Gunleaders Blog

Archive for April, 2012

“What can shooters do? The only things folks living in a democracy can do—get out and vote”

by on Apr.20, 2012, under Uncategorized

This was a statement in the closing paragraph of the Guns.com article here.  The premise of the article was what to do as politicians and the press change their tactics and approach to attacking the right to keep and bear arms.  The quote is an ok representation, but not quite bumper sticker worthy.  It’s an oversimplification and it is far from all we can do and all we should do.

The first thing to understand is that voting is NOT ENOUGH.  If you cast a vote for a candidate and think once he or she wins that your rights are protected, you’re wrong.  If you think that some gun rights group will take care of your rights for you, that is also mistaken.

Deer don’t hunt themselves, and politicians do not do your bidding without a substantial amount of work on your part.  Frequent engagement is required to successfully get your elected officials or unelected bureaucrats to move on an issue.  Staying focused on the elected variety, here some starting points.

  1. Mid or post election season is too late to start the conversation & expect good results. Politicians and their handlers cherry pick election issues they want to focus on, your job duty as a citizen is to engage them on the issues important to you, not the politician, their handlers or anyone else.
  2. This should start early on such as during the initial campaign rumblings, even before they announce and be sustained throughout their service in office.  Engaging like minded constituents of the same elected official is quite helpful at securing attention of an elected official, so get as many of them as you can to likewise engage the politician.
  3. Keep the politician and like minded constituents talking about the issue or issues important to you.  If you ask one question, one time and just go away, no politician is going to help.  You must be determined to get an on record answer supporting you.
  4. “I [strongly] support the 2nd Amendment” is absolutely worthless as any kind of answer.   You should always press this type of answer into a set of specific questions and get direct answers to them.  Evasion = no support.
  5. Leave absolutely nothing to ambiguity.  If you get yes answers, get an office contact to coordinate the effort supporting your bill, resolution or idea.  Follow up on that IMMEDIATELY along with your like minded colleagues.

One of the very big problems the gun lobby faces is a lack of involvement in the process.  Once a candidate is elected is when the real work starts and it is typically when gun owners wipe the proverbial sweat off our collective brows and think we are safe for another election cycle.  We need to change this behavior if we expect to be successful going forward.  Get engaged, stay engaged on RKBA issues with politicians.  Casting a vote, paying dues to a gun rights group or 3 isn’t enough to protect your rights.  Just as people who CCW choose to protect themselves, we need to take the same approach with our rights via the political process.

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