Becoming an activist of any sort, you start off with a passion... something that pulls on the heartstrings, which initiates your need to protect your values, morals and viewpoints. With that said, we are all "activists" at heart, about something important to you. So, you don't really have to have some major platform to spark interests in your cause... unless you want to become more prominent in society, or whatever.
Initially, that's not something I, Jill, wanted for Mom-At-Arms, when I tinkered with the idea back in 2017. I have always been a 2A ADVOCATE, but just wanted to reach folks on a personal level, to help educate them on what the 2nd Amendment really means, and how it affects an individual's personal life. We've (Mom-At-Arms) grown since then. I say "We," because its amazing how God connects hearts and minds for a common purpose, and I've been blessed to have found myself among some of the most inspirational people, in a little world that revolves around the 2nd Amendment. That doesn't mean the 2A is "center" to our lives, but it has played a major part in uniting many of us during some not-so-certain times in society.
When you find yourself among a group of people who share those common interests, you may start to forget about what else is happening in the world. You're part of a unit, and a humble form of complacency settles in, and you will only notice what's happening within your "clique." It's understandable, a human reaction, and it happens A LOT. It's when your grouping starts to become a target by other groups that may not agree with you, and vice versa, that things become a little more stressed and chaotic. To You, the person reading this- more than likely a fellow 2A Activist- you know exactly what I'm talking about. The constant onslaught on your personal views, making you feel like absolute scum of the world just because of an OBJECT... to the point that you feel like you're fighting a never ending battle of "He said, She said," which leads to massive amounts of confusion over what your initial purpose was in the first place! (Am I right!?!)
You feel like you'll never win, especially when your adversaries are way more funded, organized, and popular than you are. I mean... which will some random person find more appealing? You... the humble, low key, activist for Idea A? OR... the activist who comes with a lot of bells, whistles, a larger platform and cookies for Idea B?
Harsh reality: More than likely, they're gonna go with Activist for Idea B. They "SEEM" to have it all together. They have the connections, and random people like to feel connected. I can't tell you how many times, even as an activist for Idea A, that I've sat back and giggled like a school girl cause someone like Dana Loesch, or Colion Noir, have "liked" a social media post of mine. (Don't get me started on Kristy Swanson... I fan girl cry every time she "sees me!")
Side Note: If you don't know who Kristy Swanson is, you have been living under a rock and need to reevaluate your life's decisions. #FashionSense (I aspired to be her as a kid... still kinda do.)
Point is, people like to feel important, and when they're recognized by "important" people, they tend to feel like they've reached a new level of existence. (Also understandable- people like to be heard and appreciated. Gives us meaning. We're "accepted.") Does Kristy's acknowledgement of me mean we have coffee every morning now and discuss important matters like politics, fashion trends and how to kill looming vampires? No. (I wish!)
But, that little bit of acknowledgement from her over a social media post helped put my purpose into perspective a little bit more. IF SHE sees me... then who else does?
And that "who else" is who's actually the most important "who."
The heart of the problem in today's society is what it is... our own hearts.
As 2A Activists/ Advocates, WE ARE IMPORTANT... but to what extent?
We are so burdened by whether or not people of major importance are seeing us as relevant to THEIR cause(s), that we aren't paying much attention to how we can be relevant to folks, like those in our own communities. Sure, we can say as 2A Activists that we go out and help folks pick out their new firearm. We can give them all the basics and encourage them to get to the range, which makes us, as 2A Activists feel important... but, are we really sharing the wealth of it all? For example, I can tell you... a possible new gun owner... how to do all the things you should be doing AS a gun owner... which makes ME feel important... but when you go home, sit down and process the info you've absorbed... do you feel important? I MAY have helped you understand why being prepared to protect is important, but why? The next day, you're still you... but a protected you. Does it really change how important you are just cause you're strapped? Or at least, are you more AWARE of how important you are?
BUT, say for another example, you came to my range or took a class from me, and got all of the same IMPORTANT bits of info to go home and absorb, but I was like, "Why is this important to you? Why are you here other than for self protection? WHO ARE YOU (as a person)?"
As we in the 2A Community worry about our gun rights... which is important... there are still things... non political/ civil rights based... that need just as much attention. We can be hypemen (and women) for 2A, ALL DAY... but when everyone is finally armed... and that's all there is to our connection with one another... where does that leave us?
As I was leaving our local area "Dolla Sto" (Dollar Store) with my son, I ran into a man who had noticed a shirt I was wearing, which is a Pro Gun fashion piece (link to store site here). He read the words in a sassy voice and said, "Do you even carry, girl?" to poke a little fun while complementing my attire. I said, "Yes. Every single day and always." He laughed and said, "Same. Glad you're open about it. Not many people are." We got to chatting some more and I told him what I did (explained my self importance) and that's when he explained his. He is an industry worker who also owns a little food wagon biz he just started up. Its been a difficult year for us all, and he started his little side job to help make ends meet, as well as to give back to the surrounding community. What profits he has left over from personal expenses from his food sales in well-to-do neighborhoods, he uses to restock his products... then goes to more struggling areas and homeless shelters, and feeds folks there for free.
I looked at him square in the face and said, "Wow! All this time, I thought what I was doing was important... cause I don't take a dime for it... but here you are doing the real work for the betterment of ALL people."
I was so humbled by that meeting... and God has reminded me about it many times since, with little situations popping up here and there... that it really had me come to realization and to ask myself, "even though my heart is ON the right course... is it IN the right place?"
For those of you who are believers in a higher power, you'll understand this next bit well, but for those who aren't, I ask that you read it in its simplicity. (I'll break it down as well)
From the Book of Ephesians (the Bible), Chapter 4, Verse 25 (4:25), it says,
"Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another."
Every day, myself and my team work hard to "put away falsehoods" and to "speak truth with our neighbors," but... that last statement... "for we are members one of another."
I love my neighbors. I know them personally. We're close.
Every day I sit down and research all the ends and outs of evil, then turn around and expose all the ins and outs of evil with what I find... not just for myself and my family's future, but for my neighbor's as well.
Looks like my foot's in the right door to salvation, huh? BUT... "for we are members one of another"... so, how am I enhancing my neighbor's importance for the things they may be actively fighting evil for? Because if we are both fighting evil, is my fight path more important than theirs? Moral of the story, kids, is that its not always about GUNS.
Being able to protect ourselves and help educate others on the importance of such, also means we have to understand what others find important. Most likely themselves, their families, jobs... etc... but everyone has a purpose in their heart. That purpose most definitely needs to be protected, but how are we enhancing its purpose for others to understand its value?
Is my "important" more important than your "important?"
(For my other pals in the 2A World that "like" and "share" my goods here at Mom-At-Arms, I giggle when y'all do, too. THANK YOU! But understand that its not like how I giggle for Buffy.)