To Thank, Or Not to Thank

There’s an interesting discussion thread over at speaking about whether or not it’s the right thing to do to thank Governor Jerry Brown for his veto. The discussion that continues below is worthwhile. While I don’t have a lot of time for people who think the reason we lose is that other people aren’t fighting hard enough, and who thinks all it takes is a “take no prisoners” approach and we’ll never lose, I do think the poster in question has a point.

I don’t see any reason Californians should be bending over backwards to thank Jerry Brown for signing four gun control bills into law, several of which aren’t exactly trivialities. Yes, Brown vetoed the worst of the bills, but splitting the baby shouldn’t exactly be enough to earn gushing praise from us. Remember that Schwarzenegger was fond of splitting the baby on guns, and Californians did nothing but continue down the slippery slope during his Administration.

I’d especially consider that the bill Brown vetoed would have been something I would have been more comfortable taking to court than any of the other bans that have been passed to date. I wouldn’t have hoped for him to sign it, but it does speak to motivations. Brown has kept his state out of an expensive court fight that could cost California not only its new ban, but the whole Roberti-Roos regime, depending on what the courts decided to say on the issue. Several other states ban would have been put at risk too. If I were an anti-gun strategist on the other side of the issue, I would have been quietly (or perhaps not so quietly if I had access to Governor Brown’s people) urging him to veto it. As an anti-gun crusader, I’d much rather take my chances with the 2nd Circuit over New York’s SAFE act than deal with a blanket semi-auto rifle ban in the 9th circuit. So let’s not pretend he did this because he’s just oh so concerned about our gun rights.

Every grading scale I’ve seen for politicians has A through F. Brown split the baby down the middle. His thanks can be having a C instead of an F.

8 thoughts on “To Thank, Or Not to Thank”

  1. “Thank” is probably the wrong word. But I’ve long said that gun-owners should acknowledge when their ideological opponents do something they agree with, to combat a politician’s echo chamber effect. Something along the the lines of “We commend the decision to veto the bill. While we have many policy disagreements, and we specifically believe that your stated rationale for the veto applies equally to other bills that you signed, on this point we are in agreement. Your veto serves the people of California well.”

    1. Yep.

      When I was a Sergeant, we had an old phrase we’d use when a Marine screwed up, but not maliciously, “Good initiative, poor judgment.”

      While not exactly applicable the idea is the same, acknowledge the good while holding the politician accountable for the bad. Indiscriminate “damned if they do, damned if they don’t” quickly leads to politicians choosing to “don’t” more than to “do.” Giving reinforcement for the things we like, at least verbally, while -calmly and rationally- explaining in detail the particular things we -don’t- like gives those who can be turned to our side incentive to do so.

      The “all or nothing, with us (on our exact terms) or against us” types don’t seem to grasp that isn’t how people or politics works in reality and their attitude and actions are actually counter-productive..

  2. I suspect that Brown’s veto had more to do with the law opening up a registration period for for legal “assault weapons”, resulting in hundreds of thousands of new, legal AWs where the owners could ditch the bullet buttons, because the incompetent CA legislature didn’t specify that the new legal AWa would have to remain in their original neutered condition.

    1. That is a valid reason why he could have vetoed, along with fear of a lawsuit/losing ground for AWBs everywhere. But if you look at the whole body of what was vetoed, like Oakland’s preemption exemption and prohibition of DUI offended, etc., I think it is more likely that he doesn’t buy into the whole anti-gun ideal. As Sebastian said, he’s a C. I wouldn’t call him on our side, but he’s not a mouth foaming, F-rated, never saw a gun ban he didn’t like, guy either.

  3. The only thanks he deserves is not having a pitch fork and torch mob out in front of the capital looking for his head on a pike.

    Every gun control law out there is not Constitutional. Only when you have your freedoms restricted by special legal action (i.e. incarceration or deemed mentally defective) should you lose your firearms ownership rights.

    The bright red line in the Constitution is clear. We need to honor it and impeach the treasonous SOBs who trample on it.

  4. We had a similar situation here in Colorado. When we were getting shafted with a lot of anti-gun laws, the one law that failed was the one that prohibited legal CCW on Colorado campuses. Thankfully one Dem flipped on that one, and we defeated it — carry is still legal on Colorado college campuses.

    The democrat who flipped was Giron, who we just voted out in a recall. While that was one reason I wouldn’t have targeted Giron in a recall if it were up to me … it’s not like she didn’t have it coming.

    I’m torn on the issue. If we don’t appreciate the steps pols do take to help us out, like Giron who stood up to her own party on one issue, and if it’s all or nothing … I think we will lose more fights than we win. I’d take it on a case by case basis. I don’t know what I do if I were in Cali.

    I’d be willing to bet that if Giron knew that she wouldn’t get any love for standing with us on one issue she probably wouldn’t have. Of course … if she’d known we’d vote her but out … she probably would have stood with us on everything.

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