Do you own a gun?

I’ve said a lot over the years on this topic, read a lot of polls, seen a lot of focus group studies, and probably jumped to a lot of conclusions. Lately, one thing is standing out to me about how we keep our shooting culture: the biggest predictor I’ve noticed on whether your support gun control or not is “Do you own a gun?”

If the answer is “yes,” chances are you’re not real big on gun control, and good chance you’re very opposed to it. If the answer is “no,” good chance you support at least some gun control, and likely a lot. The only better predictor is political party, but my guess is that’s a following indicator rather than a leading indicator.

So we have to build our activism in the issue around how to get more people answering that question with a “yes.” Lately, I’ve been thinking this matters a lot more than spending hours on the Internet arguing policy, or proffering this study or that study that shows our opponents are wrong. The good news is there are a lot of ways to contribute to making more people answer that question with a “yes.” The bad news is that about 1/3rd of Americans, and this number is growing, live in jurisdictions where they make it very difficult to accomplish turning “noes” to “yeses.”

If there’s one thing I wish I could get across to gun owners who are OK with a little gun control: there really can’t be any lasting compromise. Compromise is something that happens through struggle, not something you plan or negotiate in good faith. We’re living in a compromise. Gun owners in New Jersey are about to find out how the compromises forced on them have reduced the number of people who answer “yes” to such a low level they are powerless to avoid ruin. New Jersey almost certainly is not minting very many new gun owners; the process to become one is onerous and intimidating to newbs. New Jersey gave the state the mechanism by which to strangle gun ownership in 1966 when they adopted a permitting system for handguns, and a licensing system for long guns. New York City adopted it’s ratchet in the early 20th century, and has gone further along this path than New Jersey. Gun ownership has effectively been eliminated in the Five Boroughs. That’s 8 million people who are never going to answer “yes.” You’ll never get them there because of the legal barriers.

Despite the long standing nature of licensing and permitting in New York City and New Jersey, most of the real onerous restrictions didn’t come about until the 1990s. That was a pivotal time for our struggle. In most jurisdictions, there was push back, and we pushed hard enough, and had enough people pushing, to get the box cars back over the hump. In others, there were already mechanisms in place to squeeze gun owners, and they did not make it back over the hump. There just weren’t enough people left to push, because those mechanisms, adopted years ago managed to thumb the scale just enough to give the gun control movement an opportunity they didn’t have in other states.

But even if we were to sweep aside all of New Jersey and New York’s gun laws tomorrow, it would be a long slog to make any headway. Why? There’s nowhere to shoot in New York. In New Jersey, places to shoot are becoming scarce as the generation of gun owners who were minted under less oppression either die off, leave the state, or give up shooting entirely. Once we lose those places, we’re not getting them back. A healthy culture can die just of neglect, without any new gun control.

Now we are at another pivotal moment. The restrictive states are in the process of finishing off their shooting cultures entirely. Most shooters left in New Jersey after Murphy is done with them will be breaking the law in some manner. I’d be rich if I had a dime for every time I heard a New Jersey gun owner at my club say something like: “Fuck Murphy, I’m done playing these games. I’m just going to lay low and ignore all this bullshit.” That will probably work for the vast majority, and that’s what’s happened largely in Connecticut and Upstate New York after the rash of new gun bans after Sandy Hook. But I wish they’d realize that some of you will get unlucky in traffic stops, get the wrong cop, be made examples of, and sent to prison. They won’t come door-to-door. They don’t have to. They will wait you out, and let you die off. They will be patient, and that strategy will work over the long term.

You might say, “Well, Jersey’s gonna Jersey.” But we are also on the verge of losing Washington State, and a few other states aren’t looking as safe as they used to. The true overarching issue we’re facing, more than anything, is urbanization, and that’s a nut we’re going to have to crack if we’re to win this thing long term. Much of our shooting culture is rural, and there’s a lot of momentum built up in the rural shooting culture. An Urban and Suburban gun culture in the 21st century will look different, and we’re just starting to figure that out. If we’re going to make Gun Ownership Great Again, we have to figure out how to make a lot more “yes” people. We don’t have a choice.

45 thoughts on “Do you own a gun?”

  1. Guns need to be fun again.

    I’m a gun owner because I thought arguing politics on the internet was fun, happened to pick gun control to argue about, and then realized I didn’t have any skin in the game (and that the shooting I used to do as a kid was fun).

