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On True Believers

Seth Godin says that the Internet is full of true believers. This is true for tech products, but it’s also true for special interest groups as well:

The truth of the market is that the market you sell to isn’t filled with true believers. It’s filled with human beings who make compromises, who tell stories, who have competing objectives. And as a result, the truth of the market is that the products and services that win (if win means you can make a good living and make positive change) are rarely the products and services that are beloved without reservation by the true believers.

A lesson we could learn here in the Second Amendment community.

9 Responses to “On True Believers”

  1. Wolfwood says:

    Funny how Ace seems to have an awfully similar post up today

  2. Peter says:

    Yes! As soon as we all can agree that the only serious sidearm is a 1911A1, 5″ barrel, all steel, chambered in the One True Caliber (.45ACP), then our victory over the gun controllers is certain!!1!!

  3. MicroBalrog says:

    I have a question.

    Suppose for example I lived in the USA.

    I want open carry and I want machineguns. I want the gun movement to do its best to help guys like Olofson and Fincher. I want us to make repealing bits of 922 – the Hughes Amendment or the silencer ban – our next priority. And being I’m a radical, radicals are more likely – per capita – to turn out and vote, and donate, and do things.

    So you want my volunteering drive and my tendency to turn out and act behind your defensive battles or your concealed carry. Which is nice. But why wouldn’t people like this become disillusioned once they realize you’ don’t like their mindset and you don’t plan on supporting their causes?

    There’s something people in the radical wing of the movement call ‘I’ve got mine’ – people refusing to help pro-gun causes because they feel THEIR gun rights are safe. But I’ve seen ‘I don’t have mine’, too. If my cause is not to be accomplished in my lifetime, and all I have as an option is helping other people’s similar causes, it’s possible I (well, not I, but someone LIKE me) might become disillusioned and quit.

    How do you guard against that?

  4. Sebastian says:

    The problem with getting rid of Hughes is there’s just no will in Congress to do it. I don’t think there’s any problem with advocating for machine guns, but we’re not at the point where advocating for them politically is going to accomplish much.

    It’s a hearts and minds issue. For people in the US who want machine guns to be accepted by the public, so that politicians might have a constituency for removing Hughes, you really need to familiarize people with them. The problem with that is the number of people who own them is very small. Some of those very people are going to advocate against lifting Hughes because their highly valuable collections will end up worth considerably less.

    I don’t think wanting to own machine guns is radical, but most of the rest of the public does, and given that, I don’t think it’s unreasonable to suggest that we should focus on political battles we have a chance of winning. Repealing Hughes is not one of those battles. There’s a lot of work that has to happen before that’s a possibility.

  5. MicroBalrog says:

    I made an example. Obviously there are issues with OMG IMMEDIATELY REPEALING HUGHES. :D

    My question is of a general nature:

    If I want freedom X [which is already dead] and you are not going to side with me on that, ever, why would I help you to keep or regain Freedom Y (obviously less dead)? Of course, some of us radical would do it because our moral beliefs demand it, but, you see my point.

    [Also, on a related manner: Is there an organization in the US which helps gun rights prisoners like Fincher? That seems to be a good idea].

  6. MicroBalrog,

    Because if X is not politically feasible but Y is, it is silly to hold the coalition that wants Y responsible for the fact that X is impossible.

    Work with them on what is feasible in the current environment, and if the environment changes you’ll probably have a strong ally in that future fight.

    Most of this just requires a mindset of thinking for long-term change, not about instant gratification.

  7. As a followup, you also need to remember that just because a coalition doesn’t want to waste time and resources on cause X right now (because they don’t believe it is politically feasible) does not instantly mean that they don’t support cause X in general.

    As a collector of NFA items, I would love to see some drastic changes to the current system of laws, however I am willing to accept the fact that there is no political support for such changes right now and I focus my energy on more achievable goals until the environment changes.

  8. Sebastian says:

    Also, on a related manner: Is there an organization in the US which helps gun rights prisoners like Fincher? That seems to be a good idea

    GOA does, but GOA is telling people what they want to hear, and appealing to people’s emotions rather than their intellect. What they want to hear is that we can do wonderful things for people like Fincher and Olofson.

    What they don’t want to hear is that Fincher was guilty of what he was charged with, which was having an unregistered machine gun. Olofson was guilty of what he was charged with, which was knowingly transferring a firearm that fired more than one shot per each pull of the trigger. That’s a tough reality for some people to bite.

    Are the laws they were prosecuted under wrongheaded? I think they are. But they broke them, and there are consequences to that. If I thought we could put together a coalition to change the law a year, even two years from now, I’d advocate for it, but there isn’t one. I don’t think you’d find a single member of Congress who’d be wiling to stand up for legalizing machine guns.

  9. MicroBalrog says:

    I’m not even thinking so much of releasing them, but, for example:
    In many cases in European history, when a person was viewed as a prisoner of conscience by his group, the people outside would send care packages, support his family while he was in prison, and so forth.

    Who said anything about responsibility? All I’m saying is that people whose goals are ostensibilty unachievable and who are feeling rejected by the coalition are going to find it unrewarding to help it. WHETHER OR NOT THEY ARE LOGICALLY CORRECT.

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