Weak Labels, Poor Fact Checking, and Hate of Gun Owners

That make anti-gunners look like idiots*

Warning: Swear words ahead.

Author Zachari George Photo by Author

I’ve been biting my tongue for a long time. Just because I’m a writer doesn’t mean I am stereotypical; none of us are. Yep, I’m a gun owner and a trainer. I’m not a parrot for the gun lobby, conservatives, or any other dogma-based system. I am a free thinker, and this is my piece, not anyone else’s.

However, I have grown sick and tired of the stereotypes. The stereotypes, insults, and ignorance are used and exhibited by people who are fed up with gun owners because they hold them somehow responsible for the senseless violence in the United States.

Step aside disgruntled citizens; it’s time to hear a different narrative.

The narrative you won’t often hear from the responsibly armed silent neighbor you have. The neighbor who hates the atrocity just as much as you do is willing to lay down their lives to protect you (and all your bitching and name calling) if the wrong person enters your life and opens fire. That neighbor is always on a silent watch to defend your life, yet you have no appreciation for them. Hell, you don’t even know they exist because all gun owners are the same in your mind and all your idiotic writing about it.

I am a bold person. I’ve worn my heart on my sleeve, much to my detriment at various points in my life, and learned painful, powerful lessons. Over the years, I’ve become much better at withholding my opinion, learning about people, and reserving judgment. Today I’ll be taking a break from that for a second.

I’m posting a real picture of me, and I’m willing to risk my run to 100 subscribers on both Medium and YouTube to take a stand on an issue that ingratiates me. So much so that I spent 20 minutes doing laps in the pool today thinking about nothing but a response. That’s because I despise ignorant unfairness.

Having read a piece by John Werth titled “A Grumpy Old Guy Talks About Guns” and hearing the same broken record playing repeatedly, I naturally decided to take action. That’s because I genuinely value others’ opinions, perspectives, ideals, and lifestyles, even if they are not my own. I grew up in cities and became a social worker to serve people. I’m open-minded by default, joyfully so.

I am in no way a dyed-in-the-wool liberal or conservative. I think the pendulum swing of American politics is a shit show and serves the interests of the wealthy. It preserves their power and prevents actual social change.

This is partly because the two-party system helps control narratives, discourse, and action.

If people lump themselves into easy-to-define categories, it helps create a feeling of being on a team that either wins and gloats or loses and blames. Such is the case most of the time here in the states, no one winning, everyone losing, because they focus on labeling, framing, and winning rather than finding out what works. If they’re running their mouth, at least they don’t have to be out in their community developing solutions with their neighbors; that might take too long.

So they jump online behind their keyboard and feel they’re potent while perpetuating a stinky, stale monologue that has gotten us nowhere. It’s like there’s a giant farting sound every time I open up the news, and it continues throughout the broadcasts.

I am a genuinely independent and support women’s rights, less government (more citizen involvement), higher accountability for the wealthy, excellent mental health care parity, legalizing all controlled substances, and, yes, firearms ownership. I will not be lumped into your categories.

Nor will I participate from their limited pill box positions. As an activist, I am out in my community doing something. Currently, I’m working with my city councilman on an independently run needs assessment. I don’t care what people’s politics are; I care about their needs and our common goals.

The answer for most of the anti-gunner folks is more gun laws.

More gun laws will not stop those who don’t follow laws from using guns for crimes. It doesn’t hinder law-abiding citizens much more as they are already following the law.

Except for private sales, anyone who purchases a firearm in the United States has to pass a background check completed by the Department of Justice.

Ok, but what is my background or credibility to speak on this?

I have worked at a retail firearms store and range, been a range safety officer where loaded firearms were pointed at me by the uneducated (they were quickly schooled, safely), and worn body armor as part of my job.

I became a certified firearms instructor and took many courses to improve my conflict resolution, situational awareness, medical and first response skills, learn the law, and become a proficient marksman. This was all done to protect myself and innocents in the wake of horrific shootings across our nation. I didn’t carry a gun before that, though now it seems prudent.

In addition, I became a nationally certified EMT, a state-certified firefighter, and a certified Community Emergency Response member.

Why? Because no one is coming to save us from lunatics, and if there are disasters, I am responsible, not the government, police, or rescue personnel. I have a unique opportunity and training to help where most people don’t. So that makes me proud and humble. I hope I never have to use my training, nor any other gun owner for that matter. I don’t support hotheads or people who carry a gun as a talisman of power. That’s not who I’m talking about.

Recently, a responsibly armed 22-year-old in my city removed the threat of a mass shooter in a local mall. The assailant died on the scene. How many more would have died if that young man hadn’t intervened? Was he carrying a gun to be a big, macho dick swinger? I doubt it.

