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Finally Some 2A Supporters on Listening Tour

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On May 2, 2023, the third stop of the Massachusetts Gun Law Listening Tour was held at Greenfield Community College in the Pioneer Valley area of western Massachusetts. It is nice that the Commonwealth is holding these at various locations. Some of the attendees and even a panelist drove nearly 3 hours to get there, and had to make a day of it. The previous stop on Gun and Domestic Violence was in central MA and was well attended, however, the five panelists were mostly DV survivors who were also “anti-gun.”

This event was a bit different. The panelists were Toby Leary from Cape Gun Works, a former environmental police officer, and a town police officer from western MA. It was a more balanced panel considering the topic. These participants were folks who own firearms, there was a retailer of firearms, and all included are very well trained and educated about guns, gun laws, how the sale/purchase system works, and licensing schemes.

There were representatives and members of both the pro-gun side and the anti-gun side as well. The evening had much less of the red shirted commie mommies and more of the #TealTeam2 from The DC Project. There were several other freedom supporters in the audience, including a firearm manufacturer, a man who had lots of information on licensing and how they’re all unneeded, as well as several passionate citizens who are concerned about our civil rights.

The panelists got to speak after state Rep Michael Day did some housekeeping about the event, the listening tour, and introduced several local politicians, who didn’t want to speak at the event. Each of the panelists talked about their experience with firearms, how they got to where they are, and their views on firearm ownership in MA. From Hadley, MA, Chief Michal Mason, made it clear that the MA gun laws, Chapter 140 is “extremely confusing.” (He’s not wrong!) Leary stated that when he was opening Cape Gun Works he met lots of push back but had to convince the town of Hyannis that “retail guns is the same as a sneaker shop.” John Pajak, the former MA Environmental Police Officer, stated that when it comes to gun laws “the focus is in the wrong direction” and that he’s “never run into a felon at the gun range.” He also pointed out that with his positions as an EPO and a regular police officer “NFA items don’t show up as crime guns.”

The audience usually gets a chance to speak, as it is a “listening tour.” Renee Gagne, the RI leader of The DC Project, spoke about how there is a book of MA gun laws that is 450 pages long and we have too many laws which are not stopping criminals. Then her daughter spoke about being 15 years old and not being able to leave the house with pepper spray unless she has a Firearm Identification Restricted card, which allows her to have pepper spray only. She could also take a firearm safety course to obtain an FID card to possess pepper spray as someone under 18 years old. Regardless, it shouldn’t be illegal to carry a spice.

The Moms Demand Action crew were there too, but not as many as before. The red shirts seemed a little hesitant to speak, but once the seal was broken a few did so. I do think they realized they were outnumbered and also outgunned in the way of information. When someone near them spoke, they offered them a rack card of the talking points of the group.
A 2A supporter spoke about how he isn’t able to buy ammunition in MA for a hunting trip to Africa and that he’s required to have a suppressor in Africa, which he can’t have in MA. He also talked about how drugs have killed 7 people in his area and the state isn’t doing anything about helping get drugs off the streets.

An MDA supporter got up and went right down the MDA playlist of things they want: 5 hours of live fire training to get a carry license, mandatory storage laws, magazine restrictions, “assault weapon” restrictions, etc.. She also pointed out that “Massachusetts has wonderful gun laws that lead the nation.”

Another one of the moms (grandma, really) stated that she “never owned, never wanted to own, and never learned” anything about firearms. She talked about having a conversation and wanting to learn what we all know and feel passionate about. But then Pajak suggested she take a firearm safety course or a hunter ed course so she can be educated on the subject, she fired back asking if she needed to take a class to have an opinion and that she’s not stupid.

One of the MDA supporters got up and spoke about how the Sandy Hook murderer’s mother didn’t keep her firearms inaccessible to him. Let’s face it, the Moms Demand are just women paid by Bloomberg to do what he tells them to do. The truth on how the Sandy Hook shooter had to murder his mother in order to get access to the firearms tells us there’s more to that story, none of which is on their little rack card “cheat sheet.”

It was comforting to see there were lots of firearm educated citizens at the event. One man said that if he was in a grocery store and there was a crime or mass shooting happening, the red shirts wouldn’t want him to be there, to even defend them and that he didn’t want to have to hide and cower with them, as he would be defenseless in their world. One of the people that got to speak talked about how all licensing shouldn’t be allowed by law and that the Constitution doesn’t say anything about needing permits and licenses.

After the event, it was good to see that some of the red shirts were talking with Leary, Pajak, and Mason. I’m hoping that they weren’t attacking them for speaking. I’d like to think they were talking about taking a course and getting some education. At the last event, one of the panelists approached Kerrie AnnAuclair, the MA DCP representative, and said she never realized that a firearm could be an equalizer for a 110-pound woman vs a 250-pound man. Maybe they’ll be trading their red shirts for teal shirts in due time, but I’m not holding my breath.

This stop on the Gun Law Listening tour went much better than the others did, in my opinion. There was a much better feeling about this event than the last one. I know that the DCP gals, some of the Gun Owners Action League staff, and a member of the Boston Pink Pistols thought this one went well, and said maybe these are going more our way. The next one is scheduled in Brockton MA, and supposedly is going to be on Guns and Impacted Communities. Hopefully Representative Day will continue to invite actual gun owners, members of the industry, and advocates to also have a seat at the table. Going forward, it’ll be nice to have both those who oppose liberty on the same panel was those who are in favor of liberty. We’ll just have to see.

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Is there anybody from MDA that ever seems like they might have an open mind to facts or a different point of view, or is every single one of them a thought-controlled, rigid obstructionist?

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