Building a “West Coast Wall” Against “Assault Weapons”

After victories on background checks in both Washington State and Oregon, the gun control movement is now looking at making Oregon and Washington the eighth and ninth states to ban “assault weapons.” They antis are calling this “The West Coast Wall.”

If the Legislature does nothing, or decides on a substitute, voters would make the final call in November 2017, assuming the petition drive gets enough signatures to force the issue.

Remember, ballot measures go to whoever spends the most money generally, because voters tend to be completely ignorant of complex issues. I’ve been saying for a while now, we’re in a lot of trouble. Guns lost in 2008. The issue lost in 2012. In 2016, Trump gets the nomination, who is an unserious candidate with very serious shortcomings. That said, if Hillary wins, I think it’s over. At that point, it’s a matter of how much we can slow Bloomberg’s drive to get a couple more states in his column. It will no longer be an offensive game. We’re already starting to see that.

Obvious targets for the antis: New Hampshire, Maine, Washington, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Colorado… basically any place that Dems are competitive but still have not fallen to anti-gun forces. How long before Virginia, Florida, Nevada, New Mexico, Minnesota, Michigan and Wisconsin become in play?

If you think about it, we’re in big heap trouble if we can’t start making our case. It doesn’t take political involvement, necessarily. Get involved in clubs, and get them involved in the fight. Get involved with local politics on behalf of gun rights. Get FFLs involved. Volunteer to work gun shows for NRA. All this stuff is important. We’ve become lost as a movement because we’ve allowed Obama to drive us crazy and lose all sense. We’ve driven away Democrats who might have some sympathies. We’ve forgotten how to be a single-issue movement. We’ve grown too dependent sharing stupid, ill-informed, and often false memes on social media rather than educating ourselves. We’ve fallen victim to talking heads and media companies that tells us soothing things we want to hear, play on our emotions and weaknesses, and feed our worst instincts rather than help us become more effective at the game.

That is what I’ve tried to do here for a decade, and in the past four years I’ve slowly watched things get worse. Things have to start getting better, and fast, or we’re done for.

37 thoughts on “Building a “West Coast Wall” Against “Assault Weapons””

  1. If the GOP had a spine, a “must pass” bill (federal legislative fix) would do the trick here. Is there anyone strategizing finishing this once and for all by pushing this through?

    1. Well, for now Obama will veto anything in that regard that comes his way. Plus, the gun issue doesn’t have a filibuster-proof majority for even very mild federal preemption (namely on permit recognition). That will probably get slightly worse in 2016, since the GOP would have to defend all their shaky seats for it not to. In 2018, it might get much better. We may have it then, but if Hillary wins, again, the veto.

      So it’s possible to pass this, after 2018 I think, if we take the White House. If not it’s not possible in the short term. Plus, there’s the issue of the courts ruling it unconstitutional if Hillary packs the courts.

      1. It would need to be attached to a must pass “landmark”, like hillary’s college tuition bill for instance.

        Also I don’t know if we’re talking about carry here. I’m talking about slapping down gun and equipment bans federally once and for all. Carry reciprocity should come attached, but bans simply need to be shot down as poisonous once and for all.

        The one good thing about Hillary is her shrieking voice and old lady demeanor is a turnoff to many she could otherwise work with in congress. She has about as much gravitas as Tom Wolf in getting things accomplished. I actually see the federal situation in the next four years being much like the current climate in PA. We are holding down the fort and took a loss with the act 192 ruling, but also recognize where we need to go and how to fight our opponents.

        1. No. Quite wrong. Hillary is a harridan but the Clinton machine consists of a large, experienced team of lobbyists.

          1. The dynamic here is different from the 1990s era of “activism” that the Clintons rode in on. She has cronies, but she would have a tougher time to get congress on her side than Obama in today’s climate.

            1. I believe the contrary is true. The Clinton’s did what Obama did not. Create a network of Democrats beholden to them.

  2. Quite honestly, we are completely done for! To echo the words of Nikita Kruschev: “We shall spoonfeed you little bits of socialism until one day, you will wake up with Communism”. That was back in the 1950’s, and look where we are now!

    If we are going to have a chance on this issue though, the issue has to be tackled more aggressively by our side. Our side has to hammer away the notions that there is no such thing as assault weapons, and, that it is just a politically fabricated term that can be changed on the whim of government imposed legislation and bureaucratic fiat. The add slogans used by the NRA such as “this will do nothing to curb crime”, “criminals won’t follow the law” need to be thrown into the trash!!

