Everybody Should Be Welcome!

I was born shortly after WW II in a part of Upstate New York steeped in American History going back to the time of the French and Indian Wars.

My parents were married after my father returned from serving in the Navy in the Pacific.

I grew up in the 1950s and 1960s, the first President I remember was Eisenhower.

As a kid I fished, ran all over on my bicycle.  I had a .410 and hunted rabbits and partridge.

I read my father’s copies of Field and Stream and Outdoor Life.

The NRA gave gun safety classes.

As an adult I went off to the California in time for Ronald Reagan to sign the first draconian gun law in California into effect.  It was really aimed at disarming black folks, particularly the Black Panther Party.

Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership has lots of information regarding the racist roots of gun control.

Gun ownership and the right to keep and bear arms should be for every one.  That includes women, LGBT people, people of color and people of any and all religions or no religion at all.  It shouldn’t matter what your political leanings are.

From Hickok 45:  http://www.hickok45.com/gun-culture-2-0/

March 12, 2017

Occasionally I’m reminded that there are still a great many firearms enthusiasts clinging to the notion that in order to be a shooter and 2nd Amendment supporter, a person must fit a certain mold. While 99% of the firearms community seems to have pretty much gotten over the gender and race thing, I still notice quite often that you’d better be pretty enthusiastic about praying with the group and voting Republican if you want to be a member of the “club.”

It appears we still often require our 2nd amendment supporters to be pretty far right wing in both religion and political party. That’s all well and good for small groups and clubs here and there if that’s the overwhelming desire of their members; however, if our intention is to bring in more shooters and future 2nd Amendment advocates, how about we focus on the Bill of Rights and try not to alienate potential recruits with needless political party and religious affiliation grandstanding.  It does nothing for the cause, even if it does make us feel better about ourselves.

And yes, anybody who is offended is not forced to attend your event or meeting. That is exactly right. And guess what, they won’t. If your objective is to form a splinter group of your church or political party, have at it; you’ll get a small group of intensely loyal, energetic followers and attendees, but you’ll do nothing to help bring in the millions of young people out there who are often quite independent in their thinking these days. THEY are the future of the 2nd Amendment, not you or me.

While Gun Culture 2.0 has been written about and discussed a great deal lately, this issue is not just about age. In addition to making certain we are welcoming young people into our sport, we must continue to make certain we are not turning off ANYBODY who is interested in participating in the shooting sports and helping support the 2nd Amendment.

My concern about the future of the 2nd Amendment is that we are not opening the doors wide enough for everybody and making them feel welcome. By “everybody” I mean anybody who is honest, safe, supports the 2nd Amendment, and enjoys the shooting sports. Their political party preference, religious preference, gender, race, nationality, or sexual preference should not be factors. And, of course, it’s easy to say that none of these things ARE factors, until a prospective new shooter gets up the courage to venture out to a 2nd Amendment meeting or event and is surprised by all the praying and Democrat bashing. He doesn’t complain or say anything, of course; he just doesn’t come back to that or any other event, and he may even lose interest in pursuing the hobby. After all, the crusty old ill-tempered guy at his local gun shop seems to be cut from the same cloth.

As one who “leans Libertarian” myself and tends to have a few “out of the box” views on many issues, I sympathize with folks who find firearms fascinating and want to support gun rights, yet just don’t feel all that welcome in the shooting community.  And what’s wrong with THAT picture; why would anyone ever foster an environment that is not welcoming to one of our own “kind,” a shooting enthusiast!  Much of it is unintentional, of course, which is why I’m suggesting we all make an effort to think about this.

Continue reading at:  http://www.hickok45.com/gun-culture-2-0/

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