Changing the Tone of the Argument

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VSSA looks at a comment that Virginia gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe made during a debate where he basically said he doesn’t care about what NRA or its members think about his positions. He’s running on an openly hostile platform for guns, a switch from what most Virginia Democrats have had to do in the past in order to be competitive.

Now, I realize at this point that the Virginia race was largely polling in one direction before the gun control groups really started pouring money in so they can claim the result is a verdict on gun control. However, it’s important to understand this shift in rhetoric from the candidate himself.

I think you’ll see more Democrats really run on outright hostility to gun owners and the most popular firearms in America because they’ll look at facts like Barak Obama winning two elections, Terry McAuliffe possibly winning purple Virginia, and the fact that gun owners couldn’t stop legislation in purple Colorado. Even with some high-profile consequences in Colorado, the Democrats are still in charge. It sent a message, but a limited one.

So, while some people may embrace the honesty of anti-gun people speaking out about their disdain for gun owning voters, is it really a “good” thing if we end up losing those elections?

43 thoughts on “Changing the Tone of the Argument”

  1. A loss is a loss is a loss.

    McAuliffe will win because his Republican opponent is also an opponent of abortion, gays and anything that his theology opposes. If Cuccinelli were a Democrat running on the same concept (opposing all that is not “me”), he would be McAuliffe. Oops…that is McAuliffe.

    We got the same animals running for the same office. One just happens to think we are OK.

    Republicans are doomed to lose in any place that has a significant metro population if they hold fast to social engineering that runs afoul the consensus of those metropolitan voters.

    Sorry, but Virginia is not Kentucky.

    When will gun people start demanding people we can elect, instead of social conservatives that say nice things about us but cannot get elected in the places that matter?

    1. spot on perfect. if cuccinelli was running on competence and traditional republican values (libertarian, not religious ones), he’d be ahead by 20-30 points. that mcaullife is competitive is only possible by reason of the GOPs dysfunction.

    2. “When will gun people start demanding people we can elect, instead of social conservatives that say nice things about us but cannot get elected in the places that matter?”

      I’ll take that one step farther, and say why can’t we demand people that are openly libertarian (in the classical sense) just because that’s what we believe in — and much of the country has moved in that direction, issues-wise? Why are we always supposed to support nine things we don’t believe in, to get the one thing we do?

      For the thirty years or so since I first involved myself with the libertarian movement (small- and capital-L) I always felt like I needed to apologize for it when I was with an RKBA crowd, because the crowd was always top-heavy with social conservatives and Religious Right front-men. Now that they may (as Cuccenelli’s campaign may illustrate in microcosm) have brought us to the edge of disaster, maybe it’s time to stop being apologetic.

    3. There are many Americans who are completely turned off by the fascination that the Republican party has with preaching instead of governing. You need to keep your religious views to yourself when you are running the nation’s governments. We do not want to be preached to.
      When I am listening to a political debate and a person (candidate) begins mentioning what the Bible says, I immediately tune out. I don’t care what the Bible says. I don’t believe what you believe, and if Republicans continue preaching to people, they will continue losing elections.
      Religion is like a penis, it is sometimes good to have one, just don’t go ramming it down people’s throats unless they ask you to.

    4. Funny, I have always heard that described of gun rights and urban voters, too. But keep throwing people under the bus if you feel it right…

      1. Nobody got tossed under the bus above. Not one person here owes fealty to any group-think, at all.

        Gun rights are the right to choose for yourself. That is quite different from running on a platform that openly touts itself as removing from you the choice to marry the person you want…or whatever social itch they feel needs scratching that day.

        Social Conservative politics is about imposing the will of the few on the actions of all. People don’t like being told what to do. The reason gun owners are frequently such a one-issue voting block is because many of us don’t like being told to stop doing something we find fun, or worthwhile.

        It’s the same with social conservatism run amok. They want to supplant choice with a law backed by policy and courts – and in some cases, people with badges and guns. That is a huge difference from what gun-rights activists are doing. Nobody on our side is advocating we punish people for not owning guns.

