We all know the threat that gun-grabbers pose to the Second Amendment. If Bloomberg and Co. succeed in passing more laws that disarm or subarm America, then the right to keep and bear arms will no longer be a right; it’ll be a European-style privilege reserved for a select few, mainly those with money or those in power.
But there are other threats to the 2A that have nothing to do with anti-gunners or restrictive gun legislation. In many ways, these forces are tougher to fight and harder to zero in on than anti-gun politicians and gun-grabbing organizations. I’ve listed a five below that I think are the most concerning. But as always, feel free to weigh in and articulate what worries you.
1. Cash Flow
The rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer. I think everyone agrees on that now, right? Even Republicans are talking about wealth inequality, an issue that seemed to elude them for several elections cycles.
“The opportunity gap is the defining issue of our time,” said GOP presidential Candidate Jeb Bush, according to The New York Times. “More Americans are stuck at their income levels than ever before.”
“Under President Obama the rich have gotten richer, income inequality has gotten worse and there are more people in poverty in American than ever before,” said Mitt Romney in a speech to Republicans.”
To state the obvious, whether it’s sports shooting, target practice, hunting, etc., it all costs money. And as we’re all forced to keep tightening our belts in the midst of systemic wage stagnation, finding the spare dollars to get to the range or to purchase that new firearm is becoming increasingly difficult. Sadly, unless economic conditions change, all forms of recreational shooting and hunting may become a hobby for the few who can afford it.
What happens then to our Second Amendment rights?
2. Places to Shoot
According to the U.S. Census, in 2010 a total of 80.7 percent of Americans lived in urban areas. Last time I checked, most urban areas weren’t all that accommodating to Second Amendment enthusiasts.
New York, Chicago, Los Angeles — the most populous American cities — are not the most gun-friendly places. Sure, you can find in-door shooting ranges, but many of them are forced to charge exorbitant fees to keep the lights and pay the many taxes and licensing charges that each city imposes, which — to circle back to number one — leaves budget-minded shooters out in the cold.
What concerns me is that as the population grows and real estate in city centers and surrounding areas becomes more valuable, will shooting ranges be squeezed out of town forcing city dwellers to travel long distances just to put some rounds down range? What happens if 80 percent of the population can’t regularly get out and shoot?
When it comes to rights, there is a reason why people say that if we don’t use it, we may lose it. I fear more and more urbanites aren’t exercising their right to keep and bear arms because they can’t find a place to shoot.
3. Public Apathy
Maybe it’s just me, but I often get the feeling that people just don’t care these days. About anything. Specifically stuff that matters: government surveillance, FISA courts, a global financial marketplace tittering on the brink of collapse, suspect Iranian nuclear deals, private bankers and oligarchs, gun control, global warming… the list goes on and on.
Nothing registers with anyone anymore. Actually, I take that back. Celebrity gossip still moves the needle. Kim Kardashian’s latest titillating Instagram pic, Lenny Kravitz’s penis popping out of his leather pants during a performance, folks will go out of their way to read about that.
But the other stuff, the stuff that effects the country’s well-being, our civil liberties and basic rights, well, that’s just not that important. Instead of being civic-minded and politically engaged, I think many people would rather just check out and pop whatever self-prescribed painkiller (OxyContin, Roxiprin, Percocet) or SSRI drug (Celaxa, Zoloft, Paxil) they have at their disposal.
It’s sad. And maybe I’m being overly cynical on this one. But it would be nice to see more young people passionate about something other than Miley Cyrus or Caitlyn Jenner.
4. Discipline, Patience, Intelligence
Learning how to shoot well isn’t easy. It takes more than a modicum of discipline, patience and intelligence. I find these traits severely lacking in today’s smartphone culture.
Nowadays, everyone wants instant gratification and if a task or an activity can’t be figured out in five minutes by browsing google on a mobile device, then it’s not worth doing.
Learning about mil-dot, MOA, optics, shooting stances, trigger control, breathing, target acquisition, reloading, concealed carry laws, self-defense laws, hunting laws, etc., is a daunting enterprise, even for those of us who are passionate about it. Likewise, putting in time at the range to implement one’s learning and hone one’s skills takes real commitment.
Maybe I’m wrong but I feel as though more young people would much rather play a FPS (first-person shooter) game on Xbox or Playstation than go out and do the real thing. Why? It doesn’t take much thinking. It doesn’t take a whole lot of effort. It’s easier.
5. Availability of Resources
Without an ample supply of affordable ammunition shooting on a weekly or even monthly basis becomes an impossibility.
I said I wouldn’t talk about gun-control laws, so I’m kinda sorta cheating, but as it relates to the issue of scarcity don’t you find it odd that our government is not only buying ammo in extreme bulk but also trying to ban widely popular and commonly owned ammunition?
I think we’re getting pressured from both sides on this front. The Obama administration is doing what it can to shorten the supply and the fear porn that’s out there has everyone buying whatever they can whenever they can in case the shoe actually drops and a ban is enacted.
Unfortunately, what this means for the everyday shooter is that ammo is more scarce and more expensive then it’s ever been before. Looking into the future, with a presumptive Hillary presidency (again, I’m thinking cynically), do we really think things are going to get better?
I doubt it.
I’m not naive enough to believe that this will serve as any sort of wake up call. But at the same time, I hope it gets Second Amendment advocates who read it to stop and take a look around and ask themselves: Are we doing all we can to spread the gospel of guns? Are we engaging the youth of today? Are we giving young shooters the support that they need?
The future of the Second Amendment depends on our ability to get others to value it, exercise it and proselytize it. Nowadays, I think that’s a tougher challenge than it’s ever been before without even mentioning the name Michael Bloomberg.