We in the business of gun rights advocacy hear about "The Gun Culture" every day. It's a subjective term and the connotation of the phrase depends entirely upon which side of the debate it is coming from.
Those who are anti gun, whether they are against all guns, the "scary" guns, certain accessories which can be added to guns, or the lawful ownership of guns, use the phrase in order to invoke fear and disgust. They would have their fear mongering faithful believe that all of us with guns are somehow a threat to their personal pursuit of life, liberty, and happiness. They produce endless propaganda and skewed statistics which are based on misinformation, fallacies, and out right lies. They, over the last several years have managed to paint an elaborate portrait of their perception of a culture that they in reality know little to nothing about.
You may be asking yourself why those of us who are actually part of the gun culture, those who have firearms interwoven into the very fabric of our daily lives, have allowed the anti gun narrative to overtake something as vital to us as how the world views our lifestyle. That, my friends, is as simple as looking at what The Gun Culture truly represents.
If you ask anyone who owns a firearm, whether for self protection, occupation, hunting, competition, collecting, or recreation, about how they were introduced to this way of life, they will tell you a story with the main theme always coming back to being taught about respect.
Gun owners, at our core, are all about respect. We respect our firearms. We know and understand their capabilities. We learn about them. We train with them. We take care of them. They are part of our daily lives whether we carry them everyday, or whether we keep them locked away in a gun safe.
We respect life. In fact, we respect life so much that we are willing to go the extra mile in order to defend not only ours, but any innocent person who's life may be endangered. We, in many cases, have jumped though numerous hoops in order to ask our state and federal government's permission to not only purchase but to carry a firearm for that very reason.
We respect the Constitution of the United States of America. We hold fast to the laws of our land and the inherent unalienable rights that our constitutional republic was built upon. Even knowing that "shall not be infringed" has been mercilessly desecrated, we still respect the law. We are actively working at state and federal levels to return to the Second Amendment's original intent, but in the meantime, we are abiding by the current laws regardless of how ridiculous we may think they are.
We respect business owners who post gun free zone signs. Many of us respect their right to establish the rules of their privately owned business by simply taking our business elsewhere. If they don't respect our rights, we don't give them our money. It's as simple as that.
We respect one another as members of something bigger than ourselves. We try to keep conversations with anti gun advocates and fence sitters as educational and respectful as possible. We keep up with industry changes, politics, changing laws, and developing technology because we respect our culture and desire to have it viewed in the best possible light. We respect that we are merely a small part of how the world views gun owners, and we do our best to represent ourselves and our way of life well.
Finally, we respect that gun ownership may not be for everyone. We understand that there will always be those who allow fear of an object to take the place of respect for an object. We know that no matter how much we respect someone's right to simply not like firearms and not want to own them, those people will likely never respect our right to disagree. That, is the reason the anti's have usurped the phrase.
It is time now, for those of us who live this lifestyle, those actually participating in the gun culture to take a stand (keeping with our roots) and say, "I am proud to be part of a culture that teaches our children, and anyone else who is willing to learn, about safety, history, morality, ethics, preservation of life, training, and most of all respect. I am proud to be part of the American Gun Culture."
The AR-15 , simultaneously the most loved and the most hated firearm in the US today. While there are plenty of firearms on the market today for some reason the AR-15 seems to be one of the most popular and controversial firearm today, and the majority of the anti gun or pro gun control crowd have either no idea what they really are or are completely misinformed about them by either the news media or anti gun propaganda. Hopefully with this article I can shed a little light on this subject and clear up some of these misconceptions, because the AR-15 doesn't deserve the reputation that the anti's have given it.
First off the AR-15 is not an assault weapon, it only resembles one cosmetically. It is simply just a semi automatic rifle, just like any other semi automatic rifle that is commonly used for hunting and target shooting, it just has cosmetic differences that make it stand out from other more traditional semi automatic rifles. These differences are what makes it so popular, it has a telescopic stock so that it can easily be adjusted for smaller or larger shooters without changing stocks like you would have to do with other conventional firearms which would be time consuming and expensive. Then there are the accessory rails on the hand guard and on top of the receiver that allows for endless combinations of lights, optics, scopes, bipods, and sights, these allow you to set up your rifle with any aiming device or accessory that suits your own personal needs instead of being limited to either a scope or open sights. These two features, the adjustable stock and accessory rails, are both completely cosmetic, and are the reason why they look like our military weapons, I guess our military also saw the need to be able to configure a weapon for different shooters and easily configure it for different situations, maybe that's why it's so popular.