        Believe what you want and live your life by the code you feel appropriate. But respect my boundaries to do the same. I don’t want statist control of my life, regardless of which team is currently “the state”.

        The problem is the GOP is they keep trying to cater to ever smaller statist classes wishing to exert some kind of control over others. They keep thinking the issue is not the statism and control, but rather the art of tuning the dial to get just the right mix of control freaks on board to win an election.

        How about becoming the party of liberty? The party that says, be what you want and live the way you want, and respect my right to do the same?

        They won’t, because that means they give up control. And that is why libertarians are doomed: it requires the political class to give up control. Not gonna happen.

        1. I can agree with the “party of liberty” platform as long as said liberty candidates are not themselves forcing us to violate our consciences… i.e., sham marriages forced to be recognized by private businesses or churches, forced hiring of those who are opposed to the faith, etc. The problem is, outside of hard core libertarians (with which I could actually agree), I know of none. All the Dems want to do is force atheism or gay stuff in every public avenue. I can’t abide by that, either.

          And, yes, I do see a link between not wanting to be told what to do and gun rights. This is why I think eventually the gun rights platform will grow. And, contrary to the antis, it’s not because of “anarchy” or “insurrectionism.” It will grow because of freedom.

          1. Gun Control is not a one-issue voting block – I think – largely because people who prefer gun control don’t actually lose anything when they lose an election. Gun rights people know that every election means they could become a criminal, or have to give up something they own (or will own). We’re motivated.

            Fast forward to social issues and you see why the GOP is DOA on its current trajectory, nationally, as in Virginia. Banning gay marriage means people are going to lose something if they elect the GOP. That’s motivation and it extends to people who are not gay, just as we gun people like to include hunters in arguments over AR-15 bans.

            As for gay marriage, this is not the blog to argue it. I will take the time to politely retort that my mixed marriage was banned in many places not much more before I was born. My children would have been evidence of a crime. The same arguments were used – “moral compunction”, social standards, “it’s better for everyone this way”. All bullshit.

            The moment you let government – or the social force that is the electorate – decide who you can fall in love with, is the moment tyranny rests it’s feet on the couch and takes a nap. Because it’s won the battle and can take the time.

  2. The key is to turn this honesty into losses for the antis.

    It does make it easier to point to fence-sitting gun owners that yes, they are after your guns, and no their gun control dreams aren’t common sense.

    There’s also that Obama didn’t run as an anti. He kept that on the down-low, and because he did it was easier to dismiss claims that he was an anti. I remember many saying “Oh Obama doesn’t care about your guns.”

    Once he was safely reelected did he change his tune.

    And in Colorado many of those Dems one by pretending to be pro gun or at the very least not being overtly anti-gun.

    Course such things don’t matter when the optics are “Anti gun wins elections!”

    “Republicans are doomed to lose in any place that has a significant metro population if they hold fast to social engineering that runs afoul the consensus of those metropolitan voters. ”

    Quite so, the secret to winning those metro populations is to hold fast to the social engineering said voters approve of.

  3. Um, Jack, you got a magic wand that is going to get the disenchanted Republican base out to assist the gun owners in defeating McAuliffe? I hate seeing someone as loathsome as McAuliffe as a candidate much less the likely winner but the turnout must turn out. Having an “R” is not as useful as having a “D” in blind loyalty. It is also not the Libertarian candiate that is at fault either. Most of his votes will be from people who would not have voted at all given only the major party cadidates. Republicans can again see their worst enemy in their mirror. Gun Rights folks are screwed as a result.

    1. No? Did I imply that I did?

      And yes, party loyalty is a huge advantage. One that the Dems have internalized to the point where they don’t even see it.

      Cuccinelli is McAuliffe’s biggest advantage. McAuliffe didn’t have to go gun control. He could have been coy, heck he could have pretended to be pro-gun and cut more wind out from Cuccinelli.

      Given how heavy McAuliffe is going War-on-Women, and how big he is in the DNC establisment going hardcore anti gun doesn’t give him much of a vote increase among his base.

