Liberal Gun Club (LGC) spokesperson Lara Smith says her group has witnessed an increase in inquiries and rising membership since Donald Trump won the presidency.
She said the LGC focuses on education rather than politics and, because of this, offers an alternative to Democrats who may not support Republican positions related to the Second Amendment.
Smith told NPR:
The NRA has its political side. We are an organization strictly for education. We do not endorse candidates. And we’re a place – many of our members have joined NRA boards, other gun forums and found that they weren’t welcome there because they didn’t follow lockstep with the NRA’s support of nearly unanimously Republican and right-leaning candidates.
She said the increased interest in LGC is coming from the same demographics that other groups who monitor the gun industry are seeing. “More women are joining,” she said, and she also cited interest from the urban community. Smith credited the work of Maj Toure is doing with Black Guns Matter as part of the reason behind the rise in urban involvement.
In trying to provide an overall explanation for what has drawn new members to LGC since the election, Smith said, “I think, one, there’s a very small subset who feel concerned about the new government. Specifically, is this new government going to take their guns because they’ve spoken out about an issue that Trump or the Republicans are seen as not supporting, whether it be LGBTQ rights, the environment, all sorts of issues.” But she admitted those who join for these reason are “a small subset.”
Smith added, “More what we’re seeing are people who are worried about their safety as a result of some of the rhetoric that was heard during the campaign — not so much from the campaign but from really fringe groups who have encouraged a rise in hate crimes or a perceived rise in hate crimes.”
It is interesting to note that Trump reacted to the Orlando Pulse attack by calling the victims “great people” and arguing that they should have been allowed to be armed for self-defense instead of rendered helpless in a gun-free zone.
If some of those great people that were in that club that night had guns strapped to their waist or strapped to their ankle–and if bullets were going in the other direction, aimed at that guy [for whom this was just] target practice–you would have had a situation which would have [been] horrible, but nothing like the carnage that we as a people suffered this weeken
AWR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and host of “Bullets with AWR Hawkins,” a Breitbart News podcast. He is also the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.