Ideological Purity or A Coalition Of The Willing Fighting for Gun Rights

Opinion

AK-47 Kalashnikov
the fight to protect gun rights is a coalition of the willing, not something that we can only do if we all agree on every plank of a particular party’s platform. AK-47 Kalashnikov file photo.

Fayetteville, AR –-(Ammoland.com)- The comment section to my last article erupted in a blaze of friendly—and not so friendly—fire over my identification as a liberal and a progressive. According to many who responded, my position is one of compromise and communism, one that endangers the purity of the bodily fluids of the gun rights movement.

Where to begin? On the question of identifying the American left with Marxism. Some politicians—Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, for example—call themselves democratic socialists, by which they mean something different from what was meant by the now-defunct regimes of the Soviet Bloc, but most members of the Democratic Party in this country would fit in well with parties like the Tories in Britain.

I don’t expect many readers to agree, and the question is really a side issue in any case.

The central points are the nature of rights and how much anyone is willing to compromise on them.

One problem that shows up when we try to answer the first of those is that we all seem to have our own personal lists, and the conversation gets bogged down in the details before any unified field theory of rights is agreed upon. In my view, generally speaking, if what I’m doing does not force you to be involved, you have no justification for telling me not to do it. I think that is a point we can all agree on.

The succinct formulation of this is that I support the ability of a married same-sex couple to defend their legal pot farm with AK-47s—real ones, too, not just the semiautomatic versions that are within the price range of ordinary people in this country. Or AR-15s or whatever firearms they believe would best serve their interests. Which is to say that when they are on their private land doing their own things, I might be an invited guest, but in general terms, it’s none of my business.

Now if, let’s say, they are spraying some toxic chemical on their plants that flows downstream and gets into the environment, the situation has changed. That would mean that others are involved. Even in many cases in which others are made to participate to some degree, we should all be restrained in how much we feel entitled to tell others what to do. The car at the gas station that is pulsing with what its driver believes to be music is annoying, but this too shall pass. If, by contrast, ordinances that forbid the blasting of noise that wakes people up in the middle of the night are an acknowledgment that those sleepers also have rights.

How does this apply to gun rights?

It means that if you’ve spent your own money to buy firearms, ammunition, sighting devices, reloading equipment and parts, and sundry accessories to all of the above, congratulations and go in peace. I will do the same. The AK-47 was designed for people with shorter arms than mine, so I’ve given them a pass (yes, I know there are aftermarket stocks), but I love my Yugo SKS. I’ve learned to enjoy my ARs—15 and 10—and they have standard capacity magazines. As do my carry guns. I have no use for bump stocks, but banning them is plain silly and a slippery slope.

My point? The choices that I make regarding my armory are my right, as are the choices that you make regarding yours. Please don’t point your guns at me, and refrain from firing them without knowing where your shots are going—in other words, don’t harm people who aren’t trying to hurt you—and it’s all good. The law should reflect that.

I see little point in talking about compromises with the other side. Since gun control fails on pragmatic grounds—it doesn’t work as advertised and rarely does anything at all other than making life more difficult for those who aren’t doing anything wrong—and I’ve yet to meet a gun control advocate who understands that compromise means that both sides give some to get some.

The bottom line, the point that I’m sure I’ll return to in the future, is that the fight to protect gun rights is a coalition of the willing, not something that we can only do if we all agree on every plank of a particular party’s platform. Will most readers here agree with me on healthcare, a border wall, or taxes? Probably not. And so what? The more important subject here is gun rights, and working across the aisle whenever possible is a better way to preserve the exercise of those rights.


About Greg CampGreg Camp

Greg Camp has taught English composition and literature since 1998 and is the author of six books, including a western, The Willing Spirit, and Each One, Teach One, with Ranjit Singh on gun politics in America. His books can be found on Amazon. He tweets @gregcampnc.

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    ProctorJasonWill FlattMichaelWilliam Flatt Recent comment authors
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    Proctor
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    Proctor

    Small government is the only way to protect all of our rights. Government should stay out of our armories, our healthcare, and our bed rooms. Compromise only moves us closer to tyranny.

    Michael
    Guest
    Michael

    Please reset to the year 1935. Learn from it or go through it all again. SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED. NO COMPROMISE, NO RETREAT, NO SURRENDER…dark o’ the moon…-30-

    Will Flatt
    Guest
    Will Flatt

    Amen!!

