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garyvale
01-09-2013, 9:47 AM
“We must all hang together or we shall most assuredly all hang separately.”
-Benjamin Franklin

(My apologies for the long post)

The amount of fragmentation and elitism I continue to see among firearm owners in this country has me greatly concerned. In many ways, the firearm owning public is like a loaf of bread, with each slice representing a segment of firearm owning interest. Whatever favor of firearm you enjoy shooting, there is a slice that represents your interest. Now is the time for all of us to hang together and support each slice or interest group of the firearm owning public, or watch our loaf of bread continue to be diminished. I have seen slices of our rights carved away in my lifetime. The anti-gunners have never made it a secret that they plan to get the whole loaf of firearm owners bread one slice at a time. Your slice may be next.

I grew up on the south shore of Lake Elsinore, CA, back it was the boondocks. My first rifle was a Daisy Red Rider BB firearm that I barely had the strength to cock. I carried it with me everywhere when I was out doors on my uncle’s apricot and citrus ranch. The rifle was never far from hand, and no bottle cap, lizard or large bug was safe near me. By the time I was in middle school, I had graduated to a Winchester 62 .22 cal. pump. Again, it was never far from hand, and no rabbit, squirrel, bird, feral cat, or snake was safe. Looking back from 50 years later, I’m not proud of all the mayhem I caused, but the rabbits went into the skillet, the squirrels and birds damaged the trees and fruit that we depended on for a livelihood, and the cats bred like… well, cats, and they got in the hen house. As for the snakes…. Well, they sped fast through the chaparral and I missed far more than I hit.

My first firearm purchase was a .22 single action revolver from Herter’s of Waseca, Minn. (Spent days studying the catalog.), and it arrived in the mail box. My uncle frowned on hand guns, and believed that no self-respecting man would have anything but a rifle or a shotgun. And they pretty much had to be a .22 pump, a 30-30 lever action, and a 30-06 bolt action, and a 12 gage pump. Anything else was for rich city people with more cash than brains. This was my first experience with fragmentation and elitism among firearm owners.

I graduated from high school in 1965 and moved to Washington, D.C. to attend Gallaudet College (now University). I was a member of the NRA and the NRA offices were in D.C. at that time. I spent hours there and in the Smithsonian, admiring the displays of rifles and hand guns. I remember the NRA at that time as being more of a “sportsman club” rather than a political organization and I remember how the NRA fought, somewhat in-effectively and with limited funds to stop or limit the Gun Control Act of 1968. The NRA was a much smaller organization then and not nearly as big, experienced or effective as it is today in the political arena. It is much more than a Sportsman’s Club now.

However, more than that, I remember the fragmentation and elitism among firearm owners. Many of them didn’t think a few firearm laws would be a bad thing, especially after the assassinations John and Robert Kennedy, Malcolm X, and Martin Luther King, Jr. It seemed like every sportsman was okay with the banning of “Saturday night specials” and cheap imported surplus military rifles, since no self-respecting firearm owner should have one, or so we believed. Few firearm owners realized that the camel’s nose was in the tent, and it would only get worse. Slices of the loaf were being taken. This fragmentation among firearm owners was letting our rights slip away, one slice at a time.

Then the Firearms Owner’s Protection Act of 1986 arrived. Again there was fragmentation and elitism among firearm owners. We single action cowboys didn’t care about banning high capacity magazines and semi auto rifles, since we wouldn’t be caught holding that slice of bread anyway (Yes, I was among them), the shot gunners didn’t care so long as the shotgun slice wasn’t affected. We 1911 fans didn’t care about banning magazines larger than 10 rounds because… well, you figure it out (Sad to say, I was among them, too.). Again, fragmentation and elitism among firearm owners was letting our rights slip away, slice by slice.

In 1994 we had the Brady Act, requiring background checks, and placing limits on interstate sales of firearms. Again some of us firearm owners (I was among the guilty), thought it was a good idea and thought that perhaps now the anti-gunners would crawl back into their holes and leave us alone. However, it was just more slices of the loaf lost. I was slow in reaching enlightenment on the anti-gunners plans.

