Mother Jones Wins My Favorite Headline

A More Extreme Gun Rights Movement Is Emerging in the NRA’s Wake



That isn’t to throw all that much shade at the ILA specifically, they are still the 800lb lobbying gorilla of gun rights, but it is good to see other organizations emerge as increasingly effective. And seeing MJ’s take on “Smart, Fearless Journalism” when it comes to the VCDL rally is entertaining.

First, let’s start out with two truths and a lie:

A good number were decked out in paramilitary outfits and tactical gear. Confederate and Gadsden flags waved high and wide.

Because what is a good anti-gun article without an ‘all gun owners are old white racists’ implication?

Image via AP News, VCDL Rally in Virginia January 2020

Truth, lots of military gear and Gadsden’s… a little light on the Rebel Flag though.

I love this line in particular.

The FBI arrested members of the neo-Nazi group the Base, who had allegedly stockpiled firearms and ammunition, discussed plans to recruit members at the rally to help kickstart a race war, and talked about committing acts of violence against people of color.

Sure, but this guy was there too.

Image via WHYY

And he had way more friends than the arrested Neo-Nazi’s, that I’d bet hard money on. And what about these guys?

Image via Google Search

Mother Jones must’ve just missed them.

And this fine gentleman holding a picture of the Governor.

Image via Google Search

Or these men.

A little secret about the 2.0 gun owning culture, we like gun owners. We like making new gun owners from non-owners. We want to see the individual liberty and exercise of the Second Amendment grow. And that doesn’t have a race, gender, or even political party attached to it. The two parties did the whole pro-gun/anti-gun hat thing themselves, we didn’t ask them too.

It’s highly amusing to watch groups like Mother Jones try and leverage one of the most prominent examples of inclusive 2A advocacy to paint it as inherently racist.

Remember folks, two or more is a group. So two asshole neo-Nazi Antifa ISIS Greenpeace KKK NFAC whoever the hells with a bad idea make for an extremist organization. Small groups with a lot of conviction and bad ideas. We tend to think of groups like Boko Haram, ISIS, and the Taliban when we here “Extremist Organization” but those are large quasi-state entities, almost corporations that export fighters for various conflicts that they ideologically care about. The majority of problematic cells are much smaller, still dangerous.

Did extremist elements attempt to recruit?

Oh, absolutely. That’s how recruitment goes, you go to places where you can find a group to exploit vulnerable members. The more irate, disenfranchised, and marginalized members of that group feel the easier it will be to pick off ones and twos from the group at large for your tiny cell of delusional ‘freedom fighter race warrior whatever the hells’. Seriously, there are whole series written on how to exploit and manage irate populations into insurgencies. The US and Russia have done it forever, still are.

Base (the neo-Nazi group) clearly did a terrible job of recruiting since they got arrested instead for plotting terroristic mischief. That happens when 22,000 people peacefully assemble and you start talking to them about your insane goals of kicking off a race war.

Missing the point, Mother Jones

What gets glossed over by anti-gun extremists is how inclusive mainstream Gun Culture 2.0 is. The most toxic things among our current crop is fanatic level brand loyalty (ONLY SIG IS GOOD, everything else sucks and you are stupid for buying it!) or brand hatred (SIG SUCKS, you should never buy anything from them. REEEEEEEEEE) and “Poor Shaming”.

As with all fun things, the internet will ruin them by taking it too far. “Stop being a poor.” is once such thing. I am keenly aware of what it is like to like good firearms and have nowhere near the money to support my like, I wanted a SCAR 17 on M&P15-22 budget. I had to back out of purchasing a used M&P15T as my first rifle because I didn’t have enough money to pay for my car. I wouldn’t have the money to purchase for 3 more years.

I got a good one eventually. But I ended up dumping a lot of dumb money into the gun too.

That is what being ‘a poor’ is about at the heart. Being ‘a poor’ is a mentality, not an income level. The guy or gal out buying the Taurus G3 might be if they go in saying, “well.. I don’t want to spend a lot of money.” I’ve seen a guy roll up in a brand new off the lot Cadillac wearing about $3k in business attire and leave with a Hi-Point because, “they’re really all the same when you get down to it, so why spend more?”. That man is ‘a poor’. Man, you rolled up in a new Cadillac.. not a used Impala. Why? If they’re ‘all the same so it doesn’t really matter’ why the Cadillac?

A person coming in saying “I want to buy the best thing I can safely afford.” leaving with the Taurus G3 is not ‘a poor’. That same person skipping the Taurus and deciding the used Gen3 Glock would be a good idea for a few bucks more, or knowing this is all they have for the moment but will circle back to something better when they can is the mentality we encourage. Always be improving your position, defense tactical doctrine as old as organized armies. Improve your skill, improve your equipment, repeat.

What gets out of hand in the gun community is too much criticism for poor, especially uninformed choices. People are very loyal to their spending and will justify their purchase of the terrible Amazon or Wish optic, that may be worth criticism. The internet will then devour their poor soul, too much and too far.

When target of the combined tirade isn’t ‘a poor’ though, but legitimately destitute, we failed them… They didn’t ignore wisdom and sound advice to buy something terrible for the cost of something quality, they did the best they could. The internet is terrible at making that distinction many times, and we fail to help.

You, dear readers, and I cannot control the internet. But we can monitor ourselves and be certain we maintain and broaden the inclusivity, education, and welcome of the 2A community. Be aware that our personal favorites and biases can color the fundamental truths, even our senses of humor may make or break someone’s entry into gun ownership. Don’t be ingenuine, just be aware.

We love the gratification of being helpful, lets not allow the more selfish gratification of being ‘right’ take over. Never shame someone for doing the best they can, give them the tools to do better.

In conclusion

We hit on several different meandering topics. Mother Jones is still a cadre of intellectual leftist isolationists (echo chamber so echoey…). Their selective editing to project a narrative is hilariously bad (at least pick a storyline not instantly suspect by wide angle group photos of the event). And yes, there are absolutely people on “our side” of the binary issue of firearms that we would prefer not be here. But those aren’t the ‘new’ extremist gun rights groups. In general we like them, they get it.

And as always, go forth and be good 2A folk.

Keith Finch
Keith is the former Editor-in-Chief of GAT Marketing Agency, Inc. He got told there was a mountain of other things that needed doing, so he does those now and writes here when he can. A USMC Infantry Veteran and Small Arms and Artillery Technician, Keith covers the evolving training and technology from across the shooting industry. Teaching since 2009, he covers local concealed carry courses, intermediate and advanced rifle courses, handgun, red dot handgun, bullpups, AKs, and home defense courses for civilians, military client requests, and law enforcement client requests.