Communication And Exclusion
After being a part of the firearms community for the last few years (really, coming in as an outsider) I’ve gotten to watch the ebb and flow of how things go. With that being the case, there are some issues that…many seem to be oblivious to, or just downright don’t want to discuss them. Whether it’s out of their own bigotry, their own denial, or their own greed. The two biggest issues being, in my opinion, communication, and exclusion… and the two are tied together.
Before digging in further, I want to mention a view verses from the Bible. The first being being John 13:34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.”
The second one being Matthew 7:1 “Do not judge, or you too will be judged.”
The final one? Matthew 7:2 “For with what judgment you judge, you shall be judged: and with what measure you use, it shall be measured to you again.”
Keep these in mind while you’re reading this, especially if you’re a Christian.
I will tip this off with saying we absolutely suck at communicating information in the community. There is a certain level of communication going on with social media (which, honestly, I can’t imagine how poorly we’d be communicating without it), but outside of social media there is an overwhelming lack of communicating going on. Just as a fantastic, Grade-A example of what I mean.
The ATF came out in 2016-2017 and stated that it was okay to shoulder pistol braces on rifle caliber pistols. To this day, July 2019, I am still seeing too many people who don’t think it’s legal or okay to shoulder pistol braces. Yes, there’s always going to be the oddball in the line who doesn’t know their ass from their head…but with how tight nit this community can be? There’s absolutely no reason why I should be seeing multiple people questioning this on a daily to bi-daily basis like I am.
The only real way to make sure that people aren’t left in the dark is to make sure we’re talking with each other. We all know somebody that loves firearms, but they don’t keep up on gun news because it doesn’t take up the entirety of their time. We also all know people that follow NRA magazines like they were the word of God himself. If you’re a lover of the 2nd Amendment, help your fellow gun owners out, and get them the news that they need.
To take things a little further, we don’t only suck at spreading news, but we suck at sharing information and making it readily available. For every time I see quality information such as testing, reviews, etc. I see bad testing, bad reviews, etc. being shared twice. This bad information, when not called out, hurts us as a community. When people deny any information that contradicts that they’ve been told, they’re hurting the community.
Fortunately, when it comes to calling out bad information, the internet community does a fantastic job at calling it out.
What can you do to help solve the problem of misinformation and bad information from being spread? There’s a few things.
- Have the quality information saved and be ready to share it. Even if 1/50 take to it, you’re helping, and yes. It can be extremely frustrating.
- Be willing to admit that you’re wrong about something.
- Look for confirmation bias in your own decisions and actions. Everyone wants to be certain in what they buy, is that preventing you from taking in new information? Is it preventing you from giving out quality information?
- Don’t be inflammatory. Don’t start flinging shit like a baboon when you see someone say something stupid. Present the facts, if you so desire explain why they’re wrong, and leave it at that.
Exclusion…exclusion not only damages our communication skills, but it hurts our fight against tyrannical politicians who wish to strip the citizens of this country of their rights. This country wasn’t founded on the grounds of every person being accepting of everyone else’s views or beliefs. It was founded on the grounds of everyone being able to tolerate one another, and that’s what made it great. Both sides of the political spectrum have seemingly forgot that coexistence isn’t about submitting and accepting one ideology or another, but that coexistence is the ability for a populace to tolerate one another, respect one another’s rights, and to not trample on them.
Today, we see both sides baring teeth to anyone who seems different to one extent or another. Just as an example, when the Pulse Night Club shooting happened in 2016, many in the LGBT community had an epiphany, and wanted to become armed so they could defend themselves. What was the end result of that decision?
The left disowned them and wanted nothing to do with them, the right? Instead of welcoming these new comers to the gun community with open arms, the door was all but slammed in their collective faces. We see this type of thing happen with…almost every minority group and it doesn’t take much to see it.
From a group of people who claim to love the Constitution, I honestly expect more. Not in terms of acceptance, but in terms of tolerance…at least enough to encourage everyone from every background to want to get active in practicing not only their 2nd amendment rights, but all of their rights. It’s easier to bring change when you have the numbers on your side, in every group.
The fights that are happening among us aren’t the fights that need to be had, they’re being caused by the identity politics… the same type of politics that militaries use to dehumanize the enemy. They’re effective, especially when it comes to quelling the populace, and tricking them into giving up their rights out of fear of the “other” side.
Don’t agree with gay marriage? Fine. Don’t agree with a person’s religion? Fine. Don’t agree with the transgender stuff? Fine. At the end of the day, we all have the same inalienable rights and as long as no one is doing something to harm another? They need to be respected; by everyone. Tolerate the groups you disagree with, support them in their quest to exercise their rights, and they’ll help support you with exercising yours. United We Stand, Divided We Fall.
On a final note. When it comes to people assimilating into this culture, think about how scary that might seem when all they get to see is outward hate and discontent with them.