I don’t own a gun, rifle, or any other type of firearm. Never have. Before moving to Frederick County, I lived in a state that didn’t come close to having what could be called a “gun culture.” Outdoor activities and entertainment were mostly boating, fishing and grilling burgers and hot dogs.
When I moved here, I was surprised how steeped in the gun culture the area is. I remember a few years ago an article about a young women who received a hunting rifle for a present from her father. I was stunned. Obviously, I had a lot to learn about some of the area’s traditions. And learned I have.
In addition to hunting, I have been surprised by how many residents in the area own guns for personnel and private protection. I’ve also learned that many are avid collectors of firearms. Certainly a very different interest from the collectors of baseball cards and Tom Brady paraphernalia that I have been familiar with.
Once I became used to this gun culture, I also learned that the participants are as trustworthy, honorable, and decent as any fisherman or sailor along the New England coast. Sure, they have hobbies that differ from those I have, or those from other regions of the United States. But, they don’t deserve the vicious, repugnant characterizations some politicians and their media cheerleaders have made about them.
Of course, some of the most egregious comments were from our governor who claimed that he feared many of the pro-gun protestors who were recently demonstrating in Richmond were racist. If the governor wanted to know what a racist looked like, he should have looked in the mirror, or should have gone back to his medical school yearbook to see his image in blackface or wearing a Klan costume. Both were on his personal page which was emblazoned with a racist term second only to the “N” word.
Some of the reactions to the Richmond protests by Second Amendment enthusiasts made me think that these are the people who, because of their Second Amendment beliefs, Candidate Clinton called deplorable. Well, I’ve learned that they are as far from deplorable as she is from graciousness and sincerity. If one supports legislation that would curtail in some way gun ownership and use, make your case without condemning many of the good people who just may be your neighbors.