Here's the thing I'm a gun owner and I'm not part of the American Right. 

It's not a incompatible set of ideas and should make sense for most of the rest on this side of the political spectrum to at least realize they are compatible. The reason behind my belief are not simple but they do make sense:

1. There are more than 300 million firearms in the US. and they are owned by at least 30-40% of the population depending on the year.  As such, there is no way we are putting this genie back in the bottle especially in a world of easy communication whereby any attempt to force disarmament will be met with resistance.  And less confrontational means are simply countered. So we should put such ideas out of our head.

2. For better or worse the constitution provides for this right and by and large the US Supreme Court has agreed. So with that in mind it is available for almost all to use and everyone should go shooting at a range at least once. I have taken anti-gun or firearm ambivalent friends to ranges to just show them what it was like to shoot a gun.  And more than half enjoyed it enough to want to do it again.  And among those who didn't at least had an idea of what they opposed or didn't otherwise know about.  Education is always the key.  And this is how I came to be gunowner myself.

3. It is always worth mentioning that the vast majority of gun owners are never going to shoot another human in anger, and of those who do most of them will be defending themselves against a legitimate threat. So every person who owns a gun is not automatically a threat. And it is true you are more likely to be injured in a car crash than be shot, though in this country we worry about shootings vastly more than crashes. 

4. There is no reason than law abiding citizens should not own a firearm as they see fit as long as the current situation stands. Need, concerns, and all other personal beliefs really have no place on whether another person chooses to exercise this right, children and other wards excepted.

Now with all this said I do believe in gun control and we should exercising current laws or replacing bad over broad ones with very specific targeted ones instead of just layering them on.  I feel mental health is an important issue behind many, but not all, mass shootings and it would be good to see honest measures towards this. I also sincerely believe in required testing before ownership.  You should know how to safely maintain, operate, store, and otherwise own a firearm.  No, this is not a comparison to getting a driver's license because at this time it is a protected right.  But it is a right that is potentially more dangerous than almost all the rest so there should be testing to ensure responsible ownership.  I have been trained and because of that I'm acutely conscious of the power I hold by owning a gun but I know this also makes safety second nature to me.

in then end, gun ownership and being part of the political Left are as normal as any other part of the world and we need to accept that.

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