The Constitution, specifically The Bill of Rights ensures the natural rights to liberty and the individual’s right to exercise free will, so long as that free will doesn’t impede upon the liberty and freedom of others.  All too often, those Americans who vocalize support specifically for the Second Amendment are marginalized as uneducated, ineloquent, anti-progressive, male members of the racial majority in the US. Fortunately, a more accurate account of Second Amendment supporters is that we’re “Everyone”!  As diverse as our great nation is, the support for our Second Amendment rights are equally as diverse.

The landscape of the nation continues to evolve as it has always done.  Yet the fallacy that gun ownership and Second Amendment Rights is supported among a fragmented segment of society isn’t representative of today’s America, and certainly hasn’t been my own American experience.  In my America, people are prouder than ever to support and exercise their freedoms.  Our media-centric society consistently reports that we are a group of divided factions, “red states”, “blue states”, conservative and liberal views.  Would it surprise you to know that gun owners and supporters of the Second Amendment exist within all of these arbitrary groups?

Among the various ideologies and lifestyles, we as Americans are free to lead a steadfast support for the Second Amendment, despite the prevailing media depiction of gun owners that excludes diverse people and views.  The people of this nation have historically carved out their own unique identity that includes the views of many. Why would this issue that has grown with our nation throughout all of its historically turbulent times be any different?  Our Constitution does not leave room for marginalizing its citizens.  The freedoms outlined in its text benefit all Americans; in fact the Constitution was our nation’s very first attempt at civil rights.       

In my unwavering support for my constitutional right to uncontested gun ownership, it does not escape me that I present an antithesis to the prevailing depiction forced upon us of who America’s gun owners truly are.   As I stated before we’re “Everyone”.  Me specifically, I am a 29 year old college educated African American woman.  I do not identify with any political party but would consider my personal views to be moderately conservative.  I find that being a woman of color, people outside of the gun community are often intrigued that I have a passion for marksmanship and defend our rights to keep and bear arms. 

I stress that people outside of the gun community are often perplexed.  I make this distinction because within the gun community in Ohio, I have never felt more welcome and treated with more kindness. The pro-gun ownership/pro Second Amendment community consists of law-abiding, hardworking, diverse Americans.

 Looking ahead, as the rights of law-abiding gun owners may be challenged, I believe sharing my positive experiences within the gun community (and you sharing yours) creates an environment for dialogue where barriers are lifted, and falsely attributed depictions can be cast aside.  I’m proud to stand for the rights of the Second Amendment, as an American plain and simple.

* This article was chosen as the winning submission to our recent contest.  Congratulations to Ms. Frazier and thank you to all those who participated.

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