In a week full of many gun rights controversies, I was thinking of writing an article about the fact that there must be a gay guy or gal who wants guns to protect him- or herself from violent anti-gay bigots, whatever those bigots' rationalizations. Yesterday, the article was written for me, and it featured an amazing life story.
Claire Gordon, a Huffington Post contributor, writing at America Online, told the story of someone who breaks all the stereotypical images that people on both sides of the gun control issue may have. Her article spotlights a gay black Democrat who is a U.S. Army veteran and currently owns a gun store in Austin, Texas.
Claire Gordon writes:
Austin gun shop owner Michael Cargill, 43, might not fit the popular image of the gun rights movement. He's gay and a Democrat. He didn't grow up hunting, or with guns in his home. In fact, his family shunned guns like many other black families -- a reaction, in part, to the harrowing rates of black-on-black homicide.
Cargill applied for a concealed-gun license 22 years ago, after his grandmother, who decided to get a nursing degree at the age of 70, was mugged and raped on the way home from the library. Now he runs Central Texas Gun Works in Austin, which specializes in concealed weapons.
That's why Cargill, a 12-year veteran of the U.S. Army, became a gun safety instructor. Anyone in Texas who wants a license to carry a concealed handgun must take 10-hour certification course, and Cargill's classes -- which he began out of his living room -- were an instant hit. "People knew my intentions were good," he says.
Cargill now teaches thousands of gun owners a year, focusing on de-escalation skills, conflict resolution, and how to stay within the parameters of the law. It took him years to find someone willing to rent him a storefront, he says, partly because he wanted to sell guns, and partly because he was black.
Both Gov. Cuomo and President Obama totally ignored the plight of gays and blacks wishing to defend themselves against violence when calling for low magazine capacities. Apparently we are to believe that the Ku Klux Klan and those like them never ride in groups, and thus seven shots is enough to thwart their violent intentions. As Ann Coulter wrote in April of 2012:
A World War II Marine veteran, Williams returned home to Monroe, N.C., to find the Klan riding high -- beating, lynching and murdering blacks at will. No one would join the NAACP for fear of Klan reprisals. Williams became president of the local chapter and increased membership from six to more than 200.
But it was not until he got a charter from the NRA in 1957 and founded the Black Armed Guard that the Klan got their comeuppance in Monroe.
In the preface to "Negroes With Guns," Williams writes: "I have asserted the right of Negroes to meet the violence of the Ku Klux Klan by armed self-defense -- and have acted on it. It has always been an accepted right of Americans, as the history of our Western states proves, that where the law is unable, or unwilling, to enforce order, the citizens can, and must act in self-defense against lawless violence."
One could also add that a battered female gun owner in a safe house would need some sort of equalizer if her home address, shown for weeks on the Westchester County, NY-based Journal News website, is visited by a belligerent ex-husband -- or, in some cases, an ex-gay lover. Yes, violent behavior in the real world isn't limited to the most frequently discussed type of assailant: males. Of course, this also applies to those battered women who live in places in America not exposed on interactive newspaper maps.
But let's take another look at Mr. Cargill's interview in the AOL article:
As a Democrat, Cargill is a rarity among gun dealers. But Cargill doesn't think his profession is at odds with his liberal beliefs, and he's frustrated by some of the anti-gun arguments expressed by members of his own party.
"Stop trying to make people feel guilty about protecting themselves," he urges. "There's no way we're going to completely eliminate guns from the United States. That's not reality."
Clearly, Michael Cargill probably has no plans to run for mayor of New York City, Chicago or San Francisco. He said, "Don't make people feel guilty about protecting themselves"? If he said that Joseph McCarthy was a great senator, would liberals be any less outraged? In fact, the article concludes with:
At Cargill's shop, you can also buy T-shirts with the slogan: "Buy a gun, annoy a liberal."
As of Monday noon, January 21, this article on AOL has drawn 481 comments, some of them critical of Mr. Cargill's stand in life. Yes, he really does annoy liberals, who believe that everyone should categorically agree with them because their theoretical positions are "a higher truth" than the positions of any person out there living in and interacting with the real world.