By Ryan Smith, ACU Board Member
I am sure some of our members and supporters as well as other advocates of the 2nd amendment are wondering, what happened to this new gun group? Armed Citizens United (ACU) started off strong, has an excellent team on its board of directors; where is all of the action? Where is the public awareness and media output that the gun community desperately needs? Well, hopefully this will give you some answers as well as some reality checks from the trenches as to what some of the real issues are in the gun community.
When ACU was formed by concerned citizens and notable gun personalities, we fully expected to come under fire and get a lot of resistance from mainstream news outlets and anti-gun groups. In fact as media and advertising professionals we actually looked forward to the fight. Sheep dogs and gun owners everywhere know how important that fight is. We also know that no matter what spin anti gunners put on this topic, the right of self-defense and the right to keep and bear arms should never be diminished, hindered, or threatened. Instead, we need to gain more freedom in this area.
Much to our disappointment, the first fight we encountered was not with CNN or The Young Turks; it was not with an anti-gun organization. In fact, it was was one of our own; an organization many of us have supported at one time or another! Shortly after some of our articles began circulating and after some traction with our member participation we received legal threats against us from another gun organization (the suit has little grounds to actually win a case in court). As this is an ongoing issue, our board and legal team have decided not to disclose the name of the organization.
Likewise, other great companies inside the firearms community have received similar legal threats for this same group. Communication from this group has been without consideration of the bigger picture. Less than savory tactics were used in one instance that resulted in a small firearms group losing its top sponsor, which shut down its work entirely. Another organization told us, “I am disgusted by this gun groups use of its members hard earned donations and membership fees. Going after several positive and pro-gun companies without just cause is a disgrace to the movement and [they] need to remember what we are fighting for.”
All of this is of course has been compounded by the weight of Armed Citizens United being a new organization in a politically polarizing space.
ACU has and will continue to respond to peacefully and amicably resolve this. We have no intention of fighting inside the gun industry with our brothers in arms. Even though we encourage multiple avenues of 2nd Amendment support and believe that a little healthy competition is a good thing, these rights are too important for fighting inside of our own ranks.
That being said, we are gun owners, and will defend ourselves and our beliefs. Gun owners everywhere should not get involved in any action that would wrongly hinder supporters of the 2nd Amendment. ACU feels that the one thing you should never do is use member fees or donations to fight the people who are fighting next to you.
Armed Citizens United has decided to start the engines and get back to business again. We will continue our work to change the publics perception, produce savvy media and articles, and fight to preserve our right to keep and bear arms. If this other Gun Organization decides to press forward with a unsubstantiated suit against us, we will disclose everything to our members and the gun-owning public so they can decide for themselves if they want their donations to be used in this manner.