Rachel Maddow Shoots down the Right’s Myth of the Gun Hating Liberal

The right is always trying to portray the entire left and especially Rachel Maddow as wimpy and anti-gun, but a new video shows the MSNBC anchor hanging out at the gun range.

Here is the video from Rolling Stone:


The Rolling Stone profile points out that both Maddow and her partner like to shoot firearms, “Maddow and Mikula met in 1999. On their first date, they went to an NRA event, which was only partly ironic: They both like to shoot firearms. (“Susan has the hand-eye coordination,” Maddow says. “But I can’t control my movements.”) Shortly thereafter, they went for a stroll in a cemetery in western Massachusetts where they were both living, and at a moment of nearly transcendent silence and beauty, while they were looking serenely at 19th-century gravestones, Maddow took a gigantic pratfall. Mikula says that was the moment when she fell in love with Maddow.”

When Maddow recently told Nick Gillespie during a debate on Real Time with Bill Maher that he didn’t know anything about her, man, was she right. Of course, this was small potatoes compared to the Alex Castellanos incident on Meet The Press. The right is always trying to fit Maddow into their liberal stereotype, but just like they do to President Obama, the real person doesn’t match up with the imaginary demon that they have created.

Rolling Stone’s excellent profile shows that Maddow isn’t the stereotypical liberal/progressive. Just like Obama isn’t really out to take away our guns, Rachel Maddow isn’t what the right and in some cases the left make her out to be.

There is a message in Maddow’s story about the danger of generalizations. In this hyperpartisan political time that we live in, it is easy to generalize. Not all liberals hate guns. Not all conservatives want to destroy the earth by ignoring climate change. Not all people who go to church are Republicans, or looking to impose their beliefs on others.

It is easy to paint with too broad of brush. Politics and people can both be intricate and complicated. Just as every political situation isn’t the same, how every person interprets the world around them is also unique.

There are many liberals and progressives who don’t want to ban guns. Lots of people who consider themselves progressive own or have guns in their homes. Organizations like the NRA spend their time whipping up fear and dealing in lies in order to advance their Republican causes, but the myths don’t match the facts.

Rachel Maddow is an outsider who specializes in breaking down stereotypes and shattering conventional wisdom, and she has done again by showing the world that yes, some liberals/progressives enjoy firearms too.

46 Replies to “Rachel Maddow Shoots down the Right’s Myth of the Gun Hating Liberal”

  1. I own a gun; I’m just not obsessed with guns. I don’t take my gun to church to be blessed. I don’t pose for pics with my gun trying to prove to people that I’m some kind of ‘badass’.

    But if any of these teahadists and/or their corporate thug allies show up; I’m ready.

  2. As a candidate for public office I was graded by the State’s gun lobby ..They gave me a 95% on their questionnaire.

    The original progressive, “Teddy Roosevelt” liked guns and loved to hunt.

    I consider myself a Teddy Roosevelt progressive

  3. I am a gun owner with a CWP. I like to shoot. My children can all handle firearms. Nothing wrong with that. I never killed anyone, but I will defend myself. If anyone wants my gun, first take away all the illegal firearms, then we can talk, maybe. I am a Democrat, liberal, union member, supporter of the President. Just wanted to stand up and be counted.
    There are a lot of people just like me out here.

  4. I’m a female gun owner and hunter and a democrat. I believe
    in the right to bear arms. I don’t believe in the useless
    guns that are used for crime. I don’t like the NRA. They
    are just another corupt organization trying to control
    our government and appear from the contempt vote are doing
    a good job of it.

  5. I consider myself a “second amendment liberal”, and believe that private ownership of firearms and the right to bear them is a liberal issue. I believe that people should be free to own firearms, as long as they can do so with reasonable safety and I also strongly believe that people have an inherent right to defend themselves, even to the point of using lethal force if necessary. I like to hunt (admittedly haven’t been able to go hunting for several years because of poverty), “plink”, and shoot targets, and like some of the older military versions (especially the WWII M1 carbine). I believe that gun ownership is a personal decision and have had problems with people who think they should have the right to make that decision for me.