That is the kind of defender I am. This defense is the last resort, and I won’t tolerate a murderer.

It’s also no surprise I fully support free speech, freedom of religion, and, yes, the Second Amendment, no matter how it’s interpreted. Everyone has a right to defend themselves.

Comparing perspectives

A couple of days ago, I stumbled across an excellent article by Guy Nave, “Why White and Black Gun Owners Aren’t Equally Protected by the 2nd Amendment,” which was not only revealing and informative but made me even more passionate about why I own guns, carry them, and am sworn to defend others.

In my response to Guy, I mentioned how cautious I am about being vocal about the issue. See, once you tell people you own firearms, they can quickly form opinions about you. They often fire at you with a stream of rhetoric similar to TV preachers. This is the style of rhetoric used to condemn others and guilt or persuade them to change some behavior(s). They have their own slanted interpretation of the truth, with a purpose in mind of demonizing you without knowing facts or even asking anyone’s back story. It’s an aggressive and psychologically manipulative tactic.

I informed Guy that I support his right to carry and understand his fear of being shot for declaring he has one. We all are likely to have an unfavorable response once we inform a law enforcement officer we are carrying. Carrying is always a risk when someone could misinterpret how you tell them you are carrying.

I also shared with him about my visit to Birmingham, AL, my deep passion for rights for everyone, and my pictures of MLK and Harriet Tubman in my office. I believe in freedom, courage, and, yes, nonviolence wherever possible. I keep their pictures to remind me to work to empower others and bolster my courage and conviction. They are my heroes. Nonviolent heroes, yes.

They found other means to escape torture and death, and they died for it.

I’m not going to tolerate torture or death. Nor will I stand by and watch racists threaten others with torture or death. I cannot allow another Birmingham. Not on my watch. I can fight back, and so can Guy. I would stand with Guy any time to protect him.

Guy taught me a lot, and I still have a lot to learn. Luckily, Guy and I seem to share some common ideals, and we can have a respectful (even disagreeable if it comes to that) discussion with each other. This cannot be said for the buffoons who open their mouths every time there is another school shooting.

I’m going to address this problem right here today.

Here are some points in my argument with anti-gunners, and I will make some requests.