Now I’m concerned again about fragmentation and elitism among firearm owners. I hear my fellow FIREARM OWNERS saying “10 rounds are enough”, “No one needs an assault rifle” (whatever that is). Again I hear the single action shooting slice, the shotgun slice, the black powder slice, and the high powered rifle slice saying, “It won’t affect us.” The continuing fragmentation and elitism among firearm owners scares me. Too many people have the attitude that “It’s okay to take the other guy’s slice of bread, just don’t take mine.” I’ve learned something from my mistakes; please don’t make the ones I have.

We need to be aware that the anti-gunners are after the whole loaf, one slice at a time. We need to hang together and support all segments of the firearm owning public. Defend your fellow firearm owners. Join and support organizations that stand up for our Second Amendment rights. Write your representatives. Otherwise, your slice of bread will eventually be next, because the anti-gunners are after the whole loaf, one slice at a time.

chad allred
01-09-2013, 9:56 AM
Very well written,our childhood shooting adventures were much alike.I had not thought about the fire arm separation until I read this...you are right!we need to stick together

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javalos
01-09-2013, 11:58 AM
I agree with the fragmentation, it was there when I was a grassroots members council president back in the 1990's. I encountered many hunters who didn't care except for one thing, hunting and all said no one needed an AR or AK, so did skeet and trap shooters, etc. Only people I got support from were recreational target shooters.

Casey
01-09-2013, 12:38 PM
I am convinced if we go down it will be because of support from gun owners. I can not tell you how many anti-gun rights articles that start out with the authors long history with firearms and then degrades into a diatribe about "we don't need nor should anyone have assault weapons or high capacity "clips".
If we can't get people within the culture of firearms to understand that they are not just after assault weapons how would you ever convince the anti-gun rights faithful.
They are going for gold on this one. It will take resistance and action from every faction of gun owners and civil rights believers to hold them off.

stix213
01-09-2013, 12:46 PM
I am convinced if we go down it will be because of support from gun owners. I can not tell you how many anti-gun rights articles that start out with the authors long history with firearms and then degrades into a diatribe about "we don't need nor should anyone have assault weapons or high capacity "clips".
If we can't get people within the culture of firearms to understand that they are not just after assault weapons how would you ever convince the anti-gun rights faithful.
They are going for gold on this one. It will take resistance and action from every faction of gun owners and civil rights believers to hold them off.

This ^^^^

I'm getting tired of hearing on the radio people say, "I'm a gun owner, I support the 2A, but...."

As if they aren't going to come for their favorite gun next.

Hoologan
01-09-2013, 12:54 PM
Thank you OP

Country Woodpecker
01-09-2013, 1:29 PM
Very well said. I have learned a lot on how important it is to stop the "negotiating" mindset. The "as long as it doesn't affect me" crowd needs to be informed of how it can affect them. Thank you for putting the thought into your post. Much appreciated.

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Wiz-of-Awd
01-09-2013, 1:32 PM
Thank you OP

A.W.D.

Wherryj
01-09-2013, 1:34 PM
This ^^^^

I'm getting tired of hearing on the radio people say, "I'm a gun owner, I support the 2A, but...."

As if they aren't going to come for their favorite gun next.

You didn't finish your quote. The only way that quote can end is "I'm a gun owner, I support the second amendment, but I don't support the Constitution anyway, so here's what I think should happen..."

Shall not be infringed. Nowhere in the second amendment does it say "Hunting and other sporting use". Nor does it specify caliber or capacity.

CharlesV
01-09-2013, 3:40 PM
Yes we have to hang together but with a solid common agenda and plan. I see so much diversity of opinions in Calguns, plus fighting about it, hanging together is impossible.

mt4design
01-09-2013, 3:46 PM
Thank you garyvale.

This should go viral.