On Writing Lawmakers and Compromise

I thought I’d offer some additional advice for writing lawmakers, and that advice is this: don’t offer compromises. It’s fine to offer a legislator some other talking point that has nothing to do with your issue, like mental illness, but don’t offer compromises on the core issue. The message they need to hear from constituents should boil down to “NO NEW GUN CONTROL!”

Compromise is something that happens as part of a legislative process, and it something lobbyists end up doing when the choice ends up being to get a beating or getting knifed in the back. When we stand firm, we make it more likely people lobbying on our behalf won’t end up in that situation in the first place. If we offer compromises, it signals to lawmakers we’re not serious. Your lawmaker may start to wonder what else you might be fine with compromising on.

6 thoughts on “On Writing Lawmakers and Compromise”

  1. Indeed. Whenever I feel a bit overwhelmed or that I need to do “something” I draft another letter. Or make a phone call.

  2. I would add that presidents of gun clubs send letters as well on behalf of the club saying something like “On behalf of the 100 members of the East Bumblefuck Gun Club I am urging you to vote against more gun control.”

  3. I think people forget what compromise is. If they want to take all of our guns, and we agree to only give them half, that’s not compromise, any more than letting a deranged killer kill only one of your parents instead of both of them.

    Compromise would be, if they want to do away with private gun transfers, but open the machine gun registry instead – or something along those lines. Both sides give, both sides get. Their idea of compromise is just not getting as much as they want. And sadly, the GOP’s idea is not giving as much as they want.

    1. Well, the “establishment”, national level GOP loathes its base and is often in agreement with their opponents; note how hard the party has run away from Reagan since he left office. Probably due to our losing the culture war, certainly due in part to their being in the minority for far too long … except after Democratic excesses they haven’t been very competitive since the 20s, although the results of local elections suggest that will eventually change, assuming the national party doesn’t ruin the brand in the meantime. So their support of us is I’m sure more out of fear in losing at the polls when they have no choice but to deal with their base than anything else, certainly very few at the national level really care about the RKBA.

      So “compromise” is in their bones, or at least in too many of them, and that’s a very different thing when we’re talking the RKBA vs. how much we’ll tax, borrow and spend any particular year.

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