It’s widely believed, on both the right and the left, that gun rights is a conservative issue. But as some recent events in Texas demonstrated, that isn’t always the case. There are situations that can get intellectually challenged deep red conservatives to embrace hysterical anti-gun talking points while spewing ignorance about firearms, just like their opponents on the other side of the political fence.
As a community of gun owners and supporters of the right to keep and bear arms, it’s not just our right, but our duty to call this out when we see it, and condemn it. It’s intellectually dishonest, even when most of us may agree with these deluded people on other issues.
I’m not here to preach about social issues. It’s your God-given and/or natural right to believe what you will about such things. I’m here to point out that throwing gun rights — anyone’s gun rights — under the bus to “own the libs” will backfire and hurt us all later.
Going Anti-Gun to Own the Drag Queens and Antifa
In many ways, this is a story we’ve all heard before, and it’s one we’re probably going to hear again, over and over. Some leftoids decided it was a good idea to put on drag shows that welcome kids. A recent one in Texas got social conservatives all fired up, as you’d expect. That resulted in supporters of the drag show on one side of the street and anti-groomer people on the other side of the street yelling past each other with police trying to keep both sides apart.
This time, though, there was a new aspect to the usual kabuki on display: several people on the pro-drag show side of the street carried weapons, including several black rifles. While we don’t know exactly who these armed folks are affiliated with, their all-black clothing has led people to conclude they’re affiliated with Antifa.
Who they are isn’t nearly as important as how conservative activists and the likes of Fox News reacted to them. First, there was this guy in the red shirt who wasn’t overburdened with facts . . .
NOW: Two counter protesters at the drag brunch in Roanoke, Texas get in the faces of people outside. One had called the antifascists outside "a bunch of pussies." I ask them what they're here to do today. See for yourself what they say. pic.twitter.com/skAfxAzysk
— steven monacelli (@stevanzetti) August 28, 2022
You’d be excused for confusing him with Joe Biden in terms of his talking points and firearms knowledge. Not only did he use the typical “you’re a weakling if you carry a gun” line, but he also referred to the rifles as “AR-47s,” showing that he’s completely ignorant about guns.
I know it’s tempting to side with the guy because many of us agree with him on the social issue at play here, but we shouldn’t let morons like this drag us into spouting and supporting anti-gun hysteria, regardless how many other things they may be right about.
Why? Because next time we’re making pro-gun rights arguments, it’ll be brought up that we didn’t support gun rights that time in Texas and were just fine with the gun ignorance on display. They’ll call us hypocrites and they’ll be right.
After all, what’s the difference between calling the people carrying rifles outside the drag show “pussies” and this guy who was outside the NRA convention in Houston?
“You’re weak, you’re weak, you need a gun because you’re weak” a protester yells outside the NRA convention pic.twitter.com/rzF02OHHRk
— ELIJAH SCHAFFER (@ElijahSchaffer) May 28, 2022
Sadly, Red Shirt Guy was far from the only person on the right to take the bait. A hysterical piece at Fox News quoted Texas State Rep. Bryan Slaton who was wasn’t smart enough to avoid the trap that was set for him . . .
Slaton said it was “alarming” that Antifa members showed up with guns to protect “grown men wearing ladies’ underwear that have to dance provocatively in front of children.”
“They’re protecting that and trying to intimidate those that were there to speak out against it and bring attention to it that way. But, yes, Antifa apparently is getting involved, and you’ve crossed the line if you want to protect children, and they want to intimidate you.”
Slaton lamented a lack of action by law enforcement, including failing to shut down the event for being over capacity according to the local fire code.
There are a couple of things the Fox piece failed to mention. First, conservative opponents of the show spent time next to the restaurant within a few feet of the armed people in black and they were carrying guns, too. None of them said anything. None of them threatened anyone, pointed rifles, or did anything that could be called intimidating beyond their mere presence with firearms…which, by the way, is perfectly legal under Texas law. And should remain that way.
If the black clad people with guns were really so menacing, why did Red Shirt Guy and others feel safe enough to walk up and challenge them? There’s literally no difference between the presumed right-leaners who were there and the leftoids who will harass conservatives who openly carrying, claiming it makes them feel “unsafe” (but not unsafe enough to keep them from approaching and challenging them).
Everyone knew the guns wouldn’t be used unless there was an outbreak of violence. The protesters’ behavior proved as much. They obviously weren’t intimidated. They just want the other side to be disarmed, and absent non-defensive violence or other crimes committed, that’s an anti-gun rights position, period.
There was also no mention in the Fox News piece of the death threats that typically accompany these drag events ahead of time, and the guy across the street who showed up with a baseball bat covered in barbed wire . . .
Once again, I’m not taking sides on the drag show issue here. The idiots on both sides of this issue have a right to their opinions, and this isn’t a website about social issues. If anything, the social issues are a distraction.
What we shouldn’t be cool with is people who want to throw gun rights under the bus to score points against their enemies in America’s culture war. If we start deciding that certain groups don’t have a right to lawfully possess and carry firearms and stand on a public street with them in support of whatever their cause may be, we’re opening a can of worms we’ll later wish we hadn’t.
Want an example? California, under then-Governor Ronald Reagan, started killing off gun rights in the 1960s after the Black Panthers openly carried guns, and look where that eventually led. Politicians have a way of expanding their ideologically-targeted gun control laws from the groups they want to see disarmed to disarming all of us. That’s clearly not a game we should come anywhere close to playing ever again.