I’ve long held that the Second Amendment has perhaps the biggest tent in U.S. politics, with gun owners of all backgrounds and ideology supporting their right to keep and bear arms. Is that still the case these days, though? Sure, you can still find growing numbers of gun owners across the political spectrum, but are we able to come together to defend our Second Amendment rights, or has the deepening cultural and political divide in the United States driven gun owners apart as well?
DiversityShoot.com founder Tony Simon joins me on today’s Bearing Arms’ Cam & Co. to talk his efforts to ensure that gun owners and Second Amendment supporters of all walks of life can still come together in these days of growing conflict.
Ordinarily, Simon’s Diversity Shoots take place at the Gun 4 Hire range in Woodland Park, New Jersey, just a few miles from the NYC skyline. The events, which typically are held every other month, are an opportunity for gun owners and those interested in purchasing a firearm to get together regardless of race, color, creed, or political ideology. Since the coronavirus hit New Jersey with a vengeance earlier this year, however, it’s been virtually impossible for Simon to put on the shoots, since Gov. Phil Murphy first ordered all ranges closed, and even now is limiting indoor ranges to just 25% of their capacity.
Rather than simply fold up the big tent, Tony Simon decided instead to move the Diversity Shoots to a new location for the rest of the year, and last week the first Diversity Shoot outside of the state of New Jersey took place at the Heritage Guild in Easton, PA.
Simon says there was a great crowd on hand, including a couple of women who drove all the way from Brooklyn in order to attend and shoot a gun for the first time in their lives. While there were plenty of folks on the Left, Right, and in the middle, Simon explained that there are no politics during the Diversity Shoot itself. The goal instead is to dispel the myth promulgated by anti-gun activists like Shannon Watts that the Second Amendment community is chock full of angry old white guys who hate the sight of anyone who doesn’t look like them at the range, gun show, or firearm retailer.
Simon wants the Diversity Shoots to help demonstrate that the right to keep and bear arms is for all law-abiding Americans, and while the events themselves aren’t political, Simon hopes that new gun owners will also eventually get involved politically to ensure that their rights are protected.
Be sure to check out the entire conversation with Tony Simon above, including his take on the growing divide between the Left and the Right, and why he believes it’s still possible to find some common ground. Plus, stick around afterwards for more news, including a homeowner in Iowa forced to shoot an intruder early Monday morning, a convicted child sex offender who’s now facing murder charges when he should have been behind bars, and an Arkansas police officer in the right place at the right time to help out a child in need.