Is It All About Politics These Days?

As Struther Martin aptly declared in the classic movie Cool Hand Luke, “What we have here is failure to communicate.”

Recently I’ve been taking ?ak for introducing politics to these pages.

Honestly, the letters have been running about 70/30 in favor of running political commentary in a gun magazine.

Still, some readers have sent notes to cancel their subscriptions because of some of the words that I and other columnists have strung together in support of the Second Amendment or in opposition to the current administration in Washington.

That concerns me for two reasons. First and foremost, Gun Digest truly appreciates every reader and subscriber and we strive to serve all who pick up this magazine.

Second, gun owners upset by political discussions signal a disconnect between what we would all like to see and the reality of our world.

See what's inside the May 11, 2009 issue of Gun Digest magazine
This Editor’s Shot column appears in the May 11, 2009 issue of Gun Digest magazine. See what else is inside this issue. Click Here.

It seems I can’t win. If I speak out about Obama, I’m labled a racist. If I print news about the latest gun grab attempts, I’m being reactionary and alarmist. If I side with the NRA, I’m being in?exible. If I side with the police, I’m a facist.

I would love for everyone who reads this magazine to agree wholeheartedly with my every word. But I’ve been in the publishing business long enough to know — and more importantly, to appreciate — the concept of an open dialog. I want to hear opposing viewpoints. I savor them and hold them dear because such freedom to voice opposition is what makes this a free country.

I would no more attempt to take away your right to speak as I would attempt to take away your guns. And I hope you feel the same way.

Freedom is the ability to hear another point of view, disagree, and yet allow your opponent the right to speak his mind.

We at Gun Digest the Magazine will not shout you down. But we will tell you when we think you are wrong. And if because we do that, you think you should abandon this ?ne magazine, well, that is your decision.

I hope you change your mind. I hope you continue to read long after the issues of this day have changed to something more pressing. For now, politics and gun ownership are totally intertwined. If you, as a gun owner, don’t realize that there are people who want to take your guns and give you nothing in return, well, your head is in the sand.

And if you think that someone else should inform the gun-owning public as to the potential dangers on the horizon, well, that leads down the slipperly slope of ?nger-pointing.

Anybody could have done it. Somebody should have done it. But in the end, Nobody did it.

There is no escaping it: Guns are political. While I wish there could be a centrist debate on the issue, opponents to gun ownership have made it clear through their deeds and their words that a little bit of restriction is never enough.

Gun laws and those who would advance them will not go away if we ignore them. The Obama administration is busy probing every aspect of gun ownership for soft spots; places where people will not raise a fuss if he adds a restriction here or removes money for training there.

Armed pilots are the next on the list and if the Departments of Justice and Transportation hear no complaints, the days of the armed ?ight deck of?cer are numbered.

The National Guard Training in Iowa is another prime example. Send soldiers to seek “?rearms traf?ckers” and see if anyone complains.

If no one complains, you have succeeded in training not only the soldiers to take guns, but the citizens to allow it.The price of freedom is vigilance. By being a gun owner you have entered the world of politics.

I hope you’ll help with the dialog and not just turn your back on the discussion because you heard something you don’t like.

Good Shooting.

Kevin Michalowski, Senior Editor