I am not a gun owner. I have never fired the Armalite Model 15 (AR-15) rifle nor any similar “assault-style” rifle. My experience with firearms is pretty limited: shooting a .22 bolt action rifle at summer camp when I was 14, a 12 gauge shotgun at clay pigeons with my family in my mid teens, and a few handguns at the local gun range over the past year.
Prior to the tragedy at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on February 14, I had no intention of joining the National Rifle Association. But on February 26, I made the choice and purchased an NRA membership. No, I do not hate children; yes, I want to prevent mass shootings; and I still do not own a firearm- although I am considering my options more rigorously.
So what suddenly changed my mind? It was the Left: the constant calls that the shooting was the NRA’s fault; Second Amendment supporters were then put in the same categories of killers; any time I asked to engage in a discussion about firearms and the Second Amendment, I was dismissed because “I was only looking to provoke a response;” and the legislative movements to ban most firearms and officials “taking the guns first, go through due process second.”
Culturally, Second Amendment advocates have faced ups and downs, but all in all have been respected. We were never labeled as murderers outright, we were able to have discussions, and we were pretty much left alone. After this shooting in particular though, I have seen a viciousness that I never thought possible from classmates, friends, and even family.
When a friend asked what people thought on gun control, I saw nearly a dozen people calling for either a ban on AR-15’s or a repeal the Second Amendment entirely. I tried engaging in a conversation with someone who called for the banning of the AR-15, asking them what they thought the Second Amendment was for. They said “it’s a tech savvy era, look it up.” When I inquired further, I was told “Judging by your comments, I already know your [thoughts] and you’re looking for an argument, not answers.” They were even congratulated for dismissing me as a “troll.” Screw me for trying to engage in a dialogue, right?
It’s not only social media debates, but going after Second Amendment advocates has become commonplace on news media outlets as well. During CNN’s Town Hall, NRA spokeswoman Dana Loesch was called a “murderer,” “child killer,” and then the crowd made calls to “burn her.” Florida Sen. Marco Rubio was told “it’s hard to look at you and not look down the barrel of an AR-15 and not look at Nikolas Cruz,” insinuating that both Loesch and Rubio, along with millions of NRA members and Second Amendment supporters, were akin to the shooter and had blood on their hands. This was done even further, with one on one interviews with Parkland shooting survivors where one told the NRA to “disband,” and another said “If [legislators] can’t get elected without accepting money from child murderers why are you even running?” How did CNN respond? “Will you guys be going back to school?” Not even challenging their views, but caving in lest they also be called child murderers for having a differing point of view.
Legislatively, Second Amendment advocates have seen many victories in the past decade: Heller v. D.C. and McDonald v. Chicago ensured the citizenry of those cities to keep firearms in their homes, before those rulings there was no right to keep arms in those areas, violating both the Second and Fourteenth Amendments.
Recently, both on the state and federal level, bills have been submitted to not only ban the AR-15, but also all semi-automatic firearms. Semi-automatic means that the trigger is pulled once, and one (1) bullet is fired. That would mean most handguns, hunting rifles, and shotguns would be banned. We would be left with muskets, lever action, and bolt action rifles (many of which fire a higher caliber than an AR-15 and can fire a similar number of rounds), revolver and flintlock pistols.
But how popular are these bills? Surely, they will not pass and are not what Democratic constituents would want from their Congressional representatives. Recently, a poll done by YouGov determined that 82 percent of Democrats were for a total semi-automatic weapons ban (including pistols and shotguns) and were split 39 percent to 41 percent on whether to repeal the Second Amendment of the Constitution or not. Want to know why people are joining the NRA in record numbers? It’s because the evidence suggests that Second Amendment advocates are not paranoid, but that they’re completely sane when studies like these come out.
These statements, bills, and polls have shown the true colors of the Left, the “I support the Second Amendment, but…” crowd. Be honest: the Left doesn’t support the Second Amendment, and they want to see the citizens stripped of their Constitutional, civil, and natural rights. Call me a murderer, an enabler, a bigot; it does not mean anything to me anymore. The NRA will stand tall and never waver, because we are “Freedom’s safest place.”
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