We’re In Potentially Great Danger in PA on Gun Rights

Over at our other blog, we take a look at the some potential problems we could be facing with gun rights in Pennsylvania. We have a lot of NRA A and A+ rated retirements from some pretty powerful positions within the Pennsylvania Legislature, in addition to some contentious and important federal races. We have to defend a lot more highly graded seats than the other side does, and there are plenty of people running for those seats that are poorly rated, or associated with Mayors Against Illegal Guns.

I think the frustrating thing is, Pennsylvania Gun Owners don’t seem, by in large, to be taking these looming threats seriously at all. Over the weekend, we tried to get a dinner meeting together with several of the Pennsylvania NRA Election Volunteer Coordinators from Eastern PA, and only the EVC for the 6th and 7th district showed up. And these are the people who are supposedly plugged in? We’re in a lot of trouble if this is the best we can expect of our “leaders” in this issue. I sense this frustration reflected in an e-mail alert from Kim Stolfer a few days ago, in which he said:

On top of all of this is the issue of the average gun owner turning a blind eye to these and so many other issues. I’m sure all of us know some gun owners who have a myriad of reasons as to why they don’t need to be involved. All one has to do is to go to a gun show or the average gun club and take a look around. I encourage you to grab these guys by the scruff of their philosophical neck and do your best to wake them up! We need everyone in this struggle for our freedoms and our heritage.

I’ve often said people make the mistake of believing Pennsylvania is a pro-gun state. It’s not quite as safely pro-gun as many believe. Sure, when gun owners in this state are stirred to anger, they can be quite an electoral force. The problem with Pennsylvania Gun Owners is they often don’t get involved until we have our backs against a wall. By that time, we’ve already elected anti-gun politicians who convince themselves that our bark is worse than our bite. That’s not the time to get involved. That time is now. Otherwise the basis for the next wave of gun control in Pennsylvania, much like we saw in the early and mid 1990s, is going to be laid. Last time we were lucky to get out without an Assault Weapons Ban, though just barely. Next time we might not be so lucky.

7 thoughts on “We’re In Potentially Great Danger in PA on Gun Rights”

  1. I think the problem is that we were winning just the other day. I’m not in PA, but after all the positive stories that have been running, it was a shocker to read the other day that there were troubles there.

  2. We haven’t made any significant gains in PA for eight years. Ed Rendell is a big reason for that, but that should tell people something. If we don’t put some more pro-gun people up to replace the people we’re losing, that could quickly go from making no progress to going backwards.

  3. I linked to your post from Guns and Bibles I am scrampling to get information posted on this site. – as I had over here

    The God given right to bear arms needs to be taken seriously

    … Guard with Jealous Attention the Public Liberty
    “Is the relinquishment of the trial by jury and the liberty of the press necessary for your liberty? Will the abandonment of you most sacred rights tend to the security of your liberty? Liberty, the greatest of all earthly blessings – give us that precious jewel, and you may take every thing else! … Guard with guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect every one who approaches that jewel”

    – Patrick Henry, speech to the Virginia Convention, Richmond, Virgina, June 5th, 1788

    It is becoming a naive position to think the Government could never force a non-American agenda on the American people – what exactly is Obamacare, Cap and Trade, Prop 8 Trial in California about if not forcing an agenda on the American people. No, they don’t yet do it with Guns because …

  4. Sebastian, not that you don’t have enough on your plate, is there a way you could identify maybe three or five key state match-ups, with a highly-rated candidate going against a gun grabber, and use that set as a rallying-point? Maybe twelve candidates could be a ‘Browning’s Dozen,’ and we tout them as a group, and help with fund-raising, e-mail blasts, rallies, etc.

    Jim DeMint’s Senate Conservatives website is only focusing on four candidates nationally (one of them Toomey), but he has moneybombs for the group that get press (at least in right-leaning blogs). The moneybombs get contributions from all over the country, so with your vast network, a ‘Browning’s Dozen’ or whatever you call it, could get shout-outs from bloggers all over the US. After No-bama’s ‘bitter clinger’ zing against PA, I’m sure RKBA people nationally would want to make sure the state doesn’t go soft.

    Your Bloomberg mayor maps are excellent, but it seems hard to focus on all of the races. (You could have a moneybomb for all the Bloomberg challengers, I guess).

    I’m just trying to come up with ideas. Some coach said, every day you get better or worse, you never stay the same, so I fear PA could slide backwards. Feel free to send me an e-mail if you need help on scut work, if you’re interested. Thank you.

    1. If you want to focus on Pennsylvania, then just click through on his link and there are 4 specific races mentioned, with another 11 as unknowns. Those are only the seats that we absolutely know are at risk for going to on-the-record anti-gunners or at risk for other reasons (i.e. no election for candidates in the 12th with the Dem candidate not even selected by local [likely pro-gun] officials). Once we have questionnaires in much later this year, that will give us even more races to watch with more challengers on the record.

      As for arranging “moneybombs,” that’s not going to register much on any candidate’s radar at the level gun owners give. Plus, from a simple organizing side, it would be tough to give to GOP state candidates. The left has ActBlue, but we don’t have anything remotely comparable that actually works for smaller races on the right. In fact, it’s amazing how many of these guys don’t even have campaign websites where you can easily give from outside of the district.

      But, that said, if we find out more about specific races, we can pass word on and make sure to include links to appropriate donation pages – if they exist. If you want to encourage more pro-gun legislators and candidates to get websites up with online donations (the true first step to organizing online for them), then drop by those in your area at the rally in Harrisburg. Tell them you’d like to be able to point friends, shooting buddies, and family members to a place where they can learn more about their candidacy and give.

  5. Thanks, Bitter, for your detailed response, and thanks again to you and Sebastian for all your efforts to keep PA free!

    1. Well stay tuned. I’ve decided to act upon your suggestion, and it may lead to at least one change that could make it easier to line up gun owners from around the state behind the campaign. I have to tread carefully since it’s not my area, and I may step on toes. But, thinking about your suggestion, I think the spirit is right, and we need to do something about it.

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