What’s A Gun Owning Liberal To Do? Political Choices?

elmer fudd
What’s A Gun Owning Liberal To Do? Political Choices?

Fayetteville, AR – -(AmmoLand.com)- Over the past couple of weeks, I have encountered a good measure of doubt that I can simultaneously be a “government-loving communist” and a supporter of gun rights.

I am not a communist, and I have many complaints with our government—PATRIOT Act, corporate sponsorship of politicians, gun control, among others—but readers see through the lenses that they choose for their vision, and “communism” these days all too often means whatever someone vaguely dislikes. There is a good question to be addressed, though.

How I can square being a gun owner and gun rights advocate while supporting the political partys that I most often find myself in agreement?

Before I get to that, however, I must respond to a particular accusation that I’m No True Scotsman. Or in the parlance of the gun community, a Fudd, the kind of gun owner who has firearms for hunting or sport, but sees no reason why ordinary people should have semiautomatic rifles that can hold more rounds than can be counted without taking off his shoes. I’m not a hunter—not because I oppose hunting but because I just never had the opportunity to get into it—and I don’t shoot skeet—though again, I have nothing against those who do. I am guilty of liking the classics. Wood and blued steel speak to my aesthetic sense. The same is true about a manual typewriter. But I write with a computer and promote that writing on Twitter, and my go-to carry guns are a Glock 19 in warm weather and a Beretta 92A1 when it’s cold outside.

But what about the politics? How can I support both gun rights and a long list of “left-wing” policies, and what choices does that leave me in elections?

Contrary to what some have speculated, I’m no libertarian, though I do have some sympathy with that ideology. But for me, the job of politics is to promote what is best for ordinary human beings. Individual rights are a fundamental part of that, as is the potential to achieve. Thus I want all of us able to own firearms for our defense and in extreme need, to tell a tyrannical government no. I also want everyone to have access to quality healthcare and education. We can disagree on how to achieve the goals of this nature, and I’m prepared to consider the evidence for and against any proposal. My principle will remain that we should do what will get us to the best results for each of us.

Voting is always difficult. As Jeff Cooper once said, “every hunt is a qualified triumph, whereas every election is a qualified disaster.” This quote is accurate about the political process no matter where anyone falls on the ideological spectra. And we have to make choices about priorities in each election. Gun rights are essential, but they are not the only thing that matters. And since I have lived all but two years of my voting life in states that are much more red than blue, I’m freer to vote my conscience, meaning that third parties get my support. If I lived in a swing state, the situation would be more agonizing.

In the same way that I’m not a Republican, I’m also not a Democrat. The latter party makes a great many promises, but the establishment is all too often a diet version of the former, willing to sell out to Wall Street and the spying agencies of the federal government, also accommodating to the interests of the politically connected. I keep calling for a new party that works for all of us, quoting from U2’s song, “Acrobat,” “I'd join the movement if there was one I could believe in. Yeah, I'd break bread and wine, if there was a church I could receive in.”

Until then, I advocate for gun rights here and in social media. And that’s been the point of this extended explanation over three articles, that we have to build a coalition of support for the Second Amendment. Identifying gun rights as something that only Republicans or right-wingers favor guarantees that those rights will be eroded year by year in political squabbles. If gun-rights supporting liberals—and I am not the only one—cannot find a place in organizations like the NRA, GOA, SAF then the exercise of those rights will be gone in short order.

Now back to defending gun rights for everyone…


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.

  • 50
    Leave a Reply

    Please Login to comment
    20 Comment threads
    30 Thread replies
    0 Followers
     
    Most reacted comment
    Hottest comment thread
    35 Comment authors
    Matthew MadsenJDThe RevelatorWild BillMB Recent comment authors
      Subscribe  
    Notify of
    Bill
    Guest
    Bill

    Regrettable that these columns are becoming about himself, and his struggle to seem to be what he also claims not to be, as he also seems at a loss about what he really is. He seems to want to be a liberal, but finds that he doesn’t really agree with what liberals believe (which has not a chance in the world of ever being consistent), which shows he probably has a few brain cells. But why is his personal struggle to define things becoming daily reading for us? I’d rather hear from him after he figures out what is what,… Read more »

    The Revelator
    Guest
    The Revelator

    @Bill Because many people have outright attacked him or tried to shout him down without actually making a case. He’s on the receiving end of a great many vile statements. He feels he is being attacked, so he is writing about being attacked. While that is going on however, there is no way to get through to him the message of what the answer to his problem or question is. THE CONSTITUTION IS THE ANSWER. Unfortunately, there are too many people here on ammoland who just want to use the comment section as their own personal ego booster where they… Read more »

    Douglas G
    Guest
    Douglas G

    LOL, look in the mirror.

