United States – -(AmmoLand.com)- Some anti-Second Amendment extremists have tried to play gun owners off against each other – a form of divide-and-conquer strategy. The Brady Campaign has notoriously used this approach over the years, saying it has no beef with “responsible gun owners,” just the “radical gun nuts” and the “gun lobby” who are endangering public safety.
The thing is… Second Amendment supporters – including loyal Ammoland readers – believe in responsible gun ownership.
The basic rules of firearms safety are just the beginning. The fact of the matter is that Second Amendment supporters need to reclaim the mantle of “responsible gun ownership” from the Brady bunch.
Because responsible gun ownership isn’t just about following the rules of firearms safety. While following those are a good start, the responsibilities that come with exercising our Second Amendment rights extend far beyond just avoiding accidents. The real goal, as Tom Gresham noted a few years back, is about positively affecting the perception of gun ownership.
Hunters have, ironically, done some of the best work at maintaining a positive perception despite their small numbers – to the point that anti-Second Amendment extremists often are going out of their way to say they aren’t coming for hunting rifles. Contrast that to the way they target those who use firearms for self-defense.
How did hunters avoid the opprobrium of anti-Second Amendment extremists? Glen Wunderlich noted some of the ways they have done so. One of the biggest factors, though, was emphasizing that they hunted in an ethical fashion – and there is open discussion and debate about what is and is not ethical in hunting. This helped convince the many Americans who don’t hunt that hunters weren’t cruel and that they treated the land they hunted on with respect, among other things. To put it bluntly, they maintained the good will of their fellow Americans.
Maintaining goodwill with those fellow Americans who don’t exercise their Second Amendment rights and those who are just starting to do so is perhaps one of the biggest responsibilities of those who do exercise the right to keep and bear arms. The lies of anti-Second Amendment extremists often target not just policy issues, but our character as well. We beat that by being mindful of how we come across as we defend the Second Amendment. The right approach can win support.
Also important will be ensuring that our freedoms – and the importance of defending them – are successfully passed down to the next generation. The efforts should start at home but should also encompass efforts to spread anti-Second Amendment propaganda in your locality’s public schools.
Most importantly, Second Amendment supporters should be joining pro-Second Amendment organizations and not just at the national level. They need to support state-level organizations and local groups as well. Most importantly is remaining involved with groups like the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action and Political Victory Fund to ensure that the current anti-Second Amendment regimes in the House, Senate, and White House – as well as anti-Second Amendment officials at the state and local levels – are defeated at the ballot box as soon as possible.
About Harold Hutchison
Writer Harold Hutchison has more than a dozen years of experience covering military affairs, international events, U.S. politics and Second Amendment issues. Harold was consulting senior editor at Soldier of Fortune magazine and is the author of the novel Strike Group Reagan. He has also written for the Daily Caller, National Review, Patriot Post, Strategypage.com, and other national websites.