It has been said that liberty is the ability to make a choice and freedom is a result of making the right choices. American liberty and the freedom to make choices is codified in the documents used to forge and found this nation. American liberty is serious business and it is certainly not a game.

American Liberty and You

Gun Culture and American Liberty

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I have been an outdoor and shooting sports figure for going on three decades now. During that time, I have witnessed shooting sports personalities put their feet in their mouths and, with some effort, stand upon their own phallus. Some of those who made a living thanks to the freedoms confirmed by Amendment 2, US Constitution, have gone on record with statements that directly conflicted with both the wording and intent of the Second Amendment. In short, individuals in the industry forgot about American liberty.

I suppose the first incident in modern history was when Jim Zumbo opined in his online column that AR-15’s (as well as the AK-47) are “terrorist rifles” that no true sportsman would endorse. Zumbo was on the Remington Arms payroll at the time. He was, rightfully so, called upon the carpet. Fear not, Jim went through the Ted Nugent AR Rehab program to get clean of those thoughts. Consequently, since Zumbo’s infamous remarks, the AR-15 has truly become the “American Rifle”.

As If That Wasn’t Enough.

Dick Metcalf was next when he offered in his regular printed column at Guns & Ammo magazine that gun owners needed to get over our problem with “infringements”. Metcalf made the tired and erroneous argument that while we have First Amendment protections of speech you “cannot yell fire in a crowded movie theater”. If there was a fire at the theater, what exactly should you yell? Dick, of course, was wrong in that assumption. Yelling “fire” is only punishable if it was a lie, meant to cause panic. If the “fire” statement was true, there would be no criminal culpability. Metcalf soon resigned his position at G&A. Seeing a trend?

Not to be outdone in print, the editor of Recoil magazine, Jerry Tsai, during a review of an HK product stated “Like we mentioned before, the MP7A1 is unavailable to civilians and for good reason. We all know that’s technology no civies should ever get to lay their hands on. This is a purpose-built weapon with no sporting applications to speak of.” The outrage that followed was enough to see Tsai head for the exit door at Recoil.

The 2A was not written for sports shooting enthusiasts. It was written as a safeguard for American liberty.

American Liberty is not a Game.

The primary motivator for the statements made by Zumbo, Metcalf, and Tsai, I believe, is that they view the shooting sports and the tools associated with it, as a recreation, hobby, or some kind of game we play during our spare time. Zumbo, a professional hunter, buttressed his AR-15 statements from the viewpoint of hunting. He even went so far as to endorse government restrictions against using the AR to hunt. I suspect that Metcalf was infected by the “reasonableness disease” having been a resident of Illinois where “infringements” are the name of the game.

As for Jerry Tsai, what we can infer from his own words are that he bought into the state-sponsored lies and propaganda that “civies”, meaning mere citizens, should not be allowed by their masters in government to own a firearm that does not have a “sporting application”. A quick search of Amendment 2 and the entire US Constitution fails to find the words “legitimate sporting purpose”. While these men are entitled to their opinions, they miss the point.

Firearm ownership in America is not about sports shooting. Nor is it about hunting. Firearms are a tool used in both, yes. But, that is not their true purpose. American liberty is about more than deer hunting. It’s about more than sports shooting and race guns.

A Firearm is an Instrument of Liberty.

What all three men failed to comprehend in their written opinions was that in the United States of America, a firearm is first and foremost an instrument of liberty. No where else in the world will you find a nation that has codified unrestricted firearms ownership. This is written directly into our constitution. Most every country in the world has some form of constitution, thanks to us. But, the missing part is an affirmation of Inalienable Rights. Note I did not say privileges granted by the state.

Because of the existence of the 2nd Amendment, American citizens can enjoy recreation, sports, hobbies, and games that include the use of a gun. That reality does not negate the fact that the Bill of Rights is about liberty, not games. The moment you look at a firearm as an object used for sports or recreation only, you have failed the liberty test. Zumbo, Metcalf, and Tsai failed the liberty test. I did not say that they are bad men who should be banished from the tribe for life. However, they should have all known better.

Gun ownership, at it’s very core, is about American liberty first. Everything else is just a side-effect.

American Liberty is Not a Game

Righteous Indignation.

Zumbo, Metcalf, and Tsai were all examples of a very real problem with the shooting sports community. That problem is the belief that everyone who calls themselves a gun owner is a staunch defender of liberty. What we have witnessed, too often, is personalities, media outlets, and manufacturers who profit from the fact that the 2nd Amendment lets Americans buy guns. When the rubber meets the road and it is time to take a hard stand for liberty, some of the aforementioned fall back on “reasonableness” and spout the “sporting purpose” bunkum.

The anger over the statements made by the three men I have mentioned was a genuine righteous indignation by those who understand that a firearm is supposed to be an instrument of liberty, not a toy for playing games. The Bill of Rights says nothing about hunting, recreation or sports. No, the Bill of Rights is about one thing; individual liberty. When we swallow the sporting purpose propaganda or allow the reasonableness disease to support continued infringements, liberty dies the death of a thousand cuts.

The left and its Cancel Culture have extremely low expectations for those they call leaders. Witness Clinton, Biden, and Obama. Their heroes are convicted felons and thugs. We, on the other hand, have the right to expect more from our spokesmen. In case you have not looked around lately, we are in a fight for the future of the United States of America as a Representative Republic. Our founder understood that this day would come. In Amendment 2 of the US Constitution, they provide for the people to possess instruments of liberty.

To view a firearm any other way is the path to slavery and servitude to a constantly infringing state.

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Paul G. Markel has worn many hats during his lifetime. He has been a U.S. Marine, Police Officer, Professional Bodyguard, and Small Arms and Tactics Instructor. Mr. Markel has been writing professionally for law enforcement and firearms periodicals for nearly twenty years with hundreds and hundreds of articles in print. Paul is a regular guest on nationally syndicated radio talk shows and subject matter expert in firearms training and use of force. Mr. Markel has been teaching safe and effective firearms handling to students young and old for decades and has worked actively with the 4-H Shooting Sports program. Paul holds numerous instructor certifications in multiple disciplines and a Bachelor’s degree in conflict resolution; nonetheless, he is and will remain a dedicated Student of the Gun.