    The Revelator
    Guest
    The Revelator

    @Douglas G

    Still holding a grudge? =)

    Matthew Madsen
    Guest
    Matthew Madsen

    You cant say individual rights, the potential to achieve, and what’s best for regular people are tenants of liberalism.

    Mike
    Guest
    Mike

    Most right and left self identifications are rooted in fundamental errors. Some, if not most of these errors appear to be convenient stopping places for any further examination. Peer pressure leveled upon any who diverge from the accepted norms is swift and relentless. Herd mentality, and echo chambers go hand in hand.
    I appreciate hearing from gun toting liberals, especially those who are more intelligent than many of their detractors. It’s a perspective rarely given any space or time.

    Ernesto
    Guest
    Ernesto

    Wow, some hard leaning conservatives here. I liked the article and totally agree.
    The other side of the fence – people who put labels on liberals like commies and such need to look in the mirror while they support white supremists, nazi parties and supporting russia via trump.

    Hubcap
    Guest
    Hubcap

    If you believe that crap, I feel sorry for you buddy. White supremacist, nazi party? The democraps started the kkk and followed the nazi’s. As far as russia and President Trump, I think he has hurt them more than even President Ronald Reagan did.

    Nottinghill
    Guest
    Nottinghill

    There is no such thing as ‘a progressive democrat gun-owner’. There does exist however a thing called ‘a communist gun-owning hypocrite’.
    When the media and columnists stop calling them democrats and start calling them what they truly are which is communists/marxists then the common people will get it.

    The Libertarian Party has been compromised by the lefty communists. Henceforth they are now quite irrelevant. Almost as irrelevant as the GOP and NRA has become due to the same pinko subversion.

    “If You Want It Straight by Robert Welch”.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jmISzg8sjHM
    https://archive.org/details/RobertWelchIfYouWantItStraight

    BJI
    Guest
    BJI

    Government powerful enough to give you everything you want is powerful enough to take everything you have!!!

    CHARLES WEAVER
    Guest
    CHARLES WEAVER

    I to have this same problem. I live in iowa so it can be a swing state but I have a hard time voting Democrat or Republican this last cycle I voted Libertarian. I for gay rights abortion and many liberal views but also a gun loving owner I shoot and own ar 15s and ak 47 and pistol. I also reload most my own ammo. I do fear any gun control as giving a inch they will take a mile and we all know they will not be happy till we have no guns at all. So what is… Read more »

    The Revelator
    Guest
    The Revelator

    @Charles Weaver I think you are looking at this the wrong way. Most conservatives, including Christians, do not have a problem with or hate gays. Most of us are indifferent to their life choices, or as Christians it is our religious belief that it is a sin but they have freedom of choice. The problem we do have is that we are not talking about Gay Rights, what is being pushed is discrimination against non-gay. Any that hold a religious view that disagrees with them are currently being targeted for forced participation. If you support equal rights that is fine,… Read more »

    Pete
    Guest
    Pete

    I’ve known many people who believe that once the government eliminates “assault weapons” the 2nd Amendment will be safe. They can’t name a single instance in which government regulation, once established, has not metastasized.

    Scotty Gunn
    Guest
    Scotty Gunn

    Tons of comments on here. I hit refresh, and now only three comments. Guess the ones they don’t like get purged.

    Dave in Fairfax
    Editor
    Dave in Fairfax

    I suspect that it’s a browser setting on your system. I’m showing 17 comments after a refresh. Try emptying your cache if you can’t finds the proper switch in your browser.

    Scotty Gunn
    Guest
    Scotty Gunn

    Libertarians helped elect Obama to his second term. By not voting as they felt Romney didn’t reach out enough to them directly.
    Libertarian is a fancy way to say Liberal. Old School liberal. The Left has shifted far let to Progressive, a fancy way to say socialism. The Libertarians filled the void.

    Larry Brickey
    Guest
    Larry Brickey

    Totally wrong, sir. Do you have some numbers? I voted for them the last 2 times.

    Grim
    Guest
    Grim

    I am libertarian and can say more conservative than most professed conservatives. The Constitution and Declaration of Independence say it all. No interpretation needed.

    The Revelator
    Guest
    The Revelator

    @Scotty Gunn

    Stop nominating milk toast, centrist weasels with progressive leanings and then maybe you will get our votes.

    I’m a Constitutionalist, though I sympathize with the Libertarians here. Romney, McCain, and all the other Rinos that get nominated are your problem. You want a solid turnout from actual right wing constitutionalists like myself, as well as a good chunk of Libertarians, try a Mike Lee Presidential bid. Until then stop blaming other people for your mistakes.

