The Progressive Case Against Gun Control
The progressive case for gun ownership.
I don’t claim ownership in any militia.
I don’t spend my weekends running around the woods playing army.
I don’t have signs in my house that say “come and take it.”
I don’t adhere to a lot of the gun culture.
But I do have a 9mm pistol on my hip right now as I type.
I am actually a registered Democrat.
Like, voted for Obama AND Hillary. That kind of Democrat. I can say with some pride that I have never actually cast a vote for a republican. If they have an R in front of their name, I have to think real hard and long about checking that box on my ballot.
I am a gun owner. I have owned and sold several guns in my time. I am also a registered federal firearms licensee. Meaning I can legally make a profit from buying and selling guns. When the media talks about how guns “get on the streets” they are often referring to independent gun sellers like myself. Not only do I own guns, I also help other people own guns.
You may think that I would be in favor of “common sense” gun reform as I am a registered Democrat and that’s the party line at the moment on the gun control issue. But in reality, I actually can never advocate for any kind of gun control.
Seeing as the modern gun control movement started with racial overtones, the very concept of gun control upsets my more progressive sensibilities. Gun control as we know it today, stems from efforts in California and then Governor Reagan’s attempt to disarm the Black Panthers. (If you don’t believe me just google it. It will blow your mind) I find the idea of a government putting limits and regulations on who can own what, when, where, and how much to be very far from common sense. Because when the government gets in charge of specific industries and controls the who when and why, it usually has a disproportionate effect on poor and minority communities. Gun control was started in our country to curb black ownership and use of firearms. Although that may not be the stated goal now, I am afraid that it will be the result.
Beyond the issue of race, it makes me uncomfortable to have a government that is able to control ownership of firearms regardless of who heads that government. In our system, the turnover in elected officials mean that even if someone who the best intentions put in place any form of gun control, that person will soon be out of office and someone else will fill their place. The next person may not have such noble intentions when it comes to controlling who owns what firearms.
The idea that firearms sole purpose is for hunting and recreation is also misleading. Although I don’t subscribe to the idea that any government action is tyranny, like many in my pro gun camp seem to, I do think the rejection of tyranny is a very important role in gun ownership. No I am not talking about some renegade rednecks storming the White House, as that idea is not even close to practical nor is it necessary or even morally acceptable. When I talk about tyranny, I am talking about daily tyranny that may be faced by and individual or certain groups of people.
In the age of Trump, we can see evidence of people and groups of people being disenfranchised in multiple ways. An important tool in discouraging continuing overreach by the government towards poor and minority communities, is gun ownership.
I believe in equal rights. I believe in equal rights for people of all backgrounds and all walks of life, as most Democrats do. Where traditional liberal thought and I diverge is where progressives view those rights as not including gun ownership. I believe it must be one of the many rights available to all people, without exception.