Opinion by Jeremy Climer
Every time I see one of these stories, I ask the question, “Why do they think that they deserve to protect themselves and their families to the fullest extent possible, but the proletariat doesn’t deserve that same right?”
Those of us who are gun rights advocates and supporters often cite the data, and for a good reason — the data is overwhelmingly on our side, and the data shows the truth. We care about the facts and we want to make ethical, sound judgments based on the available data. We think it’s important that violent crime is down over the last 20 plus years, that gun crime and homicides are down over the same period and that while the United States makes up 4.5 percent of the population on earth, we’re accountable for only 3% of the mass shootings in the world. These things matter to us, and they should. They should matter to everyone, and yet, they don’t.
Alyssa Milano — who also recently employed armed guards outside of the National Rifle Association (NRA) convention in Dallas, Moms Demand Action and other groups appeal to fear and sadness. They act out Rahm Emmanuel’s famous, “don’t let any tragedy go to waste” political manifesto. To paraphrase Ryan Gresham from Gun Talk Media, it’s a bunch of middle-aged moms in government hearings crying, “but what about the children?” They know that data doesn’t compete with that, that emotion sways far more people than facts. They’re ignorant of guns. Therefore they’re scared of guns and if they’re afraid of guns, then their right to feel safe trumps our right to be safe.
I’m not saying we should give up facts, not at all; I think we need to keep pushing that narrative and bringing the truth to the light, especially when it comes to the number of self-defense uses of firearms in America.
However, I think we need to add an emotional component to our argument as well. We need to market people who have defended themselves and their families with firearms, especially women and minorities.
The right to protect ourselves and our families is a human right, given to all of us no matter our race, gender, religion, orientation or any other thing the left wants us to put front and center to segregate ourselves.
What is more important than protecting your very life and that of your family? If we have a right to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” then our lives have to be the first thing we protect. That’s the anti-gunners’ argument, but it should be ours too. It’s up to us to frame that properly because they have skewed it so perversely. As a father, my number one priority in life is to protect my daughter, and I’ll do it at all costs, it’s my most sacred duty. To me, and most of us, this seems like the most basic of common sense. However, we need to frame this in a way that will resonate with the people who don’t own guns. If nothing else, we need their support. And hopefully, we can turn a lot of these individuals who support some gun control, but are not zealots, into law-abiding gun owners.
So, then the question becomes, “how do we do it?” On a broad scale, I admit I don’t know. I’ll leave that up to the intelligent folks in the marketing departments. However, just like I say to hunters all the time, on a one-on-one basis, we have opportunities to be advocates every single day with our friends, co-workers, neighbors or perhaps just the person on the bar stool next to you. While exact numbers are hard to come by, approximately one in three Americans own at least one firearm. This means teachers, Sunday School teachers, ministers, Cub Scout leaders, swim coaches and a little bit of everyone. There are excellent ambassadors for gun rights out there, everywhere. I know in today’s world of boycotts and social media outrage it’s risky to put yourself in the public eye, but if we don’t have some people stand up for what we believe in their communities, gun control activists are going to continue to try and strip us of our rights. They’re not going to do this all at once. Their plan of attack is obvious — death by a thousand cuts. It’s the capacity of the magazine, bump stocks, waiting periods and raising the age to buy a .22 LR rifle to twenty-one. It’s one little law at a time.
Let’s keep pushing data-driven decision making, but let’s also start asking these people, “What about protecting my family? Why is it okay for you to live in gated communities with armed guards, but you think those of us who can’t afford that don’t deserve any protection at all?” We need to bring their hypocrisy to light. These are the same people who say “all cops are racist murderers” out of one side of their mouth while saying “only cops need guns” out of the other side. They’re fighting dirty because they know they’re out-manned and out-gunned.
I’m not saying we sink all the way to their level, but perhaps it’s time to stop being so polite. It’s a death match, not an Ultimate Fighting Championship title fight.
About Jeremy Climer
Jeremy Climer is the publisher of MountainClimer.com, a blog about our spiritual connection to the hunt and the ethical questions of the outdoors. You can follow him on Facebook (Mountain Climer) or Instagram (@mountainclimer).