Firearm geeks from blue America say they’ve found a home in the ‘Liberal Gun Club’

Business Insider | 9/18/2017 | Derek Walter, The Trace
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Word had already spread at the Livermore Rod and Gun Club, about 50 miles east of San Francisco, that a group of self-described liberals were at the range.

“A liberal gun club. Isn’t that some kind of oxymoron?” cracked one of the shooters to another as he leaned back on a bench to rest between rounds. “Yeah,” said his friend. “I guess we could use some liberals who don’t hate guns.”

Members - Liberal - Gun - Club - Remarks

Members of The Liberal Gun Club are used to snarky remarks from other shooters.

The club formed in 2009 as a loose community of gun owners who wanted to shoot and talk firearms, but were put off by the rhetoric of gun confiscation and the evils of Democrats that they often encounter at gun stores, shooting ranges, and in gun forums.

People - Role - Firearms - Views - Lara

“When those people who weren’t fitting the stereotypical role would discuss firearms they’d get lambasted for their views,” says Lara Smith, the organization’s national spokesperson. “The club was started by people who said, ‘Hey, look. There’s this whole other group of people out there who shoot.’”

Jim Ridgeway served in the Navy for 23 years and now works in aircraft maintenance for a utility company. He’s held concealed-carry permits in multiple states and owns a wide array of firearms. He favors rather strict restrictions, including background checks for all gun sales. He says the NRA and allies are too cavalier about the dangers of so many people having weapons.

NRA - Members - Opinion - Years - Them

“I don’t feel like the NRA represents me at all, and I don’t feel like they represent their members at all,” he says. “That’s an opinion based on 30 years of observing them.”

Despite the group’s name, politics are mostly absent from its discussion boards. Members instead use the forum to discuss reliability, accuracy, and cost of firearms, and to get advice.

Gun - Club - Members

Liberal Gun Club members tend...
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