The issue of guns and gun ownership shouldn’t be that complex. However, there’s a certain degree of nuance in a lot of aspects of the topic that, frankly, a lot of people don’t really want to understand.
But in this day and age, a lot of people are buying guns, and they’re not just your average, ordinary, right-leaning gun nut doing so.
Oh, they’re buying guns too, mind you, but they’re far from the totality of customers at the gun shops.
CNN, of all places, opted to talk a bit about it. In particular, about the racial diversity of new gun ownership, including liberals who now have guns, and what those new gun owners face from their liberal friends.
Nguyen says his clients are mostly liberal and from all backgrounds, genders and sexual orientations. He prides himself on creating an inclusive student base.
“The more I educate those who are formally anti-gun the more they actually realize that there’s more nuance to it,” he said.
Both Mendez and Regalado now have their own guns and are working toward getting their concealed carry permits. But they avoid talking about their guns with friends, who they say are firmly anti-gun.
“They’re really not open to understanding,” Mendez said. Adding that she feels more comfortable discussing her same-sex relationship with friends than her guns. “I definitely am more closeted being a gun owner, for fear of retaliation.”
But, of course, we know they’ll get hate at the gun ranges, right? Those are right-wing, xenophobic bastions of all that is wrong with America, or so some on the left likely think.
What did they find? Something different.
Both Mendez and Regalado at first worried about the type of people they encounter at the gun range, many of whom, they say, advertise their conservative politics in what they’re wearing or listening to.
“It’s mostly all men, mostly all white men, older men like 70s, 80s,” Mendez said. “Seeing people looking at us, and kind of just staring… It always makes us more uncomfortable. Because we’re like, ‘oh my God are they going to come and tell us, like, get out of here… you don’t belong here.’”
Instead, they’ve gotten a different reaction.
“They’re like, ‘Hey, you’re doing well, but can I show you something that might help you more?,” Mendez said.
Mendez says not only has it changed her impression of those individuals, but she also believes it’s given some a different perception of people like her.
“When I (came) back the next day, (one of the men) was like, ‘Hey! I saw your wife out there – she looks nice. Tell her I said ‘hi’.”
Now, here’s the thing. Mendez is a Hispanic lesbian in a same-sex marriage. She’s everything we’ve been told that the gun-toting crowd absolutely hates and would herd into camps if given the opportunity.
And yet, these folks are being as nice as they can be. They’re offering assistance–and doing it in a way that’s not condescending, I might add–and being friendly, fostering friendships with fellow gun owners.
Over at National Review, Charles C.W. Cooke offered his thoughts on the piece:
This has long been my experience. Since I moved to America, I’ve shot at ranges in twenty or so states, and everyone at each has always got on fine. The idea that non-white Americans are only just getting into shooting is a little bit of an overstatement — when I lived in Connecticut, I was a minority at the range at which I used to practice — but it is undoubtedly true that gun ownership has grown increasingly racially diverse, and that anti-gun progressives are annoyed by this. For years, gun-control activists have suggested that all it would take for them to get the strict regulations they covet is for “blacks/Muslims/Hispanics” to “start buying guns.” And, for years, this has been nothing more than projection. As CNN’s story illustrates, it’s not Second Amendment advocates who have an issue with non-whites owning guns; it’s the people who claim most loudly to champion diversity, but balk the minute that diversity leads to a political or ideological outcome that they personally happen to dislike.
Look, the Second Amendment is for everyone.
When Trump was elected and everyone was panicking about the horror stories in their head coming true, I told plenty to go and buy a gun. A lot of folks did and they were from all of those groups we were told would make the GOP start supporting gun control.
The truth of the matter here is that more gun ownership is, ultimately, good. However, we also see that the animosity toward gun ownership isn’t purely because most gun owners have different political views. Anti-gunners have no interest in a live and let-live approach with any gun owner.