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Specific Steps You Can Take to Oppose the Coming Obama/Biden Gun Controls

I feel like we always assume that people know “what to do” to act when big gun control is coming down on law-abiding gun owners. It’s often summed up as “call your lawmaker.” But, the fact is that the process of opposing these things probably should be spelled out a little more.

I’m going to do a short series of posts on this topic over the next few days with specific ideas for various communities of gun owners. Whether you’re just some gal who owns guns and finds their “gun community” online, own a commercial gun range or shop, or are a member of a community gun club, I’m going to collect specific actionable, easy ideas for you to think about. Today’s list is for gun shops and commercial gun ranges.

  • Every person who comes in the store or range will, at some point, provide you with an address. Look that address up and immediately had that person a business card or sheet of paper with the following information: Their two Senators, their Congressman, and the state’s Governor’s office. Your customer base likely only comes from a couple of Congressional districts, so make the effort to get that local.
  • If you have room, set up a table with paper, pens, and envelopes – pre-addressed if you really want to make it easy. If there’s a wait, strongly encourage people to sit down and write 3-4 letters – one to their Congressman, their Senators, and (if relevant for state concerns) the Governor. Put out sample language and talking points taped to the table to get them started. Put up a collection box for the completed letters, and eat the cost of a stamp to mail them all. This way you know they make it to the lawmakers. If you don’t want to worry about stamps and envelopes, put your fax machine to use and fax them in throughout the day. Just make sure people include their mailing address in the letters if you choose this option.
  • Offer a discount or freebie of something to people who prove their participation in the issue. Maybe they complete the above letters and get a coupon for $5 off of their next purchase, or even get a gift card to Starbucks if you’re concerned about the process of issuing coupons. Perhaps they get a free range session on their next visit, or can upgrade to a more expensive-to-rent gun. You could also tell people that if they have already sent letters, they can bring in the response from their lawmakers to show and get the discount or coupon.
  • If you already have some kind of points/frequent renter club, give extra points to those who participate in the letter-writing campaign. If you do this, don’t make the reward very small. Make it worth their while. Make the statement that you value their participation in the defense of our rights at a big dollar amount. It could be the same as spending $25 in range fees or something equally big. Don’t give them a credit that’s equal to like 50 cents of spending. That shows that you don’t value participation at all. (If you don’t currently have any kind of points/rewards club, the perceived dollar value of anything else you give them doesn’t matter quite as much since it’s a new perk, not one comparable to other perks.)
  • Set up a pay-as-you-go cell phone (choose the option to pay per day used, not by minute) and put it at the counter with the phone number to all area lawmakers – federal and state – with a couple of sample scripts. Tell customers to give the offices a call right there.
  • Post a petition-type letter that opens with something “we the undersigned members of the InsertLocationHere lawful gun owning community” and make a letter that’s pretty focused on the gun issue. Then, leave lots of spaces and pages for people to sign their names and include at least their cities or zip codes. Collect signatures until you fill a sheet (or more sheets) and then mail it in to all of the regional lawmakers.

The point in these suggestions is that you need to translate to your customers that they will lose their rights if they don’t stand up, and that you VALUE their participation in defending gun rights. It’s not just a mumbled “good job” or pat on the back.

For some, these suggestions may be a bit late for the rush. But, if you have a mailing list of customers, let them know if you set something like this up. It encourages them to come back, even if you don’t have the rifle or ammunition they want in stock. Getting feet back in the doors is ultimately good for business.

13 Responses to “Specific Steps You Can Take to Oppose the Coming Obama/Biden Gun Controls”

  1. Dave says:

    I like this. Fantastic idea.

    What can we do to help these business owners out? I just emailed targetmaster and asked them to do these things.

    • Bitter says:

      Offer to come in and help them with it for a weekend day or two.

      Send them a pre-organized list of contacts that they can just print out and cut up on a sheet a paper if they want to do the handout idea. I will even offer to help any PA gun ranges that want help. If they want a nicely organized set of contacts – each for the different CDs in their area – I’ll make them up so that all they have to do is hit print and pull out the scissors.

      Offer to contribute a phone card for several days worth of calls if they want to do the phone route.

      Format that petition-style letter for them. If you’re good with political words and keeping things non-partisan, give them some draft language they can use. Some business owners may be worried about getting the words right to avoid alienating customers who might be pro-gun, but maybe register as a Democrat because of other issues.

      I’m sure there are other ideas, so I hope others will chime in. If a gun shop/range employee or owner wants to jump in for ways that they could use help from customers to implement any of these ideas, feel free.

  2. Padre says:

    Would love to hear your advice for those of us in states like NY, where our Senators are not malleable. (I e-mailed anyway, and will follow up with letters and phone calls.) Our new rep is a Republian, so I’m planning to contact his office on swearing-in day.

    Thanks for the excellent, realistic info you’re giving us, and all the work you put into the blog!