    DaveW
    Guest
    DaveW

    Either the Constitution means something in all it’s parts, or it does not. We can’t pick and choose which parts we will support and which we will not. If we allow one part to be ignored by anyone; a state or person; then we have given tacit approval for all to be ignored. When it is the government ignoring our rights and freedoms, when the government is only supposed to guarantee those rights and freedoms, We the People have lost the single most important right, according to George Washington and the other Founders, we have to protect our rights and… Read more »

    Ronald Nuxon
    Guest
    Ronald Nuxon

    Unless I’ve been misreading the political/ideological course in this country, for the past forty-seven years, the Democratic Party has been nearly completely taken over (infected might be more accurate) by leftist acolytes who dictate a hard left platform for the party. The europeanizing of this country is their ulterior motive. They will brook no compromise. Because gun rights validate individual rights, the left (Dems) will, at best, give only lip service to the Second Ammendment. Get over it, the Democratic Party stopped being the party of your grandfather a long time ago.

    MB
    Guest
    MB

    Gregg: If you support the socialist Democrats with being supportive of any of these: Abortion, illegal immigration, tax & spend mentality, open borders, universal healthcare, big government, regulations covering almost every aspect of human existence, then you are no friend to 2nd Amendment supporters or the American people. If you think any of these things are good for the country, you are not a Republican or Libertarian, you are a Communist.

    Oldshooter
    Guest
    Oldshooter

    Didn’t Greg say he was neither a Democrat nor a Republican? Did you read him saying he supports open borders, universal healthcare, or big government and over regulation? Maybe I missed that part, but that’s not what I read. By your comment it seems you only want to accept support for 2nd Amendment rights from folks who agree with you on every one of your personal beliefs. Here’s a news flash – there aren’t enough of those. Why would you reject honest support For gun rights from someone who disagrees with you on something else, say abortion? Build bridges and… Read more »

    JD
    Guest
    JD

    Correct Greg said he wasn’t a member of either of the relevant parties; however, the following sentence indicates he is aligned with democrats.”I also want everyone to have access to quality healthcare and education.” “Access” used in this context usually means government guaranteed. I suspect that he believes like K-12 that pre K & post secondary education should be provided cost free to the student. Access to quality healthcare to him doesn’t mean if you have means to pay for care. The flaw in those beliefs is that government providing access is not financially sustainable. The European democracies that universally… Read more »

    Grim
    Guest
    Grim

    B.S.!

    Roy D.
    Guest
    Roy D.

    When I was young the saying was, “The only thing you find in the middle of the road is a yellow streak and dead skunks.”

    Matt in Oklahoma
    Guest
    Matt in Oklahoma

    Only thing a man gets from straddling a fence is a sore crotch. Ain’t no referee in this fight standing in the middle

    Dick Younger
    Guest
    Dick Younger

    That’s why gun rights organizations must be single issue advocates. No side trips into other controversial topics that would alienate Greg Camp and others who may not be rock-ribbed Republicans!

    Will Flatt
    Guest
    Will Flatt

    Greg, I’ve been critical of your position in the past, largely because you insist on identifying as a liberal. From everything you’ve said, and in spite of your denial, you ARE more politically aligned with libertarians. I’m a libertarian, albeit a conservative-leaning one. But I don’t vote for the Libertarian party, either. However, you’re not doing yourself any favor by insisting on self-identifying as a liberal, and here’s why… While you have previously articulated your reasoning, you’re largely speaking to conservatives – at least here. And conservatives have been burned too many times by LIBERALS who STRENUOUSLY INSIST they are… Read more »

    Old Dutch
    Guest
    Old Dutch

    Sir; This is among the most reasoned, sensible and eloquent statements on this subject I have ever encountered, anywhere. Bravo, Sir. Simply outstanding. As I approach the end of my 7th decade of life, I, too, have become resigned to the likely inevitability of serious conflict, and find myself, then, referring to the words of Churchill in his “We must fight” speech to the British people at the darkest hour of the British empire, when Naziism threatened just a few miles across the Channel, and all of Europe lay beneath its boot heel. With Stalin beyond, and the Emperor of… Read more »

    JasonPinWisconsin
    Guest
    JasonPinWisconsin

    Amen. Well written/said and I concur with everything you had to offer. There is, indeed, a wide divide between the “liberals” and the “Left” in this country, and all too often the two are conflated to mean the same thing. I’m sure Greg’s ideals are ‘just’ and come from a place of empathy for his fellow man and woman. We *all* want the same thing in the end: to live our lives as best we can, in service to the Lord and one another, and to end up going to our greener-pasture with clear conscience and no regrets. Unfortunately, while… Read more »

    Carol B Combs
    Guest
    Carol B Combs

    So well said I will not even attempt to add more. Amazing Sir.

