We live in a multicultural nation. With more than 300 million people, there are bound to be plenty of differences. Yet, good, right-thinking people do what they can to live with others in relative harmony. Good people understand that no single group is exactly like any other group. Right-thinking people also know the idea of true freedom is about allowing others to live as they please, within the bounds of societal norms and codified laws set down by the people’s representatives. If you espouse freedom for yourself, but deny it to others because of cultural differences, you are actually supporting tyranny.

If all people followed this type of thinking, everyone would get along. You would do what you wanted and your neighbor would do what she wanted and as long as those actions did not hurt anyone else, people would be generally happy, content, and safe. People would vote on representatives who would create and enforce laws that would support the common good while not interfering with the cultural preferences of differing groups of people (again, as long as the actions of those differing groups did not cause harm to other people).

If those actions were to cause harm, the individual causing the harm, not the entire group, would be held responsible for those actions and punished accordingly.

Can we agree this would be a great model for effective governance in a multicultural society? Let’s hope so.

But what happens if one group goes outside the lines? Imagine the response if a person were to say, “Muslims kill people. I hate Muslims. I don’t want Muslims in my home. I don’t want Muslims near my children. I certainly don’t want Muslims in my schools. There should be very strict rules governing Muslims. In fact, I want Muslims banned and removed from this country.”

Any person who uttered those words would be a pariah! Such a person would be chastised and publicly shamed for bigotry and intolerance. Such a person would be viewed as narrow-minded, uneducated, and considered to have no redeeming social value. We would be told we can’t have people who think and talk like that in positions of power. We shouldn’t have anyone who thinks and talks like that teaching our children.

The correct response from good, right-thinking people would be this: only a small number of Muslims kill people. Perhaps your hatred and fear of Muslims springs from misunderstanding. If you got to know more about Muslims, perhaps you would see the other elements of their culture. It is patently unfair and bigoted of you to label an entire group for the actions of a few. If you learned more about Muslims, you could live side-by-side with them, even if you disagreed with some of what they believe, because you should know the vast majority of Muslims would never hurt you or anyone else.

That is the correct way to deal with bigotry and cultural hatred. Education, not isolation, will give you a greater understanding of different cultures.

Now, I have two words for you: Gun Culture.

All the major media outlets in the country use that term. Pundits say the United States has a “gun culture.” Then those same media outlets will talk about the importance of tolerance in a multicultural society. Except, on the left, there is zero tolerance for the “gun culture.”

Let me replace the word “Muslims” for the word “guns” in that paragraph:

But what happens if one group goes outside the lines? Imagine the response if a person were to say, “Guns kill people. I hate guns. I don’t want guns in my home. I don’t want guns near my children. I certainly don’t want guns in my schools. There should be very strict rules governing guns. In fact, I want guns banned and removed from this country.”

Those italicized words seem very common, do they not? It appears that in our multicultural society, one culture is not protected. One culture is attacked. When it comes to addressing guns and the gun culture, bigotry—which springs out of misunderstanding, a lack of education on the topic, and irrational fear—is not only welcomed, it’s encouraged.

Such actions would not be tolerated if directed at any other culture. They should not be tolerated when directed at gun owners.

Author’s Note: I wrote the column hoping to get it published in a “mainstream” media outlet. But because of my cultural choices, my words will not see the light of day anywhere else.

Please feel free to share this column, with proper attribution, in any and all locations. These words need to get out.