      But McAuliffe is chums with Bloomberg, and for the *price* of taking Bloomberg’s money he lets the antis pretend that they’re the ones at the head of the parade.

      It’s like how the antis talk about how Obama’s reelection proves that gun control is popular.

      Perception is big in politics. And a win here can be taken as “Being hout and out supportive of gun control won’t stop a Dem from becoming a govenor of a Southern state.”

  4. Well, I’m glad they’re out in the open about it now. I’ve heard their message loud and clear; they don’t like my kind, and they don’t like me. I’ve been a life long Democratic voter, but in the past years I’ve realized what they actually deliver isn’t that much different than the Republicans, the difference is the Republican’s will deliver for me on guns. I’ll take something over nothing any day of the week.

    The Republican’s may not be good for minorities, gays or women. However, I’m none of those things and their political patrons were more than happy to throw me under the gun control bus. So, I have no reservations about throwing them under the bus in the interest of my rights. I really don’t care what sort of inbred, homophobic hillbillies the Republicans run, they’re getting my vote.

    Though, in the long term, angry old white people are a declining demographic. The Republicans are going to decline with them unless they move back to a traditional conservative platform.

    1. “I’m none of those things and their political patrons were more than happy to throw me under the gun control bus. . .”

      Maybe I’m naive’, but wouldn’t the ethical thing be to support what we think is right, without concern for whether another constituency reciprocates? To talk about what “they” do is perhaps the ultimate in collectivist thinking. Minorities, gays, and women, who you cite, could argue just as logically that “we” already have been more than willing to support their sworn enemies,in return for little more than lip-service to our single issue. The other day I cited two Pennsylvania pols, both of whom have been death on immigrants, and one also death on gays, who we have supported enthusiastically as one did nothing, and the other little, that was tangible for us. When its clear WE assume that being anti-woman, anti-gay, and anti-immigrant is solid evidence of being pro-gun, what are women, gays, and immigrants supposed to think?

      I can’t think of any logical way to break the cycle, other than to support what we each think is right, without expectations that the beneficiaries will immediately reciprocate, or at all.

      1. Andy B., reciprocity has nothing to do with it. I think you may want to reacquaint yourself with the slander, invective, and hatred directed at us by the Democratic establishment after Newtown. Why would anyone but a self loathing masochist align themselves with groups that see them as dim witted, murderous, trailer trash? The bottom line is, I cannot support groups allied with those that loathe me.

        Here’s a little experiment: Go to any of the big Democratic/Progressive sites and pull up a post Newtown gun thread. Now replace “NRA” and “gun owner” with “gay” or “black”. That may help clear up your thinking.

        You may support rights for gays, women, minorities and immigrants. But at the end of the day, they hate you just the same.

        1. We could go back and forth repeating ourselves all week and still be saying the same things, so I will only repeat myself once: They hear slander, invective, and hatred directed at them, by the same people we embrace as our champions. Often, our champions of the 2A won’t hesitate a moment to violate any of the other of the Bill of Rights, as long as it is directed at them. Someone has to break the cycle by acknowledging what are human rights. If we’re honest with ourselves (and as I think is being illustrated here) the gun rights camp doesn’t even agree among ourselves what are “rights,” once the subject shifts away from firearms rights.

          You’ll probably consider me to be digging myself in deeper, here, but without going into one of my extensive Old Stories, the ACLU-PA was very helpful to us with a First Amendment issue related to a Second Amendment initiative here, back in the ’90s. We prevailed in our goal because of them. They just looked and saw that our 1A rights had been violated, and did their thing for the 1A, if not specifically for our cause. They didn’t say “Those gun guys are all on the right, and they spend most of their waking hours badmouthing the ACLU, so eff’em.” They said, “Their rights are being violated, and we’ll do what’s right to fix that.” I like that model.

        2. Sprocket,

          Andy B is our local crotchety Libertarian. I enjoy his posts, but realize that he is seeking an ideal political candidate and looking long term. Politics end up being messy affairs with lots of compromise.

          I don’t love the GOP but I abhor the DNC, and there’s always someone to vote against. For now I will vote against the people that want me in a f’ing boxcar.

