By Alan Korwin
What a fine turn of events. The political left — think democrats, but include socialists, liberals, progressives, neo-communists and fringe groups under confusing new names (democratic socialists?) — is increasingly interested in getting armed. People committing arson and rioting want guns because they imagine (imagine!) a dictator has taken over.
Yet these people have been the most vicious, unyielding enemies of the public’s right to arms since infringement began. Politics educates quickly, harshly.
We gun owners have been characterized by them as dangerous simply because we own guns, and understand fully how they work. Because we own more than a single low-powered small-caliber pop gun they stereotype us as arsenal commandants, prepared to wage war and overthrow. Well, Obama’s gone now, so that’s unclear. Perhaps the government — but the left now figures that’s us.
This Trump guy is on our side, they believe, and is a radical neo-Nazi they must protect themselves against. They have signs, students — now even billboards — as proof.
Is it good to see this side of the political spectrum gun-up? Should we, the gun-savvy majority of America welcome this trend? Should we, in the same fashion leftists have embraced and promoted too many fringe lifestyles to mention — push gun culture into the mainstream?
It used to be de rigeuer. Let’s make gun ownership look positively cool again, and elegant, the thing to do, the talk of cocktail parties and elite circles. What’s that you say, you don’t own guns? Really?
But … Mainstream?
We loved those Western-detective-outdoors-Andy-Griffith-shoulder-holster shows where guns were simply a routine part of Americana. Sears Roebuck sold guns mail-order by catalog, school show-and-tell included Dad’s shotgun. The gun-stigma thing is new, fabricated. Family-doctor gun inquisitions, they’re recent concoctions. The Mouseketeers danced and pranced with holsters, twirling 6-shooters for Pete’s sake. What’s the line from the Sandra Bullock movie? “Even my hairdresser has a gun.”
I don’t know about you, but something in this scares me. These leftist commie red pinko subversive savages (by other names), I’m not so sure they can be trusted armed. Their fear of firearms served a purpose. They stayed gunless and relied on officials to be armed. We the good decent people of the nation bear arms in a responsible manner. Fearful incompetent woosies over there, many in fine suits with good jobs (or not) stayed well clear of guns and ammo. It was a decent balance.
The lefties were plenty a-feared of us — armed to the teeth as we are, with the know-how to use all that armament. The left used every trick in the political playbook to disarm or sub-arm us, with varying degrees of success, but we have largely prevailed. Criminals just soldiered on regardless of rules, because that’s what they do.
But now, in near psychotic disorientation after eight years of an anti-American president, and adjusting poorly to a new one with distinctly red-blooded American values, they are acting out in violent ways. They like trashing businesses, fomenting riots, coordinating disruption, shutting down free speech. These people are dangerous. I’m not so sure I want them armed.
Then I have to stop and think. Haven’t they always thought we’re dangerous? And isn’t it true? The side with the guns has the power and only needs the will to force its way on the other side. Which is why the Bill of Rights is an open-ended bargain — everyone gets to speak their mind, everyone gets to be armed. Here, it’s balance of power, distributed power, not pure exercise of power. We restrain ourselves — will they, I wonder? Will our arms deter theirs — God forbid it ever comes to that?
Nobody stands effectively as arbiter between those with guns and those without. There’s no way for readers of this magazine to decide bomb-throwing radicals of the left cannot arm themselves the same as we can, just because they’re dangerous. Ha!
They come late to the game, true, but all the more reason to invite them in. We in fact should be at the forefront of arming the left — bringing the principles, philosophy, safety rules, range time, sales and instructors to the vast unwashed.
When I said in my last column Glock or Colt would be advertising in People and Rolling Stone, it was not just a funny line, it was a call to action.
Why on Earth wouldn’t huge companies like that advertise legal products to mainstream America? Citizens in the nanny state might object? On what grounds, redlining is now legal? The magazines might … wait for it … discriminate? Soccer moms might be more offended than they are by ads for gay cruises, pot smoking mecca tours or miracle drugs whose side effects include paralysis and death? I know there are gays who own guns and even pot smokers who own guns, and I don’t mean to offend, but I think you get my drift? How can some things be mainstream and other things (gun owning) be shunned?
We do ourselves grievous harm when we’re controlled by people taking offense at ads for legal products millions of people use safely every day. The unvarnished answer to that — screw ’em. We’re offended they’re offended.
This is the Bill of Rights we’re talking about here. Go get offended by the U.N. Human Rights Council, whose members include the most egregious civil-rights abusers on the planet. Get offended the prior guy in the White House shipped billions of dollars in unmarked foreign bills to the largest state sponsor of terror, at night, more than once, and wasn’t arrested.
It’s time for a Culture of Marksmanship to start influencing society, not just because the left fantasizes about politics in bizarre ways, but because the underlying political realities are at the heart of why free people bear arms.
Alan Korwin’s website features plain-English books on state and federal gun laws for the public. He invites you to write to him or see his work at GunLaws.com.
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