Why It’s Not Quite 1994

Some folks have said it’s like 1994 all over again. I disagree. There are many factors that are different. Some play in our favor, and some don’t. But the ones that do:

  • We have better access to the media than we did in 1994, such as this Dave Kopel article in the Wall Street Journal illustrates.
  • Back in 1994, the standard competition rifles were the M1A, the M1 Garand and M1 Carbine. If people owned a semi-auto, it was probably more likely to be a Mini-14 than an AR or AK. Today those have largely been replaced by the AR-15, except for specific Garand or Carbine competition.
  • That leads us to numbers. We have more far people that would be affected by a ban today than yesterday. My fear is that many of these new owners are not politically initiated, and will likely spend their time panic buying rather than trying to stop the predators of their rights.
  • Anti gun groups are much weaker, relatively, than they were in 1994. They fought us for a decade on the Brady Bill, and when the dam finally broke, they were very strong, and NRA was at a weak point. I think part of the urgency you see how is that many on the left know if they can make no headway in the aftermath of this, they are finished. Keep in mind the stakes for them are every bit as high as they are for us. This works both ways.
  • The media, overall, is less influential. We have plenty of new outlets to express ourslves and communicate.

Gun owners need to be quietly influencing things on social media. I generally don’t do politics on my FB page; it’s a way to keep in touch with friends, family, and coworkers. I am open about being a gun owner and a shooter. I have been making a personal appeals on this topic since yesterday, without making it overtly political. Are you going to be around family these holidays? Talk. Don’t shout about your rights, and get angry. Make personal appeals. We have to talk our way out of this, not shout our way out. Make your family, friends, co-workers, etc know how much some of these proposals would affect you. Most people don’t know what it’s like to be a gun owner and a shooter, if they aren’t one themselves. Frame it as being like someone demanding you turn over your car, without being compensated for it. Or suggest you can’t ever buy the car you like again, or sell or trade your car in, because some drunk plowed into a bus full of kids and killed them. Imagine if when you said that wasn’t fair, you were told the whole thing was your fault anyway for for being a driver and having a car fetish. Don’t let them get away with, “but cars aren’t meant to kill people,” dodge. Make them imagine that reality as a hypothetical. Make them think about how that would make them feel. When they reach that understanding, if they are capable, you follow up with

“That’s what it’s like being a gun owner. I had nothing to do with this, but I am told I am to be punished because of the actions of a psychopath. It is not conceivable that this could ever happen with cars, because everyone owns them and is familiar with them. But this happens all the time to gun owners.”

I think even the most hardened, but thoughtful person, could be made to understand that.

10 Responses to “Why It’s Not Quite 1994”

  1. George says:

    I think part of the urgency you see how is that many on the left know if they can make no headway in the aftermath of this, they are finished.

    Spot on, Sebastian. That’s why this is the line. Be calm, be rational, but most importantly be visible.

  2. Harold says:

    1994 was also in the middle of the shall issue sweep of the states (total now 42 plus the confused Rhode Island); there are a lot more gun owners in the game, it often takes a while for people to get around to running the gauntlet to get their license, then to start carrying seriously, etc.

    How many of them realize their standard capacity > 10 round magazine handguns make those “assault weapons”? That hasn’t been true at the Federal level since 2004; Emily’s struggles to get a FFL who’d swap magazines before shipping to the one D.C. FFL are useful.

    As far as handguns go, as a disciple of John Moses Browning, the M1911 and .45 ACP I suppose this isn’t entirely bad as of yet, but people still deserve choices, especially those who can’t shoot as well as I (started in 1967 (sic)).

  3. Harold says:

    Obama’s also not Bill Clinton; he’s a mediocre politician by comparison and much more vunerable on this issue, as this nice bit of propaganda illustrates and that will be useful if he stops leading from behind on this issue.

    • Harold says:

      Erk, should have doubled checked, both a spelling error and malformed link: this is the propaganda image I was referring to.

    • Sebastian says:

      I used to think the same thing, but I actually am changing my opinions of Obama’s political talents. I don’t think he has the human political talents of Clinton. Obama will never charm his way out of anything, whereas I think Clinton could have talked his way out of strangling a puppy. Obama isn’t as useful at connecting with people.

      But Obama is very good at the mechanics of politics and adapt at navigating the mechanisms of political struggle. Clinton felt he had to tack center, and remove some of the issues off the Republican table by our Republicaning the Republicans. His center-left coalition was frozen out of the White House for eight years after that. Obama made the calculation to sacrifice the Clinton machine to get Obamacare (which I thought was potentially a fatal mistake), and then set out to create a new Democratic coalition composed of the far left. It was enough to win re-election, though barely. The left is energized, and mobilized like I’ve never seen them. But they are also being arrogant, probably beyond their ability to maintain a long term coalition in a country where most people aren’t of the left. The Obama machine may fall apart too, but if it does, it’ll be for different reasons.

  4. Matt says:

    Well, Obama just backed it.

    Let people know the bill that Feinstein crafted will ban things like the M1 Carbine, many common semi-automatics and so on. If it is anything similar to AWB’s she’s floated before, it would actually ban stuff including many common handguns. And with no sunset.

    I look forward to see what “adjustments” she’s added with recent events.

    • Harold says:

      OK, but I’d like to see what Carney actually said (I don’t trust Reuters); will be looking for that in a bit when it’s posted.

    • Harold says:

      Had to escape the hive mind of the US MSM, here’s the BBC with a clear, direct quote by Jay Carney today:

      “He is actively supportive of, for example, Senator [Dianne] Feinstein’s stated intent to revive a piece of legislation that would reinstate the assault weapons ban

      Still might be leading from behind (many have learned what Obama’s “support” is worth), although I’ll note he hasn’t changed his position, he’s been for a reinstatement since 2008. Although I’m sure DiFi’s bill will become a Christmas Tree (hey, that’s seasonal :-).

  5. Harold says:

    OK, I’ve been saying Reid probably wants to be Senate Majority Leader in 2015; HT the Instapundit, from Moe Lane’s “… quick handicapping of Democratic at-risk Senate races in 2014” I see these Senators listed as at Serious Risk who I think would be harmed by new gun control (when relevant, his comments :

    Alaska Mark Begich
    Louisiana Mary Landrieu
    Minnesota Al Franken
    North Carolina Kay Hagan
    South Dakota Tim Johnson

    He adds worthwhile individual assessments; here’s the ones who are merely at “Some Risk”, the next step down, who’d not be helped by more gun control:

    Mark Pryor is popular, but Arkansas is a Red state and Barack Obama isn’t going to be very popular there in 2014.

    Max Baucus is more vulnerable than he looks on paper: he’s possibly been too long in the Senate and his recent voting habits suggest that he’s come to the conclusion that he’s invincible. Montana is, however, a somewhat restive Red State, so he’s not at high risk. Yet.

    Back to me: so I’d say Reid had better be careful, that’s enough seats to lose control of the Senate, with fewer vulnerable Republicans since most of them got wiped out in 2008 when these guys last got elected.

    • Wolfman says:

      The thing about Montana, though, is its going to be hard to get even a diehard Democrat to from there to back an outright ban. The state is nine layers deep in sportsmen- even on the comparative left. A Montana democrat is still usually to the right of a coastal Republican.


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