    2. I fail to see how any of Cuccinelli’s policies are anti-any of those things. You have apparently had too much of the DNC kool-aid. This is a gigantic part of the problem.

      I would hope that owning a gun also means thinking for yourself and not what a campaign tells you. Clearly even gun owners are suffering from that.

  5. I think it is good to have it out in the open- because we can tell people that, yes they do want your guns. I think the CO recalls did scare them, and that’s why they are pushing for VA to be a gun control race.

  6. More excuses. At the end of the day, let’s ask ourselves: Where are gun owners in VA? Do they make any measurable difference? What do we do to build up more pro-gun lifestyle folks? Lifestyle, meaning they’ve handled a gun and are familiar with what the differences are between some of the big ones.

    Clue: Throwing constituencies under the bus doesn’t count. Don’t be surprised when it’s done to you.

    1. “Throwing constituencies under the bus doesn’t count. Don’t be surprised when it’s done to you.”

      Do those constitutiencies include those who are not conservative evangelical/fundamentalist Christians? Or Christians who disagree with using the police power of the state to compel nonbelievers to live by evangelical teachings? Or people who think that maybe “live and let live” is a virtue rather than a sin?

      Trying to coerce nonbelievers and non-evangelicals into living like evangelicals in a free society is dumb, and recognition of that fact does not constitute throwing anyone under any bus. No one is saying that fundamentalist and evangelical Christians cannot freely practice their religion, just that they should not try to force their codes of conduct onto others via the police power of the state.

      The thing is, gun owners are not trying to force non-gun-owners to live like gun owners. Gun owners are saying “we want to be free to choose for ourselves, and that’s it.” That is most assuredly *not* what the FRC, AFA, FoF, and Vander Plaat et al are saying with regard to religious issues; they do not want individual choice on “morality” issues, and are actively trying to suppress it in multiple areas.

      Rightly or wrongly, Cuccinelli was/is perceived as defending some pretty ridiculous laws (the ban on oral sex, for example) on religious grounds, and that is bad. Heck, 25 Republicans voted against repealing Virginia’s ban that outlawed unmarried cohabitation.

      Here is how Mr. Cuccinelli is widely perceived outside of the evangelical conservative bubble, and I am not aware of him doing much to try to counter it:

      That cartoon was all over the ‘net a while back.

      1. I see. So to you and McAuliffe’s people it’s all about sex. And you will vote based on that. That is as bad as the Penn State people who voted for our illustrious attorney general. Ignorance is bliss.

        1. Ben Ezra,

          Go read the legal argument that Cuccinelli filed in the sodomy case you referenced, and then get back to us when you can state basic facts and concepts about the case and his argument.

          Hint: It wasn’t about BJs or indeed any private consensual sexual activity between adults. It was a case about an adult man who cheated on his wife by engaging with sexual activity with minors in a public place.

          I don’t love the SoCos but the inability of the Cucc campaign to even articulate his case against the Dem Media/Money Monolith is astounding. It is like they didn’t even think they’d have to face a hostile media, lots of outside money, and a sleazy opponent who is willing to lie continuously.

          Chris from AK

          1. I have. Perhaps you should as well.

            Here is the law Cuccinelli was trying to defend:


            § 18.2-361. Crimes against nature; penalty.
            A. If any person carnally knows in any manner any brute animal, or carnally knows any male or female person by the anus or by or with the mouth, or voluntarily submits to such carnal knowledge, he or she shall be guilty of a Class 6 felony, except as provided in subsection B.

            So the law unequivocally outlawed oral sex between consenting adults, even married heterosexual spouses, which flagrantly violated Lawrence v. Texas.

            The Virginia legislature recognized that fact in 2004, and tried to fix the law to exclude sex between consenting adults:


            By multiple accounts, Cuccinelli opposed that bill and helped kill it, thereby ensuring that the Virginia government would eventually get its hand slapped.