    The Green Watch Dog
    Guest
    The Green Watch Dog

    Thank you Greg Camp for sharing as I do agree that one should be able to keep their firearms, ammunition, etc. providing that they we legal when sold. However, when one falls to use their weapon in an irresponsible manner, or for example, they leave their loaded weapon left on the dash of their truck and it gets stolen, then let the consequences rain down. Primary reason why we are discussing this issue as irresponsibility has created gun control laws.

    Will Flatt
    Guest
    Will Flatt

    GWD, your astounding lack of understanding never fails to deliver. It was NOT irresponsibility that caused gun control to get started in this country, it was racism. Democrats wanted to keep blacks disarmed so their militant wing, the KKK (the period’s version of Antifa) could go out and lynch blacks with impunity. Later when machine guns were required to be taxed, licensed, etc. in 1934, it was Democrats again who wanted to deprive law-abiding people of weapons common to the militia; not because of irresponsibility but because of criminal misuse by a few bank robbers, and certain gangsters (i.e. the… Read more »

    Brandon white VA
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    Brandon white VA

    Look it is a fact that our 2 is being shit on right now as we all set in our houses just taking about what should be for both sides of guns at some point we’re going to have to get out of the house and get real about our gun rights really do something for a change instead of hoping that the ones that we put in office will do it for us giving money is a good thing but being hands on will go far I know people who are just fed up with it but it’s our… Read more »

    William Flatt
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    William Flatt

    I agree with you wholeheartedly, but to do what needs to be done, we need to organize into quick reaction teams county by county. Then state by state. And then develop a plan, and train. This is the ‘well-regulated’ part of 2A. People also have to be willing to put pin to primer when the time comes, and do it without hesitation. People who commit to doing this have to know that their brothers-in-RKBA *REALLY* have their backs, that they’re not gonna be left twisting in the breeze otherwise they won’t be as inclined to get messy when the day… Read more »

    A.x. Perez
    Guest
    A.x. Perez

    There are these things called primary elections. Liberal gunnies win primary election. They win election. they vote pro gun in state legislatures and congress. Their party(ies) punish them, but their constituents re-elect them.

    as gunnies, we will not be able to protect our rights otherwise.
    Don’t chase off pro gun liberals.

    KuhnKat
    Guest
    KuhnKat

    There are liberals then there are leftists. I know of no liberals in office. Most people called liberals now are leftists with big gubmint on their minds and not small, minimum interference gubmint liberal ideas.

    Don’t even think about voting for pro gun leftists. It won’t matter if they support your gun rights. Their party will take them in a nano.

    Green Mtn. Boy
    Guest
    Green Mtn. Boy

    @ A.x. Perez

    “Don’t chase off pro gun liberals.”

    I have yet to find even one of those elusive critters,when questioned on the Second Amendment as written,they always start out ,to a person,I believe in the 2 nd. amendment,BUT.

    When questioned further on the 2 nd. and their but,turns out they don’t believe in the 2 nd. as written and are more than willing to accept infringements and some that aren’t even proposed,even more draconian infringements of a natural right,turns out to be a waste of words and time. They believe in the 2 nd.,But Don’t !

    JD
    Guest
    JD

    Greg, The problem with your article that got so many negative reactions is that your definition of liberal is so 1950’s & 1960’s. You are a classic liberal. The 1960’s campus Democrats stole the liberal name for their progressive ideology. So classic liberals had to call themselves libertarians. Progressives can’t tolerate a robust 1st or 2nd amendment. The 1st because their ideology can’t thrive with robust debate, nor the free exercise of religion. The 2nd because they fear their fellow residents. Those who used the communist word when Fabian socialist is more appropriate didn’t really mean that Burney and his… Read more »

    Ricosuave
    Guest
    Ricosuave

    Yes I fear we will be left with no choice but to defend our 2nd Amendment rights as well as the other amendments by force with those that wish to impose their will on to those of us who believe to treat each other as we wish to be treated to paraphrase a famous saying. It will be a shame but if the Left continue it will eventually come to that and blood will run..

    tomcat
    Guest
    tomcat

    I guess Greg Camp is correct, if we don’t like what he writes then we don’t have to read it. Eventually, the well may run dry and ammoland may not accept his articles if no one is reading them except the Left. We have heard so many liberals talk about their guns then in the end we find they have never had one of those”nasty things.” Maybe this is the same as other liberals or maybe not< I have no way of knowing but one thing I am sure of is that no one is going to play snake oil… Read more »

    Green Mtn. Boy
    Guest
    Green Mtn. Boy

    @ tomcat

    You are correct,I’m done with any articles by this author.

