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Working Together

This is not an example of how to do it:

Michael Guzman, a senior at Texas State University and president of the grassroots gun group called “Students for Concealed Carry on Campus,” is worried that the two issues will be “muddled” together by the media once the respective bills are filed, causing confusion among lawmakers and regular Texans.

Plus, there appears to be another element causing tension between the members of SCCC and the Virginia-based group OpenCarry.org — one of competing interests.

“If these open carry guys get enough attention with the introduction of their bill, it’s going to knock off our bill,” Guzman said. “Our biggest obstacle is another gun rights group. It’s ridiculous that two gun rights groups are going to be canceling each other out.”

Guzman’s concern is a legitimate one, but that’s not something that’s a good idea to go expressing to the media.  If they understand that gun groups are divided on the issue, you can expect a divide and conquer approach from our opponents, which is a pretty effective tactic.  To some degree, it’s much harder to hide these kinds of priority disagreements now than it has been in the past, but I think we ought to try to keep it relegated to the back waters of Al Gore’s Internets (like this place).

I think changing both laws would be a good thing for Texas, but there might only be room for one pro-gun bill this year.  I won’t toss my 2 cents in as to which it should be.  That’s for Texans to figure out.

11 Responses to “Working Together”

  1. “One last note: While the push to allow students and faculty to carry concealed handguns on campus has garnered the support of the powerful gun lobby, the open carry movement doesn’t yet have the official backing of the National Rifle Association or their state affiliate, the Texas State Rifle Association.”

    Obviously the NRA has political power, but their involvement is not a necessity to success. Grassroots movements of individual gun owners working together hava already reversed several preemption violations here in Pa., when the state NRA rep couldn’t even be bothered to return an e-mail or phone call to discuss the prevalence of these violations across the state.

    The time and energy spent complaining about the ‘competition’ would be better used furthering their own cause. Working on the premise that a victory for one proposition will guarantee a loss for the other seems like a defeatist attitude.

  2. Tom says:

    “you can expect a divide and conquer approach from our opponents, which is a pretty effective tactic. ”

    This just in, the sky is blue. What the heck do you think all the “I’m a hunter but we don’t need such and such guns” or “i support gun rights, but…” crap is?

    It really makes no difference as McCatney said “We know how things work in Texas and if you don’t have the backing, you don’t go far.” Either folks down there get off their asses and let their reps know where they stand on both bills or the anti-rights hoards will. The media is going to distort them in equally appalling ways, so don’t worry about what the enemy will say, speak to the folks and get them involved.

  3. Bitter says:

    Greg, I guess I don’t understand why you’re complaining that a lobbyist who is not a lawyer isn’t returning your calls on a legal matter where the law is already on your side and doesn’t need to be changed. Wouldn’t a more appropriate phone call have been to Grassroots for their legal referral service? Perhaps the lack of response is due to the inappropriate targeting? Just a thought.

  4. Sebastian says:

    This just in, the sky is blue. What the heck do you think all the “I’m a hunter but we don’t need such and such guns” or “i support gun rights, but…” crap is?

    I’m aware that’s divide and conquer, and that’s a well known fault line by our opponents. I’m suggesting we need to be careful about suggesting others in mainstream media outlets.

    Either folks down there get off their asses and let their reps know where they stand on both bills or the anti-rights hoards will. The media is going to distort them in equally appalling ways, so don’t worry about what the enemy will say, speak to the folks and get them involved.

    I don’t really disagree, and if every gun owner in Texas called the state house to demand both bills, both would be passed without debate. But that’s not going to happen. The fact that it’s not going to happen is the reason this might come down to only being able to pass one bill this year.

  5. “Greg, I guess I don’t understand why you’re complaining that a lobbyist who is not a lawyer isn’t returning your calls on a legal matter where the law is already on your side and doesn’t need to be changed. Wouldn’t a more appropriate phone call have been to Grassroots for their legal referral service? Perhaps the lack of response is due to the inappropriate targeting? Just a thought.”

    Now ya see, if that simple bit of information had been provided to me as a response, I may have indeed been on the path to some potential assistance.