            The law Cuccinelli chose to crusade for is *not* ambiguous. Cuccinelli’s defenders state that prosecutorial discretion would prevent its application to consenting adults, but such application is what gave rise to Lawrence v. Texas in the first place. We vigorously oppose blanket gun bans tempered by prosecutorial discretion, but that same concept is suddenly ok when applied to banning sex between consenting adults?

            Virginia law already prohibits statutory rape, so why is it necessary to outlaw oral sex in order to prosecute statutory rape? The answer is, it’s not.

            But perhaps I’ve missed where Cuccinelli states that the state has no business banning oral sex, and that he supports the right of couples to enjoy it? If so, please point me to it, because all I’ve seen is him defending a ban by saying he promises not to prosecute you if you violate it, and otherwise sidestepping the question.

            The thing is, this is a pattern for Cuccinelli going back years, and any Republican strategist or campaign manager who did not see this coming is either a dolt or living in a bubble. And Cuccinelli’s refusal to frankly address it, as well as his support for other questionable SoCon issues going back years, is causing him to lag behind in a race that he’d otherwise be winning by a landslide.

            1. Go read his appeal for cert:

              Lawrence v. Texas only protects sexual conduct in private between consenting adults. L vs. TX does not protect public sex acts with minors.

              In essence, the 4th Circuit threw out the entire VA sodomy law on a “facial challenge” as they felt it was blatantly unconstitutional. Cuccinelli argues that Law vs. TX doesn’t protect the conduct and that the court should at least consider the facts of the case, leading to an “as applied” challenge instead of a facial one. Cucc makes it very clear as the AG of VA that the VA statute you quoted cannot be used against consenting adults in private acts, as that would clearly violate Law vs. TX.

              As gun folks, we should be skeptical of claims of prosecutorial discretion. We can see how far those promises will take gun owners in NY as they face down the SAFE Act.

              But on the flip side, Cucc’s larger argument is for one of the rule of law: if the courts are going to strike down state statutes willy nilly, they should at least apply a reasonable and consistent level of review. Remember, these are the same courts that could, say, strike down pre-emption laws, or stand your ground, or castle doctrine. I don’t think it is too much to ask for some consistency and consideration of the facts of a case.

              On a political front I think the campaign could have gotten out in front of this to attack McAuliffe. Instead of this being about Cucc pissing on homosexuals and blowjobs and WAR ON WOMEN, the GOP campaign could have blasted McAuliffe for supporting pedophiles and child abuse. I bet 95% of Virginian voters can’t state the facts of the case in Moose vs. McDonald. The plaintiff (not very appealing) would certainly be an albatross to hang around McAuliffe’s neck.

              I’m not a SoCo and I don’t love their positions. However, this possible strategic SoCo blunder could have been mitigated with smart campaign tactics. Instead, the GOP is going to hand the governor’s keys to a sleazy carpet bagger who wants NRA members put in prison.

              1. Cuccinelli tried the “opposing this law = supporting child molesters” spin, as you suggest. It appears to be bombing.


                That is precisely the same argument as saying “opposing an AWB = supporting mass murderers”, and it fails for the same reasons. The clear intent of the law as written was to ban oral sex (which it equates with bestiality, right there in the statute), and the sheer idiocy of picking *that* hill as his defining stand, in a state that advertises itself as “the place for lovers”, boggles my mind.

                1. Stop making sense. It’s not going to help. The Republican party lashed itself to the mast of the fundamentalist boat decades ago. Frankly they’re going to keep losing on a state and federal level because their primary voters believe they lost the last time around because their guy wasn’t enough of a nut job. As a party, they are just a bunch of old people waving their canes and shouting “I’ll show you!”

                  It’s illustrative to research demographic trends in this country and then watch footage from the floors of the RNC and DNC. Take a look and ask yourself, “Which of these groups is still going to be going strong in a decade?”

                  1. Neither one. We already have the Democratic-Republicans (which will further collapse into one) which is the pro-state, pro-war, party. Then there will be pro-liberty party of some kind.

  7. When I look at the polls, I see the Libertarian candidate support as large or larger than the margin between R and D. Perhaps the Republican establishment should spend less time dissing libertarians and tea party types. And show the party loyalty they demand from others when their preferred candidate loses the primary.