    If the NRA is pushing Republican causes, it’s changed a lot since I was a member – decades ago. However, I also remember all the attempts to do away with private ownership of guns and hunting in the 70s and 80s, and suspect that some of their rhetoric is a reaction to the past.

  6. My advice to liberals is to go out and buy themselves firearms of some kind. If Obama wins re-election, I look for thousands (at least) of right-wing nut-jobs to go into open, armed rebellion.

  7. Bravo. Don’t you find it curious that some on the left don’t consider it a “liberal issue”? I mean, violent criminals that want to use a firearm don’t really give a crap about gun laws.

  8. I have never owned a gun, but I have been trained to shoot. I’m quite good at it. I have friends, blue collar folks, for whom hunting is a major part of their protein supply. They are not irresponsible, slavering Bambi slayers. I have friends who are also pursued by the RW extremists. They have guns. They NEED those guns as I once was unfortunately close enough to experience though, thank goodness, nothing happened. But might have without our being armed.

    I have no desire to take a human life EVER. But I believe totally in self defense. I am NOT a pacifist though I deeply admire those who are especially those who walk the walk in dark and dangerous streets fighting for justice – unarmed. I’m not that brave.

    So, RWNJs be assured I won’t try to take your gun if – IF – you are responsible with it, and don’t EVER presume that tomorrow is not the day I also walk into a gun store. You just never know. I’ve been watching all of you – I know I might just need to do that one of these fine days.

  9. Whenever on a public Message Board and I post this:

    “Dred Scott turned people into property. Citizens United turned property into people. Wonder: Will this bring another civil war?”

    The same Republican comment always comes back:
    “We’re the ones will all the Guns…you folks won’t have a chance”.

    Perhaps, we really should become more ‘prepared’.

  10. I have never seen or touched a firearm, and hopefully, never will. Too many children are killed when guns are in homes. A knew a teen who was depressed and took his dad’s gun and went to his girlfriend’s and threatened to kill both of them. He later did take his own life. Had he not had easy access to a gun, he might be alive today.
    The NRA wants no registration, no accountability, and no limits on the type of weapon Joe Blow can carry around to public events. I don’t want to go to a park with my grandkids and worry that people are carrying. Guns kill.

  11. I love to shoot. I don’t own any guns, but I love to go to the firing range and make a lot of noise. I’m pretty good at it, but my daughter… wow, she’s even better. Don’t get in her way! (Both of us are left-leaning moderate Democrats.)

  12. I grew up with guns, have been shooting since I was small and
    started hunting as soon as I was legal to buy a hunting license.
    While I no longer hunt, I still own guns and shoot. I believe
    in the 2nd Amendment and have no problem with responsible
    people owning guns. I have a few issues with those who sell
    guns to anyone with the cash at gun shows and I really dislike
    the illegal guns and sales. I think we need stronger laws to
    protect us from the nut jobs who should never be allowed to buy
    guns and large clips, but for those who aren’t setting out to
    murder- people should be able to buy and own guns. I certainly
    intend to continue to be a gun owner and I even know how to do
    reloads on ammunition. I won’t be standing by if some if these
    folks who keep threatening “2nd amendment solutions” or the
    downright seditious “overthrowing of the government”. I never
    want to take up arms against anyone, but if push came to shove,
    I have no doubt that I would be capable of doing what is needed.
    I am a lifelong Democrat and I know a lot of other people like
    me. Republicans certainly are not the only ones with guns or who
    believe in our right to own them.

