Why We Lose

As many of you know, I’ve been trying to recruit volunteers for pro-gun campaigns.  I’ve had a fair amount of luck getting people on my mailing list, having roughly doubled it in size.  But I’m having a real problem getting people to even show up at a rally with the possibility of great seating.  I’m wondering whether I’m doing something wrong, or not making the right pitch.

One reason people court our vote is because when it does come for election time, sportsmen typically do turn out to the polls.  But it takes more than that.  Candidates have to see sportsmen, and they need to talk to them.  They have to understand us, and understand our concerns.  They don’t get that if we’re just a number buried in sheets of polling data.  Already, in my district, I’m down to two endorsed state representative candidates.  I have two other Republican candidates that didn’t even bother to turn in their NRA questionnaire this election, and so are big “?” in the voting guides.

Politicians aren’t going to notice us if they don’t see us at rallies, in the volunteer offices, on the streets, and in the election booths, and in their mailboxes.  The reason my county is slowly pivoting from pro-gun to anti-gun is because sportsmen, who are numerous in this area, are doing nothing to prevent it.  It takes more than voting and complaining.  Gun owners and sportsmen really need to get off their butts and make the politicians pay attention to them.  That means supporting the good guys, just as much as it means bashing the bad ones.

12 thoughts on “Why We Lose”

  1. This is the same problem we’ve got in Illinois…

    McHenry Co. is just outside of Cook Co. we’ve got our 20 die-hards that show up and a bunch of ambivalent folks who, although good natured and whose hearts are in the right place don’t do much or are “too busy” to do much…

    I’ve thought a lot about this very long and hard… Will dig up your email and send some thoughts when I’ve got the time… (I guess I’m too busy too…)



  2. Sebastian,

    With all due respect to what you are doing, which I think is great, it is much easier for me to show up at the campaign office whenever I have the time and inclination (they always have, at the very least, envelopes that need stuffing and stamping), which is what I have been doing for the last few federal election cycles. If I weren’t going to be out of town this weekend, I would probably attend the rally. Honestly, though, sitting in a crowd and hearing the same speech that is given in many other places at many other times just doesn’t excite me. I’d rather do some work in a campaign office, or hold signs up outside a debate location.

  3. I’m not a sportsman. Oh, I have hunted, and I do shoot in competitions and events; but that’s not why I own guns.

    I own guns because it’s easier to kill badguys with them than with my bare hands, or with knives; and I and my family are less likely to be hurt in the process.

    You want me to show up? How about getting a politician to listen to guys like me.

    They’re all too chickenshit, near as I can tell.

  4. Oh and I should say, I DO actually show up to gun rights events; as you know Sebastian; but there are a lot of times where I wonder why I bother.

  5. VariableFeedback:

    I understand that. You’re doing something, and that’s all that matters. I’m tired of the speeches and the talking points by this time too, but I want to make sure sportsmen are seen.

  6. VF:

    It’s all part of the same game, whether you are making calls or standing at a rally. One day of either activity isn’t really enough, but both are useful in their own ways.

  7. As far as promoting the idea that the sportsmen’s voting block is large and should be important to a candidate, I can see why attending the rally is important. However, as I’m already volunteering for the Manion and McCain campaigns, and will be working at the polls all day, their speeches won’t inspire me to do any more work for them.

    Bitter – I disagree that one day isn’t really enough. If every gun owner spent one day each election working for a candidate, it would make a big difference. If all somebody can do is one day, all the campaigns would still take it. That said, working longer obviously helps both the candidate and the pro-gun cause directly.

    Again, I’m not trying to disparage any of your efforts, which I think are great, and hopefully will make a difference. You came and spoke the same night that I was joining a club. I know that you got a few names for your list, I just wonder how many of them actually follow through.

    One recommendation that I have is to add to your PAGunRights.com website a list of all of the campaign offices for the endorsed candidates, as well as contact phone numbers. That would make it easier to find a local office to work from – as opposed to driving halfway across Bucks County.

  8. Don’t misunderstand Bitter… you’re already doing more than 99% of gun owners. She’s mentioning that the coalition as a whole, has to do more than one type of thing.

  9. Sebastian is correct, I didn’t mean that for individuals, I meant across the whole. Sorry if I was unclear, I’ve been scrambling to get this rally representation pulled off. Then I went to go phone bank.

    That’s a great suggestion for the site, and we’ll try to get that updated now. Granted, it’s a little late, but maybe not too late, and something to set as a standard for the future.

  10. Bitter – Sorry if I misunderstood what you were saying. I do understand that you two must be very busy at this point. I wish that I could have made it to the rally today.

    My suggestion for the site was really more for the next cycle.

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