  1. A responsible gun owner cares about you, like it or not. They may not like you as a person, though they truly support your right to defend yourself, and many times, an extensive list of rights you are afforded as a human being. Do you want to use a bat or a broom to protect yourself, your loved ones, strangers, and your rights? Fine. What do you do if a pit bull attacks you? No one needs a license to own one, and they can be quite deadly if not socialized properly. They also can make excellent pets, yet they still make me nervous. You have your pit bull; I have my gun.
  2. Responsible gun owners are diverse. Most of the customers at the shop and range where I worked were Black. Many others were Asian, Indian, or of a nationality other than the U.S. Another growing percentage? Women. They all had to have proper I.D. and pass a background check to purchase, per federal law. No one gets to walk out with a gun without it. Handgun ammunition required I.D. and 21 years of age. Some gun owners are elderly, disabled, or single mothers with no last-resort defense option other than letting someone potentially kill them in their homes.
  3. Your penis obsession and linkage to gun owners fail on a couple of premises. Firstly, not all gun owners have penises. Secondly, do you know how big their penis is? Why do you care? What does owning a gun have to do with penises? Where are the studies that show a correlation between penis size (or maybe a tucked sock) and gun ownership? Does every gun owner also drive a large truck and play loud, assaulting bass? Do they all eat breakfast at Denny’s? What does gun ownership say about vaginas? Do you have a small penis? Or is it large just because you don’t own a gun? If I carry a small gun, does that mean I have a big dick? We don’t care, and we aren’t calling you out, well, til now anyway.
  4. You generalize political agendas or idealism. You assume in your labeling that every responsible gun owner must be a MAGA hat-wearing, redneck (in the pejorative use of the term, not the endearing, sensible one for suitable people). They are flag bandanna-wearing, QAnon nut jobs. They all voted for Trump, right? Wrong. Political agendas are just as diverse as the population. There are moms who hate the SCOTUS decision, people who want weed legalized, people who think we need more green spaces and libraries, liberals, moderates, Communists, anarchists, and, yes, Democrats. You don’t know your facts, and you don’t bother to look.
  5. Myth: Gun owners must all be sociopaths. Response: read the previous statements. Sociopaths, terrorists, and other dangerous personality types make up a tiny percentage of the population. Even among those diagnosed with schizophrenia (about one percent of the population), only about one percent of those have forensic subtypes, which make them violent. What, do you think everyone wants to go around killing just because they bought a gun? Some people think guns are cool to shoot, and they don’t ever want to use them for anything other than shooting at paper. Hmm.
  6. Myth: Gun owners don’t care about anyone’s safety. Again, re-read all I’ve said. Among everyone I’ve trained, and generally speaking- gun owners fall into two categories, safe and unsafe. Gun owners who care about safety take time to train, buy carry insurance, and learn the law. They protect the innocent by securing firearms and not waving them at people like dumbasses. They don’t let uneducated children near their firearms and educate them on their safety. They closely monitor curiosity, so it doesn’t become an obsession. They understand who is a risk of possessing firearms and make every effort to prevent access. Furthermore, their storage and security with firearms are exemplary. Unsafe gun owners put everyone at risk and are screwing it up for the rest of us. Go take a class. Learn how to fill out a form before you buy a gun.
  7. Fact: Gun owners have stringent processes to acquire firearms and firearm accessories. Examples are shortened firearms and suppressors, which many call “silencers.” If you wish to shorten a firearm or possess a shorter firearm, you must get fingerprinted, fill out a form that includes your picture, pay $200 and wait up to six weeks for approval from the ATF. If you want a suppressor, you follow the same process and wait a year. That doesn’t mean everyone is walking around with them, except for those who acquired them illegally. Still, you’ll conveniently ignore that and focus on law-abiding citizens because they are easier targets given all the other horse shit you believe about them.
  8. Myth: AR stands for “Assault Rifle.” No, it doesn’t, you dunce. This acronym became standard terminology because of the patent creation and trademarking process. AR means “Armalite Rifle,” the company that created the design. An “assault rifle” is what the military carries to “assault.” An AR10 or an AR15 is semi-automatic only. However, even the military prefers to have “assaulters” shoot in semi-auto, generally not automatic, that is for machine gunners, armor, and air power, which make up a tiny percentage of our forces.
  9. Myth: All guns are automatic machine guns, especially ARs. Wrong again. Under the Brady Act, automatic weapons were banned. No one can own an automatic firearm unless they are military or law enforcement. Secondly, the only people who can purchase automatic weapons otherwise are retailers who sell firearms. Then they must go through an extensive process with the ATF again and pay thousands of dollars. These guns are not sold to the public. By the way, the ATF visits retailers all the time to ensure they comply. More conveniently ignored information for anti-gunners. Automatics are acquired illegally frequently and used in crimes, though none of the law-abiding general population has access.
  10. Myth: Magazine restrictions make us safer. Trained shooters can fire almost as quickly with magazine restrictions as anyone with full-size magazines. The most rounds that most handguns can hold are around 20. So you stopped someone from shooting 20 shots in a row. With a reload of less than a second and six magazines on their belt if they so choose, have you garnered some victory over unnecessary violence? I doubt it.

I’m only getting started! Those are some critical points, not comprehensive, and I could go on for hours. And I’m not even speaking for anyone else!

As I said, many anti-gunners haven’t done any research and have no clue what they’re talking about. Yet somehow, they get to label, complain, and pretend they know the solution to mass violence, bigotry, hatred, or lunacy.

They go on and on about “You gun owners” meanwhile, we scan the area for anyone who wants to bludgeon, rape, rob, or harm them or their family.

Heads up, anti-gunners.

We work with you. Our kids go to school with yours; we protect you in public service or wait on you at the Zagat-rated restaurant you frequent. We drive your public transportation and semis that bring your food, engineer your products, work at the Social Security office, live on the poor side of town, live in the suburbs, the country, and everywhere between.

We are smart. We are diverse, we are women, and we are civic-minded young adults. We have varied political objectives.

We don’t stand for violence unless it is to stop violence, yet you think we’re all bloodthirsty, small dicked fools. You’ve never seen our penises, vaginas, or whatever we have down there. We especially don’t want you to see now that we’ve heard you speak.

We have your back. Too bad you don’t have ours.

You can hold onto your baseless, baloney views all you want. We know what you say about gun owners is based on a chosen segment of our population that screws it up for us responsible, caring people. That’s not fair, but why be fair until you think something is unfair to you?

We have a right to defend ourselves in our streets, businesses, and homes. You can try to take that away with all your blathering and lobbying, but you’ll only be harming yourself when it comes time for a defense. Your cowardly cries would be contrasted with all the complaining you did before.

So do us a favor. Shut. Your. Damn. Mouth.

Zachari George

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Practically Social

Licensed clinical therapist and social worker. Host of the mildly edited Practically Social channel. https://bit.ly/3cjg5j4 Catalyst, deep diver, Dad.