    Wild Bill
    Guest
    Wild Bill

    @WF, the greatest charm of eloquence is brevity. MCAHNY

    Hubcap
    Guest
    Hubcap

    Amen brother. Best I have seen yet.

    Jason
    Guest
    Jason

    Sir, while most of your post is agreeable, I do caution: 10 Commandments of War Propaganda: 1. We do not want war. (Claiming non-aggression) 2. The opposite party alone is guilty of war. (Those damn leftists) 3. The enemy is the face of the devil. (Anti Christian) 4. We defend a noble cause, not our self-interest. (The Constitution) 5. The enemy systematically commits cruelties; our mishaps are involuntary. (Look at the long list of the left and ignore similar Constitutional infractions by the right) 6. The enemy uses forbidden weapons. * 7. We suffer small losses, those of the enemy… Read more »

    MB
    Guest
    MB

    @Jason, Because you brought up the subject : Pregnancy involves 2 bodies, not 1, If you don’t feel that a growing child in the womb is not a human with the same rights and feelings as you, then you have no soul. Abortion is not a choice of doing what you want with your body. It’s a choice of avoidance of pregnancy or murder. In this day and age there are multiple ways to avoid an unwanted pregnancy, but the one that always works is keeping legs closed. In invite you to witness the results of an abortion, I am… Read more »

    Grim
    Guest
    Grim

    you sound pretty judgmental to me.

    MB
    Guest
    MB

    There is a difference between opinionated vs judgmental. Your statement was the latter.

    The Revelator
    Guest
    The Revelator

    @MB As a Second to what you said sir, a Mother and baby are two lives. The only time under the Constitution one life gets to forfeit the right of life of another is if that other life purposefully infringed on the rights of the other. To Jason, “I don’t like abortions one bit, but the adult gets to choose what they do with THEIR OWN body parts. NOT YOU!” Simple solution, choose not to connect your body parts with another human being. That is usually a safe bet that a Baby will not wind up in a womb. If… Read more »

    VaWhiteTailHunter76VPI
    Guest
    VaWhiteTailHunter76VPI

    Well stated Will Flatt. Nothing I can add to your well-written reply!

    Jason
    Guest
    Jason

    I do have to say I am disappointed by posters to this site in the last article. For whatever reasons, I am not allowed to reply to their comments. Thank you for your clarification on why you lean left instead of Libertarian. I get it and I understand. But there will be no affordable healthcare in this country nor easy access due to BOTH sides of the political spectrum. We are massively overcharged for healthcare and medicine. If you think the left is the answer for this problem, you only need to look at how expensive health care became under… Read more »

    Crotalus Maxximus
    Guest
    Crotalus Maxximus

    Will Flatt is correct on all points. Traitor NY Sen. Gillibrand is a prime example of Will’s democrat liars. Say and do anything to seize power. Then turn on the people that supported you. Haven’t you read Animal Farm Gregg?

    Wild Bill
    Guest
    Wild Bill

    @CM, Yeah, but WF uses a lot of band with.

    JD
    Guest
    JD

    Corporations, Banks & Wall St. spend a lot of money on lobbyist and their employees contribute the maximum campaign contributions to DC swamp dwellers; because, the swamp can help or hurt business. If you don’t play the game you are dinner. If Greg & fellow “Statists” desire a lot less power for corporations they have to give up on government providing free stuff. POTUS has been restricting the scope of government restriction of political speech. The Democrats don’t believe in free political speech as indicated by their reaction to the SCOTUS decision that struck down the century old prohibition of… Read more »

    Mike S.
    Guest
    Mike S.

    Greg,
    Do you have a contact email address I could request?

    Duane
    Guest
    Duane

    I have found like a squirrel in the middle of the road people that can not make up their mind on what way to go.

    Tend to get run over.

    Ward Dorrity
    Guest
    Ward Dorrity

    The only things you tend to find in the middle of the road are yellow stripes and roadkill.

    Bill Wright
    Guest
    Bill Wright

    Let me know when you find a government program that
    1. Accomplished its original goal.
    2. Stayed within budget.
    3. Is not riddled with internal corruption and external fraud.
    4. Is not staffed by a good portion of idiots and slackers.
    5. Is not bankrupt or nearly so.
    6. Has not been turned into a political football.
    7. Has an actual constitutionally enumerated mandate.
    8. Has not been used to enrich political favorites.
    9. Was terminated when “the work was done”.
    A belief in the efficiency and effectiveness of government is quasi-religious. Our founders had no such illusions.

    VaWhiteTailHunter76VPI
    Guest
    VaWhiteTailHunter76VPI

    Well said Bill Wright!

    VaWhiteTailHunter76VPI
    Guest
    VaWhiteTailHunter76VPI

    Well stated Bill Wright!