Gun owners are talking about gun control. Stop and listen

Pump the brakes, progressives, and listen. Thanks to those activist kids from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, t...

Posted: Feb 21, 2018 6:06 PM
Updated: Feb 21, 2018 6:06 PM

Pump the brakes, progressives, and listen. Thanks to those activist kids from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, the national conversation surrounding guns is evolving -- and it's evolving in a serious way. Some gun owners are already taking action.

If you are someone who is passionately fighting for gun control on social media or with your feet, keep it up. I'm not suggesting you take yourselves out of your activist role, I'm saying maybe, just maybe, it's time to listen, too. Really listen.

As conservative talker and former Trump campaign manager, John Fredericks told me, "We cannot have the debate in the (Michael) Bloomberg fashion." In other words, conservatives don't want to preached to by liberals or independents on gun control.

Instead, he says the onus is on gun owners -- like himself -- to have a legitimate conversation about what can be done to curtail gun violence.

Fredericks is not the only gun owner who believes it's time. Rick Peters, who owns a group of radio stations in Montgomery, Alabama, is all in.

"We are at a tipping point," he told me. "The argument seems to be that we need these assault weapons to protect ourselves -- which is frankly, nonsense."

Peters owns an AR-15 and plans to get rid of the weapon. "This is a silly discussion," he says. "Nobody needs an assault weapon."

He also owns a shotgun and a handgun and is now in favor of an assault-weapon ban.

"This is not about a gun grab, this is not about not supporting the Second Amendment," he says. "This is about what kind of gun do you have [a] right to own."

Other gun owners disagree with Peters on that, but they, too, are willing to talk about gun control. Jason Cazes owns a gun store in Seattle, Washington. "I don't think either side trusts each other," Cazes told me. "All we have heard is there's going to be a common-sense solution, but all that leads to is, 'We want to take away your ARs and high-cap mags.'"

That doesn't mean Cazes is opposed to common-sense solutions. In fact, he's not waiting for the left or the right to have a come-to-Jesus moment. He is taking matters into his own hands and changing the rules when it comes to buying guns in his store.

"I changed policy yesterday," he said. "To buy a long gun, including an AR, you have to be 21 years old, unless... you're active duty or honorably discharged military. You would be exempted because you have been through boot camp and know how to be a man and use this gun."

I have talked with other gun owners, even members of the National Rifle Association, who also want change. But the preaching, on both sides of the gun issue, must stop.

So, talk. Do not villainize.

I trust that every American cares about our children. As Fredericks told me, "I am a father of three, I am a pro-Second Amendment. I was chairman of the Trump campaign in Virginia. But you know ... those who believe in the sanctity of the Second Amendment have to be able to have a legitimate conversation about this issue."

Many gun-rights advocates are having that conversation. So, gun-control activists, keep protesting -- keep pushing for change -- but don't forget to stop every now and again to listen. Because the conversation is, at the very least, progressing -- on both sides.

Huntsville
Scattered Clouds
91° wxIcon
Hi: 91° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 94°
Florence
Broken Clouds
88° wxIcon
Hi: 91° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 92°
Fayetteville
Scattered Clouds
88° wxIcon
Hi: 91° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: 88°
Decatur
Clear
89° wxIcon
Hi: 91° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: 91°
Scottsboro
Broken Clouds
90° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 95°
WAAY Radar
WAAY WAAY-TV Cam
WAAY Temperatures

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 56441

Reported Deaths: 1136
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson7012170
Mobile5061140
Montgomery4599112
Tuscaloosa274353
Madison25359
Marshall205012
Shelby176425
Lee164737
Morgan13975
Baldwin134111
Walker111332
Elmore107622
Etowah106914
Dallas10189
DeKalb10017
Franklin95016
Unassigned77728
Autauga71515
Russell7130
Chambers68530
Cullman6686
Limestone6653
Butler65529
Houston6417
Tallapoosa63069
Lauderdale6006
St. Clair5983
Calhoun5545
Colbert5286
Escambia5128
Lowndes49222
Pike4805
Jackson4422
Coffee4364
Covington43512
Talladega4177
Dale4061
Barbour4022
Bullock37810
Hale36323
Marengo36111
Chilton3452
Blount3311
Clarke3236
Wilcox3158
Marion30914
Winston3095
Sumter29713
Pickens2786
Randolph2759
Monroe2683
Perry2552
Conecuh2388
Bibb2271
Macon2229
Choctaw22012
Greene2009
Henry1573
Washington1529
Lawrence1460
Crenshaw1343
Cherokee1317
Geneva1010
Fayette901
Clay892
Lamar891
Coosa671
Cleburne481
Out of AL00

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 65274

Reported Deaths: 749
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Shelby14163224
Davidson13976146
Rutherford375539
Hamilton353538
Sumner204056
Williamson193916
Knox171710
Out of TN166012
Trousdale15105
Wilson126117
Putnam10817
Unassigned10772
Bradley10104
Robertson97313
Sevier9244
Montgomery8247
Tipton7177
Lake6960
Macon6467
Bledsoe6311
Bedford6309
Hamblen5084
Maury4993
Hardeman4444
Madison3842
Fayette3805
Rhea3500
Blount3483
Loudon3312
Dyer3023
McMinn29319
Cheatham2873
Dickson2820
Washington2760
Lawrence2506
Sullivan2485
Cumberland2294
Anderson2112
Gibson2031
Jefferson1931
Lauderdale1934
Smith1852
Warren1590
Greene1572
Monroe1566
Coffee1520
Cocke1460
Haywood1413
Hardin1407
Obion1273
Marshall1232
Wayne1230
Franklin1223
Giles1221
McNairy1171
Hickman1120
Carter1082
Marion1014
DeKalb990
Hawkins952
Lincoln950
White933
Roane880
Henderson830
Chester810
Overton791
Weakley791
Claiborne760
Campbell721
Grundy672
Crockett653
Unicoi600
Grainger590
Cannon580
Carroll571
Polk570
Henry540
Sequatchie520
Jackson500
Johnson490
Humphreys482
Perry430
Meigs400
Decatur350
Morgan341
Fentress290
Scott290
Union280
Stewart270
Clay230
Houston230
Moore230
Benton161
Hancock120
Lewis120
Van Buren90
Pickett80

 

 

Community Events