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 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.