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."
Blog posts are original content written by 1MMAGC moms and dads.