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Getting Involved

David Codrea has this to say:

If gun owners would get off their lazy, apathetic butts and consistently and proactively devote time, effort and treasure to the cause, we would be invincible. It’s easy to point the finger at politicians for attacking us, or NRA management for compromising, and I’m not saying that should stop, but put in perspective, politicians wouldn’t betray us if they didn’t dare–and compromises wouldn’t be made if they weren’t perceived as advantageous or necessary.

Yep. If every gun owner were active and involved, we could walk into legislatures around the country and dictate terms. This past week in Pennsylvania we were told, by Ed Rendell I believe, that it was calls to the legislators, spawned by certain interest groups, that had legislators scared.

That’s a great result, but if it was more than a few thousand motivated gun owners, I’d be surprised. If every Pennsylvania gun owner, and I don’t just mean someone who has a rifle up in the attic, I mean people who go out to the range or to the woods to shoot, hunt, what have you, on a regular basis, had called or e-mailed, the staffers would have been overwhelmed, and few legislators would have dared vote against us.

It all comes down to numbers, and sadly, there are a lot more people who are interested in enjoying the shooting sports, and enjoying their right to own a firearm for self-protection, than there are people who are interested in preserving those rights.

12 Responses to “Getting Involved”

  1. If only we had X many more members/believers.

    If only the members did X.

    Woulda-coulda-shoulda. Before I see this post echoed further in the Snowflakes in Hell blog circle (and you know who you are) I will do my best to stop this incipient pity party right here.

    How about instead of getting sad you either get mad or get motivated.?

    Being sad says you aren’t motivated enough or you feel the cause or goal is either unworthy or futile. Well – is it?

    By my measure it has been three days since SFIH mentioned a candidate for president of the United States. Are either Fred Thompson and Ron Paul’s activities so ho-hum and unworthy of commentary that you haven’t found anything to comment on one way or the other on EITHER of them?

    Have you mentioned Bill Richardson, either favorably or unfavorably? The only Democrat candidate for president to not apologize or give weasel answers when it comes to self-defense by firearms.

    Perhaps you believe that it would be best if Rudy Giuliani and Hillary Clinton were the Republican and Democratic candidates so that people can taste how bad it can get?

    Have you setup a http://beararms.meetup.com meeting for your city or area? Have you attended a like minded meetup group?

    Have you sat down at your table and written Republican voters in Iowa telling them why you support your favored Republican candidate? (Why or why not? Too hard? Yea, I thought so.)

    Are you wearing a Ron Paul liberty bracelet? (even if you have Ron Paul beefs, it is a starting point for discussion) I don’t see any Fred Thompson bracelets as far as google searches go – maybe Thompson supporters just don’t wear bracelets.

    Have you ordered any Fred Thompson buttons and do you wear them – daily? Have you sent any to relatives?

    Have you made a DVD or CD of the best videos supporting your candidate for president and sent them to your out of state relatives (or even the in-state ones)? (You can skip this one if your candidate for president doesn’t inspire people to make videos about him or her.)

    Have you gone to any local Barack Obama meetings? Those people badly need to be exposed to some responsible self-defense advocates.

    Have you found a sign waving event for your favorite presidential candidate and gone and waved your sign at traffic? Do you even HAVE a sign to wave for your favorite presidential candidate? If you haven’t found one have you started a sign waving event?

    Have you read the article “You Know You’re a Ron Paul Supporter WHEN” and thought how you can apply the passion found in that article towards the safe and responsible self-defense movement?

    Have you managed to write a blog post without putting down your fellow gun owners or quoting another blogger who does? Have you written a blog post or comment that instead of moaning and groaning actually inspires people to DO one of the above suggestions?

    I haven’t done ALL of the above, but I am within one or two of performing all of the above.

    Because if you haven’t done all the above and then some then I suggest you find the internal cigarette lighter and relight the passion inside of you. (I could recap the V for Vendetta “if you feel and I feel” speech but I hope you get the idea. Now is *not* the time for wet blankets folks, please get inspired and get going on the road to freedom (the concept inspires me and it should inspire you)!

    Thane Eichenauer
    Tempe, Arizona

    P.S. I love your blog. I hope you keep up the good work!

  2. Jacob says:

    It’s not a numbers game, it’s a matter of being effective which comes from knowing when and how to use leverage to move the legislature.

  3. Sebastian says:

    Jacob:

    I think it’s both. A motivated minority can accomplish a lot, but raw numbers help. If you can’t threaten a candidates seat by bringing votes to the table, or withdrawing them, whichever the case may be, they don’t have much to fear from you do they?

  4. Sebastian says:

    Thane:

    Not everyone is going to get involved in every single fight at that level of intensity. I’m not asking that of people. If you do, pat yourself on the back, because that’s great. I’m not saying that every gun owner needs to be superactivist, able to stop a speeding bill, and leap tall legislators in a single bound. But paying attention, writing legislators, showing up to vote, maybe showing up in person when the stakes are high — that’s the level of involvement I don’t think is too much.