    • Bitter says:

      It’s a tough call in those states. On one hand, it’s not like you’re going to change the mind of someone like Schumer. On the other hand, this is about teaching new gun owners the importance of being involved. Anyone who has talked to me in depth about political action knows I’m not a fan of wasting energy on districts that can’t be won. On the other hand, you have to start somewhere.

      My ultimate suggestion is to handle it this way depending on the spread of the customer base:

      If it’s from a fairly centralized region without an overwhelming number of state reps/senators, then keep the focus on Congressmen who might be swayed and the state lawmakers.

      If the base is from an area with too many state districts to reasonably tailor a message to, then go ahead and focus the energy on the federal guys. Even if you’ll never get them to take a stand against gun control, if they are bombarded with letters and phone calls, then they will know that the pressure on other lawmakers is even bigger, and they’ll be more likely to cave on major points if we have to go to negotiations for a bill.

      • Jeff says:

        The other value in writing to lost cause Senators for new activists is it may get them fired up.

        I know that when I wrote to Kennedy and Kerry years ago, I got a response from one of their offices. It completely ignored what I wrote and reassured me that they were working to take these dangerous guns off the streets. I was FURIOUS.

  3. Richard says:

    I wouldn’t imagine that you would have any idea what the NRA is likely to do Friday but you certainly have more influence than I do. They could lose the war in an afternoon. Or they could begin the rally. I have considerable experience with lobbyists and they always tell you what you want is just impossible. Let’s hope that is not true here.

    • Harold says:

      Unless politicians have forgotten that the NRA’s seal of approval doesn’t always give them political cover, and unless we just give up if the NRA waves the white flag (and, say, doesn’t recant after they get … feedback from us, see a drop in donations—ah, that’ll send a message they won’t ignore, etc.), then they aren’t like Admiral Jellicoe at Jutland, where he achieved a result Wikipedia accurately describes as “Tactically inconclusive; British dominance of the North Sea maintained” which quite disappointed fans of Nelson et. al…. But he and his superiors accepted that he was the only man who would lose WWI in an afternoon, by letting the German High Seas Fleet slip the blockade.

      Anyway, I just don’t see that here. E.g. the NRA has only 4 million members out of how many 10s of millions of gun owners? Including ones like me who got tired of belonging to America’s most effective gun control organization (deeds, not words)?

      Finally, “This! Is! America!” We don’t give up when we are betrayed.

      • Richard says:

        You do have a point. But it would be easier if the NRA is there. I personally have kept my NRA membership annual for 25 years or so, just in case. They could raise themselves in my esteem a lot with the right response.

  4. alcade says:

    Excellent points! These can translate into the private sphere as well. Realistically most people are lazy procrastinators. For this reason, I typically write a fairly generic letter, change around the wording in a few paragraph and then print multiple copies. I take them to my family and friends who care enough about the issue to at least make lip service, and ask them to sign. “Nope Mom, don’t worry about the stamp, I’ve got that covered… even addressed the envelope for ya!”

    Think about how many friends and family each of us has who has probably never send an elected official a letter. Surely many of those would at least be willing to sign a pre-written letter… hell, even donate the free spit to seal the envelope for them! I typically write letters for a half dozen other people than myself, and I don’t have a very large family.

  5. David W. says:

    I just sent my first letter to elected official peoples today.

    Wasn’t begging to not ban guns or anything, just a little bit of history on how a 20 minute wait, with revolutionary war, or civil war guns, could rack up the same body count.

    Then I mentioned the school attack in Israel and asked them to protect the children from that. Even if it was just a rotation of local police, state police, sheriffs, high way patrol, and federal officers just spending one week a year patrolling one school, having some of their experts in firearms and tactics set up a training regimen for teachers and the like to get a federal permit to carry concealed on school grounds. I kind of rambled but I feel better now that I actually did something instead of yelling at the radio.

  6. CBMTTek says:

    Not a specific step per se, but I think it is an important point to keep in mind as this so-called debate moves forward.

    Some of the focus needs to be taken off the 2nd amendment and moved to some of the other amendments both in and out of the Bill of Rights. Here is where I am coming from on this point:

    Gun control laws are nothing more than saying to a law abiding gun owner that they are not responsible to own or use that item the obtained legally because someone they have never met, that may live several states away, might use a similar item to commit a crime.

    I am pretty sure that violates the 4th and 6th amendment, possibly the 5th and 8th depending on how the legislation is actually written, and most likely the 14th.

    Remember this, the liberals always use the most liberal interpretation of the various amendments to support their causes. Let’s take a page from their playbook.

    If you want to take my guns, or restrict my ability to purchase guns, I want to know how you can legally deny me that without just cause, without clearly identifying my accuser, and without due process of the law.

  7. Bryan S. says:

    We are still working on updating everything on the page, but FOAC has a very nice search and legislative action center setup on the website.

    http://foac-pac.org/find-legislator

    • Bitter says:

      Since this post is not state-specific, I would advise people to use their state legislative websites or house.gov and senate.gov for federal contacts.

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