Other similarities to the AR-15's military counterpart are the pistol grip and the removable upper receiver. The pistol grip is simply just that, a grip, one that's more comfortable and again easily changed to a softer or bigger or whatever you need to make it even more comfortable without breaking the bank, another thing that's purely cosmetic. The easily changed upper receiver not only allows you to change calibers quickly for more versatility but also allows for easy take down, maintenance and cleaning. These characteristics, the cosmetics, and the ergonomics is where the similarities between the AR-15 and it's military counterpart end.
The biggest differences are in the operation. On the AR-15 the selector switch on the lower receiver is basically a safety switch, which only allows either safe or fire positions, the military's versions selector switch allows for safe-semi auto-and either three shot burst or full auto fire positions. While an AR-15 can be converted to full auto, it is almost impossible unless you know exactly how to do it, have the tools to do it, and can get the parts to do it with, which would be virtually impossible unless you're a certified gunsmith licensed to do so.
So what's the problem? As I have pointed out here the AR-15 is really no different than any other semi automatic rifle, it is just cosmetically and mechanically similar to our military's assault rifles, but it's not the same. Because the AR-15 is so similar and because it's so popular in the United States it is guaranteed to be publicized non stop every time some nutcase uses one in an atrocity, yet rifles of ANY kind are rarely ever used in the commission of a crime. So to put it simple banning a firearm simply because of cosmetic features is ludicrous, please educate yourself about any weapon that anyone wants to ban before you jump to conclusions.
Someone brought up a well-intentioned question: How does one ensure easy access to a firearm when needed (as like to I put it, RIGHT THEN) while simultaneously keeping the firearm out of reach of children? That comment might be gone now, but I will gladly answer the question presented.
Thousands of years ago, people were getting used to the idea of having sharp objects with them. After all, a knife is a pretty useful tool to have, right? But when they went to get their Knife Carry Permits, the instructors told them "Be very careful about sticking this thing into your belt. You could poke or cut yourself!"
One enterprising young man, possibly named John Moses Browning, said "I have a solution" and encased the blade of his knife in wood, inventing the scabbard. This sparked a revolution; carrying useful tools with you became even more accessible and safe.
Scabbards have evolved quite a bit since then. They were covered in cloth, leather, even gold in some cases!
In modern times, scabbards aren't really called scabbards anymore. They're called "sheaths" when referring to items that hold blades and "holsters" when referring to items that hold guns. Modern holsters are made from a variety of materials ranging from leather to space-age plastics.
The more you know™
By now we have all heard about the Tamir Rice incident in which a 5’7” 200 pound pre-teen was shot by police officers for drawing a replica pistol on them when the squad car approached him. Of course those who seek to make our life choices for us have jumped on the incident and are using it to bolster their claim that a 1% NYC billionaire knows how to run our lives better than we do.
How are they doing that you say? I’m glad you asked.
In order to fully understand this incident, it is helpful to go back to a similar incident which occurred in an Ohio WalMart in August 2015. A young black father of 3, John Crawford III went to WalMart to do some shopping. As he walked around talking on his phone, he noticed a BB gun that WalMart sells was lying on a shelf. He picked it up, looked at it, and walked down the aisle with it, eventually leaning on it like a cane while he continued his phone conversation.
Ohio is an open carry state, so even if Mr. Crawford had been walking around with a real rifle and not a WalMart BB gun, there is no reason for any police response whatsoever.
What Mr. Crawford didn’t know was that he had come to the attention of a gun control advocate named Ronald Ritchie and his wife. Mr. Ritchie saw a black man apparently exercising a right he didn’t think he should have and called 911. Had Mr. Ritchie been honest this story might have ended there, but instead he followed the advice found on the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence Facebook page and lied about what Mr. Crawford was doing, knowing full well that a man carrying a rifle would not generate the response the gun control crowd wants.
