Quote of the Day

From Jacob, up in New York, talks about how a former President of the Brady Campaign seems to have learned a thing or two about how the “gun lobby” does things:

Far too many gunnies spend their time trying to be right, whether it’s compiling facts about private gun ownership and crime or digging up quotes from the Founding Fathers, and not nearly enough time on how to actually implement their ideas.  Anyone who has ever seen the floor debates on gun bills in Albany knows that a rational discussion on the facts never comes up from the other side.  Why worry about it then?  There is nothing wrong with simply telling a legislator to vote your way or else you will work against them next election cycle.

This is to a large degree true, but more  now that the philosophical ground work on the issue has largely been validated by the Supreme Court. I don’t think, however, you can completely ignore the philosophical roots of the issue, because that is the primary means you can use to persuade some people to your side and motivate them. That doesn’t work with everyone, however, and most politicians don’t really give a crap about your issue (whatever your issue is). They have a lot of competing interests to balance. If you want them to pay attention to you, the dynamic duo of votes and money works every time.

That’s not to say there aren’t true believers. But those are rare birds. Most politicians are true believers in areas where they have a specific self-interest. A shooter Congress Critter might have a heartfelt interest in protecting gun rights, a doctor critter might have strong feelings on health care, etc. But for the most part you’re going to be using the carrot and the stick when dealing with elected official more than facts, figures and persuasion.

4 thoughts on “Quote of the Day”

  1. I found that the anti-gun opposition assumes it has the facts. (For example, “Isn’t it true that studies show that the presence of a gun in the home is more dangerous than the threat of crime?”) Therefore, if you side-step statistical and fact assertions about crime and safety, they assume all of these are on their side. We have to state the fact arguments just to try to neutralize their wrong, purportedly fact-based arguments.
    As it was put to me by several politicians, “You’ve got to come in with statistics,” although the other side seemed to have no such compulsion.

  2. ” There is nothing wrong with simply telling a legislator to vote your way or else you will work against them next election cycle.”

    I think the ILA hierarchy does a good job of trying to do this. In fact the two state guys I’ve met had extensive knowledge and experience in politics in the halls of our “servants”. Where we need to do better (in a public place, I am being diplomatic) is grassroots. We have the numbers but our numbers want to stay home and be left alone rather then walk a precinct. It’s reasonable but we don’t live in that kind of world. People have to pry themselves out of the couch cushions and do the groundwork of political action if we want to really win IMO.

  3. I agree… and there’s usually something for everyone to do, even if they don’t want to knock on doors. Walking precincts is not one of my favorite activities. I actually prefer phone banking over that.

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