Thursday, March 13, 2008

Shooting Liberally Takes Aim At Change

Drinking Liberally Shot of Truth

A month ago, we told you about the inaugural meeting of Shooting Liberally which would be coming up later that day. Well, the second meeting of Shooting liberally NYC is coming up (next Tuesday, in fact), and we wanted to report back to you on the first Shooting Liberally in the Empire State - what happens when a group of Manhattanite liberals bond over progressive politics and shooting ranges?

One novice, Tim, summed it up this way:

A good time was had by all. Especially, it seems, by the ladies.

Which hints at an important aspect of the chapter - of the sixteen spaces we reserved at the range, a healthy majority were taken up by women. When Shooting Liberally was not busy shooting down bullseyed targets, they took turns shooting down gender stereotypes.

Gender stereotypes weren't the only stereotypes that we took aim at, however - we also took aim at political stereotypes. Scott explains:

It felt quite odd at first, since the shooting range not only had many posters with sayings like, "Guns don't kill people, bullets kill people," and "Forget 911--I dial .357," but also a portrait of George W. Bush proudly displayed over the cases of ammunition in the office. Also, the heavy report of high-caliber handguns being fired in the range couldn't help but make you jump.

John, the safety instructor, had enough tattoos to moonlight at Coney Island, but he was friendly and patient and thorough. He sat all 16 of us in school desks in a side room to run us through weapon handling procedures. Then he handed out rifles to everyone. It was quite something to see a bunch of people who looked like they were in study hall, brandishing weapons.

Despite pre-game jitters, once on the range with the smell of gunpowder the card-carrying progressives took to it like fish to water. The women in the group were especially keen. Two or three ran through their clips of fifty rounds in no time and came out to buy more.

Afterward, we compared our paper targets and, surprisingly, most everyone had grouped their shots tightly in the center. It was exhilarating.

We all agreed that we had to do it again. And though we didn't talk about it much, I think we all felt better able to hang onto our democracy.

Which brings up an interesting issue - all of our Shooting Liberals are no slouches to the second word in the name. These are real lefties, and that includes believing in sensible gun control as well as responsible gun ownership. However, the last time we posted on this topic, we got a fair amount of comments from folks whose view of the 2nd amendment has changed a bit due to the radical nature of the Bush administration. Do you in the comments have any thoughts on this matter?

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

A Second Shot at the Second Amendment

Following the success of last month's Shooting Liberally debut, a crew of Liberals is assembling again (as is their 1st Amendment right) to bear arms (as is their 2nd) -- Tuesday, March 18th at 6:30 in New York City.

RSVP in advance to secure a space -- email Stanley Allan Sherman at maskarts (at)

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Arming Progressives With a New Hobby

Liberals and Progressives who enjoying shooting firearms no longer have to hide their hobby, nor be ashamed of their politics, as “Shooting Liberally” invites them out of the shadows and out to the firing range for its first inclusive, social target practice. Shooting Liberally creators in New York, Charleston and Denver, and the national Living Liberally network, welcome fellow Liberals to take up arms and join the occasion on Tuesday, February 19th, or to start Shooting Liberally gatherings in their own city and be part of the national movement.

Shooting Liberally is the newest social program of Living Liberally, a national organization dedicated to creating social communities around progressive politics across the country. In over 200 cities, through Drinking Liberally happy hours, Laughing Liberally comedy shows, Eating Liberally meals, Reading Liberally book clubs and Screening Liberally films, local progressives find new friends and allies, trade ideas, learn from each other, vent to each other and build a political bonds beyond election cycles and campaigns.

This newest project, created by Stanley Sherman & Bradley Aldridge in New York, Jeffrey Knighton in Charleston and John Erhardt in Denver, reflects their respect, shared by many liberals, for the US Constitution and all of its Amendments. It’s also a way of challenging stereotypes around the country, where progressives – who believe in safe and responsible use of firearms – are often portrayed as opposing guns themselves.

“One famous liberal who supported gun rights was Eleanor Roosevelt who carried her own pistol,” explained Sherman, offering historical context. “Thomas Jefferson, used to discharge a firearm--a pistol--after dinner, to aid the digestion. He wasn't shooting at anything, just found the…shock to be, well, helpful. “

“It has different meaning to the New Yorkers to shoot than it does to us in South Carolina,” offered Knighton. “But there’s more that unites us than divides us – and our enjoyment of firing a weapon is just one more thing we have in common.”

“It’s time for those of us famous for our fierce loyalty to the First Amendment get to try our hand at the Second,” added Justin Krebs, Executive Director of Living Liberally. “

Shooting Liberally New York City will hold its inaugural target practice at a shooting range in Manhattan at 7pm where all participants will rent guns and go through a professional training before firing. There is a range and gun fee to participate and a limited number of slots – reserve in advance. Afterwards there will be a party.

Shooting Liberally Denver will hold their event at a local range beginning with a brief safety refresher by an NRA instructor. Participants can bring their own guns, borrow from others, or rent a gun from the range. Costs and start time TBD.

Whether a gun-owner or a novice, you are welcome to join. Please contact the local coordinator for more information.

Living Liberally National - Justin Krebs - 732-801-5705,
New York: - Stanley Allan Sherman: 212-243-4039,; or Bradley Aldridge:
Charleston: Jeffrey Knighton: 804-874-0620,,
Denver: John Erhardt -