Here is what he said:
Mr. Ritchie identified himself as a United States Marine (lie)
He said Mr. Crawford was carrying an M4 (lie)
He said Mr. Crawford was loading the M4 (lie)
He said Mr. Crawford was pointing it at women and children (lie)
He said Mr. Crawford “looked like he wasn’t going to go down easy” (lie)
Then came the icing on the cake. A woman near Mr. Ritchie screamed that she had been shot… with the M4 that didn’t exist… that was loaded with non-existent bullets that were placed into the non-existent magazine. That woman has never been identified by police however video footage shows only 3 people were in that corner of the WalMart. Those people are Mr. Crawford, Mr. Ritchie and his wife.
Police responded to an active shooter scenario and the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence got their desired result- the death of an apparent firearm owner at the hands of the police, acting on lies told by their followers. Many of the comments on their Facebook page after this tragic incident said “Good job” and referenced “gunhumpers”, “ammosexuals” and “insurrectionists” getting what they deserved.
These people use lies to advance their agenda, it is their stock in trade, and will gleefully lie whenever and wherever necessary, even if it means the death of a fellow citizen checking out a BB gun that WalMart sells.
So how does this tie into the Tamir Rice shooting you say? I am glad you asked that as well.
The usual suspects when it comes to gun control have been saying that the Tamir Rice incident proves why open carry is a bad thing. They are tying Tamir’s death to that of Mr. Crawford’s saying that open carry makes it more likely for the police to shoot people and the practice endangers everyone. They are of course spouting pure bovine scatology.
Tamir Rice was NOT open carrying. He was walking around with a pistol, in a park, pointing it at people. He was walking on the sidewalk, pointing it at passing cars. The 911 caller who called the police about Tamir stated several times that he was pointing the pistol at people and vehicles and laughing as people ducked and ran. In between these incidents, he had it tucked into his waistband under his jacket.
Let me summarize the gun grabber’s position on this particular incident:
If you have a pistol hidden in your waistband where nobody can see it, that is open carry. If you point a pistol at people walking by and passing motorists, that is open carry.
What Tamir Rice was doing is called a crime. It is codified in every state in the Union that pointing a firearm, or what appears to be a firearm, at someone is a criminal act. Whether it is called menacing, going armed to the terror of the public, assault by pointing firearm, or any other of the myriad legal terms used to describe the action… it is a violent criminal act. This was what the police were dispatched to. The difference was Tamir Rice was actually pointing his gun at people, unlike Mr. Crawford.
When the police rolled up, Tamir used his left hand to raise his jacket up and began a drawstroke from concealment with his right hand, partially drawing the pistol from his waistband. Once again I point to the anti-gun crowd calling this “open carry”. If anything shows cognitive dissonance on levels never before heard of, this one little tidbit takes the prize.
Tamir Rice was shot because he was pointing a replica pistol at people and attempted to draw it from concealment on responding officers. The truth doesn’t matter to the gun ban extremists though. They deliberately mislead their followers, who aren’t bright enough to figure out that a pistol concealed under a jacket isn’t open carry, and drawing it on approaching officers is “open carry” which should now be banned since open carry (in what passes for their minds) gets people killed.
They used the exact opposite of this incident earlier in the year, when one of their followers SWATed a young man leaning on a BB gun to death by lying about every single thing that Mr. Crawford was doing and even making things up out of thin air, to the point of a woman screaming she had been shot (by an unloaded BB gun no less), to again “prove” that open carry is dangerous and should be banned.
Think about the mindset these people have for a minute.
They are willing to SWAT innocent people to death (and indeed rejoice when it happens) and call an individual committing criminal acts with a concealed pistol “open carry” in order to advance their political agenda.
While we have all seen how low the gun grabbers will go (like memorializing the Tsarniev Boston Bomber as a “victim of gun violence”) but they have hit rock bottom and started digging with this one.
- Mr. Decker
Blog posts are original content written by 1MMAGC moms and dads.