Today's feature is from our parent service, The Outdoor Wire.
If anything was learned from the recent 2A rally in Virginia, it was the results of like-minded Americans and firearms owners joining and working together. While the mainstream media (as usual) quickly turned their interest elsewhere, those who own firearms heard all about the event thanks to social media (websites and Facebook postings) and published articles in firearms focused magazines.
The question is now can this defiance of gun grabbing laws continue and grow? It depends upon YOU!
Many things have changed in America since a group of men with pens sat down and signed the Declaration of Independence in 1776. Many of those changes and added laws or articles have been the result of people showing up, standing up and speaking or shouting up. Amendments include: womens’ ability to vote (19th Amendment), due process, right to free speech and freedom of religion, prohibiting unreasonable searches and seizures, abolishing slavery (13th Amendment) and others. More than 10,000 amendments to the Constitution have been proposed since the late 1700s.Only a few have passed the test.
Changes at the federal level often begin because states have changed laws, and those state law changes have mostly be made because local groups put pressures on local governments to change laws to their advantage. In recent times LGBT groups, environment and animal rights groups, groups based on race, and many others have garnered much attention because they attended local and state meetings or hearings—and made LOUD demands. When those demands were not met, they returned again in larger numbers and made louder demands. Other groups have done the same across the past 200-plus years in America and those with dedication to the cause have many times succeeded in getting laws passed by pressuring elected officials to make changes. It follows that saying: The squeaking wheel gets the grease. Fact is elected officials hate to be confronted and pressured. In most cases they pass the requests to get the screamers out of their faces.
While the Second Amendment to the US Constitution is included in the Bill of Rights (A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.), this Right has been eroded on numerous local, state and federal levels. The Virginia 2A protest rallied tens of thousands of firearms owners on January 21—and has generated a great deal of interest across America from Kentucky to Oregon. While the Virginia legislative body passed restrictive gun laws days after the protest (and ignored a very large voter base), cities and local governments then took action and declared themselves Sanctuary Cities or areas. It’s more of local laws becoming or working to change state laws, and then state laws eventually changing federal laws. You can rest assured those local laws were changed because local voters and local citizens showed up, stood up, and spoke up.
One item that seemed to keep gun owners from going public in the past was fear they would become a target of thieves or local law enforcement. Advances in home security, stronger safes, and other protective measures in the home, along with a continually growing number of concealed-carry permits, have provided some peace of mind and have made gun owners less of a target. In a large number of cases, those owners have also been former military members, are law enforcement officers, or have been elected officials. They own, use and understand firearms—and they have realized that gun grabbing laws, magazine bans, assault rifle restrictions and all the other common anti-gun laws have arrived at their doorstep and now affect them.
It is becoming more common for those affected by proposed or enacted laws to take action. Decades of inaction by firearms owners has resulted in where we are today with 2A rights restricted or greatly eroded. The enough-is-enough discussion in rural cafes, between neighbors and family members, at churches, in gun clubs and in other common gathering situations are now resulting in many average Americans taking action. Like-minded citizens from all walks of life overwhelmed the state capital in Virginia and obviously scared the elected government.
The Virginia success and interest has spread. Other states will see similar action in the days, months and years ahead. Gun owners have been trampled, restricted, punished, taxed and imposed far too long.
Is it time for you to Show Up—Stand Up—and loudly Speak Up?
— Michael D. Faw
Mike Faw is a former conservation officer, well-known outdoor writer and former Director of Media Relations for Crimson Trace Corporation.