Skip to main content

Just because I have a gun, does not mean I am the bad guy.

I wrote this post for my blog with a local newspaper. I was hoping it would generate some conversation, but instead of talking about guns, the comments were more about Liberals vs everyone else. One guy actually commented that "Liberals will never understand." But... I am a liberal. I am a little too liberal some days and with some issues. Without trying to, he proved my point that there will never be considerate, thoughtful conversation about guns because we so quickly jump to conclusions.

Here is the post, and if you click on the title, it will take you to the blog page over at Thoughts From a Tree Stand.

Just because I have a gun, does not mean I am the bad guy.

Posted on February 1, 2013

My Twitter feed is filled with posts and articles about guns. I argue with friends on Facebook about guns and the right to have them, use them, own them. I found articles (here and here) about Liberal gun owners and their take on the gun issue. S.E. Cupp published an article about gun owners this week. Every show and every news anchor mentions it daily – the gun problem and what can be done to “fix it” in the U.S. Everyone has an opinion and suggestion on what we need to do to “make things better.”

What we really should do – stop getting the media involved! Stop putting the names and faces of the murders on our TV screens, in our newspapers and online. Even if you can’t name a shooter, I bet if you were given a group of photos and asked which ones were killers, from Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold to Cho Seung-Hui to James Holmes and Adam Lanza… you could pick them out. They lived on our TVs longer than any of the victims or their families did. As a society, we made it possible for each of them to get publicity for shooting up a school, mall, movie theater etc. We gave them more than their 15 minutes of fame, but why? Why are we focusing on them and not their victims?

During Senate testimony this week, in which Gabby Giffords took the podium to speak about the need for more laws and regulations, NRA President, Wayne LaPierre was asked the question about mandatory background checks. His reply, “background checks will never be universal because criminals will never submit to them.” YES! While, I am all for tighter regulations if it means saving a 6-year old’s life, the idea that cracking down on legal gun owners will somehow stop shootings is unrealistic.

Fact: In Chicago last weekend, 11 people were involved in homicides. 11 people in 2 days were killed (46 others were injured). In one city – a city with such strict gun laws that there are no gun shops within city limits. 11 people! Why are we not hearing about a need to crack down on gang violence? or for that matter, why have we stopped talking about the need for better mental health screenings and services across the country??

In Maine, if you don’t have a gun in your house, I bet your neighbor or a family member does. And chances are, they have more than one. I do. But what I am really sick of, is the rhetoric from people who don’t understand the mindset of gun owners, (or from those who have never held a gun, shot a gun or even seen a gun) and blame us for not wanting to drop what we are doing and support the new rules and regulations that will “fix things.” The number of people I know who have never handled a gun, but are now experts in all things guns infuriates me, as I am sure it does others, and proves that we will never have a civil conversation in this country about what the problem actually is and how it could be solved.

We are not the bad guys. We are the legal gun owners who support the gun industry, the hunting industry and numerous rod and gun clubs around the State and country. We are the one’s who are teaching our kids how to be responsible gun owners and operators. We are the ones who are being proactive in creating an educated gun culture for the future. Stop acting like because I have a gun, I am the bad guy.


  1. Unfortunately it is the world we live in now that portrays us as being the bad guys and I don't see anything that is going to change that much.
    The best we can do is when in conversation we all must remember to show the good instead of all the bad to hopefully someday sway those non-believers to our side.

    1. Absolutely! I really wish we could have a sit down conversation, without politics and without judgement about the other side. Now, its a matter of what will actually happen and when will the topic fade as a new hot button issue comes to the surface.

  2. Well written Erin. It's amazing how those anti gunners spew from anti gun data only to jump on gun owners fro repeating the old NRA propaganda. Can't have it both ways folks. Many gun owners welcome logical, rational discussion and debate, the real problem is there is no such thing when politicians are involved. This IS an emotional issue and will remain so. All we can do is to keep on trying to educate those who obviously are not. Hang in there.

    1. Thanks. I totally agree! When you start labeling people as D and R instead of individual and individual, there is no hope of having a conversation. I wish we could start at common ground "No one, regardless of side, wants to have another incident like Sandy Hook happen again." Then, move out from there to a larger conversation.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Eagles on the trail

Reason number 3,657,935 why my Dad is the best: As we were snowmobiling, we approached a bog and three eagles with about 20 crows took off.  It could only mean one thing in my book - something was dead.  We circled back and walked around in the snow but the birds had left and we couldnt find anything that would resemble a meal.  A part of me thinks that we were in the wrong piece of land and should have been on the other side of the bog but in our snowmobile gear, we were not going to cover a lot of ground.  I was disappointed that we couldn't find what the birds were eating but I was able to get some good pictures of one of the mature eagles and the immature eagle that were flying around.

Where are the women?

This week, my interview with Steve at The Maine Outdoorsman went live. Steve said yesterday 200 people hit his site viewing over 500 pages. That is a lot of people reading about little ole me and hunting. Why? When I think of women who are in the general public's eye and hunt, I can think of 2 - Country singer Miranda Lambert and Sarah Palin. Why only two? Why is the female hunter such a fascinating thing? (I should probably note that I do not have cable so any and all female hunters on the hunting stations are lost to me. I'll keep it to the general public because that's what I am familiar with.) People/media were fascinated by the fact that they could get footage of Palin and her gun, shooting (and gutting) animals but I feel like the nostalgia would be lost if they had the same footage of McCain. Lambert and her hubby Blake Shelton tweet photos of their kills, and comment on what/where they are hunting. I only know this because I follow both. That's it.…

Wanted: Mr. Sportsman

A friend of mine sent me this link and asked what I thought about it.  I had seen it before and was honest when I told him how degrading I felt it was.  Not only was the title of the "Miss Maine Sportsman" application in pink* but the questions were incredibly insulting to those of us that are fighting to be taken seriously among our male counterparts.

Questions like, "Do you clean your own kills/catches?" would never be asked if it were Mr. Maine Sportsman.  It would be assumed that yes, of course men clean what they kill.  Why is that assumption not made of us outdoor women?  Another question, "Do cook [sic] what you catch/kill? If so, what’s your favorite recipe?" would never be asked of men.  

My friend asked me what sort of questions I would ask if it were a Mr. Maine Sportsman pageant.  I came up with a bunch of snarky questions (Do you bait your own hook?) but then I thought about the questions that could have the most impact on the men that would…