Wisdom from Countertop

Countertop made a comment over at Uncle’s that I wanted to highlight here, because he’s so very right:

Because if you don’t message well, then you risk throwing the whole thing in the toilet.,

don’t get greedy. don’t read into what Cox said. don’t think anyone outside the gun culture things you have any right to machine guns.

If it becomes a debate about access to machine guns, we all lose.

You class 3 folks need to get over it, get off your high horse, and realize we are all in this together and its going to take baby steps to get it all back. We are close. We are real damn close, but somehow for ever 5 steps forward we take the nuts (at the urging of GOA I suspect) insist on pushing us back 6.

I try to be a bit more diplomatic than that, but he is right, and sometimes it takes spelling out in harsh terms to get it out there to folks. There’s just no way to win on this issue right now. It’s “hearts and minds” time on the issue.

UPDATE: More wisdom from Bitter.

10 thoughts on “Wisdom from Countertop”

  1. And we all know the best way to win hearts and minds on a subject is to run away from it, calling it so icky that you’d be unwilling to touch it, and then alienating a sizable portion of the folk who tend to donate a decent amount of money.


  2. No, that’s not what I’m saying, nor, I think, is it what Countertop is saying. Changing hearts and minds involves educating people, and exposing them to the issue. It doesn’t mean we never debate it. But you have to pick your battles carefully, and understand where you aren’t going to win, and what kind of advocacy won’t help you.

    And CNN is one of those places you’re just not going to win. It’s not yet time to have a national debate about machine gun ownership. In fact, it would be very bad, right now, to have a national debate about machine gun ownership, because we would lose.

    The reason is because machine gun owners are politically powerless, because, even if you talk to other shooters, a lot of them don’t support machine guns being legal. That’s what we have to change, before there can even be a national debate on the issue.

    It’s not abandoning machine gun rights; I’ll fight that fight when the time comes, but on that issue, we’ve pretty much already lost, and we have a lot of ground to make up. Quite honestly, I’m not sure we’ll ever win there.

  3. I suppose it depends on what you mean by “avoid”. I don’t mean that we can’t talk about it. What I mean is that we don’t get on CNN and say “Why yes, we’re all for making it legal to own machine guns.” That’s step 32. We’re on step 3 or 4 right now.

  4. No doubt you’d also be more careful about typos, etc to in addition to being diplomatic.

    As to the gist of my comment, damn right I’m saying avoid it, especially on CNN. Its one thing to talk amongst ourselves, its another to demand the NRA shoot itself in the foot (or otherwise demand a zero tolerance no compromise @proach) and kill all the progress we’ve made so far. Its easy to do when no one who counts listens to your message.

    As Han Solo said ” don’t get cocky, kid”

    And as Countertop says “pigs get slaughtered”

    And as Countertop’s mom says “patience is a virtue”

  5. To start off, don’t act like it’s icky when someone brings it up. If they say there is a ban, point out the quarter of a million lawfully owned automatic firearms or keep your mouth shut. It’s not going to impress anyone on our side, and they’ll just bring up assault weapons.

    Work on the NFA in general, not machine guns in particular. No one wants to hear that their potato gun or cardboard rocket could violate a federal felony whenever the BATFE decides to actually go after folk. Suppressors are sold over the counter in fricken Finland, and useful safety devices, without nearly the negative connotations they had two or three decades ago. Maybe even point out that perhaps requiring people to report their location every time they leave the state is a violation of privacy to a federal court or two.

    That’s a damn start.

  6. As long as the potato cannons are smoothbore (and air-powered), I don’t think the ATF can get involved.

  7. No, the law in question is 26 USC 5845 (f) (2), which does not define firearms. It defines as a destructive device, and I quote :

    any type of weapon by whatever name known which will, or which may be readily converted to, expel a projectile by the action of an explosive or other propellant, the barrel or barrels of which have a bore of more than one-half inch in diameter, except a shotgun or shotgun shell which the Secretary finds is generally recognized as particularly suitable for sporting purposes

    This is what killed the 13mm Gyrojet, among a good many other things which did not have rifled barrels. It’s only the action of the Secretary to find things as either weapons or to have ‘sporting purposes’ that allow any given law to stay in order. I shouldn’t need to get into the abuses of that sporting language clause.

    If you think I’m joking, look at Mrs. McCarthy’s attempt to revive the AWB which would declare any weapon used by the federal police or United States military (which could include the tools they use to train with, or the less-than-lethal weapons) to be non-sporting, or places where potato guns are treated as firearms (Texas, some parts of Florida).

  8. Well, my point is this. If we aren’t going to obey the rules and demand others do also, then get rid of the Goddamned rules, because they don’t count when you define and modify them out of existence.

    I had just as soon see the Bill of Rights abolished if we don’t honor them. Then let the biggest, meanest sonofabitch have his way as long as he can hold it by force.

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