Graphic courtesy

by John Naese
Gunowners, particularly active and energetic gunowners like those who read GunNews and join, often get weary of the battle against the “forces of darkness” – the anti-gun crowd.

It seems that no matter how many battles we win, the other side just keeps coming back, like one of those knock down clowns.  We get permit to carry in more states, they push new registration schemes.  We get the Heller decision, they refuse to recognize it.  We get the McDonald decision, and Chicago passes even weirder gun laws, so now you can have a gun in your house, but never in the garage or yard.

And then there is the other battle we seem to be fighting – the one within our ranks.  Go ask ten gun owners (individually, not in a group) what the Supreme Court decided in McDonald, and see if you don’t get five or six uncomprehending looks.

It’s easy to see why pro-gun rights folks become discouraged, battling the eternally, willfully ignorant anti-gunners on one hand, and their apathetic fellow gunowners on the other.

YOU, the active, engaged gunowner, have got to lead by example.

First, by realizing that it’s not really two separate battles.  The small hard core of anti-gunners will always be around; they won’t go away.  The real, ultimate battle is against apathy – both in the general population, who aren’t passionate either way but can be swayed by anti-gun propaganda, and in the gunowning population.

YOU can fight the apathy by setting the example.  For the general population, by living life, and enjoying your shooting activities out in the open, with no shame or apology.  Setting a good example means not being a closet gun owner.

For the gunowners, YOU can set the example by being active and engaged, and urging others to do the same.  Volunteer at your local club.  Help set up a new shooting event that wasn’t there before.  Offer to take others to shooting events; help prepare and equip those who are new to shooting or to that particular event.

A trip to the range is not like getting a fast food burger; it takes prior planning and preparation.  Set aside the time in your calendar for an event or two each month.  Plan them in advance.  Make a list of your friends, acquaintances, and relatives that might be interested in going, and get on the phone and ask them.  (I know, the phone is so 20th-Century.  Get them on Facebook if you have to!)

Got a local newspaper or radio station with a community calendar?  Call or send them notice of upcoming shooting events.  You might generate new participation, and even if not one new shooter shows up, you’re putting it out there in public that shooting is a normal, regular part of life.

“Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could do only a little.” – Edmund Burke

Don’t fall prey to the weariness of the battle.  Don’t be apathetic, and don’t allow the idiots to get you down.

Do something!

  1. My personal goal has been to bring a new, unvarnished non-shooter to the range, each and every year at my expense. The focus is on fun, letting THEM shoot much more than I do, and opening their eyes to what there is in the shooting sports. Likewise I have brought a few kids (and their parents) to appleseed shoots. Everyone has a great time, and slowly we gain another like minded person to our side. I urge everyone to do the same.

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