  13. Conservatives (ie. Republicans) do NOT have a monopoly on gun ownership. Liberal gun owners and gun enthusiasts are a-plenty and ought to step up and not be shy about being counted. Sometimes liberals as well as the general public at large, allow the MSM media to draw false conclusions on a variety of subjects. These lead to false parallels and assumptions that we mindlessly and erroneously assimilate into our thinking and parrot as truth (it must be true because ABC or CNN or CBS or FOX or MSNBC said so). One of the biggest falsities is exactly who are American gun owners. They are not always the NRA yee-haa’s that the MSM want you to believe.

  14. My dad was on the Marine Corps Rifle and Pistol Team. He taught me to shoot both weapons, and I enjoy target shooting. However, I am sure I could never take a life. Also, I don’t trust other gun owners to always be responsible with their weapons. When my children were young, if they were invited to play at a friend’s house, I would inevitably embarrass them by calling the parents and asking them if they had any guns in the house and if they had them locked up. I think that our elected representatives have given the NRA far too much power over the lives of our legislators and by extension over the lives of the general populace.

  15. A lady called from the NRA the other day. They played me a snippet from the head of the NRA about the UN making laws to outlaw guns in the United States, and some other stuff about how the UN was making a “World Court” and was violating our sovernty. Real level headed, Turner Diaries stuff. Then the lady came back on the line and asked me if anything I heard upset me. I told her no, that it all sounded like a bunch of crap to me. Long pause…….. “well good day!” — click— I chuckled. I assumed they thought they had one on the line since I had just subscribed to Hand Gunner magazine. Happy to disappoint.

  16. I live in Canada and we have gun laws. Very, very expensive gun laws. Do they reduce gun-related crime? No. Do they reduce spree-killings? No. Do they do what was promised? No. They just spend a lot of money for nothing. Liberal or not, gun laws do not work; they’re just a white elephant.

  17. I think that part of the reason my wife and I haven’t been shot or killed in some other fashion is because of the reputation I’ve gained of being willing to shoot and kill to defend myself and my family (which includes our kitties) – and that I’m quite accurate. Of course, they’ve taken the coward’s path… burning our shop, poisoning our kitties, and indirectly screwing with us.

    A friend of mine has said (sometime back, so I don’t remember the quote exactly) that the one thing that might – MIGHT – keep the dominionists (or like ilk) from openly using violence is their inherent cowardice and wanting to have a false front of respectability. However, that was before we started catching on to what was going on, and I now am concerned that the language from their masters (their preachers) will goad them over the line.

  18. Guns are the tool that is used in killing, but there are many others too… knives, tire irons, poison, etc. and I don’t hear calls to regulate or ban them (and yes, they do get used). I recognize your discomfort but realize that most gun owners are not crazy, and part of the training one receives is when NOT to shoot (or even pull/display a firearm). You’re buying into the stereotype of the gun nut (a case of the exception “proving the rule”), and labeling people such as the others who have posted here with characteristics that aren’t appropriate.

    Most gun owners, especially the ones I know, believe that firearms should be difficult if not impossible for kids to get hold of – but with reasonable exceptions. You see, I and my younger brother “owned” our first shotgun before I was 12, and first learned firearm safety long before that. We knew enough even as little kids to realize you NEVER played with a gun… not even with bullets. They are just too dangerous! The same was true for all of our friends (we all, admittedly, had very harsh and negative opinions of any kid stupid enough to “play” with guns). So keeping firearms away from us was not necessary… and if we got out our guns it was to SAFELY clean and prepare them, or to take out for use (again in a safe manner). In fact, I won’t get into the details, but there have been a couple of situations where we, as teens, were more safety-conscious and careful than cops!

    There needs to be flexibility and exceptions built into the laws… for instance, an inflexible “gun-lock” law might put our lives in jeopardy, because of the “Good Christians” in this area and having to take the time to unlock a gun in the middle of a critical self-defense situation (which has happened, btw – thank God I didn’t have to kill!). Such a law would also make me a criminal, because I would refuse to obey it in my own home (I consider it a safety issue and that quick access to the ability to defend myself and my family/home trumps “gun safety”). Since we don’t have children and it’s absolutely unlikely children will ever enter our house, such things are unnecessary anyway in our case.

