Liberals. Guns. Two words that don’t seem to go together.
But to members of the Liberal Gun Club, it’s a natural pairing, one born of a commitment to civil rights.
“We support every civil right for every single person,” said Lara Smith, a California lawyer and spokeswoman for the Liberal Gun Club national group, which was represented earlier this summer at the Crossroads of the West Gun Show in Mesa.
“I think everybody should be able to carry. It’s a woman’s right.”
That support does put her at odds with some of her liberal friends.
“They’re like, ‘How can you support the Second Amendment?’ And I go, ‘How can you not?’”
Her stance is an enigma to her friends.
“A friend of a friend told me, ‘You’re not a real liberal!’ Yeah, I really am! I voted for Hillary and everything.”
Smith said she understands why she gets this response.
“The Second Amendment has become very political,” she said. “I’ve said the National Rifle Association is way more effective at getting guns out of people’s hands. It’s just horrendous.”
Meanwhile, Smith shoots.
“I shoot competitively and for fun,” she said. “I shoot .22s, 9mm, a shotgun for clays. Shooting clays, 8½-inch ceramics, out of the sky is fun.”
Brandon Cox, a Mesa member of the club, also finds himself between the two extremes in Arizona: gun-hating liberals and conservative gun owners.
“It’s a tricky thing to navigate,” he said. “I try not to participate in political conversations. It’s a strange confluence, to be sure, but this intersection of…
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