Gun Owners Need To Present A Unified Front

The right to keep and bear arms is too important for us to tolerate the support for gun control from within our scene...

Sorry about the lack of content recently, gang. An opportunity landed in my lap to make some good money, and I jumped on it. It involves quite a bit of travel overseas which obviously takes me away from our nation, where the respect of the right to keep and bear arms is (basically) a thing…

I gotta make money, and sometimes I miss out on cool gun stuff

Because of this travel, I missed an opportunity to attend the annual SHOT (Shooting Hunting and Outdoor Trade) Show. Despite the outward appearance as such, SHOT is not a typical gun show. It’s technically industry-only, with SHOT only giving passes and tickets to industry professionals, firearms media personalities, and so forth. Traditional media is rarely invited, since they’ve unfortunately proven themselves unable to report on SHOT objectively.

Anyways, SHOT exhibits all the latest firearms and accessories from manufacturers, big and small. Fun fact - live ammunition is not allowed at SHOT, so ammo manufacturers can only set up booths with inert projectiles. Firearms manufacturers also have to render their wares inert by removing the firing pin or another critical mechanism from the weapon. Safety first. It wouldn’t do to have a negligent discharge at the world’s premiere firearms exhibition.

SHOT is basically a trade show in every sense of the word. Exhibits, afterparties, sponsored shooters, famous faces from inside and outside of the firearms world, and even booth babes.

Which brings me to the latest bit of controversy, Rochelle Hathaway.

Just because they use a gun doesn’t mean they support gun rights

The controversy may have faded a bit by now, but in my mind, it’s worth highlighting. Rochelle Hathaway was a promotional model for Taran Tactical Innovations. Founded by Taran Butler, and ironically located behind enemy lines in California, Taran Tactical specializes in custom firearms and accessories. Taran himself also does a healthy business training Hollywood types to handle firearms for their roles. Sidebar - from what I gather, Keanu Reeves is “one of us” and supports gun rights. Woah.

Anyway - TTI had a presence at SHOT, and of course had a squad of promotional models in tow, including Rochelle. For the most part, this is rather unremarkable. As I stated earlier, most of the gun companies bring along promo models and booth babes to SHOT. GLOCK, taking a cue from other industries, pioneered the practice in the 90s when they hired Sharon Dillon, a stripper from Atlanta to be the booth babe. Of course, it worked.

Anyway, Rochelle was at SHOT, ostensibly in the employ of Taran, continuing a relationship that had lasted over five years already. Par for the course, situation normal.

As I stated earlier, traditional media outlets typically aren’t allowed into SHOT per se, but they do linger in the public areas outside of the Sands Expo Center in Las Vegas. The media presence was a little more obvious this year, due to the unfortunate events of 1 October 2017. Plenty of media outlets, even ones that normally wouldn’t be considered “journalistic” were present, including Glamour Magazine.

Glamour was doing some “girl-on-the-street” interviews of women exiting SHOT. I was actually pleasantly surprised that most of the interviewees were Second Amendment absolutists, or pretty damn close to it, with the exception of Rochelle, who managed to express a support for just about every anti-gun opinion in the space of one paragraph.

I think that if there were less guns, there would be less shootings, period. If the government came in and decided to take the guns away, I wouldn’t be mad about it. I think it’s important to be able to feel safe in your home, but you don’t need more than three guns. You don’t need to own a semiautomatic weapon or a silencer.

The firearms community, of course, responded in kind. While yes, some of the burns were pretty harsh, for the most part, Rochelle received a direct and blunt dressing-down by everyone in the firearms community, like Colion Noir.

Seeing the furor, Taran Tactical promptly severed their professional relationship with Rochelle, disavowing her. I’m sure the threat of mass canceled orders helped, as well. When threatened, the firearms industry rapidly bands together and responds to all threats, rapidly.

Guns aren’t just fun things that go bang

Rochelle was raised in California and Hawaii, two of the most obnoxiously progressive and anti-freedom states in the Union. To be honest, if they seceded, I wouldn’t miss them. So, it’s sadly typical that her opinion of guns is akin to how people treat zoo animals - something fun to look at and maybe handle once in awhile, but that’s about it. I suspect her relationship with Taran was in the nature of “friends and family”, and she only did the promo model gig for money.

But, what she fails to understand is that in this country, guns are emblematic of a right that many of our ancestors and current fellow countrymen have shed blood and died to defend. Guns aren’t like import car accessories or Louis Vuitton purses, which have no “backstory” or represent a fundamental human right.

Much as Noir stated, I feel that if you are involved in the gun industry in any way, you have a responsibility to encourage not only the safe and responsible handling of firearms, but you have a responsibility to learn about and teach the fundamental ideals of the community as well. A respect for individual rights, a zero-tolerance policy on laws infringing on the Second Amendment, and a total embrace of the pre-existing right to self-defense by any means necessary.

And yes Rochelle, that includes the right for us people inside and outside of your workers’ paradise progressive bubble to have things like semi-automatic (and automatic) weapons, and suppressors.

We need to stick together

Not all of us come into the firearms world with an absolutist viewpoint on the Second Amendment. Heck, when I was in middle school, an ‘assault weapons ban’ sounded like a decent idea, though it wasn’t on my list of concerns really. It’s only with education that I realized that such things are a fool’s errand and offensive to human dignity. However, I do feel if you are in the firearms world for more than a few years, you should at least have the knowledge to be against pointless laws and bans. The nuances come later, of course. But after 5+ years in the industry? Rochelle, come on…

However, the sad story of Rochelle proves one thing - we do stick together when faced with a threat. Firearms owners are amongst the most vocal and politically-active group in this country. There’s a reason Donald Trump, despite prior support of gun control, actively courted the gun community - he and his advisors realized the power we have, and the importance of securing the respect of this key voting bloc.

It does impress upon us though the need to offer unity to those on the fringes. Newbies who may have trepidation about “assault weapons” and NFA items, they should be (politely) educated and steered onto the right track. Of course, when longtime participants in the industry “turn traitor”, there needs to be a swift and decisive response. If it means boycotts, epic trolling on social media, and meme warfare, then so be it. Unfortunately, what’s at stake is too important to brook any degree of tolerance for regulation. History has shown that each time we’ve compromised, the enemy (yes, gun control supporters are the enemy) has turned around and taken more and more from us. As the comic I linked to cleverly illustrates, I want my damn cake back.

A reminder

Operating Regular Guy Guns and bringing you quality content costs money, money that I am more than happy to spend. I’m not sponsored yet, so I have to pay for pretty much everything. However, I’m only able to do so much at a certain pace. If you love the Second Amendment, and quality content about firearms, why not toss a few bucks into the tip jar? You can donate over at my FreeStartr page. Thank you all for your support, regardless of whether you donate or not!

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