    1. I’m afraid you’re right. The 2nd Amendment will be a dead letter after Hillary beats Trump and we’ll eventually solve conflict at spearpoint instead of the ballot box…

  3. As overly pessimistic as this post is I think it’s a very valid warning.

    Unfortunately I think from an electoral perspective, we just might be done for at the presidential level. When it comes to gun rights, it doesn’t matter if we nominate a milquetoast candidate (Romney) or the living personification of the comment section of a conservative Facebook page (Trump), demographically speaking we may have reached a tipping point that a Republican candidate can’t overcome unless they shift WAY to the left.

    So where do we go from here? I think the silver lining in all this is there is some promising news coming out of the culture front. Millennials are relatively supportive of gun rights and while gun control still has strong support with blacks and other minorities, they aren’t the most motivated voters, especially on anything other than presidential contests. We need use to solidify ourselves in pro-gun state legislatures and use midterm cycles to hold the line in the Congress.

    Judicially, I think we can all agree that the pendulum is well into its swing back against us. With numerous anti-gun circuits and with the prospect of Hillary nominating the next 2-5 justices, we need to tread VERY carefully before bringing any litigation forward.

    Bloomberg may be laying low for now, but you better believe him and the rest of the antis will be the first ones to shout from the rooftops if Hillary wins about how they have a “mandate” considering her anti-NRA rhetoric and how Trump was endorsed by the group. I think Bloomberg has almost given up entirely on legislative efforts moving forward and will bring mob rule (referendums) to our doorstep to steal the victories our elected representatives always denied him.

    1. Amen to that. Bloomberg is preparing to swing the pendulum through bureaucratic fiats, anti-gun judicial activism based rulings, hijacked ballot initiatives, and Executive Orders from antigun Governors and AG’s at the state level, and the presidency.

    2. I think they are laying low because they are going to let Hillary assume all the risk with her gun-control-centerpiece campaign. That’s what I would do if I were them. Then hope to capitalize on Trump’s lack of understand of the issue at opportune moments if things go the other way.

  4. Yeah, we’re screwed here in Washington. Initiatives are Seattle’s shadow legislature, and whatever it wants will pass. If an assault weapons ban initiative is put on the ballot it will pass, without doubt.

      1. I think it’s possible to defeat it, but it’ll take an epic organizational effort on par with what Mike Encino put together back in the 1970s. Dave Kopel’s article on it is well worth a read if you live in Washington and might be looking at this in 2017.

        It is possible to defeat big money with a tremendous grassroots effort, but these days I feel like gun owners are too selfish and delusional to be able to put something like that together and sustain it. We live in a “my way or the highway” times, and really I think that’s the problem on the right as a whole, and not just the gun issue.

  5. An “Assault Weapon” ban attempt can be easily defeated.

    Consider the following data from the FBI Uniform Crime Reports (2014).

    ucr. fbi. gov/crime-in-the-u.s/2014/crime-in-the-u.s.-2014/tables/table-20

    Of the 11,961 murder victims in 2014, only 248 were killed by rifles of any type, let alone so-called “assault weapons”.

    In Maine, of the 21 murder victims in 2014, ***ZERO (0)*** were killed by rifles of any type.

    BOTTOM LINE: Rifles (of any type) are rarely used in crime. Relentlessly spread this information and the proponents of such a ban are easily defeated. Such a ban would make no sense at all.

      1. That’s how we are in the process of defeating Bloomberg’s UBC referendum in Maine.

        Facts and plenty of them – relentlessly communicated.

        Watch and learn how it’s done.

        1. I wish you luck but facts get swallowed by emotions quickly. You will need to find emotional appeals to counter.

          1. Both facts and emotions are important.

            For example, we are having a lot of success with pointing out the handgun ban that would be imposed on 18-20 (i.e. under 21) year olds (fact), and how wrong and unfair it is to single out these young adults for punishment (emotion).

            I also wish to add that I believe nothing will be possible without God’s guidance and blessing of our efforts.

            1. I wish you the best of luck buddy, keep up the good fight up there. I’d like nothing more than to tune in election night and hear you guys smacked Bloomberg down.

              1. Thanks, we are working real hard here in Maine to make sure that’s the case (defeating Bloomberg’s UBC).

  6. As bad as Hillary would be packing the courts with anti-gun justices, no way would she be able to pass anti-gun legislation with Republican majorities in the House and Senate.

    In fact, long term Hillary as President will serve to maintain the Republican legislative majority at the Federal level and control of State level governments, as the millstone of Hillary can be hung on the neck of the entire Democratic Party.

