This morning I ran across an instagram photo from literally my oldest friend on the planet. She had taken a photo depicting a car with the same decal on it as below:
Her associated hashtags were #guncontrolnow and #idiots, with the title of “America, Stop It.”
Now, before we go further, this is not a sticker I have on my car, I would never put it there. It is about as silly as “Truck Nuts” as far as I’m concerned.
However, I had several problems with her post. And since she’s an old friend, and I didn’t feel like being the jerk who drops a comment on her photo comment thread that starts off with “…..Actually….” I came here instead.
- Blatantly calling someone an idiot because you don’t see eye to eye with them on a political hot-button issue is not constructive and is openly contributing to the political rift we have existing in the nation today. Believe me. I used to do it. I would move my attacks from the issue and pick at the person discussing the issue. It didn’t take long to realize that I was being a fool however. If you don’t like a statue in the park, cursing out the sculptor is fairly pointless.
- Gun control advocates in the country are by and large- not targeting the hunting community. Some are (See next point) but for the most part you’re seeing a push to regulate the sales and ownership of firearms that one would never dream of hunting with, as well as handguns which are easily concealable, and yes- in some places, far too easy to come by…and I say that as a firearms owner. Even the gun control measures put into place by NY Governor Cuomo which are highly lauded by his supporters- does absolutely nothing to address, curb, curttail, or ban firearms which are legitimately used for hunting.
- My main problem is this- lumping the hunting and sportsmen community into the same group of people that are causing trouble for the rest of the nation is unfair. The culture of hunters rather proudly promotes safe and active ownership of all sporting equipment up to and including bows and rifles. While there are exceptions to the rules I’m sure- the people that commit the crimes against humanity that are prompting the cries for tighter and more restrictive control of firearms are generally NOT hunters or people that have been raised in the sporting community. There’s another old bumper sticker that comes to mind:
Image source Not only is it reckless and irresponsible to throw the sporting community into the mix with the people who do their damndest to purchase AK-47s on the sly, or hoard handguns and ammunition with ill intent, but it really is unfair. My old friend is openly attacking a group of people who would- on the surface- agree with some of her points on firearms ownership. Why? Because we also don’t believe that people with certain criminal histories or mental health issues should be permitted to own a dangerous firearms. We agree with you, yet are being targeted in your rage anyway.
As the gun control debate rages on and on in this country, I’m seeing more and more instance where people are throwing up their hands and vilifying anyone owns and uses a firearm for any purpose whatsoever.
- I can see having concern towards people who acquire firearms illegally.
- I can see having concern towards people whose backgrounds are checkered or questionable.
- I can even see having concern towards people who acquire them for ‘home and self defense’ without proper training and education.
But when you stop and consider than most if not all states have safety courses as prerequisites for the acquisition of hunting licenses- which DO include trigger time in front of instructors, you simply cannot consider hunters and sportsmen on the same threat level as the guy who buys a Glock from the trunk of a car in a dimly lit parking lot.
Hunters and sportsmen are not your problem. We do not contribute to the ‘culture of violence’ that you like to champion claims against. We actively and openly support safe and responsible ownership and use of firearms.
There are the ecological benefits of hunting as well, which are another argument for another day.
– Largely though, to my lifelong, dear friend- I am offended that you would see fit to include me and people like me as a problem in your crusade to stop gun violence- which IS a noble cause. It truly is. I would love to see an end to it myself. Everyone does. But after all the years we’ve known each other, and with the respect and admiration I have for you and what you do, most of all- I am hurt to think that in your eyes I may be no better than a mass shooter, or that by wanting to raise my sons as responsible sportsmen, I am doing nothing but raising killers.
I won’t stop being friends with you. No, I’d never do that. Severing a lifelong friendship because of a difference in political ideology is foolish for a thousand reasons. But I can’t help but think you might be side-eyeing me as a threat to your safety because of what I do in my spare time, and that….that stings badly.
-Although it really and truly is an idiotic sticker for a car.