Suzy Soccer Mom

I was going to respond to a comment on Ahab’s site, but haloscan seems want to keep reloading, failing, and then clobbering my post. I’ll just do it here:

I know you already realize all of this. Where the problem comes in, I think, is that you guys are targeting different groups for different reasons. David et al are working against the abuses of the “ruling class” and unifying gun owners for a giant political battle – one that the Bill of Rights, not just the 2A, hinges on.

You, and I think most gun bloggers, are more focused on a more grass-roots “get Suzy Soccermom to see guns aren’t scary” strategy, and as you state, you want to instill a culture of self-defense.

And both methodologies need the other to succeed.

Read the whole thing, it’s a very insightful comment. I agree with Jay’s point here that we’re all in this together, and each have our place.

What I would point out, though, is that Suzy Soccer Mom is an intrinsic part of the political struggle. Pro-gun activists, and people who care about the issue, just don’t have enough votes on our own to be able to dictate terms to the politicians. We outnumber the anti-gun activists, but we don’t outnumber other voters. Politicians are not courageous people; they worry about appearing extreme. Scare Suzy Soccer Mom and her demographic too much, and we lose.

Base rallying is an important part of any political movement, and moderate rhetoric won’t typically accomplish that as effectively as more radical rhetoric. But in politics, it’s always a fine line. Every political movement has this problem; you have to keep your activists, volunteers, and donors excited about what you are doing, and involved in the issue. But you also need to avoid firing them up so much that you scare other people out of the movement, or scare voters who are non-ideological.

I don’t disagree that we need each other, and there are certainly people out there who feel very disillusioned about the state of our rights, and would drop out of the issue entirely if they didn’t feel they had a voice out there. I am not the voice for folks of that persuasion. I think we’re winning, both the political battle, and hearts and minds. There’s still a lot of road ahead, but I think we can make it.  There are still dangers: a uniformly hostile media, among other things, and we’re succeeding despite that.

I would just encourage everyone to remember there’s a fine tightrope that must be walked between base rallying, and going so far that we scare ordinary voters away from supporting, or at least not opposing us.

One Response to “Suzy Soccer Mom”

  1. This is why it is important to take as many people as possible to the range to show them it isn’t scary. Pay for their range fees and ammo. That money is spent just as well as NRA/GOA/etc donations.

    As I’ve mentioned before, I have a few fence-sitters who are now voting for our side, and I haven’t been at it all that long. Some people won’t go to the range, and they are pretty much lost causes. Others may not enjoy it, and they are worth talking to and convincing that there are bigger issues than “can bubba keep his gun” (i.e. the constitution…) Most uneducated people, though, will enjoy the experience, and even if they are still liberal pansies, they’ll be educated about what they are voting for.