When it comes to the issue of the Second Amendment, there is no lack of passion from opponents and supporters alike. Yet one of the biggest issues for both sides is the lack of clear, credible, concise facts. Misinformation and misrepresentation can be found in wave after wave of memes and fake quotes on the internet and social media. To combat this deluge of disinformation, and to further informed discussion, the Americans for Restoring the Constitution (AFRTC) invited NY licensed firearms instructor Frank Johnson to speak at theur July meeting in Vestal, NY at the Vestal Public Library. The event was open to the public and free.
Frank Johnson started the review with a heartfelt and personal story. So often news media presents the arguments on the 2nd Amendment as only an ideological debate. Rarely are personal stakes and realities ever injected into coverage – unless the backdrop of a mass shooting (or a subset of those shooting at schools) is involved. Invariably, the major news media only discuss the long disputed and critical subject when a mass shooting occurs – thereby painting an emotional picture that almost always supports a partisan political agenda.
But the personal motivation of Frank Johnson was not political as an objective of the information shared, but an introduction to the cause of the detail and depth of the issue at hand. The difference can easily be lost on many in the hyper-political news cycle. But for those that look intently on all sides of the issue, it was a refreshing statement that details matter because tens of millions of lives, and not just classrooms and courtrooms, are at risk in the fray.
What followed was more than just dates and models of firearms over centuries of history. Mr. Johnson conveyed context to the historical record in a discussion that was accessible to firearm owners and those in the public whose only knowledge of firearms comes from movies and television. Both in America and the world at the time, as can be seen in the video taken at the event. Context has become one of the very first things stripped away from almost every discussion related to the 2nd Amendment – contributing to the popular but absolutely incorrect modern understanding that the Second Amendment is meant to apply to hunting and recreation, with self-defense of homes being an extreme allowance of Government and personal defense being a loophole taboo inserted by corporate greed.
We present the unedited video of the presentation as recorded live at the Vestal Public Library. We hope that the goal of Frank Johnson, and the AFRTC, to promote critical thinking and contextual understanding is spread as well and broadly as the memes and misdefined statements found in news media and the internet.
Frank Johnson is a member of the Liberty First Foundation and member of the social group Religion of Arms on Facebook.