Letter: We must do more to stand up for 2nd amendment rights
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I can recall seventeen years ago, back in 2003, when Natalie Maines of the (now formerly) Dixie Chicks told a crowd at a show in London that she was “ashamed that the President of the United States was from Texas.”
It was enough to send a ripple effect of backlash through the entire music industry, as fans made burn piles of their merchandise and country radio stations pulled their songs from playlists. Many of my friends today still refuse to listen to their music, a few citing additional reasons – but all of those friends of mine list this incident as their number one cause for rejecting the band.
‘Tis not the case with Eric Church.
Two years ago, the recording artist, known for his “outlaw” personality and his unabashedly-proclaimed disdain for the Nashville elite society, gave an interview to Rolling Stone after the massacre in Las Vegas.
Church, who said the Vegas concert murders changed his stance on guns “a little,” stated that he’s in favor of closing gun-show loopholes, banning bump stocks, and improving background checks. Noting that he saw a video where he could hear the “unbelievable” number of rounds the Vegas shooter fired, he added, “I don’t think our forefathers ever thought the right to bear arms was that.”
“Nobody should have 21 AKs and 10,000 rounds of ammunition and we don’t know who they are,” he added. “I don’t care who you are — you shouldn’t have that kind of power over elected officials.”
Asked about possible flak from fans for his comments, he said simply: “I don’t care.”
It would seem that criticizing an elected official, in the aforementioned example when the Dixie Chicks criticized the President of the United States, is taboo. But coming out in support of someone in that same position having the power to strip away your God-given right, paid for in blood and enumerated in the Constitution, to keep and bear arms without the government’s involvement–that is wholly permissible.
It is regrettable that evil exists in our society. Sick, twisted individuals hell-bent on enacting unprovoked and undeserved violence on innocent human beings should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law and dealt with switly and justly. Still, we remember that criminals, by definition, do not follow laws, and making it harder for peaceful citizens to protect themselves against a threat will not cure the problem; in fact it serves to complicate matters more in some self-defense situations.
I have stood in-person before county commissions and the Florida Legislature, arguing against gun control in Alachua County Ordinance Chapter 82, Leon County Ordinance Chapter 12, FL Senate Bill 7026 (2018), and FL Senate Bill 7028 (2020). The fight for the rights of myself and my fellow citizens to defend ourselves, our posterity, and our personal and collective property is not new to me. Each time that government infringes yet a little more, the reaction from the public is minimal; yet let a concert entertainer come within a 2-hour drive, and the wagon trains roll to fill the venue.
I still feel a tinge of sadness for the folks I know who self-identify as patriots, gung-ho for “God, Guns, and Glory”; however, when it really comes down to taking a stand for those principles, they appear to reciprocate those apathetic words from the entertainer: “I don’t care.”
We have to do better. We must, or we’ll wake up one day to find that our children will have very few rights left, if any at all.
As long as they have their bread and circuses, I suppose.
Chris Rose II
Chris Rose II is an elected member of the Libertarian Party of Florida Rules Committee.