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Leftists Bear Arms In Self-Defense
Jonathan Levinson / OPB
On a Saturday afternoon in January, the Portland chapter of the Liberal Gun Club hosted a winter range day. And while everyone there enjoyed shooting guns, not everyone agreed on their role in society.
Phil Phillips and his family moved to Oregon three years ago from Chattanooga, Tennessee.
Wearing a “Make Fascists Afraid Again” hat, Phillips laughed and said, “I jokingly say we moved here seeking political asylum.”
Phillips says he loves target shooting but isn’t convinced that people should own guns for security.
“This is a very safe environment,” he explained. “I do not believe guns need to be kept in the home for self-defense.”
And for many Oregonians, Phillips may be right.
According to 2014 Department of Justice data, Oregon has the 11th lowest violent crime rate in the country.
But for marginalized populations, people who don’t feel safe calling the police, guns look a little different.
L.A. Watson-Haley was there too, firing a massive .44 magnum revolver. The enormous pistol matches its owner. Watson-Haley towers over the other shooters.
He wore a kilt and a T-shirt that says “armed queers don’t get bashed.”
But Watson-Haley, who says he has been shot at before, doesn’t carry a firearm to protect only himself. He says there are three groups of people in society: wolves, sheep and sheepdogs.
“I’m a sheepdog,” he explained. “I’d rather be there to at least try to make a stand, because there’s too many wolves in this world, and way too many sheep.”
He said he’ll stand in the middle if he has to.
Guns & America is a public media reporting project on the role of guns in American life.
Copyright 2019 Guns and America. To see more, visit Guns and America.
LIBERTY HAS NO EXPIRATION DATEDemocrats wouldn't buy a clue if it was government subsidized.
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