    Part of the problem (I see) with the NRA is that they are so large and diversified it’s difficult to know how to best approach them with a particular need and be sure you are indeed going to find someone who can either help, or at least be the correct party to decline their involvement.

  6. Sebastian says:

    Part of the problem (I see) with the NRA is that they are so large and diversified it’s difficult to know how to best approach them with a particular need and be sure you are indeed going to find someone who can either help, or at least be the correct party to decline their involvement.

    That’s an understatement. They can be difficult to interact with. I don’t speak for NRA, but they support the right to carry openly, or concealed. But they also are picky about what battles they involve themselves with, so I think grass roots involvement in that sense is important. The Civil Rights Defense Fund, which fights a lot of legal battles, is chronically underfunded. The problem is that legal battles are enormously expensive, and even though they’ve had a lot of high profile donations to the fund as of late, it doesn’t go as far as one would think. NRA’s primary focus right now is getting Heller incorporated. There are a lot of smaller battles that are probably going to best be left up to other state and grassroots level organizations in the mean time. The fight in the federal courts over the future of Heller is going to consume a lot of resources for the foreseeable future.

  7. Bitter says:

    I don’t think you can lay that on the feet of NRA. If NRA wasn’t providing all of the services that require it to be “so large and diversified,” then people would be angry about it. So there’s no easy solution.

    Except one. And this one, more than anything I’ve done, has gotten me the most useful information out of NRA.

    Asking the right questions.

    If you sit down and really think about what the concern is, take out your NRA card and call the number on the back, and ask very targeted questions, you’ll know when you’re on the right track with someone. If not, ask for someone else. If they won’t give you to someone else, hang up and try to connect with someone else. If you really think about what it is you want to get out of them, you’ll know when the staffer you’re talking to is leading you in the best direction for your issue.

    If you don’t ask the right questions, then you can’t blame NRA for that. In fact, I would say that as a life member, I’m okay with a lobbyist who represents several states not returning every little call about an issue in one state that’s already taken care of on the legislative front. His time is better spent fighting other battles and taking up causes that do still require a legislative or regulatory change as opposed to every local legal battle which he’s not really in a position to fight.

    It’s really about knowing what you need, and if you don’t get a response, thinking about whether you are barking up the right tree.

  8. RAH says:

    Sounds like old fashion jealously act work here. Guzman has been spearleading the campus CCW bills for the last two years. Open Carry has been pushing for this year and is making better headway. There is no reason both bills cannot be debated and passed with support. The governor is in support of the campus bill as many in the legislature.

  9. Jdude says:

    I met with a few Texas legislators a few days ago and had an overall positive response about open carry, including one legislator who brought it up to me. The comments were mostly “it is in discussion with the chief of police and a few other people, and we are considering how best to do it.” (Not if, but how best. That is how I understood it.) I did not ask about concealed carry on campus. I only got one legislator who outright said “I have a ccw. I feel our concealed carry system works rather well, and I think we should keep it that way for a bit longer”. We went back and forth a bit, politely of course, but no opinions were changed. I thanked her and went on my way.

    I didn’t talk about SCCC. My impression is that it wouldn’t have gone over as well anyways.

    That said, I am surprised at Guzman’s comments. I have not heard anything negative from the open carry side about campus carry (my conversations being limited to the open carry forum). Arguing back and forth does not work. I support his work in this field. I feel oc is more important, and hence I am working there. The bickering is unnecessary and unhelpful.

    -Jdude

  10. Dock says:

    There are elements of territoriality in play, and some concern that OpenCarry will not have their own clean bill, but will glom onto a carefully crafted pro-gun bill that has nothing to do with OpenCarry.

    I would love to see ALL pro gun bills pass in Texas, and regularly let my representatives know this.

  11. “I don’t think you can lay that on the feet of NRA. If NRA wasn’t providing all of the services that require it to be “so large and diversified,” then people would be angry about it. So there’s no easy solution.”

    Bitter you make some very good points. I agree that the NRA should neither be clairvoyant or fully accommodating of my every whim. The information you have provided me may well encourage me to again attempt contact on some future issue I’m working on. Thanks!

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