    1. I am in complete agreement. An election consensus candidate that spans tea party / GOP / libertarian would go a long way in these races. Unfortunately I see nothing but people pulling in the opposite direction.

      The Democrats have managed to do it. Let’s hope the other party can (whoever that may be).

    2. “I see the Libertarian candidate support as large or larger than the margin between R and D.”

      From experience — though not recent — the support for minor party candidates reflected in polls usually evaporates almost completely in the voting booth. People say they support the minor party candidate, and they think they mean it, but once they get in the voting booth they are overpowered by a desire to participate in the “real world” outcome. I won’t bet the farm on it, but if Sarvis is polling 10 percent, I will be very surprised if he gets more than 3 to 4 percent of the actual vote.

      Incidentally, I have had experience with pundits claiming that a major party contest was going to be much tighter than anyone actually down in the trenches knew it was going to be. The result (in a congressional election) was a big voter turnout, and a Libertarian candidate who had spent over $50,000 (in 1980s dollars) on a decent campaign getting 1.3 percent of the vote. All of the team players turned out for what they were told was a “race too close to call,” and voted for their home team. The outcome was roughly 60 – 39 – 1 percent, not close at all, as most of us realists knew it would not be — though I personally, in those young and naive days, had expected the L to get around ten percent.

      1. Yes that is true. And the Bloomberg buy will probably accelerate the process. But the problem is real. Commentators here like to hate on the SoCons. I disagree with them on many issues as well. But they still agree with us on 80% of the issues, making them friends according to the Reagan formula. Not so with the establishment Republicans who are the real problem. They are nothing short of Quislings just working on getting their piece of the welfare state.

        1. Your disagreement, however, centers around public versus private admission of certain societal factors espoused by a candidate.

          As long as you can “keep it there” without launching personal attacks on religion or start the hyperbole related to the “war on women/gays/minorities” then the “coalition strategy” I outlined earlier would/should be in force for winning elections. Frankly, though, I do see a mean spirited tone of some here who would disparage religion in the public square which I’m not cool with. We should recognize that our enemy is more the establishment than our fellow man. We should also recognize who is complicit in joining up with the establishment when it’s convenient for their pet issue.

          1. “We should recognize that our enemy is more the establishment than our fellow man.”

            I recently encountered a little bumper-sticker graphic that I liked. It says “It’s Not Left vs. Right — It’s YOU vs. The State!”

  8. Though many in Virginia don’t want to admit it, the state has become politically like Maryland in about the lat 70’s. There are still a few pockets of rural conservative factions, but, they are not enough in numbers to overcome the overwhelmingly statist enclaves – Arlington, Alexandria, Fairfax City & County, Richmond, Petersburg, Newport News & Virginia Beach. Win a majority in 5 of those venues and all the rural conservatives left in the state can vote the other way and still lose.

    In Maryland it’s similar – all a candidate needs to win is 2 of the 3 biggest statist enclaves: Baltimore, Montgomery County & Prince Georges County. The entire rest of the state can vote the other way and it doesn’t matter.

    Although VA didn’t used to fit this model, there are a number of factors at play.
    1) Large numbers of northern Virginia government contractors who depend on the fed. gov. for employment.
    2) HUGE numbers of new york refugees, who have brought their political leanings with them. In northern Virginia, you can’t swing a stick without hearing that “Fran Drescher-like” new york accent. in order, the languages spoken in Northern Virginia: 1) Spanish. 2) new york. 3) English.
    3) the massive influx of “undocumented democrats” from way, way down south.
    4) None of the new demographics are “gun people”. They come from oppressive regimes where private gun ownership is unheard of.

    Virginia is just the next real estate that the antis want. once they get it, North Carolina is next.

    Many of the Northern VA republicans are angry at the Cuccinelli backlash. One quipped “You all wanted a tea party candidate, well, now you got one so get out and support him”. His audience were republican activists. ALL of them had some problem with Cuccinelli. He is basically a statist, not a libertarian leaning republican. SoCon? maybe like socialist conservative.

