Think Globally, Activist Locally
I have been saying for, oh, at least five years now that the future of the gun rights in America doesn’t lie with the NRA or the Second Amendment Foundation or any other national group. It doesn’t even lie with any of the state-level gun rights groups out there. Instead, the future of firearms ownership in the U.S. is in your hands, and in your ability to make gun ownership normal within your community.
“But Kevin,” I hear you say, “I live in a Red State. I own guns, and all my friends own guns. I don’t need to talk to anyone else about guns, because everyone I know is into guns!”
Really? You’d be surprised how many people around you may be sympathetic to the Second Amendment, but don’t own a gun themselves. There are also people who are concerned about their personal safety and are considering purchasing a gun (or not) and are looking for a trusted source of information. Finally, there are people who may be voraciously anti-gun, but who have a jaundiced or cartoonish view of what a gun owner actually looks like. Those people are around you everyday, and they need someone like you to talk with them.
You don’t need to leave pamphlets for the NRA around the workplace. You don’t need to wear your “MOLON LABE!!!” t-shirt on casual Friday. What you do need to do is to speak up when guns are being discussed and calmly (and rationally) make a use for the Second Amendment. Avoid ad hominem arguments or belittling the antigun crowd. Make your case for firearms ownership in general terms. Everyone, no matter who they are, wants to protect what is important to them. Look for points of agreement, and start shifting the dial in the direction of gun rights.
I leave you with this wonderful quote from David Samuels,
“The good news is that the most important events of my life, and your life, will always take place more or less within a 25-foot radius of wherever we are standing. Like the Beatles said, all you need is love. So, try to be kind, and avoid making sweeping statements about large classes of people.”