Unfortunately, some of the most ardent supporters of rights such as abortion, free speech, and other civil rights are also some of the same people who try to take away the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms. To those people I would say that trying to take away gun rights will result in the loss of our other civil rights, such as abortion, free speech, etc. This is part 1 of the 3 part series.
Opposing gun rights sets up an “either-or” choice for gun supporters, and costs anti-gun politicians votes
I am a person who supports and strives to protect all of our fundamental rights, including those that I don’t personally wish to make use of (such as abortion rights). There are many gun owners like me, who appreciate all of our basic rights, and want to see all of them protected. This creates a dilemma when we are forced to choose between supporting a candidate who is with us on guns, but against us on the other basic rights, and vice versa. For example, I’ve seen the situation where Candidate R is in favor of gun rights and opposed to abortion rights, while Candidate D is opposed to gun rights and in favor of abortion rights. We gun owners are then forced to decide which fundamental right is more important to us – guns or abortion. For gun owners, this decision will often come down to a combination of economics, safety, and sentimental value:
If a gun owner has thousands of dollars of guns, then that gun owner will probably vote for the pro-gun, anti-abortion candidate, even if they agree with abortion rights. The same is true when considering whether self defense rights or abortion rights are more important to gun owners. In short, it is just as hard to get gun owners to willingly vote to lose their gun rights, as it would be to get car owners to vote to give up their car rights. Furthermore, like many cherished possessions, guns often take on sentimental value for their
owners, especially guns that were once owned by deceased relatives or given as gifts.
An example of this situation is the 2008 Cook County, IL State’s Attorney primary, where Larry Suffredin was defeated. He ran on a platform of gun control, and this was enough to alienate gun owners such as myself, who might have otherwise respected his activism against police torture. In a race that he lost by just a couple percent, and where I know that i personally got at least 10 people to vote against him, Mr. Suffredin’s gun control stance just might have cost him the election. That is not to say that there was a pro-gun candidate, and even the winner of the race seems to be anti gun… But Larry Suffredin went out of his way to make clear that taking away our gun rights would be a priority of his if elected, and so Cook County gun owners voted against him.
In short, trying to ban guns is just not good politics. It costs the anti-gun politicians votes, and will often push gun owners to whichever candidate won’t threaten their gun rights, even if that candidate is otherwise a bad choice. As a result, the politicians who will threaten our basic rights may end up elected, after receiving the support of gun owners who care deeply about their 2nd Amendment rights. The same is true when it comes to supporting organizations that oppose gun rights. I would urge those of you on the anti-gun side to consider whether trying to take away gun rights is worth losing abortion, free speech, 4th Amendment, etc. right.