  9. “None of the new demographics are ‘gun people’. They come from oppressive regimes where private gun ownership is unheard of.”

    You can’t be too sure what the effect of that will be on people. I visited a former Soviet Republic, where after independence gun FREEDOM was considerably greater than here. Admittedly the people hadn’t had much chance in the USSR to become gun “hobbyists,” and thus gun “fanciers,” (primarily for economic reasons; otherwise the USSR was similar to New Jersey in terms of ownership and possession bureaucracy) but in terms of “principles,” they had so far got it right at that time.

    As an alien I could bring two guns with me for “sporting or protection purposes,” and there was no mechanism for me to be an “illegal” alien, unless they had already directed me to leave. I walked in past a customs official leaning on her elbow and smiling at us as we walked past, who never looked at papers.

    I hope for their sake they’ve kept it that way.

  10. Oh jeeze.

    If the reality is that a majority of people have become nanny-state big-government worshippers, then “tone” has zero to do with the outcome of elections.

    Of course, with the numbers coming out this week that there are officially now more people on means-tested welfare than have full-time jobs, then yes, it does appear there is now a majority of groveling nanny-state worshippers.

    Which means elections won’t matter any more, and that our fundamental differences and yawning chasm of ideologies will be sorted out by other means.

  11. Get the gun owners of VA to vote for Cucinelli. He is pro 2 a . If gun rights are single issue, then vote that way. Besides I am tired of the hatred to Christians and people who believe in right to live. As to the gay thing, that is about sex. I am tired of sex being the most important thing for gays. Big Deal. Be gay or not I do not care. But to make that he most important item in my eyes is stupid.

    1. Umm…who is trying to ban whose marriage?

      I think social conservatives spend more time thinking about gay sex than gay men. It drives the entire SoCon movement into a dramatic furor. Two gay dudes arguing over who has to do the dishes is not going to harm heterosexual marriage, unless the ‘straight’ are secretly resentful that they didn’t originally have the same choice the gay guys did.

      Looking at Virginia: if you take two candidates and both avow to ban something sacred to a particular group, you get a referendum on which of those groups have more political power. Cuccinelli wants to ban gay marriage; McAuliffe wants to ban guns.

      We are about to see which group has more power. You are not going to like the answer.

      My personal view is I’d prefer candidates who won’t ban anything, other than the idea that government has any place telling me what I should and should not do in my personal life. Gay guys getting guns for wedding presents should not cause a single politician to scream, “we need a law!

    2. “If gun rights are single issue, then vote that way…”

      I’ve thought about that “single issue” thing a lot over the years.

      There was a time I came —>this<— close to heading up a new state gun group, with a lot of promised backing and professional resources. So, I had to think about how to handle things to be a genuine (and extremely rare, IMO!) "single issue" organization. I decided that the only way to accomplish that would be, to be as objective as possible with regard to pols and guns. I would eschew "endorsements," implied or otherwise, and report on legislators and other pols actions, words and answers to questionnaires, weighted by what they had actually done that was tangible. It would be reported objectively what candidates said, but if they had no record to give them credibility for it, that would be indicated. I knew I would have to do that to filter out my personal opinions of people.

      That is what I would do with an organization.

      But, individually, none of us is really "single issue." My take on things is, if a pol embraces an authoritarian line on any issues, he or she has no credibility that in the long term they will contribute to creating a system that isn't authoritarian about firearms use and ownership. If they pledge undying love for the Second Amendment, while seeking to violate, say, the First Amendment when it affects other issues they value, they have no credibility. If they claim being "constitutionalists," but are willing to embrace tortured interpretations of the constitution when those interpretations would achieve outcomes that they hope for, they have no credibility. And last but not least, if they behave like assclowns while seeking to advance their agendas on non-firearms issues, they are not going to help us by bundling our gun rights issues with their other issues.

      I have not come up with a simple formula for that, and being human, my opinions and gut reactions change from time to time. But one effect it has had with me is that I may not vote for enemies of the Second Amendment, but I also withhold votes for "friends" who I feel have no credibility. Many a lever has gone unpulled in my voting booth.

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