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Our People Turning Out

I’m heartened by reports form Minnesota of huge turnout to fight semi-auto bans. Minnesota is not alone, as Maryland also had similar turnout to their hearing, with the line for people waiting to speak snaking out of the Capitol in Annapolis.

I am heartened by the fact that people are turning out, but what keeps me concerned, what I can’t shake, is the fact that we had this kind of mass mobilization to defeat the health care law, which was, by polling, more unpopular than gun control. There was many times during that fight I didn’t think the Democrats would be crazy enough to actually pass it. But pass it they did. That’s why this isn’t the time to depend on a belief that someone else will take care of things.

25 Responses to “Our People Turning Out”

  1. Dave says:

    Should we plan to march on the us senate? Anyone heard of any whispers to do this?

    • Sebastian says:

      The problem with DC is you have to turn out huge numbers to register on anyone’s radar. 100,000 people, at least. 200,000 would be better. 1,000,000 would be great. It’s hard to turn out the kind of numbers that matter spontaneously, and without planning. And then you have to ask if all the resources that are going into the protest could be more effectively spent on other efforts.

  2. J. Dock says:

    Obamacare passed through a Democrat majority House. I’m not saying we should let up – I am saying it is a *little* different this time.

  3. Patrick H says:

    I also think that “people opposed to socialized healthcare” are not as single minded and driving as gun owners. I also think that the latter group is more vocal and more willing to push to stop something. The healthcare bill was also so overly complex, and actually less likely to affect people in theory (maybe not in practice), than the proposed gun laws.

  4. Shawn says:

    this post basically says to me “no matter what we do, no matter how hard we try, even if every gun owner in America contacts their reps the gun band IS inevitable. their is literally nothing you can do to help because obamacare passed so you might as well accept we WILL have our guns banned.”

    These defeatist posts of yours are not re-assuring.

    • Sebastian says:

      That’s not what I mean the message to be, but rather to be read as a caution about complacency. When a legislative body gets in its mind to do something, it can be a terrible thing to stop it. But it can be stopped.

    • Bitter says:

      This isn’t a defeatist post. It’s a serious question about what gun owners will be prepared to do if we lose on the legislative front, even in the face of massive opposition that we’re seeing at the moment.

      For example, a local group just popped up that is trying to get lots of local signatures on petitions to various public officials. My opinion on petitions as the only promoted tool aside, these folks are clearly trying to activate gun owners for some kind of legislative action. That’s great, and that should be the focus right now. But, if they are thinking ahead, they should have someone who is thinking about 2014 already. Thinking about 2014 means thinking about what happens if we lose and our local guys are part of the reason we lost or if they stood for us. It also means thinking about what happens if we come out of this without taking a beating – what will we do to try and oppose those who wanted to beat us and those who stood up for us against pressure.

      In other words, preparing for the possibility of figuring out what defeat or success looks like – and trying to consider how each might happen – isn’t a case of being defeatist. It’s about being smart and being prepared.

      • Well, after the soap box and the ballot box comes the jury box, no?

        Donations to SAF & NYSRPA (and other state level organizations with lawsuits), public education on tactics like jury nullification, and targeting messages to elected prosecutors and sheriff’s would seem to be the next step.

        • Lucky Forward says:

          …and then the pine box, if you know what I mean! What scares me is, with “Homeland Security” buying millions of rounds of ammo, they evidently want to push us in a corner and make “martyrs” out of us!

  5. Stephen says:

    They passed an unpopular bill, and thanks partly to Republicans sticking too hard to social issues suffered almost no consequences in the next PRESIDENTIAL election (2010 was certainly frightening for them, but they kept the reins of power).

    Can we punish them in the next election? Or will so many conservatives either say “I’m not going to vote for anyone unless they’re last name is Paul” or “I’m not excited about {insert_boring_Republican_name} and s/he’s not conservative enough so I’m not going to vote” that the Dems will keep all the power?

    Or do the Dems just plain have enough votes in their inner circles that they no longer need care and we are heading into the socialist/highly controlled utopia they envision at full speed no matter what the rest of us do?

  6. Andy B. says:

    I’m sure I sound more defeatist than Sebastian, most of the time, but I’d like to think my message is more like “Doing what we’ve always done will get us what we always got — think, people!”

    I’ve stood with thousands of other rallying in New Jersey, back in the early ’90s, and I saw that accomplish nothing. I even had a chance to be one of the speakers at a rally of 10,000 in Harrisburg, in 1994, and saw that accomplish nothing, except possibly the election of a Republican U.S. Senator who mostly ignored us. The adrenaline rush of being cheered by thousands made me feel real good about myself at the time, but I shouldn’t have.

    So my theme again is think! And by that I’m not suggesting I believe I have some great new tactical scheme that is being ignored. I don’t. I’m only saying I have seen little proposed that hasn’t failed before, and so has a good chance of failing now.

