I’ve long believed that it’s possible to criticize someone’s actions without arguing to remove their right to carry out those acts. For example, you can call someone any manner of vile name you wish, but that doesn’t mean you should do so. Another example is that I don’t think open carry is a great idea, but I’ll fight with everything I have to preserve the right to do so.
Along a similar line, Rep. Dan Crenshaw and the rest of this Texas “Dream Team” spoke at a NSSF town hall, and he hit on a couple of points I really have to agree with.
Rep. Crenshaw cut to the chase about how the Second Amendment movement can continue the momentum and the importance for the industry and existing gun owners to change the way they recruit and welcome new firearm owners into the community.
“We need a lot less guys dressing up in their Call of Duty outfits, marching through the streets and we need a lot more women who are talking about how they need the right to defend themselves against a larger man. That’s the argument – and it’s a good argument.” Rep. Crenshaw said. “We should really take advantage of this current environment where people understand that self-defense is important. The right to self-defense is an individual right, a God-given right, it does not get taken away.”
Now, I know that a lot of Second Amendment advocates are still upset with Crenshaw’s willingness to entertain the idea of red flag laws, but that’s kind of irrelevant to the point.
See, the thing is, he’s right.
While I support the right for people to take to the streets in camo with their AR-15s, let’s also understand that they may be doing more harm than good. Just because you can do something, it doesn’t mean you necessarily should.
Oh, don’t get me wrong, I get the allure. I get how it can be a warning that Second Amendment advocates stand ready to literally defend our right to keep and bear arms with our lives and all that.
I also know that it freaks the norms, so to speak.
They don’t see those folks as ordinary people. They seem them as a violent militia that might start shooting at any given moment. They’re terrified of what that means.
Now, that doesn’t mean they don’t serve a purpose. That kind of thing most definitely can.
However, if that’s the image people have of gun owners, do you really think they’re going to listen?
On the flip side, Crenshaw talks about women who have decided to be armed so they can defeat a larger, more aggressive foe. This, I also agree with. Women of all ethnicities talking about how afraid they’ve been, how they’ve understood the terror so many American women report, but they got a gun and now feel empowered not to hide from living their lives.
The American public needs to see people they can relate to. Guys in camo, masks, and tactical gear are scary. They’re not relatable for most people. They’re too terrifying, what with the way the media has been beating the “right wing threat” drum lately. There needs to be a balance in what we show the world. That means we have to account for the biased media in what we present.
That means a lot less (but not zero) G.I. Joe and a lot more suburban housewife.