A Pro-Gun Liberal Is Not An Oxymoron

A Pro-Gun Liberal Is Not An Oxymoron

Believing in our second amendment rights does not make me a hypocrite.

At a club in Orlando Florida, nearly 100 people were killed or injured at a club in shooting involving a terrorist whose name will not be mentioned. In light of this massacre and many before the rights of gun owners have been a topic of discussion and deep contention. The far-left demand a ban on weapons, while the far right scream a breach of their constitutional rights.

As someone who is in support of “liberal” ideas, like a universal healthcare system and free education, it bothers me that I can not support our second amendment without coming off to people as a hypocrite. I do not expect someone who believes in the conservative idea of stricter immigration laws to be homophobic. So why is the same expected of me?

I am certainly someone who leans left, but that does not mean I am not able to have beliefs that differ from the leftist mentality. I have no problem stating that I am for gun rights. This is because it is impossible to find a party that captures all of the ideals I support.

"the United States has been at war for 222 of our 239 years as a nation"

I believe that we as citizens have the right to a well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, and the right of people to keep and bear Arms as stated in under our second amendment rights. This means I am in full support of conceal-and-carry and other handgun, shotgun and rifle rights. However, the shall not be infringed upon is one aspect I am not too sure of.

It is frustrating to me to hear from individuals who believe the simple answer is the barring of weapons. This mentality, to me, is immensely naive. We are a country, whether some like it or not, that gun culture is deeply ingrained into. Since 1776 the United States has been at war for 222 of our 239 years as a nation. We were founded through a revolution that began with local militias, we then overcame a southern revolution through the Civil War, and participated in many more after. To think that it is even possible to ban something that is so deeply ingrained in who we are with ease is ignorant.

However, the most common conversation I have about gun rights is the need for semi or fully automatic rifles. This is one aspect of gun rights that I have always been up in the air for. I do question the need for semi or fully-automatic weapons. I do understand and sympathize for those who are gun enthusiasts or simply want to covet their constitutional rights.

Personally, I do not see the need to have a fully functional semi or fully automatic gun if your intent is just to collect. Since a firearm can only be classified as a weapon by the lower receiver. In layman’s terms, this is the trigger system. I have no issue if a gun enthusiast wants a certain gun for their collection. Until the lower receiver is attached to the upper, it can not be considered a weapon, therefore, does not need to be registered.

"It also barred various weapons that were previously banned in past expired legislation like semi-automatic firearms, modern sporting rifles/assault weapons"

I also want to state that just because I personally don't see the need to own a semi- or fully-automatic weapon does not mean I believe that no one should. This means I am in full support of owning a fully functional semi/automatic rifle so long as there are background checks, regulations, and safety precautions that are followed prior to ownership of the weapon. This is because I support our right to keep a regulated Militia to protect our right as a Free State against any acts of oppression or tyranny. I am aware that this is a slippery slope. So this aspect may change but as for now this is what I believe.

However, I am deeply frustrated at the NRA’s contention against safety procedures for the fear that it is an act of “taking people’s guns”. The NRA showed strong opposition to a proposed federal legislation piece titled Assault Weapons Ban of 2015. This legislation stated the use of background checks and the barring of pistol grips, certain types of firearm stocks, such as collapsing and telescoping stocks. It also barred various weapons that were previously banned in past expired legislation like semi-automatic firearms, modern sporting rifles/assault weapons, semi-automatic pistols, semi-automatic shotguns, and high-capacity magazines. There is no need for an untrained civilian to own any of these items. If these are to be sought there must be strict requirements for ownership that include training, safety courses, background checks and potentially psychological exams.

"Clearly there is a larger problem than one particular religion"

I do not believe that I am morally superior to anyone in the far-left or far-right. I really do not know what the solution to gun violence is, but what I do know is that simply stronger gun control is not the answer. Considering some states do have strict regulations on “assault rifles” many of which include fixed smaller magazines that can not be removed, the barring of features (pistol grip, certain stocks, etc..) which greatly reduce the abilities of even owning an “assault rifle” yet crimes of this nature do occur.

I am a firm believer that is the person that is the root of the problem, not the gun itself.

When we consider the high rate of deinstitutionalization that has occurred in this country it is hard for me to support the robbery of our constitutional rights. By closing down mental institutions and reducing funding we caused a lack of care and strengthened the stigma towards those with mental illness.

It is also important to keep in mind that radical Islamists, radical white supremacists, mentally ill people, plain psychopaths, anti-government fanatics, ex-military lunatics have committed massacres across the US. Clearly there is a larger problem than one particular religion.

We must not paint a group of people, whether it be by a political party or a religion, with the same brush. Life is much more complex than a checked box on a survey sheet. I, as a person who supports liberal ideas, can also support ideas claimed by another party. This is one of the most important points I wish to get across because that is how we will progress as a nation.

Cover Image Credit: RedLetterChristians

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I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it


Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

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A Message To High School Seniors

It's going to be alright.


Dear High School Seniors,

You've made it! In just a few months you will be getting ready to put on your cap and gown and walk across the stage to get your diploma. Soon, you're gonna say goodbye to the life you've known for the past four years and start a new life somewhere else. At this point, your senioritis has most likely already kicked in and you're probably dreading waking up at 7 a.m. more and more each day. The second semester of senior year is annoying but cherish every moment of it.

Everything is about to change. As you walk down the hallways look around. Take a second to look at your classmates and ask them how their day is going. Learn about them and the stories they have to share with the world. Everybody has some advice to give and you never know what you're going to learn. Before you know it, you won't be seeing their faces anymore. The only form of connection you'll have with most of them is through social media which will eventually fade as well. You don't want your only memories of those you graduated with to be just seeing their face in the hall.

Go to the places you love the most. Whether it's your favorite hometown restaurant or your favorite place to hang out with your friends, go. Go until you're sick of it. Take a second to acknowledge the sights and smells around you. You're going to miss them. In a few months, you won't be able to jump in your car and drive five minutes to get there. The places that make your home your home are about to be a long car ride or flight away.

Spend time with your family. This is one thing I wish I realized earlier more than anything. Your parents are most likely going to soon become visibly upset or scared at the fact that you're leaving them. After all, you are their little girl or boy. This time is just as stressful for them as it is for you. But don't make fun of them, hang out with them. You're going to miss the once dreaded trips to the grocery store with your mom and the annoying car rides with your little brother. You really don't realize how important your family is to you until they're not a few footsteps away anymore. Unfortunately, no amount of facetime calls will ever compare to being with them in person. Don't leave home wishing you had spent more time with them.

Be involved in the things happening at your school. Go to prom. Buy a yearbook and get as many people as you can to sign it. Go to the football, basketball, baseball and soccer games you have left. These activities may seem boring at times but they are what you're going to miss. When you get to a big university it isn't going to be as easy to get involved.

Get excited about for the future. Even if you're not going to your dream school, it's going to be ok. The second semester of my senior year I spent upset over the fact I was going to stay at an in-state school. The school I'm at now was the last place I had thought about attending. I almost didn't even apply. However, I am so lucky that I did. I truly can not imagine there being a school that could have been a better choice for me. The people I have met and the opportunities I have been given would have never been put in front of me if I had attended another school. Try to keep an open mind. Everything really does happen for a reason. If you aren't going to the school you originally were hoping to, don't stress. You're going to end up at the place right for you, at least I know I did.

College is amazing but there will always be something special about your home. Make sure you make these last few months your best months. These next few months will be filled with a whole lot of lasts and followed by a whole lot of firsts. Good luck!

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