    We’re not the threat you feel, but rules and laws such as you seem to be calling for would put US in dire threat from the people who are a danger to you too… the dominionists/theocrats and Tea Party nuts. You don’t need to fear most gun owners, but an attitude of “more regulation and laws and limitations” justifiably causes fear in us because of the history of such attempts.

  19. Recently, I went into a military surplus/gun store in search of a decent compass (for my work). Because I have long hair and was wearing a headband, I was treated with great suspicion and heard some negative comments about liberals in a discussion two others were having.

    I also went into their firearm section, and looked at some of the guns (didn’t see the one I would love to own -military surplus M1 carbine- however). They seemed a bit surprised and rather suspicious that I would go into that area.

    I kept my mouth shut, and next time probably will wear my field hat so as to try to keep a lower profile. I wonder what they’d have thought had they known that a liberal was a gun owner and supported the right to own and bear arms – and that there are a lot of us.

  20. I rather do. I consider it not amiss for anyone to keep a hangun for household and premise defense, a long gun for hunting, and a varmint gun for varmints. I have a problem with letting weapons out there at will whose only purpose is mowing down massive numbers of people in minimum time, and I realize that when a super-accurate rifle with a scope is bought by someone who doesn’t have a hunting license, the intended quarry might be a congressperson, a Justice, or the President. Probably if someone keeps a cannon on their lawn, it’s historic, but not if it is in firing condition and its owner is stocking up on minie balls, cannister, or grapeshot. Certain things like RPG’s and landmines should raise anybody’s eyebrows. I bet those nuts have them.

    Curious if anyone here has heard of a punt gun.

  21. I’d add that my dad taught me to shoot and to observe gun safety when I was young. Alas, because of no master eye, I am known as Peer Squint.

  22. I saw a replica at a gun show a few years back. They’re flippin’ huge! It was described as a late 19th century rifle that was used for the purpose of blasting large numbers of water fowl mostly for commercial purposes.

  23. While the stereotype for long hair does exist, keep in mind that has changed a lot in recent years. There’s a helluva lot of long haired country boys out there.

  24. I haven’t heard that term in years! I grew up on the Chesapeake bay, and heard stories about them. A cannon to shoot large numbers of ducks and geese for the market… carried on a wooden boat called a punt, and shooting one of those monsters was supposed to be quite scary (especially since the recoil could sink a small boat if it wasn’t handled right). There is even a story I’ve read about someone and a punt gun… I read it probably 20 years ago and barely remember any details, but it was connected with the Eastern Shore of the Chesapeake (I lived there for about a year, when I was a pre-teen). The biggest thing I’ve shot, however, was a 10-guage magnum shotgun (“Long Tom”) owned by friends of mine. Kicked like a mule. I also got to shoot a 44-40 revolver one time, which also kicked like a mule and the thing was BIG.

    I wouldn’t mind so much if a person had, for instance, a working model of a cannon. I know people who had them… they enjoyed shooting it just as much as anyone might shooting an old rifle (for instance) and have joined in (said cannons make great noise makers for 4th of July!). Of course, they’d use things like 55 gallon drums and watermelons that had gone bad for targets (sometimes even large paper targets). One guy I knew had a working Civil War mortar he’d built… and loved to launch things WAY up into the sky (landing in the lake or someplace safe, of course). Depending on what he shot, he could raise up quite a splash! A friend of mine also told of a club that had a working 50 caliper machine gun… people shot it for fun. I wouldn’t mind pulling the trigger on that too just to see what it’s like.

    I’ve also always dreamed of shooting a tank… I’ve heard that they’ve tried using them for tunneling and doing road cuts and so on… firing tin cans filled with concrete. Supposed to be a lot of fun and pretty effective (knocks loose big chunks of rock) – plus the armor was really effective at protecting against rock fragments flying around.