    You can’t ask for the level of activism that you’re demanding of people. People need to go to work, get married, have children, and raise families. It’s tough to be an activist, and it’s not for everyone. David’s point was, though, that a lot of people who are into shooting, and are willing to invest an afternoon at a gun show, won’t lift the barest finger when their rights are threatened. That’s the problem. If there’s a gun owner out there who hears of a bad bill and contacts legislators, that’s someone I have no beef with. But in polls, 96% of people supported the lost and stolen bill here in Pennsylvania. Loaded questions or not, that means a lot of gun owners aren’t paying attention and didn’t get the word about how these bills can screw gun owners.

    I won’t tell you there aren’t other people out there doing a lot more than I do, and my hats off to them. But there are certainly shooters out there doing a lot less, and many paying scant attention to what’s going on in the issue. Those are the ones I’m talking about. Do you know how frustrating it is to hear other gun owners say “Bah… I don’t like paying attention to that political stuff.” when you know they go to the range and shoot guns that many people would love nothing better than to ban? I’m not asking activists to wear bracelets, make CDs or DVDs, or spy on other candidates…. I’m just asking them to care, and help out where they can. You’d be surprised how many gun owners don’t want to.

  5. Michael says:

    I completely agree and the reason why I joined a GeorgiaCarry.Org. They have fought long and hard to regain or to prevent the loss of carry rights in the state. But, I have not depended on them entrirely, for I routinely call or email my elected state officals to let them know how I feel about their perfomance on gun bills.

  6. Jacob says:

    Thane, you’re a perfect example of why it’s not about numbers, it’s about being effective. You Ron Paul spammers accomplish nothing positive and are a detriment to the cause. There’s a darn good reason nobody takes him seriously and if you ever decide to take and honest assessment of Paul and his supporters you will discover why that is.

  7. Hello Jacob,

    Thank you for commenting. I comment here because I care.

    If you have come across Ron Paul spammers, let me offer my personal and heartfelt apology on behalf of the Ron Paul for President campaign.

    I’m open to suggestions, although I have to tell you that right off I am puzzled how you come to lump me into a group of “Ron Paul spammers”. I spend plenty of time on web sites covering safe and respnsible firearm ownership, presidential politics and the like and I haven’t come across anything fairly describable as Ron Paul spam. If you have found my behavior to be describable as a spammer, please tell me and offer specific examples so I may consider your concerns.

    Should you come across Ron Paul spam in the future I encourage you to get in touch with me via and I will do what I can to reduce the amount of spam in the world. I dislike spam as much as the next guy.

    That all being said, I vote for motivating those who can be motivated, speaking out with my words and dollars in furtherance of safe and responsible firearm ownership and making sure that the fourth of November, 2008 is a day that shall never ever be forgot.

    As for “nobody” taking Ron Paul seriously I have to say that “nobody” must have missed articles by Time magazine, New York Times magazine, New York Times newspaper, tv interviews by Fox and CNN as well as the $4.3 million his campaign raised on November 5th, 2007.

    That all being said if you have an honest assessment of Ron Paul you wish to offer (or even just point me to) I would really enjoy reading it.

    If you have critiques of Ron Paul supporters, I encourage you to contact any you feel are non-positive or detrimental and tell them honestly and with whatever care you can muster why you think they are not helping.

    Again, that all being said, you may not approve of all Ron Paul supporters. *I* may not _approve_ of ALL Ron Paul supporters. We live in a political society and unless a post-political society arrives we have to live with the fact that some people believe it is OK with the idea of contributing to terrorist groups that go to foreign countries, conduct warrantless searches, confiscate unapproved firearms and arrest people and hold them without review by a neutral magistrate but I do not and that is why I support Ron Paul and not any candidate whose commitment to due process for everybody, whose respect for the rule of law as well as faithfulness in obeying the constitution is anything less than sterling.

    Hello Sebastian,

    Again, I really enjoy reading your blog, thank YOU for providing inspiring stories as well as news and facts that I find very helpful.

    I feel some (a very, VERY small amount of) sympathy for feeling sad about people who don’t care but people like that are part and parcel of human society. The Holocaust happened for a reason, because people didn’t care enough when asked to permit the government to disarm various “unsavory” minority groups and then once disarmed to mistreat and even kill many of them.

    However, like many of my atheist friends are wont to remind me, when you have a cause it is incumbent upon those who support that cause to make your case logically and persuasively (at least persuasively) to those whose commitment to that cause is in your mind less than it should be (or even hostile to it). Don’t get sad and don’t get mad, get motivated.

    If you or David find people to be apathetic, then I sincerely suggest that you and he look at the suggestions you recommend and the methods and techniques you use to persuade. In my opinion, one or the other or both is apparently wanting if you or David find it -too hard- to persuade and inspire your fellow firearm owners. There are *so many* reasons to be in our camp that allowing those who are neutral to indifferent to slow you down is just not right. Complaining about firearms owners who just don’t care enough comes across to me as whining and nobody outside our camp (those who support safe and responsible firearm ownership) will care (save those who secretly cheer on the pity party in progress).

