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How I Know Radical Leftist Gun Nuts Are Real
It's taken me over a decade to face the fact that guns might not be in the best interest of the people. One of the biggest misunderstandings people have is that the more left-leaning your opinions tend to be, the more anti-gun you likely are. When people think of radical leftists, they typically think of people whose final agenda is to banish guns off of the face of existence.
That assumption couldn't be more false. The truth is that pro-gun radical leftists are very real and far more numerous than people might assume. I've seen more radical communities filled with pro-gun anarchists, socialists, and communists than I could ever begin to count. When I first started getting into radicalism, the online radical left community's gun fixation sort of gave me the chills.
While the anonymously-placed #ShootBack signs in California shocked many people I know, I wasn't the least bit shocked. The Orlando shooting tragedy has propelled Pink Pistols, "a gay gun rights organization," into the public eye. Orlando shooting propelled them into the public eye. Since then, this organization's membership doubled from 1,500 to 3,500 after the Orlando shooting. According to the organization's official website, "[Pink Pistols] no longer believe it is the right of those who hate and fear gay, lesbian, bi, trans, or polyamorous persons to use us as targets for their rage." Founded by libertarian activist Krikket (Doug Krick), they proudly tote their motto: "Pick on someone your own calibur." Their Wikipedia page makes it a point to explain how "the political orientation of the Pink Pistols is considered unusual due to the popular perception in the United States of firearms ownership as a 'conservative issue' and sexuality as a 'liberal issue.'" While Pink Pistols aren't necessarily leftist or radical, pro-gun sentiments are incredibly prevalent in leftist radical communities. In fact, it was the radical left's gun fetish that introduced me to the concept of guns as a safety measure.
When many people hear about Pink Pistols, they envision them as a paradox. As someone who grew up immersed in a radical left political bias and pro-gun sentiments, I never saw the pro-gun stance as a particularly conservative issue. I was never even cognizant of this divide until I noticed my teachers in college classes being shocked to hear pro-gun opinions come out of a mouth that was always talking about anarchy, socialism, and radical ideas. However, the more I see my fellow LGBTQIA+ folk expressing adamant anti-gun stances, the more I loosen my grip on how much I identify as pro-gun rights. After the Orlando shooting, I often catch myself thinking about guns like I'd think of any other deadly or unhealthy product: something myself and others are better off without. Not only does the National Rifle Association has quite an extensive documented history of homophobia and transphobia. With all things considered, I might need to pass up on guns and settle for pepper spray. I'm half tempted to get savvy about self-defense tool for now and start bringing a sharpened pizza slicer with me everywhere I go, but unlike other radical leftists, owning a firearm isn't my thing.
Yes, you read that statement correctly.
The radical left's world is chock full of gun nuts who see their guns as symbols of freedom and protection. Protecting sexual minorities from hate crimes is something that should be on everyone's agenda, including people who are pro-gun. Concerns over protecting marginalized people against hate crimes shouldn't be seen as partisan issues. But the lack of concern I'm seeing among pro-gun communities for queer lives is beyond disturbing. People are going as far as to ignore the fact that the violence committed at Pulse in Orlando wasn't a hate crime against the Latinx/POC LGBTQ+ community to begin with. To ignore the shooter's flagrant hateful attitudes he expressed towards other queer people is to deny the presence of homophobia and transphobia in our culture. First and foremost, bigotry in American culture and a lack of damns given about gun control played the biggest hand in creating the monster that is the mass-shooting epidemic.
I grew up knowing people who self-identified as anarchists on political terms. That includes people who used to be card-carrying communists, so I was familiar with the idea of radical positions on feminism, class struggle, capitalist abuse, and other injustices. I’ve always understood that the inherent purpose of guns us to kill or threaten with death. I’ll never forget the first time I held one. A close family friend and self-identified anarchist handed me an enormous and legal gun. It wasn’t a rifle, either — It was a registered weapon that was specifically designed to kill people in self-defense. The dark, fluttering feeling overcame my entire body. Within less than a second, I was begging him to take it out of my hands. When I did not like the feeling of holding a gun, I figured guns just weren’t for me.
Despite my discomfort, I didn't reconsider my stance.
The more I read about anarchy, the more deeply I found myself surrounded by radical concepts like regarding capitalist exploitation and economic injustice. It was only a matter of time before I found myself on sites with communist readerships and forums with self-identifying communists. Anarcho-punk rock played a huge role in validating my suspicions, so my search for more radical political knowledge started from reading about feminism and animal rights content published by random indie punk zines online. Before discovering anarcho-punk, I merely suspected that people often spend their in oppressive systems much larger than a mere individual. Reading the lyrics of Dead Kennedys and MDC implored me to explore oppression and social issues like racism, police brutality, feminism, animal rights, anarcho-syndicalism, capitalist exploitation, and other evils that operate on social and institutional levels. I eventually discovered social anarchy and identified many of the gripes I dealt with on a daily basis like sexism, sizism, racism, and every other “ism” that’s ingrained into our cultural consciousness. I'm glad I did because I eventually discovered relationship anarchy and continue to find wholehearted fulfillment in this form of radical non-monogamy each day. To be honest, my interest in anarcho-punk didn’t interact with my gun-related opinions very much. I didn’t discover anarcho-collectivism, anarcho-communism, and other ways anarchy can intersect with economics until a couple of months after I started taking anarchism seriously as a political and social philosophy.