    Does anyone expect the economy or Obamacare or terrorism or crime or immigration to magically get better under Hillary? Who do you think the public will blame as all those problems get worse? They will blame the Democrats.

    1. We would just have to hope that if Trump does lose, it’s not to such an extent that he hurts us downballot as well. The more it looks like he’s going to get wrecked, the worse off it might be for us in the Congress.

      You bring up a good point though, Hillary winning at least means we have a Congress by default that will oppose anything she tries to come up with. I’m scared at the prospect of Congress going along with something Trump tries in the name of “law and order”.

      1. Congress will oppose Hillary? Given that a significant number of R’s and R donors have said they will be voting FOR Hillary and that R’s in Congress usually can’t acquiesce to Obama’s demands quickly enough, I’m not seeing it.

  7. I don’t think the Democrats/anti-gunners can get away with the game much longer of trying to ban guns while claiming they don’t want to take away anyones guns.

  8. Minnesota is already in play – Bloomberg’s Mommy group has gained a substantial toehold here over the past 2 years, and their ground game is strong!

  9. For the left, walls are bad in principle, except when they’re good in principle. Leftists are principled people like that – they support whatever principle is convenient for them.
    Infringement of the Second Amendment by government officials must be criminalized – it should be a felony. Currently, it’s less consequential than a parking ticket.

  10. For now, WI is off limits. Rs in the house, Senate, and Governor’s seat. Deer hunting week is also a statewide holiday here.

  11. The question is when our side will stop sucking at cultural activism. Why does our political influence flounder? It is baffling how we have increased our numbers on one hand, with more gun sales and carry permits than ever being in more hands, yet somehow you point out that our enemies act as if we are fewer. We do reach out, yet it is as if we do not? We do communicate more, yet somehow for the worse?

    1. Because the boob tube and the MSM continuously and relentlessly beats people over the head with the “guns are bad and only a neanderthal would want to own one” meme. People don’t believe it, so they tool up, but they don’t dare speak out in support of it in public, lest their friends and neighbors think of them as neanderthals. Propaganda is VERY effective.

      1. Right. The reality is likely that most people support gun rights, and even if they don’t demand repealing “gun control” laws, they don’t want to see more of them (think: those pesky “enforce existing infringements” types).

        The MSM, however, in cahoots with the Administration, continually pushes out the message that guns and gun rights are bad, mmmkay?, and gun owner numbers are dwindling, and fewer people than ever own guns. This is a lie, but it serves a very specific purpose: it makes gun rights supporters feel isolated and outnumbered. If you feel that way, that’s by design.

        It’s not that different from the old Soviet regime. A vast majority opposed the communist government, but everyone believed they were alone in their thoughts because of the extensive PR campaign aided by the state-run media. Pair that with harsh consequences for speaking out, and you get a complacent populace that by and large hates the system but is afraid to do or say anything about it.

        That’s about where we are now. (And I’d point out it’s quite fitting that the American party that supports socialism is already appropriating socialism’s PR practices to convince the nation that voting conservative/libertarian/Republican is double-plus-ungood and “no true American” would believe such nonsense.)

  12. “The question is when our side will stop sucking at cultural activism”

    First I need to apologize for carrying this to the bottom, as I didn’t want it buried in the mass above. It is a subject I feel quite strongly about.

    The answer is, when we stop conflating our issue with social conservatives’ issues that have absolutely, totally, nothing to do with gun rights, convoluted “You can’t believe in gun rights without also believing. . .” arguments notwithstanding.

    By doing so (or, allowing it to be done to us) we have tied ourselves to sinking ships, culturally and generationally speaking.

    Deliberately or accidentally, what we call “the left” never made that mistake.

    1. Oh they’ve done that actually quite thoroughly, the left has. They have bundled themselves entirely together–gay rights, class warfare, secular postmodernist nihilism, abortion, urban cultural centrism, and the anti gun ideology. They DO sell it as a package. What they have, however, is cultural/ideological allegiance and unity, or at least enough of it, and MOTIVATION. They see ours as an enemy nation to destroy, they see us as one big target. They have a goal: the end of us or at least our way of life, our identity.

      Whereas our side apparently sucks at showing our own the same. My question is why must we continue to fail.

      Why the whole “nice, polite people don’t talk about politics and religion” bit when our enemy shows no hesitation whatsoever. Why must we only have a handful of us speaking out when every single one of them does? So they use propaganda, what, are we to believe it and obey?! Knowing they lie, believe it and consent to our own destruction?!?

      We need less Neville Chamberlain and more George Patton.

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