Today, we are gonna talk about gun ownership in America. There was a time in American history when owning a gun was the modern-day’s equivalent of owning a smartphone. Everybody was carrying and firearms were not a status symbol, but a necessity. People needed them to protect themselves from critters and crooks alike. Back then, everything was simpler. No one judged you because you were carrying around a rifle on your back and a big iron on your hip. They were tools.

But a lot has changed since then. Gun ownership and use have much political and social baggage now. Alongside some high-profile incidents involving guns, people have formed prejudices against guns. Some gun owners who obtained their firearms through legitimate means are uncomfortable talking about it.

We will take a look at some of these prejudices today. Some of them are politically motivated – created to push an agenda. Some have a more organic start. Regardless, they all share the same problem: they are wrong.

These prejudices are damaging because they stigmatize gun owners and also scare potential ones away from obtaining firearms. This still holds true even when they have a legitimate reason for getting a gun such as for personal defense.

You see a lot of these prejudices popping up whenever guns are mentioned, and news outlets did not do a very good job in bringing about the truth. So, we will address five of the most common prejudices here today.

1. Guns are a Luxury

Some gun owners feel that they need to justify owning a gun as if it is a luxury item. Guns are compared to things such as a Rolex or a sports car that serves ice cream from the trunk while also dispensing champagne from the exhaust. The fact is that gun ownership is part of the constitution.

In other words, it is a right given to Americans by the government. If you have the right to obtain firearms, you do not need to justify it. In fact, you do not need to justify doing anything legal. The only reason you need is, “It’s not illegal.”

Let us not forget that the general population and the US Military have fought and protected the Second Amendment for centuries. I imagine they would be rolling in their graves right now if they see what is going on today.

2. All Gun Owners Are Extreme Conservatives

Nine times out of ten, whenever you see a blanket statement like this, it is false. To be fair, many conservatives own guns, but so are liberals. There is a community called a Liberal Gun Club. So, people from both sides are gun owners.

The politics surrounding guns and the Second Amendment become a partisan issue. No one knows for sure why and how, but it may be a strategic move to undermine the support for the Second Amendment and reduce resistance to gun control regulations.

Regardless, the fact that you own a gun or not does not correlate to which party you vote for. Moreover, having a gun does not mean that you want to start trouble or want to overthrow the current government. You have the right to oppose a regulation that you do not agree with and that does not make you belligerent. Everyone should have some voice in the formation of new laws and regulations that affect them, be it directly or indirectly. You can oppose new regulations but that does not mean you want to start an insurgency.

3. Gun Owners Are Racist

Back in 2013, the Huffington Post put up an article that proved this point. Except, they didn’t. They used symbolic racism to evaluate people’s biases. More recent articles use anecdotal evidence at best. Yes, racists own guns. But people who are not racist also own guns.

The exact number is difficult to work out, but here is an interesting figure to think about. There are over 100 million gun owners in the US, and only half of them are Americans. What does this tell us? It tells us that the number of good, upstanding, and law-abiding gun owners far surpasses the number of racists who also own guns.

Of course, I also have to make a fair number of assumptions and inferences myself because it is difficult to find good information. But this problem goes both ways. That also means that there is not enough information to make a reliable judgment regarding a gun owner’s racial beliefs and biases. So, this assumption just put all gun owners in a bad light without enough information to back it up.

4. People of Color and Firearms

This one is a kicker. The New York Times published an article back in 2018 about gun rights and Black people and the story from Naomi Daniels caught my eyes. Naomi is Black and transgender. The interesting thing here is that being black or any minority gives everyone else the assumption that they are oppressed and that the country does not look after their interests. However, Naomi being a gun owner complicates matter in the sense that if Naomi decides to go down the self-defense route, the assumption here is that they will be in trouble

Naomi simply said that they do not discuss firearms with other liberals anymore. Write this down. They do not discuss guns with liberals. Why? Naomi said that they just lack the capacity to discuss the problem with maturity, nuance, and integrity. That is something to think about.

5. Possessing a Gun Indicates Violent Behavior

You hear this a lot from biased news media. People say that you only carry a gun if you want to start trouble. Sometimes, people ask you why you have a gun at home as if it is the craziest thing to have in your house.

It is completely false that the only reason you would have a gun is that you want to start something. After all, guns are tools. Just because you have a tool does not mean you are going to use it. Guns have many uses and having it does not mean that you are going to cause trouble.

But maybe you want a stronger argument. Here is one. The total number of firearm-related homicides in the US every year is fewer than one-hundredth of one percent of the total population. Considering that there are a lot more gun owners than that, it shows that having a gun is not a good indication of violent behavior.

Anyone who thinks that just owning a gun proves a certain intent has some prejudices they need to sort out. There is not enough information to reach that conclusion.

And there you have it, folks. These prejudices can make people uncomfortable. It is one of those topics that generate heated debates from people from opposite extremes and a lot of deeply held prejudices tend to surface. Thankfully, you usually only hear these from the loud minority of people who are really, really passionate about the subject. Most people do not buy these ideas as much as you think.

Again, life is complex and everything has its nuances. Nothing is ever clear-cut and only a Sith deals in absolutes. Gun owners from various walks of life are decent folks and they work against these prejudices by carefully and clearly articulating their reasons for owning firearms and how to make owning them safe and useful for everyone. As far as I can tell, gun owners have the facts and pride to back up their belief in the right to bear arms. All they need to do is to protect their rights.

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