    Will Flatt
    Guest
    Will Flatt

    I’m with Green Mtn. Boy on this. I’m done with reading anything from Mr. Camp anymore. Let the well run dry now. If I click on an article, it will be only to read the comments, and that’s a very big very tenuous if at that!!

    Douglas G
    Guest
    Douglas G

    Mr. Camp, You seem to think that the “other side” is virtuous and honest and will be satisfied with the mutual compromise agreed upon. Through experience, we gun owners and 2ndA supporters KNOW that is not the case. For every inch of compromise we’ve made they’ve always come back for more. To them the best solution is always the next one. The best gun law will be the next gun law. I don’t doubt your support of 2ndA rights, right now, but how one of your particular ideology could benefit the NRA is where my concern was with your last… Read more »

    Oldshooter
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    Oldshooter

    Greg, are you sure you’re not really a Libertarian? For most of my life I thought I was a conservative, and couldn’t figure out why all my friends thought I was a liberal. I could never find my spot on the “Liberal vs. Conservative”scale. I usually ended up just describing myself as a Constitutionalist; after all, I swore an oath, which I have always taken seriously, to defend our Constitution. Then, a few years ago I ran into a group at my local coffee house who shared my general outlook-they turned out to be Libertarians.

    ChiptheBarber
    Guest
    ChiptheBarber

    Are you sure you are a liberal and progressive, Mr. Camp? You certainly don’t sound like one. Speaking in terms of individual rights and freedoms certainly seems to preclude you from that camp.

    Nathan Hale
    Guest
    Nathan Hale

    I have a personal gun range on my property and from time to time, Liberal, gun owning aquaintences ask to use it. My response to them is “ Sure, if you are an NRA, GOA , or a member of any other gun rights organization.” If not, I then ask them to only use firearms that aren’t “ assault rifles “ , have limited capacity magazines, no lead ammunition and must store their weapons at my house, in my gun safe. To date, no Liberals have complied with my gun control mandates for range use. Irony is a bitch .

    Crotalus Maxximus
    Guest
    Crotalus Maxximus

    Fact. Joe Sixpack union man will vote for his pay check over his rights. He/She will sell out the freedom of his children and grand children by swallowing his union bosses B.S. about being oppressed by ‘the company”. The liberal’s have formed a coalition of all the ten percenters in order to rule over the conservative majority of this country .

    Brandon white
    Guest
    Brandon white

    You have that right 100%

    rich z
    Guest
    rich z

    Yes, The Tree of Liberty will grow some new branches soon.

    Jason
    Guest
    Jason

    As a libertarian, I see how divided this country has become. Both sides (left and right) see the other side as complete idiots who are going to destroy everything good. I did not read the article that sparked this animosity you are receiving, but judging by your words in this one, you sound more libertarian than liberal. Live and let live. Non-aggression principle. Maybe you should look into the the libertarian platform. That aside, I have converted many liberals on the gun issue but they are still liberals on other issues. I’m not here to change their ideology, I only… Read more »

    Korl G.
    Guest
    Korl G.

    I like this perspective to be honest, if only more peeps thought like this.

    Heed the Call-up
    Guest
    Heed the Call-up

    Jason, your condescension of firearm owners posting to this site is duly noted. You need to understand that this site is geared toward gun owners, not anti-rights, anti-Constitutionalists. I bet if you went to a Leftist news site (aka MSM site), you’d see much worse stated about firearm owners than you see here about anti-rights, anti-constitutionalists. Discussions here are not how we interact with the unwashed masses. Your interactions and experiences with non-firearm owners are similar to mine and, I would expect, many others here. Non-firearm owners, just like most other people, tend to have a fear of the unknown.… Read more »

    Jason
    Guest
    Jason

    I thank you for your thoughts. You seem a reasonable person. I believe in freedom above all else. If it doesn’t take someone else’s freedom, then whomever wants to be free in whatever endeavor they choose should be free to do so. No, libertarians are not to the right side. Take the “world’s smallest political quiz” and see that libertarians are north of the ideological spectrum with communism/socialism to the south. Left/Right are two sides of the same coin, both want to tell others what to do, but just disagree about what manner they should bully people.

