I've been a gun owner and 2A advocate for a few years now. The libertarian in me applauds and supports the individual rights, and as long as you're not hurting anyone else, I'm in favor of you doing whatever the hell you want.
But look, we've got an image issue. The anti-2A folks are trying to paint us as wanna-be Rambo types who are sexist, racist, and xenophobic, living in our fantasy world and out of grip with reality.
We know that's not the case, but we're certainly not helping when we do the following:
1. Putting a "tactical" adjective or adverb on every damn thing. What the hell is so "tactical" about a flashlight? Or an ink pen? Or a backpack? Or any of the myriad of other things that have the label "tactical" assigned to them? Look, it's a damn INK PEN. That's it. You're never going to use it for anything else other than writing. Putting "tactical" in front of everything feeds the leftist narrative that we're looking for a chance to use our tactical skills and tactical gear when we tactically engage and show superior tactical decision making as tactical operators. Instead of saying "Oh, that's my tactical ink pen that can be used as a defensive weapon", why not just "It's an ink pen"?
2. Trying to market to female shooters by simply slapping a pink color scheme on things. Yes, some women will prefer to have pink or other brightly colored items (purse, range bag, holster, gun, whatever), but there are plenty out there who don't give a damn about color and just want a functional gun that fits and is reliable. Kathy Jackson, over at The Cornered Cat (and you are reading her stuff, right? You should be...) has written extensively about women and guns, and I can't add to anything she's said, but we've got to stop treating women like they are delicate flowers and can't make their own decisions about guns. If a woman wants to own a gun or a gun accessory, let HER pick it. Don't assume she's going to get excited because you put a Coach handbag pattern on your Kydex holster.
3. Speaking of women, I will be the first to admit that I admire an attractive female form as much as anyone. But please stop with the "Hot babe in a bikini holding a gun and posing like she's shooting" photos like this:
This picture is f--king stupid.
First, nobody in their right mind would shoot an AR while wearing a bikini. Hot brass to the cleavage isn't pleasant, from what I understand. Second, let's examine the message: "Here's a photo we like because it shows a lot of skin." Is THAT the message we want to send? Or would we be better off showing a woman with serious skills on the gun, even if she doesn't resemble an NFL cheerleader or Victoria Secret model? Want to know what I find really attractive in female shooters?
That's Tori Nonaka, member of Team Glock, competing and doing well. That's what we need to be doing to promote women as shooters, ourselves as inclusive of both men and women, and the message here is far better: "Here's a video we like because it shows a great deal of skill and ability..."
4. Let's also stop labeling everyone who doesn't agree with us 100% as dumb, anti-American, communist, or any other derogatory term. Let's listen to understand, let's listen to learn their view, and let's be the denizens of the moral high ground. I've some rather liberal friends who, at one point, were 100% against guns. They had bought into the rabid anti-gun sentiment, and didn't understand my view. I sat down, politely and calmly listened to what they were saying, we had a nice rational discussion, and I asked them, simply, "Let me take you to the range one time. I'll buy everything, provide all the stuff needed, and you just bring an open mind." A few of them converted their views somewhat (not a full 180, but I'll take the small steps over none), some didn't, but the point is that by not calling them Communists, I managed to get them to consider my views. When we refuse to consider theirs, we're being quite selfish. We don't have to give up our views to understand theirs.
Can we stop doing these things? For the sake of our image as responsible shooters and gun owners, let's change the message: "We are people who enjoy the shooting sports, carry pistols for our own protection, let women make their own decisions about what to purchase, promote and applaud skillful shooting wherever we might find it, and are willing to sit and have open and honest conversations with people who might not share our views."