Bad Idea of the Day: Fighting Back with the Ballot in California


I get that California gun owners are in desperate straits, so I don’t really blame them for desperate measures, but this is a desperate measure that’s practically guaranteed to fail and backfire. NRA is smart for not getting involved. There’s always a tendency among people active in politics to assume their positions are more popular than they really are. The reality is that most of the voting public doesn’t know bunk about your pet issue, taxation, deficits, etc. Most of the public thinks most of the federal budget goes to foreign aid. They point out that California beat the handgun freeze proposal in 1982, and that is true, but the demographics of California have changed greatly since 1982. Take a good hard look at those numbers. They do not add up to this being winnable.

At this time the NRA and other gun groups are not on board. Giving them the benefit of doubt, I believe the reason for their lack of involvement at this time has to do with the fact that they have played ‘defense’ and what we are doing here is ‘offense’.

No, the reason NRA is not on board is likely because ballot fights cost a ton of money, the victory almost always goes to the side that spends the most money, and we cannot outspend Bloomberg, Silicon Valley oligarchs, and all the other lefty groups in California that are guaranteed to pour money into defeating us.

I hate to say it, because it pains me to say it, but California is lost if we can’t save it through the courts or federal preemption. Given that the GOP is a hot dumpster fire right now full of unserious and stupid “elites” and an unserious and naive base, both are looking pretty unlikely. In the past I’ve been reluctant to tell people to move out of their states, rather than stay and fight, but at this point that’s what we’re looking at. It’s time to move out of California if you live there and are a gun owner. The only thing this ballot measure is likely to accomplish is giving Bloomberg another head on his pike, and that’s going to help carry California’s bullshit to other states, not prevent it.

10 thoughts on “Bad Idea of the Day: Fighting Back with the Ballot in California”

  1. I hate, Hate, HATE direct-ballot initiatives. So did the founders: hence the constitutional Republic. Most voters are too lazy or too ignorant (or both) to educate themselves on a specific issue. Anyway, even if this should succeed, it doesn’t necessarily become the law of the land. See Proposition 8. Why waste the time and resources?

  2. California is a lost cause. White people have been leaving by the 100,000s of thousands. A lot of minorities also.

  3. I left CA when it became obvious things were a lost cause – and we were not focused on guns. We listed our house when the citizens passed a constitutional initiate to spend $38 Billion dollars on “infrastructure” and it said right there on the ballot that they had no projects lined up. It was just an exercise in funneling money to the right people.

    Our house went under contract in three days, and we were gone three weeks later. Six weeks later the housing bubble in LA burst wide open. The house we sold lost 1/3rd value overnight. I felt bad because the dudes who bought it got traded out of state (pro sports players) at the end of the season.

    There are things we miss about CA (that house), but we are never going back and actively encourage our friends to move.

    On initiative on guns is a bad move. It will backfire badly.

  4. California is a lost cause, and not just on gun rights.

    I lived there all of my life, but moved in 2014 when my wife and I decided that we could not afford to retire there, and that we were one layoff from being wiped out. We also wanted to be closer to family.

    I now live in Missouri, and,while I did not leave because of gun laws, it sure is a revelation to see just how much more free Missouri is compared to California. And not just about guns, either.

    California is lost.

  5. Unfortunately I still live in Cali, and will continue to be here for the foreseeable future due to work and family. I certainly WISH I could just get up and leave, but it isn’t as simple.

    I don’t think we’ll win at the ballots this fall, but I guess this is our last stand. I get to at least say “hey, we went down fighting”… sort of.

    I do have to correct one misconception about Silicon Valley. The bigwigs and management there are certainly anti-gun… but we programmers and engineers here in the Valley are QUITE libertarian. In fact, we have a gun range in the middle of Silicon Valley that closes at MIDNIGHT to accommodate all the engineers going shooting after work. Consider that engineers and programmers are very mechanically curious, so they do indeed like to tinker with guns (ARs!). There’s more gun folks here than people’ll like to give credit for. Unfortunately it’s not enough to balance out the liberal anti-gun voters, but I’d like to think if folks made the effort to take newbies to the range, it could plant saplings of gun curious folks for future generations.

    1. I do have to correct one misconception about Silicon Valley. The bigwigs and management there are certainly anti-gun

      That’s why I said oligarchs.

    2. The bigwigs and management there are certainly anti-gun… but we programmers and engineers here in the Valley are QUITE libertarian.

      That’s certainly my experience with programmers and engineers, even here in ultra-blue Oregon. Technicians, too. Even among government workers and union members, if it’s an engineer or IT type, you’re probably talking to a libertarian of some stripe (the policy analysts are a mixed bag, though).

      I think it’s because while liberals and “progressives” (and some policy analysts ;) ) choose to deal with the world as if it were the utopia they want it to be, programmers, engineers, and technicians have to deal with the world as it is. That dose of hard reality lends itself more to libertarian (and sometimes conservative) thinking than it does to “progressive” thinking.

  6. Backfire? Nope. The gunners here in Commiefornia have nothing to lose at this point. And those initiatives can’t backfire on us any worse than what is ALREADY going to be on the ballot, Proposition 63.

    First off getting those referenda on the ballot at all is likely to fail. The conditions are too tough, and there isn’t enough awareness of the effort. Odds are they will sink into obscurity, with even politically aware gunnies going, “huh? I never heard of that effort”.

    But let us presume that by some miracle those petitions gather enough signatures to qualify the referenda so they appear on the ballot. The fear is if those referenda fail, then the anti-gunners can proclaim that failure as proof the public really supports draconian gun control.

    But how is that any different than the real risks with Proposition 63? If that proposition passes the anti-gunners can make the same claims.

    1. They might have nothing to lose, but the people in Oregon and Washington have a whole lot to lose if a ballot victory on assault weapons emboldens Bloomberg and the rest of the opposition. They could get their West Coast Wall.

  7. Gonna vote for it anyway, since I’m stuck here for a while.

    Part of what makes this more interesting is who is initiating and organizing it: Pink Pistols. Not exactly the Ted Nugent rebel flag waving demographic (which is what most Antis think of), but probably the most liberal wing of the 2A movement. I don’t know if that will make a difference, but it’s worth trying.

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