“The Liberal Gun Owners™ organization has made a very simple, but bold, offer to Federally Licensed Firearms Dealers across the country:
“If you aren’t sure about the buyer, don’t sell them the gun… and our organization will buy it from you.”
The offer from LGO isn’t designed to reduce the number of gun owners. It isn’t a plot to deny American’s their gun rights. LGO believes that there are times when the person at the gun counter “knows” that something isn’t quite right with the buyer and, without anything objective to go on, will make the choice to sell the gun anyway and that some portion of that decision is, understandably, financial. Gun Shops are in the business of selling guns. Retail employees’ job includes selling guns. Now, LGO is offering to take the financial factor out of the equation. Why? Ostensibly, LGO believes that this action might interrupt a negative outcome involving firearms. In the video where he introduces the idea, Randy Miyan, LGO’s Executive Director, explains that denying the sale might disrupt the plotting phase of a mass killing. The denial could also derail a suicide plan as well.
Miyan references Secret Service and FBI Research on Mass Shooters while explaining the group’s proposal. He acknowledges that some killers cannot be stopped ahead of time, but that others quite possibly could be. “These people you can intervene behaviorally and you can thwart the plan. Sometimes, all it takes is a diversion…”
This reasoning falls in line with research on the impulsive nature of Suicide with a firearm as well. Walk The Talk America, a gun community organization focused on preventing negative outcomes at the “intersection of guns and mental health” recommends that people set up ways to “cause a pause” that can interrupt an impulsive suicide or rage event with their own firearm by simply placing a picture of loved ones or other emotional reminder of the good that life has to offer on their gun safe or wherever they store/stage their firearms.
This initiative from Liberal Gun Owners™ falls in line with something that I’ve advised for many years: We, the gun community, are in the best position to reduce negative outcomes involving firearms. We have a responsibility to do so… and, if we don’t exercise our rights responsibly, we know that others will try to legislate their version of responsibility upon us. That means restrictions upon our rights. Unconstitutional and unfair Government infringements punish people who’ve done nothing wrong. The LGO Proposal is simple and doesn’t involve the government. It is a self-policing strategy that demonstrates concern and responsibility.
I have been told countless stories by gun shop owners and employees who denied sales for any number of “gut feelings” based on things a potential buyer said or did. Sometimes, the stories indicate concerns about criminal activity, sometimes suicide, sometimes straw purchases. Working in the gun industry carries the burden of knowing that you may manufacture or sell the gun, ammunition or other item that is eventually involved in a tragic event. We may teach the technique or skill that is used maliciously or performed poorly, resulting in a death. Most of us take these issues very seriously and put sincere effort into avoiding those potentials. AS the NSSF initiative launched at the 2020 SHOT Show reminds us, Gun Owners Care. There are many organizations and programs that demonstrate our communities dedication to reducing negative outcomes. The aforementioned WTTA, Hold My Guns and The Kids S.A.F.E. Foundation are a few obvious examples of groups offering proactive solutions to avoid catastrophe. If you aren’t familiar with Liberal Gun Owners™, you should check them out. I’m an independent moderate myself, and I firmly believe that we should be working to remove the partisan politics from gun rights issues. That said, we need the voices of gun owners who are outside of the conservative orthodoxy to be part of the conversation, especially when the Democrats control the seats of power in our country.
As a personal defense educator, I have to remind people that Evil Exists. We may be visited by that Evil and we must be prepared to respond to that evil to protect ourselves and those we care about. That means being armed (with tools and knowledge) to stop a threat, having emergency medical skills & equipment and having a mindset that we can and should be prepared to respond to unpreventable events. All that said, we must not simply accept the existence of “evil” or the inevitability of negative outcomes involving guns.
The offer from LGO to take the profit motive out of the decision making process when a gun dealer is hesitating to sell a gun to someone who might pose a threat to themselves or others is a simple way to demonstrate that we are not a callous community that ignores our responsibility to do what we can to make Earth better. The reality is that we own guns to protect life and we also make decisions every day that can do the same. “
What are your thoughts on this outside-the-box move?