From the Second Amendment Organization . . .
NEITHER VIOLENCE NOR ADVOCACY THROUGH INTIMIDATION ARE CONDONED BY LEADERS IN THE GUN RIGHTS MOVEMENT
On the eve of a Presidential inauguration that will take place behind unprecedented security after our nation’s Capitol building was attacked by a small band of violent and destructive rioters, we feel it is important to make this clear.
Since the incursion that temporarily interrupted the certification of the Presidential election on January 6th, some journalists, media pundits, anti-gun activists and even a small number of elected officials have attempted to tie the gun rights movement to the reprehensible acts that lead to deaths that day and fear of further violence this week.
These claims are unfounded.
NO GUN RIGHTS ORGANIZATION OR RECOGNIZED LEADER CALLED FOR VIOLENCE ON JANUARY 6TH
Political Violence goes against the heart of the gun rights movement. The Second Amendment protects gun rights in order to provide for defense. The gun community has denounced violence tied to protests throughout 2020, as we also condemn the violence and destruction of property at the US Capitol in January 6th without equivocation.
As early as the afternoon of January 6th, the President of the Second Amendment Institute International, Tyler Yzaguirre, who lives in Washington, DC, posted publicly:
Today there was an illegal and unprecedented charge on the U.S. Capitol.
You have the right to “peacefully” protest. Not to put the lives of Members, police officers, and your fellow Americans in danger.
The Second Amendment Organization’s Executive Vice President, Rob Pincus, has vehemently denounced the violence and posted early during the gathering at the Capitol:
I’m sincerely hoping that this protest remains peacefully disruptive.
Alan Gottlieb, Founder of the Second Amendment Foundation, stated that the small band becoming violent at the US Capitol “…disturbed me greatly.”
The list of gun rights movement leaders who have shared similar thoughts is extensive. There are an estimated 100 million gun owners in the United States with over 400 million civilian-owned firearms. Less than 1000 rioters entered the US Capitol and not one of them fired a single shot.
As David Yamane, a professor of sociology at Wake Forest who studies the gun culture, observed in his rebuke of a recent article in The Atlantic attacking our movement:
As easy as domestic terrorism is to commit, few gun owners turn to insurrectionist violence.
It should also be noted that there is only one political cause that unites all gun owners: gun rights. No action being undertaken that day at the Capitol was specifically related to gun rights.
The violent mob represented only a very small percentage of the people gathered in DC for political purposes that day. They were certainly not us.
Members of every political party and position are gun owners in the US. Organizations in our community represent gun owners of various faiths, lifestyles, races and interests. Every State has a gun rights organization representing its residents, most have several.
The Second Amendment protects the rights of all Americans, regardless of political party, vote or position on any issue… and we respect everyone’s right to hold differing opinions and express them peacefully. At this time of great division in our country, we call for unity amongst all gun owners in the fight to protect our gun rights in the future, regardless of who you voted for or how you feel about the 2020 Election.
Responsible Gun Owners know that violence is an act of last resort, not to be engaged in out of anger or frustration.
All Gun Owners should consider how their actions might negatively affect our movement. Anyone who feels compelled to protest over the course of the next week should take advantage of their First Amendment rights lawfully and respectfully. We believe that peaceful protest should be focused on demonstrating strong support for a cause and educational advocacy, not intimidation, towards those one hopes to influence.
We agree fully.
This article was originally published at 2ao.org and is reprinted here with permission.