I hadn’t planned on addressing this particular subject today but I came across something that inspired a change in plan. I was visiting the blog page on the United States Concealed Carry Association (USCCA) website recently and I came across an interesting post. I regularly visit this site as it often contains interesting and educational information related to concealed carry and gun ownership in general.
Beth Alcazar is a firearms trainer and regular writer on the site and recently related a story (you can read it here) about an experience she had with her son’s elementary school. The school was planning a career day and was asking for parents to volunteer to visit the school and share with the students, information regarding their work (you probably know where this is going).
Ms. Alcazar hesitated having a pretty good idea of the likely reaction from the school, but eventually decided to go ahead and volunteer. As expected, she got a polite response from her son’s teacher referring her to the school counselor. She received an equally polite response from the counselor amounting to a “thanks but no thanks”.
The counselor while claiming to agree with and “completely support her profession” (sound familiar?) was concerned with parent reaction and was forced to decline Ms. Alcazar’s offer. She also expressed concern that the school needed to be “very careful not to impose their beliefs on others, especially children”. Apparently Ms. Alcazar’s offer posed a danger in that area.
I should also mention that as of this writing the school has reconsidered and will allow Ms. Alcazar to participate in career day to share her career as a writer. I hope she lets us know how that goes and I’ll be sure to share that information with you if she does.
I chose to share this story with you because what Beth Alcazar experienced is a result of the widespread misunderstanding and bias that currently exists in our society regarding the gun owning community. SDCGO as well as all members of the firearms community have an obligation to confront and address this bias whenever possible. Along those lines I’d ask you to consider the following:
- Where Does This Bias and Misunderstanding Come From? – Where do people get information on gun related issues? If they have no direct contact with gun owners (family, friends, work colleagues, etc.) chances are they get it from the media – news, TV, movies. As gun owners we know most of this information is incorrect.
- Why is Information Incorrect? – We can assume that some misinformation is the result of honest mistakes. However most clear thinking people would agree that much of it is intentional. The big question is why. I won’t attempt to answer that here but you should seriously be asking yourself that question.
While you’re thinking about those things I’d like to ask you to please consider and share your thoughts on the following:
- Have you ever had an experience similar to Ms. Alcazar’s?
- How would you react to such an experience?
- What can you do personally to help correct this kind of misunderstanding and bias?
©2017 Joseph T Drammissi