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Gun Owners Clubs, as Diverse as America's Population

Image: Gun Owners Clubs, as Diverse as America's Population
Students learn to fire their pistols at a class. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

By    |   Sunday, 21 Sep 2014 12:21 PM

Gun owners clubs across America have a membership that is as diverse as the country’s population.

From clubs that have roots in both political parties to those that bring together people of the same ethnic background, gun clubs are oftentimes a way for likeminded people to make their voice heard in the challenging and contentious environment that often surrounds guns and shooting.

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Most gun clubs actively work to protect the Second Amendment and the right to bear arms, usually listing lobbying legislators as one of their primary purposes.

“Meet the hardest hitting, most effective, toughest fighting pro-gun organization in the state of California,” the Gun Owners of California website lists as its mission. “GOC is attack oriented. We believe the surest way to lose is to be constantly on the defensive. We know the battle is in the political trenches and victory will never be assured until the last anti-gun legislator is defeated.”

When it comes to choosing a gun club, for some people, the choice is made simply by where they live. Many gun clubs are specific to states or cities, such as Gun Owners of California.

Along with political lobbying, gun owners clubs also give firearms enthusiasts an opportunity to connect with other people who share their love of guns and shooting. The Tennessee Gun Owners Club, for instance, offers message boards and opportunities for gun owners to ask questions and even runs a classified section on its website to sell firearms.

Under its “social groups” tab, the Tennessee website also allows members to set up groups of people with like interests. From “Knife makers and bladesmiths” to “Glock owners” and “Video Games,” participants in the specific sections post commentary or ask questions.

Along with gun clubs that organize people in localities are those that pull together people of like ethnic backgrounds or interests. The African American Gun Club and Filipino-American organizations like the Norco Running Gun Club in Corona, California, are popular.

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The Norco club is made up primarily of Filipino immigrants, according to NBC News. In their home country, guns were owned for security and wealthier people participated in shooting as a hobby, the news organization said.

“There was a lot of romanticizing about guns and war in the Philippines, and a lot of it came from America,” Abraham Lim, an immigration attorney in the Los Angeles suburb of Montebello, told NBC. He came to the U.S. in the 1980s. “There was that image of John Wayne that people responded to. If you owned a gun, it meant you were powerful, you mean something.”

NBC profiled the gun club as a “different face” of gun owners, which, according to a 2013 Gallup poll, are typically married Southern males and Southern white males.

Gun owners clubs are also formed by people who don’t fit the “typical” mold of gun owners to come together. The Liberal Gun Club is an example of that, along with organizations like Christian Gun Owners and the Huey P. Newton Gun, which has been active in protesting the police use of violence against unarmed individuals.

Those clubs allow their members to work together with others who come from their same philosophical, religious, or ethnic backgrounds.

“It's amazing to me, as many contacts as I have through this site, that Christians who own guns and enjoy the shooting sports feel as isolated as they do,” the Christian Gun Owners website said. “The fact is that millions of responsible Christians across the U.S. enjoy shooting and hunting. And millions believe in the right and responsibility to protect themselves and their families from criminal assault.”

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Gun owners clubs across America have a membership that is as diverse as the country's population.
gun, owners, clubs, diverse
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2014-21-21
Sunday, 21 Sep 2014 12:21 PM
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