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.