The anti-freedom bigots have pushed things so far that people don’t have a clue of where “the middle” is. Example:
What the two sides don’t acknowledge is that reasonable people can oppose civilian ownership of machine guns or .50-caliber rifles so powerful they must be shot using a tripod while still supporting hunting and owning guns for self-defense. Americans can support background checks on guns sold everywhere – not just by licensed dealers – without putting gun companies out of business. The United States can require registration of guns and proficiency tests for gun owners, just as we do with cars, without making it impossible, or even difficult, for law-abiding citizens to buy guns.
The name-calling and breath-holding have made us all forget that a middle ground is possible.
I have long had a hot-button about people that want to be in “the middle” and those who create the perception of “the middle”. People, in general, don’t want to be considered extremists or even a short distance from what they perceive as “the center”. Most people are comfortable only when they are with the majority and when the perception of “the center” moves they tend to move with it. “Wimps” doesn’t begin to express my disgust for people like this who decline and/or refuse to think for themselves.
That aside as a inalterable trait of human nature we now must deal with it and perhaps use it to our advantage.
Perception of “the center” is created in at least three ways:
Labeling your opponent, no matter how “moderate” their stand, as “an extremist”.
Labeling your own position as “moderate”.
Advocates for a position who attempt to “stake out the middle ground” and abandon the extreme position.
The anti-freedom bigots label the NRA as “an extremist” organization and claim they are advocates for “reasonable measures”. Check and check on points one and two. The NRA has, in essence, abandoned class three devices and agreed with the NICS background check. Check on point three. This makes it difficult for us to make progress in repealing oppressive gun laws due to the majority of people who believe “the middle” is somewhere close to the current state of our laws.
This “middle ground” mentality and the desire to stake out a more “extreme position” was an additional motivating factor for me to create Boomershoot. By being an advocate for long range precision rifles and recreational explosives I enable others to feel more comfortable with less “extreme” positions. I push as an “extreme” advocate for freedom to make it more comfortable for others to move in my direction.
But what is really missing in the debate is an identification of where the real extremes are.
Obviously one extreme is a complete ban on firearm ownership with a death penalty for even the slightest infraction for possession of a firearm or any component of a firearm or, plans, documents, or materials with the intent to make a firearm or component of a firearm.
So what is the other extreme?
The anti-freedom bigots would have us believe it’s allowing people to carry concealed firearms or teaching children or young adults how to shoot. But with only a small amount of thought most people will realize this isn’t all that extreme. It’s just that that position has been labeled as extreme.
Wrong. Very, very wrong.
Part of the other extremist position would be where firearms ownership, training, practice, and continuous (24 by 7 with no exceptions) possession of a loaded firearm is mandatory for everyone. The other part of this extremist position would be when government funds are used to accomplish those goals and it’s a death penalty offense for anyone who attempted to avoid or change these requirements.
With those definitions of extremism the “the middle ground” should be pretty clear–“The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed”. Not infringed in the slightest. No law that places any restriction or ownership requirement on anyone. That is the true “middle ground”.