Liberal Gun Club Gathers To Celebrate Second Amendment

It was the first meeting of Colorado’s Shooting Liberally, a new social club created to foster an appreciation of firearms from the left of the political spectrum, and attendees were anxious to fire off a few rounds – even if it was their first time doing so.On Tuesday evening, approximately 20 self-described liberals gathered at an indoor shooting range in Aurora to refute the political stereotype that only conservatives support the Second Amendment.

Event organizers say they wanted to create an alternative to the National Rifle Association, a long-standing organization and major supporter of Republican candidates.

“While we’re mostly about bringing liberals together for a good time, Shooting Liberally is a great opportunity to stick the NRA in the eye. Their extreme views only seem to represent the gun industry at the expense of most of Americans,” said John Erhardt, an organizer of the group who is planning future gatherings to be held every few months.

“We’d also like our hunting and gun enthusiast friends to know that there are responsible liberal gun owners who also care about the environment,” he said.

While a good number of attendees were full-fledged gun owners, others had never fired a weapon before the event.

Corrine McDermid, a video journalist, said she was so focused on “firing the shots ” for the first time that she forgot her plan to film the historic meeting.

This reporter brought a simple .22 open-sight  rifle to research the event, emptying a few magazines at approximately 30 feet (see image) before trying a .44 magnum revolver in the next stall.

Larry Beer, an Aurora City Council member, also attended the meeting, noting that the shooting center was located in his district.

Additional Shooting Liberally gatherings took place in New York and South Carolina on Tuesday. The group is the newest brainchild of Living Liberally, a national organization that works to create social events centered on progressive principles.

Erin Rosa was born in Spain and raised in Colorado Springs. She is a freelance writer currently living in Denver. Rosa's work has been featured in a variety of news outlets including the Huffington Post, Democracy Now!, and the Rocky Mountain Chronicle, an alternative-weekly in Northern Colorado where she worked as a columnist covering the state legislature. Rosa has received awards from the Society of Professional Journalists for her reporting on lobbying and woman's health issues. She was also tapped with a rare honorable mention award by the Newspaper Guild-CWA's David S. Barr Award in 2008--only the second such honor conferred in its nine-year history--for her investigative series covering the federal government's Supermax prison in the state. Rosa covers the labor community, corrections, immigration and government transparency matters. She can be reached at erosa@www.coloradoindependent.com.

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