It’s become fashionable in media circles to assign color names to various “revolutions” around the globe. Iran’s Green Revolution. Georgia’s Rose Revolution. Ukraine’s Orange Revolution. And on and on. Some of the colors are a bit of a stretch; others refer to specific items associated with those doing the revolting.
An interesting blog post of the Cambridge University dictionary suggests that the color names (or, in some cases, flower names, such as Tunisia’s Jasmine Revolution) are used to soften the word “revolution,” which in many minds has a violent overtone, since many of the actions have been non-violent.
Indeed, many of the “revolutions” have not been terribly successful, and while the revolutionaries have been adept at focusing attention on their causes, in many cases, they have not fully reached their goals.
As home to one of the most effective revolutions in history, Americans are perhaps a bit less frightened of the term, and, likely, more “pro-revolution” than many other countries.
Here, however, we tend to confine our use of the term to more mundane activities, like a new beer or hair color. Perhaps it’s time for American gunowners to proclaim our own successful revolution and color it blue (as in blued).
Since this magazine came to life in 1989, a majority of states are now shall-issue carry states and several have moved into the “Vermont” or “Constitutional Carry” model. There remain holdouts to this revolution, of course; notably New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts and California. But in the majority of states—which was not true 26 years ago—concealed carry is the norm.
The revolution that got us this far was not always quiet, but it was peaceful, and made up of grassroots activists from coast to coast who stood firm in their convictions. It’s interesting to note that many of the most prominent activists were women, bucking their country’s perception of women gunowners—women like Marion Hammer and Suzanna Gratia Hupp.
In a state like Illinois, the revolution took many years and generations of grassroots advocates. It also, literally, took taking it to federal court, in the landmark Supreme Court case McDonald v. Chicago, a case supported by the Second Amendment Foundation (parent of W&G), and successfully generalled by Alan Gura, who also succeeded in DC v. Heller.
Illinois activists wear a vivid yellow, signaling their uniting under the iGOLD banner (Illinois Gun Owners Lobby Day), but when they march in Springfield next time, perhaps they will include some blue in their ensembles.
The Blue Revolution continues, despite what are clearly enormous gains, because the counter revolutionary forces are also always at work, and because most American gunowners would like to see some equitable form of national reciprocity. Gura is on record as saying that there are many battles yet to come, and that victory will be won one court case at a time.
Revolutionaries, and Americans in general, are not the most patient folks, but gunowners have learned the hard lesson of incrementalism and small steps, and if neither of those seem particularly revolutionary, so be it.
The late David Caplan, one of the first scholars of the gun rights movement, proposed the term “Second Amendment Friendship,” to denote all gunowners and gun rights activists, working together for common cause, despite differences on strategy and other extraneous topics.
Linda Farmer, the Georgia-based gun rights activist, coined the term “NATO Doctrine” at the inaugural Gun Rights Policy Conference in 1986, when she moved that the assembled participants agree to treat an attack on one type of gun as an attack on all.” Both Caplan and Farmer are, in their own ways, revolutionary leaders as close to Founders as we have. (There are, of course, many other worthies in that pantheon.)
Maybe blue isn’t the color you’d chose for our revolution. Red (for all the red flags in our path and the “streets running red with blood” promised by the anti-gun regime). Gray (as in stainless) or even Black (the color of so many guns of the last 25 years).
But no matter what color you choose, it is clear that the gun rights movement has coalesced in a way few could foresee and that our cause goes marching on.