    Wilhelm Flatz
    Guest
    Wilhelm Flatz

    I’ve gotta agree with Ansel on this. Gun-owning Lefties will vote for other lefties, which means they’re voting against their own interests… AND OURS. Kinda like the fudds who agree with $#!t like bump stock bans because that doesn’t affect their ability to go hunting (for now). Bottom line is, there is no “working with the other side of the aisle”. That side wants to decimate our rights and liberties, whether they openly admit it or not. They want to dilute our suffrage by allowing illegal aliens to vote (for the Left), they want open borders so an unlimited number… Read more »

    Jason
    Guest
    Jason

    You are fear mongering. You are just as big an enemy to freedom as the people you fear in doing so.

    You fail to realize that if you can make inroads on one subject, they might begin to question the motives of the people they vote for.

    And don’t fall for the trap, the government wants YOU to fire the first shot. Are you that fool?

    Bill
    Guest
    Bill

    Fear mongering is valid when it is the truth….

    Jason
    Guest
    Jason

    No its not. Just speak the truth. Quit trying to scare people into your way of thinking like the left does with global warming and assault rifles. Further, your line about the left voting for anti-gun politicians….. how many voted for Reagan? He signed the 1986 NFA. How was this so great for the right? Trump’s bump stock ban is really a semi-auto ban lying in wait. Did you vote for Trump? If so, then I admonish you the way you admonish the author of this article. If you voted for Trump, you voted the bump stock ban on me.… Read more »

    Heed the Call-up
    Guest
    Heed the Call-up

    Jason, Reagan was not pro-gun. He signed a law banning firearms in public when he was CA governor. Who do you believe had a chance at winning that would have been a better choice? The only other real choice was Hillary, and we know her opinion of our rights – she called the NRA a terrorist organization.

    Wilhelm Flatz
    Guest
    Wilhelm Flatz

    Jason, the government has already fired the first shot, repeatedly. People have been killed in the name of gun confiscation. You’re such a fudd. Go home.

    Jason
    Guest
    Jason

    I am home and thank you very much for calling me a name. I hope you have a wonderful Christmas too.

    Oh, and thank you for enlightening me as to the ultimate measures governments will go to to disarm people. I had no idea. Wow, you are so smart. You must like have a college degree or something. I guess I have to retreat to my safe space because I just got schooled by the best.

    Heed the Call-up
    Guest
    Heed the Call-up

    Jason, you fail at condescension. You are correct, though, about being schooled. The question is whether or not you paid attention in class and learned something.

    Synchophantic Leftists are not able think for themselves. If they were able to question anything, they’d have already done so. It’s like trying to get someone to stop believing in God and religion. Leftism is their religion.

    Green Mtn. Boy
    Guest
    Green Mtn. Boy

    I don’t bother in engaging with leftists who claim to be gun owners aka fudds,it’s a exercise known as verbal masturbation.

    Rev. Cliff
    Guest
    Rev. Cliff

    Very well said sir, until or unless we find it within our ranks to allow a variety of positions we are as guilty as those whom we scorn as being closed minded. I also find myself on the left side of many social issues and on the FAR right side of the aisle on 2A. I think it is also helpful to remind ourselves that only a minority of supporters of this site and the gun issue ever volunteer their opinions and I wonder if some of the reluctance might be concern for how those voices would be received. Thank… Read more »

    Heed the Call-up
    Guest
    Heed the Call-up

    Rev. Cliff, if the others, which are silent readers, don’t believe in our rights and Constitution, you are correct, many that regularly post here would not be receptive to their ideas. Most of us that regularly post here believe in our inalienable rights and we are active in various rights groups, contact our reps and vote. We are “closed-minded” when you want to “compromise” on our rights.

    Ansel Hazen
    Guest
    Ansel Hazen

    Sorry Greg. None of you can be trusted to do what you claim to be asking for. POTG have been burnt too many times.
    It’s NOT ONE MORE INCH for me. I won’t even entertain any sort of discussion on the matter. And just to be clear, I don’t see any hope resolving this at the voting booth. My answer to everything now is join your states militia because I think we are headed towards refreshing the Tree of Liberty.

    Clark Kent
    Guest
    Clark Kent

    I doubt you ever got off of your fat azz to bother to register to vote; much less cast a ballot. Tough talk from a dweeb.

    Wilhelm Flatz
    Guest
    Wilhelm Flatz

    You’re clearly projecting, fat boy.

    Ansel Hazen
    Guest
    Ansel Hazen

    Indeed he is Wilhelm, if Ammoland allowed linking I would post the pic I took of my ballot for the 2016 election. Clarkyboi is clearly triggered and I’m glad to see it.

    1776 Patriot
    Guest
    1776 Patriot

    “I think we are headed towards refreshing the Tree of Liberty.”
    YES, inexorably and slowly increasing speed!