    Some people may think this sounds crazy, but then… whatever floats your boat! (I think using pot or getting drunk “for fun” is a bit crazy, but it’s popular with a lot of people!)

  25. Yeah. Not in that shop, though. All had very short haircuts (military looking).

    This area is notoriously conservative and dominionist… I sometimes get the scripture about men not having long hair thrown at me in public… and respond that I am honoring my ancestors by not cutting my hair.

  26. That would have hurt, if they hadn’t corrected her! (Made a similar mistake when I was a kid – one time. Shoulder hurt for a week!)

  27. Actually, they were titanic shotguns, whose recoil could drive the boat back in the water, and I daresay if someone were dumb enough to mount one broadside, it would cause them to capsize.

  28. My ex, whose nickname was “Arsenal”, taught me to fire a brass flintlock pistol with a fifteen-grain load, and then dared me to try thirty. It was memorable.

  29. Yeah, I think I’d be uncomfortable with someone having grapeshot loads already prepared. VERY uncomfortable.

  30. (Laugh!) Yeah, I imagine it would. I’ve shot black powder (built a revolver and a rifle from kits, as well as shot a horse pistol and I think a Sharp’s one time) and thinking about a double load… I imagine you won’t forget that for a while.

  31. I agree with Reynardine. Limiting gun ownership to handguns and hunting rifles/shotguns seems more in line with the intent of the 2nd Amendment. I was a supporter of the Federal Assault Weapons Ban passed under Clinton, and was disheartened when Bush, predictably, let the act expire. That being said, responsible gun ownership is a personal freedom that lies at the heart of many of the most radical liberal philosophies – Che Guevara comes most readily to mind. I also wanted to compliment the fellow readers on some healthy, intelligent debates in the comment section of this post. Always nice to see a blog turn into a legitimate forum for discussion. Cheers!

  32. The problem is, many of the guns covered under that damned ban weren’t made for killing large numbers of people… my 22 would have come under that ban because it uses “banana clips” and is semi-automatic. It was sold as a way to limit near-machine-guns, but all it really did was drive the price of certain types of firearms (semi-automatic) out of the reach of the ordinary person.

    Most of the gun owners I know, or knew at the time, believed and still do that it was an attempted precursor to banning private gun ownership. I was very happy the day it lapsed (and expressed that relief), and had quite a few people get really nasty with me and predict a gigantic outbreak of violence because it lapsed – which didn’t happen.

    If what I fear… an attempted coupe by the dominionists comes to pass, having such a gun (semi-automatic with replaceable clips) might actually be a life-saver, with the hatred those “Good Christians” have for liberals. Funny thing is that they say that about us, but I’ve never heard of a Liberal committing arson, or poisoning the kitties of a “Good Christian”, or doing any violence unless in pure self-defense.

  33. That is the exact mindset of the children with guns in the impoverished areas of the city.

    These barbarians have no idea how their toilet paper gets to them, much less how to actually use weapons to take over society.

    Depending on guns to take and hold power assumes a fantastic logistics chain. See how well it’s worked in Afghanistan? All the logistics and military training in the world, and we’re bleeding to death slowly.

    They can inflict some damage, but guns run out of ammo. Clubs don’t.

  34. I’m a gun-totting liberal. I enjoy shooting, but hate cleaning, so I don’t shoot much. I am for stringent regulations too. Still, never in my lifetime nor the lifetime of the USA, has a member of the Democratic party nor its elected representatives nor its President has ever taken away guns…But the Republicans have…introducing! George W. Bush and the Bush Crime Family

  35. I can tell you Tim from LA, that there is a reason for the NRA, The fundies and the GOP’s maniac rush to make sure that everyone has weapons. I’m not sure what it is, but I am betting that the president does. And someday this is all going to come to a head. And it wont to be why the people of the United States have the right to bear arms.

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