The Eclectic One

…Because labels are a poor substitute for thinking

Gun-Toting …Liberal? -Nah!

Posted by Bill Nance on April 2, 2009

I had a conversation a while back with an acquaintance who was going on and on about the “right” to torture, the virtues of the Iraq invasion and the evils of “liberals,” who was appalled when I took him to task on all of the above.

The reason I’m keeping the guy completely anonymous is that frankly, he’s one of the more typical right-wing gun nuts I run across (there are plenty of left-wing gun-nuts out there too)! and like so many of those on the ask-no-questions, salute the flag, God is on our side Far-Right, he was woefully misinformed about everything except guns.

When I finished bashing Bush’s statism, constitution bashing and inept handling of Iraq, my acquaintance informed me that I was a “liberal.” (I think as an insult).  But when we decided to change the subject to guns he was amazed to find I not only owned several, shot them regularly and had a concealed weapons permit for many years but was adamant about the importance of the Second Amendment to the U.S.  Constitution.

What’s sad about the gun community is that it’s become a pawn of the extreme right. They’ve taken advantage of the idiocy of the Democratic party over guns and made it a signature issue, all the while manipulating the hell out of gun-nuts (which I proudly admit to being).

One of the things I’ll never forgive the Clintons for is the stupid “assault weapons” ban.  This idiotic piece of legislation handed the GOP and the extreme right a wedge issue on a silver platter which they’ve been milking ever since. And only recently has there been any pushback from the Dems on this (small though it’s been).

In America, gun control does not equate to less crime. I realize that among many doctrinaire “liberals” (whatever the Hell that means anymore) this is heresy, but facts are facts. Statistics have shown conclusively that the AWB did nothing to substantively reduce gun violence.  According to the Justice Department:

Should it [The Assault Weapons Ban] be renewed, the ban’s effects on gun violence are likely to be small at best and perhaps too small for reliable measurement. AWs [Assault Weapons defined by the AWB]were rarely used in gun crimes even before the ban. LCMs [Large Capacity Magazines] are involved in a more substantial share of gun crimes, but it is not clear how often the outcomes of gun attacks depend on the ability of offenders to fire more than ten shots (the current magazine capacity limit) without reloading.

The Democrats were saddled with the label of gun-grabbers before 1993, but after the passage of the AWB that label had more meaning than ever before, because it outlawed many firearms commonly in use by enthusiasts, replacement magazines for hundreds of firearms and was (rightly) seen as the first step in a move towards a complete ban of privately owned firearms.  And not people to lose an opportunity, the extreme right-wing lost no time at all in grabbing these disenfranchised voters, filling them with conspiracy theories and paranoia and setting them loose on the polls.  A giant proprtion of the anti-Obama vote this last election came from gun-owners who took one look at Obama’s dismal record on the issue and voted the other way.  If the Dems continue battering this issue at all, they will push yet more people away, and it seems as though at least a few people in the party are taking notice of this.

But back to the subject at hand, to wit: how can someone not buying into Guns, God and Flag uber alles be a gun nut?  How about because I simply enjoy the shooting sports? Or because I like to collect firearms? Or more importantly because I realize that an armed person never need be a helpless victim to criminals or our own government –Which has always seemed to me the best reason for the right to keep and bear arms being enshrined in our constitution.

The Wingnut-right may have taken over much of the gun rights argument, but not all of it.

As I said to my shocked acquaintance: Gun control isn’t about liberalism, it’s about totalitarianism.  The first among all human rights is the right of self defense. Once this right is gone, all the rest are soon to follow.  Am I a “Liberal?” Nah!  Because once again….Labels are a poor substitute for thinking.


One Response to “Gun-Toting …Liberal? -Nah!”

  1. […] by Bill Nance on April 6, 2009 I wrote last week about the far-right’s dominance over the gun community and despaired that everyone else in […]

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