill 80% lowers.

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.

Wake Forest ‘Sociology of Guns’ students shooing – many for the first time – during a shooting range field trip. (Image courtesy Sandra Stroud Yamane)

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.

HAVA San Antonio family range day

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.

trap skeet shooting shotgun vintage
(AP Photo)

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.

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  1. “Besides disarming us, what they also want to do is to destroy the sense of community we have as gun owners.”

    Um … they’re all communists. Their ultimate goal IS TO KILL US AND TAKE OUR STUFF.

    Wake up.

  2. Federal Office of Gun Violence Prevention Unprecedented New Attack on 2nd amendment Guns COMING …using all the standard anti-gun lies and tactics and anti-gun fanatics.

  3. What they will never understand is that “Human beings are born with a God Given right to defend themselves, the bearing and keeping of arms is central to that and the Second Amendment to the Constitution of the United States has acknowledged this. It doesn’t matter if they manage to get enough votes to change the Constitution and it doesn’t really matter what the courts say. It’s like defanging and declawing a lion. God gave the lion his weapons and he gave us the ability to create ours.

  4. The simple fact is this-the anti gun commizars want to collect and control all firearms. Plain and simple. The claim they just want less gun violence or whatever is a lie-nothing more.

  5. Uh huh. Cops kick in your door, you’ll bow your heads in submission and hand over every single firearm and every single round of ammo, and then thank them for their service. Real world. You guys are only tough when your fingers are on a keyboard.

    • SO, . . . lemme get this straight, tough guy. YOU are the only one on the Internet who ISN’T a ‘keyboard warrior’????? OK, go with that vibe, pal, and let me know how it works out for you. In the real world, if the busies show up at my door, demanding my guns and ammunition??? Could you please volunteer to be “point man” for the stack???

      How many ATF agents did YOU off, today????? Oh, NONE???? Quelle surprise!!!! Put up, or shut up, big mouth.

    • Red-flagged for owning a purely passive defensive item that absolutely cannot harm anyone, but can only help to protect.

      Clown world.

      • We are just banned from purchasing in state (for the moment) unless we are in an eligible profession. Your officials trying to dunk on ours again?

        • Yeah, well, any ban on mere possession here will get nowhere. Too many people already have them, and it seems like a dozen companies are actively pushing sales of armor-containing jackets and backpacks for school children…will they be banned as well?

        • Works over here re banning sale. If the parents care they can go out of state and pick something up and honestly the 3a and 3 uhmwpe options are light enough to potentially be useful for most threats without a steel core/tip for pistol and rifle respectively.

  6. Haven’t been to a public range since I leveled out and set up the range in the old sand pit.
    We do have a small community of friends and neighbors that get together for cook outs, family events, holidays, community events like barn or house raisings or other projects.
    Cell phones and CB radios spread the word if someone has an emergency or other problems.
    In short, we do as rural folks have done for generations. Work together for common cause issues and mutual assistance. Or, just because we like to have a little fun.

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