[Ed. – But hey, whatever floats the SS Gun Rights.]
Marlene Hoeber, president of the Northern California chapter of the Liberal Gun Club, wants the world to know that lefty politics and a love for guns and gun rights aren’t mutually exclusive.
“If the conversation about gun policy in the United States is limited to what the National Rifle Association has to say, the conversation is over because not enough people want to listen to that,” said Hoeber, 43, of Oakland. “Hell, I’m a gun person and I don’t want to listen to that.”
Founded six months ago while California was grappling with a heap of gun-control bills introduced after the 2012 school massacre in Newtown, Conn., the Northern California chapter has a few dozen members from San Luis Obispo up to the Oregon border.
They hold monthly meetings and sometimes go shooting together. The national club, formed in 2009, has about 1,000 members from coast to coast but is concentrated mostly in California and Texas, while many more take part in the club’s online discussion forums.
Like any gun group, its members’ reasons vary. Most, Hoeber said, are “gun geeks” who love the mechanical tinkering that goes with collecting, maintaining and sometimes customizing their guns. “Guns are fun to play with,” she said. …
Hoeber, who cut her activist teeth in the AIDS and gay politics of the 1980s, recalls conservatives who staunchly opposed public health measures such as condom distribution, even as her community was dying around her.
“These are the same people who are the loudest pro-gun voices in American politics. If that was my understanding of who gun owners are, I’d probably want to take their guns away, too,” she said. “Those fundamentalist, queer-baiting people who I see as monsters and may be coming for me someday. But they’re the only people fighting for my right to have a gun on the day that they come for me.”