I usually take NRA publications with a grain of salt, because they shamelessly promote themselves while accusing their opponents of being shamelessly self-promoting. But I recently read an article by Chris Cheng in America’s First Freedom (one of the NRA’s Magazines). In it, Cheng recalls an eye-opening moment when a San Francisco colleague confided in him about being “in the closet.” Even though he had “been out and comfortable as a gay man” working in Silicon Valley, he had nonetheless “been a closet gun owner at work for almost 20 years.” Chris Cheng is quoted as follows:
I want diversity to be a primary component of my contribution to the shooting community and the NRA…. There are millions of normal, hardworking American gun owners of all stripes. You’re always going to have people who disagree with you, and that’s fine. But gun owners should not be ashamed of owning a gun….
Well said! The NRA (and the gun community more broadly) gets a bad rap for being one of the most homogeneous groups on earth. And in many respects, I can understand why. But Chris Cheng is right. I suspect this community is more diverse than the photo-ops and preconceptions might suggest. But often it’s not politically correct or professionally expedient for folks to be vocal about their stance on guns. I admit that I am guilty of covering up my 2A card at times too. That’s part of the reason I decided to write this blog, even though some of my friends, family, students, and colleagues are vehemently anti-gun. I’m hoping I can make a small contribution to the goal that Cheng has championed. In my humble opinion, diversity is always a strength, no matter what the context. So here’s to guns, diversity, and Chris Cheng!
9 comments on “The Closet”
Historically, gun control efforts have always had a disparate effect on minorities and women. The original Jim Crow laws of the post Civil War era prohibited freed slaves from owing firearms making them vulnerable and responsive to mob intimidation. Today, the severe gun control in many large cities has the effect of limiting the ability of inner city residents to protect themselves even though they are the ones statistically in the most need of self protection. No one benefits more from firearms for self protection than women. With a firearm and training, any woman of any age is fully capable of fighting off the largest man. Without a firearm, the Illinois State Police until recently advised women to utilize a rat tailed comb or vomiting as means of self protection. Can there be anything more sexist? The self protection tent is a big one and properly includes all of us.
What??? So, I’m supposed to puke on my attacker???
The Illinois State Police actually had that in their publications!! The women demonstrating during Gun Owners Lobby Day carried around tongue depressors and combs to protect the utter absurdity of the suggestion. Contact Valinda Rowe at Illinois Carry and I am sure she would still have copies of the ISP literature. You have come a long ways baby!
Ewwww! Also, disarming undesirable populations was the origin of most modern gun control. In Great Britain, it was the Irish and in America, the African Americans.
Those that don’t like guns (or gun owners) talk about how nice a world without guns would be, like it would be all rainbows and unicorns. Humanity had an era without guns, it was called the Middle Ages. If there were unicorns, none survived. Without firearms, all self defense becomes about physical strength and fitness
…And sadly physical fitness is not exactly my claim to fame.
Sadly, it was even worse than that. They were suggesting that you would puke on yourself, as though that act would somehow make the rapist/attacker leave you alone.
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