    Unless we put genuine fear in the hearts of legislators, whatever we are doing is probably going to be a waste of effort.

    • We must fully exhaust the soap box and ballot box. Appeal for redress of grievances and peaceably assemble… again, and again, and again…

      Then, apply to the courts for redress.

      If the courts falter, read about the Sons of Liberty. There was a long string of simmering events — instigated by both the SoL and the Royal authorities — before April 19, 1775. The SoL made good use of the soap box and ballot box and influenced the jury box too.

      The rallies are a good chance to start corresponding with like minded individuals, influencing fence sitters, and building that community network in meatspace. I figure if you’re attending and not coming away with a few names and emails from each event you’re missing out. If nothing else such info should be useful for organizing future peaceful protests, commercial boycotts, letter writing campaigns, etc.

      • Andy B. says:

        I agree with your tactic of using rallies and other gatherings to come away with a few more contacts. I need to warn though, that I have watched gun groups in the past evolve to where almost all of their efforts were directed toward contact harvesting, which was evaluated and denominated in terms only of of dollars and cents. You need to have something more than a vague sense of what you’ll do with the information.

        And anecdotally, I had my name and address harvested at one of our big statewide meetings here in PA, a little more than 12 years ago, and the list was immediately co-opted by a couple Republicans in the loop. Since then I received virtually no pro-gun contacts from it, but contacts from virtually every other right-leaning mass mail outfit in the country. I could identify the source because they had slaughtered the spelling of my surname so badly. I only stopped receiving that junk mail when I gave up that post office box; before that it was stuffed with sucker-bait.

        Personally, I will no longer give out my contacts at any sort of public activity.

        • I would focus on face to face, local contacts in your immediate area. Think of your county and each of the neighboring counties.

          As Sean D. Sorrentino points out frequently, local government is much easier to access and influence than state or federal government. One or two dozen folks who will turn out for local county board meetings, sheriff’s elections, etc can be influential.

          I would prefer to have a dozen contacts within a 20 mile radius of my house than a hundred contacts from across the state…

          I also think it is smart to get a PO Box for all this stuff. Not everyone in the world needs to know where you sleep at night.

  7. What happens if they do? What happens if they demand registration or confiscation of semi-automatics?

    Where do we draw that thin red line…. as a nation?

    :-(

  8. RAH says:

    Yes we lost on Obama care,but the process was absurd and extreme. The house is in GOP hands this time so it can not be rammed down the throats of the GOP.

    Plus with ObamaCare and the gungrab it seems to be tipping point. I have heard many vowing outright defiance and that registration is the line in the sand. We do not have to comply with illegal laws and many are getting ready to go the 3% route. Seeing the results in NY and the implied threats and now in MD , this is not that easy for the liberal left .

    Please note the gun grabbers are going for low lying fruit, the blues states NY, MD and I expect Mass.

    We won on the state level with CCW laws and have to keep the pressure in the states.

    Federal level of gun control was diminished with the massive amount of CCW states. Noticed how they are not targetting hand guns. In the 90’s the target was handguns. Not this time.

    • Rob Crawford says:

      It will be interesting to see what happens in Illinois. AFAIK, they haven’t passed a CCW law yet, and have to before June.

  9. RAH says:

    We initially won with Fla and then Texas and then it snowballed. Heller was a stretch but it was won. Then we went for the hard states Illinois and Chicago with McDonald and NY state against the Sullivan law. Almost won in MD with Wollard.

    Liberal left is going for the easy wins. If we defeat those we have more defensive depth.

  10. J. Dock says:

    In a strange way, there is a silver lining to the passage of Obamacare… I think it really hacked off a lot of folks who saw it as an “in your face!” kind of a move, and are even more determined to oppose these anti gun laws.

    In other words, if they’d gone for gun laws instead of Obamacare at that time, I think we would have been in a lot more trouble, given the make-up of Congress as a whole, at that time.

  11. RAH says:

    I agree Obamacare infuriated people. We lost in the courts . Now Gun registration, bans and confiscation soon. That is the line we will not allowed to be crossed.

    This country depends on voluntary compliance. I heard a lot of non compliance talk in NY and Washington State . Next MD and Minnesota.

  12. We’re fighting this out hard in Minnesota, but it’s an uphill fight. We have a democrat governor and a dem controlled House and Senate right now. The one advantage that we do have is that the upstate MN folks on the iron range that are democratic reps and senators are conservative – and they know that they can’t vote for gun control measures and stay in office.

    We’ll see where things go with this — but we’re going to fight it hard.

    Yesterday – 150 tickets to get in the hearing room – I’d say we had 140ish of the 150 tickets. We got there earlier than our opposition and held the line.

    One more day of hearings (today) and then there will be a brief pause while we wait to see what they craft into an omnibus bill – then the real fight begins.

  13. RAH says:

    We had over a thousand show up in Annapolis Md. That was really big turnout for a Senate meeting.

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