My interest in anarchy led me to online places where other radical leftists met. After all, most of my ideas regarding social issues and economic justice are more than radical enough to be considered anarchistic, so these web environments seemed attractive to me. I was surprised to see that many were either teenagers like me, but there were also plenty of radical-minded adults who still worked full-time jobs. Sometimes, I’d even run into posts on these sites made by squatters who lived on freegan cuisine and used library computers to B. S. on the Internet before returning to their respective communities.
When I did finally read about gun rights, I quickly began to see myself as a supporter of the Second Amendment's concept with an emphasis on the "well-regulated" part. I can't bring myself to support companies that manufacture deadly producst like guns, sell them to the public, and expect them to remain as unregulated as possible. I never felt like my opinions became compromised by anti-gun arguments like “guns are the cause of gun violence.” As the uniquely American mass-shooting phenomenon persists, the whole nation can agree that there aren’t too many things worse than when a gun falls into the wrong hands. Some people think that arming every citizen a gun is a more effective gun safety strategy than preventing guns from getting into the wrong hands in the first place. Calling this "misguided" might be an understatement of this century.
I quickly found out that many, many radical leftists are incredibly supportive of gun rights. After months of lurking on radical left-wing sites, I eventually started reading forum posts. If I hadn’t joined the forums, I wouldn’t have been able to have access to the ideas of other radicals. I’ll never forget the subject topic: “Flaunt Your Fire Arms!” I took a peak and nonetheless, it was exactly what I expected: people flaunting their guns and openly fetishizing them as tools of power as well as freedom. Before I was 13, the thought of actively celebrating guns never occurred to me. The radical adults I knew were rather vocal about the Second Amendment, they never actually bothered with owning a gun. From a young age, I was taught that guns were not to be seen or heard unless an emergency was happening. Back then, young Ghia saw the idea of showing off your gun to a bunch of people - let alone, strangers on the Internet - as pretty immature in many contexts. Guns are serious business. After all, wasn’t the whole point of guns to remain unseen and unheard unless you were practicing using them or in an actual dangerous situation? What if someone discovered the right bits of your Internet trail, pieced them together, and attacked you? The whole thing seemed irresponsible to me. It was the first time I ever saw people treating their guns like they how they'd treat shiny new toys. That's the thing about guns: They aren't meant to be played with. Now that I know more gun owners, I've come to understand how some people take immense pride in their guns.
However, some people were more clear about their gun pride for reasons other than the Second Amendment's mere permission to do so. They'd sometimes lament about how their guns protected them way more than cops ever have. They talked about how guns helped them avoid bad cop encounters by helping them deal with situations directly rather than through the police. Many expressed that their mistrust of the police appeared to be fueled by (repeated) negative interactions in which cops became violent with them. Others said that cops lived far from their refuges, but they were more than happy to not have their protection in order to avoid dealing with institutionalized violence. If I got a quarter for every story I've ever heard about peaceful protesters and generally non-violent people getting beaten up by cops, I'd be rich. These stories aren't even confined to partisan interests, though I've definitely seen way more liberal-leaning people get beatings by cops in response to their completely non-violent behavior.
If you live in an area like mine, you don't call the police because you don't trust them to not make your life at least one hundred times worse. In places where calling upon your local cops for help is risky in and of itself, people often choose to arm themselves. Guns become a viable option when calling the cops isn't.
If anything, I read more about guns while reading up on police brutality because I hardly touched the subject otherwise. However, most pro-gun people are single issue voters and make guns their top priority in terms of their personal body politic. When my other friends discovered anarchy or even my interest in it, The Anarchist Cookbook was always the first thing that came up. I wanted to spread love, not bomb people, so I never saw the appeal in investigating bomb creation. I always blamed America's gun problem people, culture, ineffective laws, insufficient screening, and more. But now, it's time for me to face the facts: guns cause death. Guns are dangerous. We need to combine all our efforts into reforming the social attitudes and political factors that are literally killing America.
Regardless of your opinions relating to the Second Amendment and stance on guns, it's time to get real about taking care of America's unchecked gun control issues and discriminatory attitudes. One's position on the political spectrum shouldn't come into the picture when talking about gun safety. Every single American must remain proactive in ridding our culture of hatred along with everything else that fuels mass-shooting incidents aside. Many feel that these measures should including banning the guns themselves and at this point, I can't say I blame them for having that opinion. No matter what, America must make it a priority to make sure guns never fall into the hands of dangerous people.
#Real #ProGunLeftists #RadicalRoots #AnarchyInTheUSA #LoveMeImALiberal #BulletsBetweenComrades #LeftistBloodlust
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