By Rob Morse
Southern California –-(Ammoland.com)- How could we make the right of self-defense mainstream?
That is our job if we’re responsible gun owners. We can’t leave it to others and it must be done. If we do nothing, the anti-gun crowd will poison the image of self-defense.
That leaves us with the burden of building the next generation of our gun-culture.
So what do we do?
I asked my friends how to promote the gun culture, and here are some of their answers. If you find something that sounds like common sense, then the idea probably came from you and your friends.
We are ambassadors to our family. The obvious place to change a culture is to start where you live. We need to teach our family and relatives about firearms simply to keep them safe. They need to know firearms safety even if they are not gun owners, particularly if they are children. Teach the youngsters you love about firearms so guns are not the irresistible forbidden fruit. The Eddie Eagle program ( http://eddieeagle.nra.org/ ) makes it an easy task to gun proof your children.
A gun owning friend teaches his children gun cleaning way before he teaches shooting. That takes the forbidden excitement away from dirty.. smelly.. inoperative pieces of firearms. When our children are a little older, we invite them shooting.
Keep it up until firearms are common, and responsible gun handling is second nature. You and I can teach our family to treat guns with the respect they deserve.
We are ambassadors to our friends. The easiest thing to do is invite your colleagues and neighbors to join you when you go shooting. That experience is extremely powerful and important. Didn’t a friend recruit you into the gun culture by inviting you shooting? Your face-to-face invitation does something the billion dollar gun hating media can’t accomplish. You become the face of responsible gun ownership, not the crazy characters the media portrays. Your smile lays waste to a 50 million dollar advertizing campaign. All the crazy characters the media portrays as gun owners, all of them are replaced by your encouragement and your friend’s success. Your friends now think gun control means hitting a paper target or knocking a tin can off the farm fence!
If your friends enjoy shooting handguns, consider taking the next step and showing them handgun competition. Give them time, because carrying a loaded gun on your hip takes some adjustment.
We are ambassadors to our community. There are at least two great reasons to ask your sheriff to offer gun safety and concealed carry classes. Your question reminds your sheriff to be invested in the process of arming responsible citizens. How the sheriff answers tells you how to vote in the next election. I know there may be concealed carry classes at the shooting range, but ask your sheriff anyway.
Invite a church youth group or home school group to the range or an Appleseed event. ( http://tiny.cc/2r74ex ) Eventually, we should protect our schools and our churches just as we protect our homes.
Become politically active in some way. You can’t change a culture locked in your room. Register to vote, and bring voter registration materials to your gun club and gun store. You can start at home by making phone calls, writing letters, or sending emails. Doing a little more is easy. Find a tea-party group. Candidates at all levels rely on volunteers to win elections. In return, you gain access to the candidate’s staff where you can be noticed and persuade. Nothing sends the message better than a campaign volunteer in the candidate’s office wearing an NRA shirt. Tell them you support them so long as they support 2A related legislation.
Best of all is if you are a gun owning Democrat. Come out of the closet for self-defense and act to change the opinion of the malleable middle voter in your party.
Join your local gun club. If at all possible, make sure the club is reaching out to the community by offering classes to non-members, particularly kids, women and the elderly. The boards of most gun clubs are a bunch of grumpy old men and women. Hey! They need someone like you on the board!
We live in a victim media culture, so form a local charity and collect scholarship money. The charity can pay for firearms training for people who have taken out a restraining order or protective order. The charity can join with Project Childsafe ( http://www.projectchildsafe.org/ ) and provide good gun locks for poor women and single moms. Offer free firearms training to school teachers. Offer free gun safety classes to elementary school students, starting with Eddie Eagle.
Begin changing the rules in K-12 schools. Eliminate the school rule that says the person being attacked is not allowed to defend him or herself for fear of suspension/expulsion. Students are taught that they must be victims.
Be willing to be thought of as radical today. That is the way to be considered as ordinary tomorrow.
We are ambassadors to our country. Join the NRA. Join other organizations too, but the NRA is the 400 pound gorilla stopping bad legislation.
The media portrays gun owners as clumsy red-neck racists. The media wants to ignore the urban sophisticated gun owner. Responsible gun owners can take back the image AND the reality. We can change our gun culture one step at a time.
Now, please tell me what you think.
About Rob Morse:
By day, Rob Morse works in Southern California as a mild mannered engineer for a defense contractor. By night he writes about gun rights at Ammoland, at Gun Rights Magazine, www.gunrightsmagazine.com/contributors/rob-morse/ and writes the SlowFacts blog. www.slowfacts.wordpress.com . He also loves the M1911 and shoots combat handgun on the weekends.