The WON welcomes Cheryl Todd, author of this column titled “The Flame.” Cheryl, as a gun store owner and Second Amendment advocate, brings years of experience and passion to this publication, and we are grateful. She wanted to kick off the first column with the intriguing topic of gun bloggers. And with that, take it away, Cheryl — B.B.
How much do we delight in telling a good secret? What feeling of power and accomplishment do we get from teaching someone something new? We all know that feeling, but how often do we act on it?
Never before in history have we had a greater opportunity to share knowledge with people. Never before have you or I been in a position to be a leader, a teacher, and a source of information and influence! And the magic of it is, we don’t even have to be scholars ourselves. All we have to do is share! It’s just like Mom taught.
There’s a huge wealth of knowledge out there. So many intelligent voices and brilliant articles—many of them ones you have read and learned from. But, after you read them, do you move along, and line your proverbial birdcage with those articles and blogs? Instead, you could have shared them with a friend or two—or 1,000–with the click of a button.
Many of the brightest voices in the pro–Second Amendment rights community research and write for free. They do it out of a love for our country, a passion for protecting our rights for future generations, and a desire to carry the legacy of our forefathers to our future grandchildren in this fast-paced, ever-changing world. And, while these talented people are driven by a volunteer spirit, we can help them to feel our support and encourage them to continue their endeavors by simply sharing their work, their words and their wisdom with our friends.
I am sure you have your favorites, but how do your friends know that they’re your favorites? Have you “liked” their posts, or are you afraid that others will see that you support something controversial? Have you subscribed so you can stay in the loop, and left a comment of encouragement, or were you too quick to jump off to read the next blog? Have you shared a recipe for fruitcake, but not for freedom?
These simple acts are the currency, if you will, of the modern-day journalist, podcaster, blogger, and vlogger. You consume their work for free, and it’s work they are happy to do—but you can pay these people a compliment and support their efforts when you click, comment and pass their work along to others.
Here’s a quick 5-step plan for keeping these people around, and letting them know their work matters—that we are electronically applauding their efforts:
One of my favorite writers has been in the business of writing for free for most of his life. Jeff Knox, of The Knox Update and The Firearms Coalition (and also the son of Neal Knox), has this to say about reaching people beyond our community and influencing those who may be on the fence about the Second Amendment, or simply uninformed about the key issues as we enter election season:
Sharing is caring. If you care about it, share about it. Sharing is activism. It distributes important information and it supports the people and causes you care about.
I have a huge potential audience through WND.com. These are generally friendly conservatives, but many of them have little knowledge or interest in firearms. They’re natural allies for the rights movement, but their lack of knowledge means that they’re likely to fall for Trojan horses like closing the “gun show loophole,” expanded background checks, and restrictions on “assault weapons.” I think it’s important to reach and educate these people, but WND promotes based on traffic. The more traffic I get to my columns, the more WND will promote my stuff. If I can’t keep traffic up on my columns there, I could lose the opportunity to post there.
Imitation Reposting is the sincerest form a flattery.
Please share this article with a friend. They might enjoy it as much as you did.
Of course you should share this article. How else will your friends enjoy it?
Sharing his work is a non-monetary way to pay the author.
Finally, the incomparable Alan Korwin, of Page Nine Blog as The Uninvited Ombudsman encourages us in his article on “Tactics That Work” to tap into our can-do American spirit and not fall prey to a defeatist attitude of thinking that a single “Like” or “Share” won’t make a difference. “Sometimes people tell me they can’t do much because, ‘Hey, I’m only one person!’ Well, we’re all only one person. That’s how it works. Now get busy!”
Don’t have a favorite blogger yet? In addition to Knox and Morse, here is a short list of some trusted and influential names in the 2A community. (There are many, many others; my apologies for not being able to include all of them):
Barbara Baird – Women’s Outdoor News (WON)
Kenn Blanchard – Black Man With a Gun Blog / Where Patriots Speak
Alan Korwin – Page Nine Blog / The Uninvited Ombudsman
Carrie Lightfoot – The Well-Armed Woman Blog (TWAW)
David Codrea – The War on Guns Blog
Dave Workman – TheGunMag.com
John Richardson – No Lawyers, Just Money and Guns Blog
Stephen Wenger – Defensive Use of Firearms Digest
Miguel Gonzalez – ConcealCarry.com Blog
Melody Lauer – Melody Lauer Blog
Natalie Foster – Girl’s Guide to Guns Blog
Sean Sorrentino – NCGunBlog
Laura Carno – Conservative Solutions
Doctors for Responsible Gun Ownership – DRGO Blog
The Polite Society Podcast – Politics and Guns
AmmoLand.com – Shooting Sports News Blog
For more, check out these lists:
Gun Blogs Ranked by Viewership (Hint: You can directly impact this list if you follow the 6 steps above!)
Oh…and then there is me, Cheryl Todd – GunFreedomRadio Podcast & The Flame Blog
There is a voice out there to suit every taste. Find the ones that speak to your interest and feed your passion. Continue to enjoy their work for free, but pay them with your encouragement and support. Make your mom proud. In the words of Rob Morse: