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Hobbyists and Collectors Generally Aren’t Politicians

New Jovian Thunderbolt has a write-up on the guns owned by potential 2016 Presidential candidates. Tam isn’t impressed, and neither is McThag. I’m actually surprised it’s that many. I think collectors, and by collector I don’t just mean gun collectors, tend to have certain personality traits. Hardcore hobbyists share many similar traits. The personality profile of a hard core collector or hobbyist pretty much prevent those types of people from running for office, because people running for office also have certain personality traits, and those are very different from a hard core hobbyist or collector.

So it’s not surprising that most of the candidates may have a gun or two, for hunting, personal protection, etc. But they aren’t that into it. In NJT’s list, you’ll notice there’s one gun guy, really two if you look at it, because I’d be surprised if Todd and Sarah Palin don’t own several, and I’d be surprised if Rand Paul owned more than a couple. The real gun guy on that list is Lindsey Graham, who’s picture is right there along side John McCain if you look up RINO in the dictionary. But Graham has always been solid on guns, because, at the least, he’s good at saying the things that convince us he’s a shooter. But even Graham, I’m betting, isn’t spending more than the odd weekend at the range, and maybe a few hunting trips throughout the year for fundraising and politicking. The life of a Senator, Governor or other high level politician doesn’t leave much time for “not politics.”

Most politicians don’t arrive at their pro-gun positions by being gun people. They arrive at that position because it is in their self-interest to do so. We are the ones who are charged with convincing them, and we do that by voting the issue, and persuading them that voting the way we want them to vote is in their self-interest. That can be the carrot, or the stick. Our side is generally much better at the stick, because¬†punishing enemies rallies our grassroots more than supporting friends. But punishing enemies can buy you a lot. The current GOP field all being pretty solid on the gun issue was bought with the heads of Dick Lugar, Mike Castle, and other squishy Republicans who lost their primaries. Obviously it would be better to have a real gun guy behind you in politics, but those are going to be a rare find.

It’s worth remembering that Reagan signed the current Armor Piercing Ammunition Law that Obama was trying to use to screw us. Later in life (whether he did, or his handlers did, is a matter of debate) he endorsed the Brady Act and Assault Weapons Ban. Bush sailed into office saying he’d sign an AWB renewal. John McCain was the first GOP nominee who was actually against an AWB, but he was in favor of banning private transfers, and he lost. Romney was for an AWB before he was against it, and he lost. We have slowly, but surely, corralled the GOP much closer to our position. Let us hope we can keep it there, and we might make real progress if things go our way in 2016.

Ultimately, all I care about from a Second Amendment viewpoint is a) who is a GOP president going to put on the Court, and b) will they sign pro-gun bills? Beyond that, I couldn’t care less how many guns he or she does or doesn’t own, short of what that signals about how serious they might be in their convictions.

10 Responses to “Hobbyists and Collectors Generally Aren’t Politicians”

  1. Tam says:

    Oh, I agree. By definition, most everybody running for high elected office is going to be a politics nerd, not a gun nerd. ;)

    • Sebastian says:

      I kind of consider myself a politics nerd, but I couldn’t win elected office to save my life. You have to be a good salesmen, and have enough narcissism and ego to be OK with selling the product: yourself. You also have to be a people person, and I’m more comfortable with things than people, which is probably why I’m a hard core hobbyist :)

      • Tam says:

        You’re not as much of a politics nerd as Chuck Todd, but you’re close enough that I’d pay to watch the debate. :)

  2. rd says:

    Unfortunately we don’t have much choice about who we support, since the Democrats have all gone bat__it insane. Not just on guns, the moderates on abortion, spending, social issues, military and foreign policy have all died off or have been purged from the Party. The Obamas, Pelosis, Reids, Schumers, and Wasserman-Shultzs are running the Democrat Party.

    Since everyone’s re-election fortunes are tied to their party, and the big poobahs ladle out the campaign funds, no one can stray too far from what their leaders want. So all the Democrats are now toeing the anti-gun line, and our only support is in the Republican Party. Which is OK, until 2A squishes decide we aren’t worth the bad press. Don’t believe me? Look at their surrender on Illegal Immigration.

  3. What I find interesting about that list is who is #2 on the list – Carly Fiorina. Isn’t it interesting that a woman in California comes in at #2 (assuming that Rick Perry doesn’t have a passel of guns)?

    • Patrick says:

      I’m not surprised Carly has a lot of guns (relative to most). Techies like things, and a lot of gunnies are techies.

      Fiorina is a techie, even though she was management. She reportedly was issued an HP laptop on her first day as CEO and remarked it looked like a brick. She said that she’d rather have a Macbook, and then drove the notebook division mad as she told them to modernize or die.

      I know people who worked directly for her, and they said she was one of the few execs who actually liked the nerd side of her job.

  4. Pepin says:

    So what is it exactly about gun collectors’ personality that precludes them from politics?

    I mean, it’s clear from your blog that you have a good understanding of how the game is played, if you do happen to hate it. It’s not much of a leap to have the same understanding and revel in it, and happen to be a committed gun enthusiast on the side.

    • Sebastian says:

      As with any generalization, you can probably find exceptions to the rule. But collectors and hobbyists tend to be more comfortable with things than people. They like to collect and gather knowledge about their hobbies. It’s very time consuming.

      Now right now I’m not shooting very much, but I’m consumed with perfecting my home brewing, which is sort of about collecting equipment and learning how to use it. I’m also thinking about taking up piano again, and if I do, I will throw myself into that with great intensity.

      If you’re the kind of person who wants to run for office, you have to like people. You have to like spending lots of time around them. You have to be comfortable with asking people to give you money, because you’re that awesome. You have to be pretty good at self-promotion. Most people who are going to be hard core shooters or into collecting and serious about collecting, aren’t going to have those personality traits.

    • Eggo says:

      Same reason there’s not more trainspotters in government, I’d expect. :)

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