The unknown can be pretty scary. It’s pretty common to be afraid of the unknown and I can’t help but think that the firearms community has brought some of the current troubles on itself. How many gun owners are quiet about ownership, or don’t want to be labeled as the “gun-guy/girl” by their peers? The unfortunate side effect of this is that when something stupid happens, the vast majority of people who have no general firearms knowledge are getting their information from the media, and politicians. Universal background checks sound like a great idea to someone who doesn’t understand the implications behind something like that, because this is ‘Merica! and it’ll never happen here. So as responsible gun owners what can we do to help ourselves out?
- Be An Advocate – Be knowledgeable enough and friendly enough so that you can help educate people. Don’t let people only get their information from questionable sources. If you have a CHL I’m not telling you to go around broadcasting that you’re carrying a gun. It sure would be nice though if the next time you’re at work when water cooler talk turns to firearms, someone was there to speak truth.
- Responsibility First – Practice the 4 rules religiously, and ingrain them into any shooters you encounter. Not only that, but we are all capable of making mistakes. If you’re at the range or even at your local gun shop and see someone handling a gun in an unsafe manner, or saying something patently dangerous, politely correct them. How many people make mistakes because they simply don’t know better? Worse than the impression that some media and politicians give to the uninformed, is the impression that an irresponsible gun owner gives. Hopefully you speak up the next time you hear someone say something like “Just make sure you drag ’em inside your door after you shoot ’em.”
- Get Involved – I don’t always agree with some of the NRA‘s stances on certain issues, but they are a great advocate for our national rights as gun owners. Locally you’ve got Ohioans for Concealed Carry and Buckeye Firearms Association both great groups that have done massive amounts of work to help further the cause of Ohio gun rights. If you can spare money then please join or donate. If you can’t spare any money then donate time. There’s something more we could all be doing to help out, and I’d say now more then ever is the time to do something.
I hate preaching to the choir and I’m sorry to be doing it. I guess it just stems from the note of fear that comes across when ever someone asks me “When’s the ban happening?” or says something like “Well I’m getting an AR before I can’t get them anymore.” I guess what I’m trying to say is this. Let’s all take a deep breath, and realize that nothing is inevitable, and there’s still time to take an active role in our future.