Imagine if you will, a small gun club in upstate New York, over a 100 year old, quick to cow to government decree and comfortable censoring its own members and anyone else who disagrees.
Wait, a GUN club, super-submissive to questionable governmental edicts, embracing the muzzling of speech and censoring its members? I thought the general perception of the “gun-culture” was anti-government, anti-edict, anti-establishment of anything and general apprehension of authority? The leadership at the Binghamton Rifle Club, (BRC) apparently needs a reminder from Thomas Jefferson who tells us, “The government is best which governs the least because its people discipline themselves.”
Apparently not so at the BRC. I am an eighteen-year member and I questioned the decision that closed the club to all activity due to the Corona-virus outbreak. While I understood and supported suspending activities that congregated people in close groups, my point was that individuals could safely use the facility while practicing appropriate social distancing.
The club has 24/7 access and I posited that certainly 3-5 members could occupy a 12-lane shooting range in 3000 square feet of space while keeping distancing protocols. I reasoned that members could decide for themselves the risks, just as they do at the grocery store, pharmacy or hardware store.
At first, I lobbied club leadership privately via email. When my concerns and request to re-open the club went unresolved, I reasoned that perhaps other club members felt as I did. To find out, I posted my correspondence to leadership on the clubs Face Book, (FB) page in the effort to engage the some 600 plus members. The club was quick to take down my posts. Flabbergasted by this, I posted a picture of the club with the words: “Frozen by Fear” photo-shopped onto the building. The club took down the photo and blocked me from posting to my own clubs FB page.
Rod Serling, the creator of the Twilight Zone TV series so popular in the 1960’s was born in Binghamton, NY. What a coincident that the story of the Binghamton Rifle Club today just might suggest a twilight zone episode. Who would have thought that a 106 year-old rifle club could morph itself into a warped mentality that believes censorship and compliance without question is the right way to lead?
I wonder just how many other gun clubs and traditionally organizations historically thought of as “conservative” are likewise losing their way and their vision? Might the Corona-virus situation be providing a beta-test laboratory for those in positions of power to observe and calculate just how far the American populace can be pushed?
Conservative American’s and especially those of us focused on the 2nd Amendment should be on the front lines of a healthy skepticism towards government. Voltaire provides a clarion song when he said, “It is dangerous to be right in matters where established men are wrong.”
Hopefully, the BRC is not the canary in the coal mine for the trajectory of political philosophy in our nation. We must assert ourselves as citizens not subjects and heed Thomas Jefferson who said: “A government big enough to give you everything you want is strong enough to take all that you have.”