Nathan Dannison received his first firearm — a Browning bolt action. 22 rifle — as a Christmas present when he was 11 years old.
Now 34, he’s owned firearms consistently since and enjoys hunting and clay shooting. But he tells the line firearm proprietors are expected to toe when it comes to the national gun control debate is troubling.
“We’ve let the Hollywood cowboy wannabes take over the debate, ” he tells. “We’ve let the NRA devolve from a conservation and education organisation into something unrecognizable.”
Dannison is part of a growing number of gun proprietors breaking from the stereotypical NR-Adriven script and advocating for new, stricter, common-sense gun legislation.
Alexander Voorman, 34, believes that firearm proprietors bear the greatest responsibility in this debate.
“I may personally like firearms, ” he says, “but I also believe that everyone has the right to live safely and freely without one, and that those people are in no way culpable for the epidemic of gun violence in this country.”
Voorman was raised in a strictly no-gun household, but says he was fascinated early on by handguns and currently visits the shooting range as a hobby.
South Carolinian Bill Ware, 59, owns a slew of firearms as a pastime as well:. 20 – and. 12 -gauge shotguns, rifles, several handguns, and an assortment of reproduction black powder handguns.
Like Voorman, he’s questioned the validity of ownership and his role in the debate while people are succumbing in mass shooting after mass shooting, especially those involving assault-style weapons. “I was having a crisis of conscience of kinds, ” Ware notes.
He, Voorman, and Dannison believe that firearm owners must overcome the revolutionary voices that have long predominated this conversation.
“The continued silence of much of the gun-owning populace in the face of shooting after shooting casts us in a horrifyingly bad illuminate, ” Voorman says. “It attains us seem callous and uncaring at best; complicit at worst.”
It’s not easy to advocate for limiting liberties from within the gun community. Many believe any change would be a slippery slope to sweeping outlaws on all pistols or even the creation of a database of firearm owneds.
From Voorman’s perspective, though, gun owners’ resistance to regulation seems immersed in paranoia. He says they fear that overregulation due to the “ill-defined, just-in-case” scenario in which they might require a gun.
In this route, gun ownership becomes a comfort.
Katie Kirchner, 39, has been a firearm proprietor since 2001, after person knocked on the window of her rural home in the middle of the night. Though her handgun provides her a sense of some security, she doesn’t believe that stimulates handgun reform a threat.
“The gun is not a need — it is a want, ” she tells. “And at this phase I am not even sure I want it any longer so as not to be lumped into the intolerant, gun-owning, chest-pumping, NR-Aloving group.”
With a third grader who tells her about the lockdown drills they do at school, Kirchner is even more troubled, telling, “I dislike that she has to consider this even happening to her and her classmates.”
Public safety, especially in schools, is perhaps the greatest motivator for this group pushing for tighter regulation.
There is a growing consensus that the NRA is a toxic, destabilizing force in U.S. politics.
Dannison points to profit’s role in the gun reform debate 😛 TAGEND
“It’s critical that people understand that a firearm is a product with an indefinite shelf-life. This induces it very, very hard to run a profitable, growth-based industry around manufacturing guns. Imagine if cars never wore out. The vehicle manufacturers would go bust in a few years. This is what is motivating the firearm lobby.”
When it comes to weapons like AR-1 5s, the gun of choice in many of our mass shootings, Dannsion says they’re various kinds of like a Lego set because of all of the little pieces, components, and modifications a person can purchase. “It’s a really deadly toy, ” he tells wrly, “but you know how infants get when you try to take away their toys.”
These firearm owneds are ready to have real conversations about gun control.
They have progressive notions about how to make changes that reduce gun violence and shootings and maintain everyone — handgun owners or not — safe. “The solution, or mere inspiration for actual progress, lies in procuring the profit in regulation, ” Ware explains.
He believes that registering and insuring firearms might be the key to motivating insurance companies to participate in the dialogue, much like the ways we regulate vehicles.
Kirchner says she would be glad to participate if reforms were to include screening current handgun owners.
“I would be the first in line to see if I am capable of owning a firearm, ” she says. “I have nothing to hide and sometimes wonder what the non-gun reform people do have to hide.”
No matter the outcome, Dannison, Kirchner, Voorman, and Ware agree that gun owneds need to get involved in regulation advocacy right now .
“We are increasingly painting ourselves as a very dangerous and angry minority in America, ” Voorman says, “and it is my belief that if we want to continue to enjoy our freedom to bear arms, we must either give a little now — or dedicate a lot later.”
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