Following up on the last post, I think the real importance of HB1523, which will give real teeth to preemption in Pennsylvania, is that it shuts down one avenue MAIG can use to attack us, namely creating momentum for gun control by getting cities and towns to buck preemption. MAIG has been very smart strategically, or at the least very lucky in how they chose to approach the problem.
MAIG’s strategy is actually somewhat of a trap. It would spread NRA very thin to have to get involved in tens of thousands of local races, in order to make a serious effort to get rid of MAIG mayors. NRA has tried some cheap, half-hearted efforts to urge members to get their mayors to quit, but have, so far, and wisely in my opinion, resisted full blown and expensive campaigns against them. The smart counter-strategy to MAIG is to play whack-a-mole with the Mayors; when they run for higher office, swing the mallet on their political ambitions; make MAIG membership a liability for higher office. When MAIG mayors come into the arena where NRA knows how to play the game well, that’s when we whack the mole.
But using small towns and Mayors as pawns in the chess game MAIG is playing was a brilliant calculation, and if it was a deliberate decision on the part of Mayor Bloomberg, I have to hand it to him for the evil genius of it. That strategy also enabled pushing gun control from the local communities up, as long as there wasn’t any consequence to bucking preemption. But NRA, able to wield significant power in most state houses, can counter MAIGs strategy by shutting down this avenue to Bloomberg.
This is the 10,000 foot view of why I think HB1523 needs to be the top legislative priority we have this year. As much as we might like to see some other things as gun owners, from a strategic point of view, HB1523 will counter a major components of MAIG’s strategy, and prevent them from growing as a threat to the Second Amendment.