Here at Bearing Arms, I often use the term “gun owner” a lot to talk about what we will and won’t take from the anti-gun left. In truth, that’s not the best way to refer to people who value the Second Amendment.
There are some who own plenty of guns but don’t think anyone else should. After all, they know that they are responsible, but their inherent distrust of their fellow man means they think the rest of us aren’t worthy. There aren’t a lot of them, but I suspect many of us have encountered folks like this.
On the other hand, there are a lot of people who have no interest in owning a gun themselves but believe that the Second Amendment is an integral part of the United States Constitution.
In fact, it seems that conservatives, by and large, will support the Second Amendment regardless of whether they have a gun or not.
Gallup editor-in-chief Frank Newport said on Tuesday that conservatives who don’t own guns are still likely to feel strongly about Second Amendment rights.
“The issue has become politicized like so many other issues. It’s become a symbolic issue for a lot of non-gun owning conservative Republicans,” Newport told Hill.TV’s Joe Concha on “What America’s Thinking.”
“It’s an extremely volatile and emotional issue that they connect with, even though they really don’t want to have a gun themselves,” he continued.
A Pew Research Center study released last year found that roughly three-in-five non-gun owning Republicans said they were in favor of shortening waiting periods to purchase guns and allowing concealed carry weapons without a permit.
This isn’t overly surprising. Or, it shouldn’t be.
Defending the Second Amendment has been a key part of the Republican Party’s identity for a couple of decades at least. As such, many conservatives will internalize that to a significant degree, even if they don’t own any guns. They tend to see rights and things you possess regardless of whether you choose to exercise them or not.
They’re not wrong, either.
That’s precisely how rights work, after all. If you choose to be quiet, it doesn’t mean you no longer have freedom of speech. If you choose to be an atheist, you don’t lose your freedom to worship. If you’re agoraphobic, you don’t lose your freedom to assemble in public.
Why, then, would Second Amendment rights not matter to those who don’t exercise them?
So, conservatives tend to be more inclined to defend the Second Amendment whether they own a firearm or not, and that’s a good thing. Everyone needs to understand that these are our rights and that the government shouldn’t be trying to take those rights away. It doesn’t matter whether you have a Glock, a Smith & Wesson, or a Nerf.
If only anti-gunners could try and understand what they are doing. Then again, if they did and actually valued freedom, they wouldn’t be anti-gunners. Maybe they’d stop trying to legislate guns into oblivion.
Then again, there’s no reason to assume they value freedom, unlike the conservatives in question.