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Canadian Gun Owners Used by the Tories

Well, it was either going to go one of two ways for Canadian gun owners once they succeeded in getting rid of the long gun registry: either the Tories were going to discover a new constituency to whose votes they were eager to keep, or they’d figure gun owners had helped them achieve power, were justly rewarded, and now it’s pretty much “Thanks for last night. Feel free to let yourself out.”

Well, it seems the latter is going to be the course. This is the real problem of trying to build a movement only through a single party. It allows that party to get away with being not as bad as the other guy, and not much more. That’s one thing that ought to awfully concern us about the extinction of the blue dog Democrats. There are times when voting the lesser of two evils can be the smart move, and there are other times when withdrawing support is the better option. If I were a Canadian gun owner, I wouldn’t feel like I really needed to get to the polls to help keep the Conservative Party in power next election. If it’s true that that registry was “unpopular with many Canadians, not just gun owners, largely due to its wastefulness,” then there’s not much risk a Labor government is going to want to re-instate it. Plus, you just might find an out-of-power Conservative Party willing to ride back into power on another issue that is upsetting to Canadian gun owners.

But first Canadians gun owners have to start becoming single issue, or damned near single issue voters on the gun issue. That’s the only way toward success, and is a big part of why the movement here has been successful.

14 Responses to “Canadian Gun Owners Used by the Tories”

  1. Amiable Dorsai says:

    I have wasted countless hours trying to explain this principle to friends both Republican and Democrat. I sometimes think that people choose political parties the way they choose baseball teams, and, like baseball teams, they defend that choice regardless of real world results.

    • johannes paulsen says:

      Quite so. Look at how many people revere Ronald Reagan in the RKBA movement…and yet on the issue of gun control, his record (not his rhetoric) was so far ACTUALLY WORSE THAN OBAMA’S.

      I’m not saying Reagan was overall a terrible president, nor am I saying we should re-elect Obama. But we always need to keep in mind that just because a politician talks a good game, and makes us feel all warm and fuzzy when we see their image superimposed on an American flag while the band plays a particular Lee Greenwood tune, that doesn’t mean (s)he will actually advance our cause.

      • Patrick says:

        You speak heresy. The Gipper (TM) is all that ever was, is and will be of the True Conservative Movement (also TM).

        They’ll be at your house soon. It doesn’t matter how correct you are…it’s how Right you are not!

        Honestly, do gun owners get warm fuzzies when Romney says he wants to be just like Reagan?

      • Harold says:

        Given that Reagan signed the Firearm Owner’s Protection Act of ’86, without which a good case can be made we’d no longer have a gun culture, I’d say the outcome of a comparison of the actions of the two is not at all clear. Well, unless you factor in Fast and Furious, but it’s likely Obama knew nothing about it until it blew up.

    • Oranje Mike says:

      You’re right. Most folks I talk to from either party will easily admit they are wrong on almost any issue I talk about but they stick with the party. Seeing this time and time again, as a libertarian, is both amusing and frustrating.

  2. Sage Thrasher says:

    True, but despite a number of prominent pro-gun Democrats (Jon Tester comes to mind), as a party they make it easy for gun owners to ignore them when they do things like anoint Debbie Wasserman Schultz the DNC chair or vote for Sotomayor (unless it’s voting to impeach her for perjury concerning respecting precedent in Heller v. DC.)

    But this is also why I get really annoyed when Wayne LaPierre goes to CPAC or other partisan venues where the NRA has no business going and talks about gun rights as a “conservative value.” The SAF’s approach seems more genuinely single-issue by far and politically smarter.

  3. Andy B. says:

    I just need to comment that the above collection of comments are some of the most encouraging things I’ve heard out of gun rights advocates in a long time. Maybe, just maybe, we are starting down the road to not being perennial patsies.

  4. Arnie says:

    Help me here, sincerely. Isn’t the real issue liberty? Are we saying we don’t care what a politician says about freedom of speech, or freedom of religion, or property rights, as long as he clamors for concealed carry or 20-round mags?

    What is the purpose of gun rights, after all? Our Founders declared it the “palladium (first defense) of our liberty.” To accept gun rights at the sacrifice of our others seems counterproductive, like giving up the horse so I can keep the harness.

    Not trying to be difficult here, just need help understanding why we shouldn’t the whole package, I.e., allegiance to the whole Bill of Rights.

    Respectfully, Arnie

    • Arnie says:

      *shouldn’t PURSUE the whole package*

      • Sebastian says:

        In an ideal world, yes. But having a single issue voting block is extremely powerful in terms of getting politicians to pay attention to your issue. Most people are also not ideological voters. They vote their interests.

        In reality, most “single-issue” voters really aren’t. But I’m generally of the opinion it’s good to have a handful of issues you think are really important, and weighing those heavily for or against a candidate.

        But the single issue gun vote has been instrumental in preserving the right to keep and bear arms in this country. It would be important in Canada too. The trick is to recruit people who otherwise wouldn’t vote, to at least vote to get behind your cause.

        • Arnie says:

          Thank you, sir. I am more amenable to the “handful of issues that are really important” philosophy. I have two or three in addition to gun rights that give me a look at a candidate’s heart more than would gun rights alone. I know several hunter/shooters who agree with me on gun rights but who also think the salt valley tiger beetle has more rights to my land than do I. They also feel a lazy spendthrift has a right to my bank account to pay for his retirement and healthcare for which he did not prepare himself. No way I’d vote for any of them.

          But gun rights are definitely at or extremely near the top of my list.

          Respectfully, Arnie

    • Alpheus says:

      L. Neil Smith has an essay called “Why did it have to be guns?”. In the essay, he describes the gun issue as a “Vulcan Mind Meld”, one that politicians hate, because it gets to the core of how they view you.

      Do they trust you to carry a gun without State permission? Then chances are, they trust you to make other decisions about your life. And vice-versa is certainly true!

      Similarly, does a politician think you need a license, or ever worse, thinks that you can’t be trusted with a scary, dangerous object like a gun? Then chances are, this politician won’t trust you to figure out what to eat, or where and when you work, or whatnot. And vice-versa will almost certainly be true, too!

      Thus, knowing where a given politician stands on the gun issue is generally (but not perfectly) a good measure for where a politician stands on issues of liberty; thus, if you had to choose an issue to be “single-issue” on, the gun issue isn’t too bad!

  5. Watchman says:

    “Canadians gun owners have to start becoming single issue”

    First, I have to applaud what Arnie said in his comment above.

    I next have to ask, how do we know when we are really being “single issue?” We have nominal RKBA organizations that are mainly fronts for other agendas, and who, with very little strain, will turn any issue into an RKBA issue. Or, any candidacy into an RKBA candidacy.

    For example, check back in history and see how many social conservative/Christian Right organizations were founded and fronted by Larry Pratt. See how many of them operated out of the same suite of offices in Virginia. Everything from “English Only” to family values (read, anti-gay) to national defense cheerleading. Guns were just one bait issue on the front organization laundry list.

    Check some of the candidates or legislators front organizations pull out their stops for. See if in many cases their energies haven’t gone more into the real social conservative priorities, while pro-gun rhetoric was being supplied to them by their handlers.

    Check how readily employees change jobs between otherwise unrelated front organizations.

    So, being “single issue” isn’t necessarily that easy when you depart from the merits of this or that public policy issue, and get into the realm of endorsing legislators and candidacies. There are more forces than you know working to lead us down “another” path. And, as Arnie alluded to, not all of them are pro-liberty.

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