    I hope you and other readers of my comment come away from my comments with a increased passion to make a difference because our case IS worthy and freedom is possible – but only if I and you and David care enough to do whatever it takes and that (in my opinion) is not too much to ask.

  8. Jacob, my email was cut out of my post above, the sentence should read:

    Should you come across Ron Paul spam in the future I encourage you to get in touch with me via auto80110@myprivacy.ca and I will do what I can to reduce the amount of spam in the world

  9. Sebastian says:

    If you or David find people to be apathetic, then I sincerely suggest that you and he look at the suggestions you recommend and the methods and techniques you use to persuade. In my opinion, one or the other or both is apparently wanting if you or David find it -too hard- to persuade and inspire your fellow firearm owners. There are *so many* reasons to be in our camp that allowing those who are neutral to indifferent to slow you down is just not right. Complaining about firearms owners who just don’t care enough comes across to me as whining and nobody outside our camp

    It’s a fair criticism that perhaps it’s best to keep one’s frustration to oneself, but how else do you motivate people to be active than by by showing how much the inactivity hurts the cause?

    A lot of people actually think that writing their legislator doesn’t make that much of a difference, or that voting doesn’t make that much of a difference. Or that having once extra body show up at the Capitol to oppose some piece of crap legislation doesn’t make a difference, and it’s one of my purposes to convince them that it does.

    I do consider myself pretty motivated on this issue. I spent most of my spare time last week before the vote contacting legislators and trying to get a feel for how the vote was going to go from people I know involved in PA state politics. My main regret, and what I’m kicking myself over, was not being able to get the time off to go to Harrisburg personally.

  10. Hello Sebastian,
    I’m happy to say that something good has come over David Codrea’s post. He expressed frustration over being unable or unsuccessful in motivating firearm owners. You to some degree had similar complaints.

    While I certainly won’t claim to possess the silver bullet (there is none) I offered up some ideas. I feel there is a solution to be had (freedom and responsibility) and that it is achievable (freedom being the easier of the two goals, responsibility being slightly harder to achieve, in my opinion).

    Back to your question, “How else do you motivate people to be active than by by showing how much the inactivity hurts the cause?” I have no perfect solution but I gave some ideas in my comments above.

    There are plenty of ways to motivate people and it is well to remember that negative motivations (pain) should be used in moderation compared to positive motivations (benefits). There are plenty of positive benefits to safe and responsible firearm ownership, safer schools if teachers are not forbidden to carry, safer stores if safe and responsible customers are not forbidden to carry, safer countries if government isn’t permitted to harass the safe and responsible firearm owners. SELL BENEFITS.

    We recently had a veterans day parade in my part of the country
    http://a9.com/veterans%20day%20parade%20phoenix
    (Phoenix, Arizona) and the float that received the most media coverage was the anti-war float. Not everybody agreed with its sentiment but it was noticed and it was discussed and it got plenty of TV coverage.

    I wonder if next year in the next veterans day parade if there won’t be a float with participation from the local firearms businesses and the local safe and responsible firearms owners. I would think plenty of people would find it to be a fun activity to help and participate in.

    None of my ideas include contacting legislators or writing legislators or meeting legislators (and there is nothing wrong with any of those ideas). Some people don’t want to write letters (or emails) but they might want to dress up and stand on their float with the black powder musket.

    I’ll wrap up this segment of comments with an idea I learned from Ernest Hancock.
    http://a9.com/Ernest%20Hancock
    http://www.freedomsphoenix.com/
    “If you aren’t having fun you aren’t doing it right.”

    I am sure are freedoms will be fine so long as you and I and David Codrea maintain our vigilance, keep our creative fires stoked and never allow apathy to rain on our musket powder.

  11. BadIdeaGuy says:

    Wow Thane, that’s a lot of telling others how to run their affairs for a libertarian type (if I’m to judge by your blog). “You should post this way”, “you should wear a Ron Paul bracelet”, “you should go to Barack Obama meetings”, and “wave signs at traffic”!

    I’m just sayin’. :-)

  12. If I was using the power of government you would be absolutely right but as it is I am one person offering my ideas nobody is under any obligation to follow my suggestions or exhortations unless they think it is a good idea.

    Part of my message was that all advocates of greater rights for the people need to be aware of that there is more than one way to accomplish a given end and that it pays to consider possible alternate or additional ideas instead of the standard send an email, write a letter and visit a legislator trio of suggestions.

    Some people don’t want to write emails or letters or call their legislator because they believe (rightly or wrongly) that legislators really don’t care, that their emails or letters don’t get noticed or considered as legislators once elected can do pretty much what they feel like. These same some people may feel if you really want to get a legislators attention you will run against him come next election cycle and if a person isn’t willing or able to run for office that may come off as apathy to activists like David Codrea (and it may *be* apathy, but I don’t let that slow me down).

    Legislators are only one piece (rather large) of the puzzle. I try to let those in our camp know that there is more that one way to advocate on behalf of safe and responsible firearm ownership.

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