By Dan Shea
I had the good fortune to be among friends at the SHOT show, albeit in my current normal state of over-tired, shell-shocked somnambulance. The conversations were great, the camaraderie excellent, and the mood was fairly upswing- especially considering the doom and gloom that has been flying around of late.
There was certainly a lot of discussion about what the enemies of the Constitution are trying to do, but instead of people laying down, buckling under, or running for the hills, well, there was a lot of fighting back going on. It was certainly a pleasure to hear that almost everyone who cared to join in the conversations had plans to work for political strength. In the face of adversity, the measure of men and women is whether they look the problem straight on, buckle up, and continue to do what is right, or whether they turn and run.
I don’t think that it is cowardly to make good tactical plans that sometimes require retreat, or even engineer a fake rout- the goals may require it. However, much of the firearms community’s response in the past has been dictated by the “Divide and conquer” mentality of our enemies. They have been quite successful in pitting the Trap shooters against the duck hunters, against the Cowboy Shooters, against the collectors, and EVERYONE against those nasty military gun “Nuts”.
There is a sea change in the air- the conversations that I was privy to had many converts to the understanding that it is not about “What” guns are bad, it is about “All” guns are bad, they simply want to get rid of each category as it rises to negative publicity. Some have been pointing this out since 1968. Now that the Anti-Second Amendment fanatics have started calling bolt-action rifles with good glass on them “Sniper” rifles, and talking about bans or restrictions, though, it has really started to get some attention.
We have spoken amongst ourselves about the “Camel getting his nose into the tent”, and discussed the obvious outcome of that, but many people didn’t know what a camel looked like. Well, here is one, for all to see. Gun Banners are just that- they want to ban all guns. In many ways, we have allowed the public opinion to be swayed against us, by playing into the media’s hands. Time to take that back. Stand tall, get the vote out. Don’t let lies stand in the media, nor in the legislatures.
I have said “Enemy” in this short essay. I meant it. If you can take a moment to read the hate that is inside the Anti- Second Amendment fanatic’s literature, or discretely listen to their private discussions when you happen to be around them. Many favor rounding up firearms owners and “Putting us away”. My unspoken mental response is that this is precisely “Why” I really don’t want to give up the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, nor will I surrender that Right being passed on to my children. God, in his infinite wisdom, save us from the omniscient do-gooders.
Again, preaching to the choir isn’t all that productive, but I personally want to see every man, woman and child that cares about Freedom out there, working to get the votes out this fall. This is the one that counts. This is the year that counts, perhaps more than many other elections in the past. Let’s stick together on this, and see if we can have a “Make a Difference Day” ourselves- on November 7th.
|This article first appeared in Small Arms Review V3N6 (March 2000)|