    But it’s hella hard for me to get out and shoot, so, I don’t.

  2. Get 1-2 more scotus judges and start slapping some laws down.

    Or pass ccw reciprocity.

    Those are the only way the Northeast will be saved and the Pacific will be stopped.

    Culture drives politics.

    1. Extraordinary OP. And, PT follows with compelling points on SCOTUS and National Reciprocity. Nevertheless, how do American PotG cause that to happen?

      Too many of us waste our energy on divisive talk that does not move the political ball forward at all; or, is counter-productive. We PotG can’t figure this out and decide to make ourselves effective. Why not?

      I THINK that there are 2 major points to recognize:
      1. – Of the 3 branches of government, ONLY the Courts are likely to stand-up for our rights.
      2. – The Senate is the key to standing our ground, and, possibly, making progress.

      W/r/t #1. A President, or governor, is really powerless to compel government to respect our rights. Legislators are only interested in pandering to constituents (donors) to “do something” to stop some alleged threat to the public. They are very little motivated to restore rights. I’m not so delusional as to imagine that Courts want to restore gun rights. Nevertheless, when judges see that the Constitution and precedent compel a result, they feel some compulsion to rule in that direction. The key – here – is to appoint the right judges. How do we, the PotG, imagine that happens? (It’s a political process.)
      #2 – PotG reside in low-population States, each of which has 2 Senators. There are 40 Right-to-Carry States so PotG should expect to elect 80% of the Senators. If we set as our modest goal only 1/2 that goal, plus 1, we have the 41 votes to stop ANY gun control legislation. And, to stop any SCOTUS appointment. With 60 Senators we can pass any gun-rights bill and confirm any SCOTUS appointment.
      I hold that the future of the 2A is in the hands of voters in the 40 Right-to-Carry States. These voters must make gun-control a 3’rd rail in every Senate race.

      Imagine 2 voting precincts, one in a Red State, the other in a Blue State. In the Red precinct 40% of the voters are PRO-gun; in the Blue precinct, only 4% are pro-gun. In which precinct are we more likely to convert another 1% to the PRO-gun position? Convert another 10%? These potential converts will be acquainted with 4-out-of-ten of their neighbors who are PRO-gun. It IS realistic to gain a few more pro-gun voters.
      In the Blue precinct, how do 4% of the voters convert 46% of the anti-gun or indifferent voters to a pro-gun viewpoint? All their potential converts are acquainted with no gun-owning neighbors. It’s an unrealistic goal to reach a majority of pro-gun voters.
      Our NEXT goal must be to CONTROL the Senate to BLOCK EVERY gun-control bill and every gun-control Federal judge appointment. Then, and ONLY then, will the prospect of gun-control be starved to-death.
      The FOLLOWING goal can, then, be to build gun-rights respect (through ownership and non-owning neighbors knowing neighbors who do own). While important, this will be a very slow-growth proposition. It CAN’T be achieved while the 8 Won’t-Issue States remain as anti-gun as they are.

      (Incidentally, the “hamburger-helper” in the 3’rd-rail campaign is this: ‘
      – Pro-gun politicians tend to be conservative; i.e., anti-Progressive.
      – If “ya’ll” really want to elect your Progressive candidates then they had better lay-off the gun-control issue.
      – If your Progressive candidates insist on being anti-gun then we will elect conservative+pro-gun candidates.
      – These conservatives will stand in the way of your Progressive agenda.
      – So, what do you want? Gun-control? Or, your Progressive agenda?’

      Will Progressive voters really risk loss of all the rest of their agenda merely to maintain solidarity on the gun-control objective?

    1. Yes! If it was like the house bill, people in most of those states could get permits to carry via FL out of state permits… and have skin in the game again.

  3. One big part of the issue is that, in urban areas, you have a high concentration of people who have never touched a gun, are viscerally frightened of them, and swim in a culture where gun owners are routinely vilified and stereotyped in ways that would be social death if directed at any other group of people. I’ve personally had the experience of having the “but he’s so …nice!” reaction when someone finds out I’m an NRA member.

    Now, where I live it’s easy to take someone to a range, put a firearm in their hands, and bring them back with a different point of view. I don’t know what you’d do in a place where that’s not easy or legal.

    I also don’t know how to move the Overton Window to where it’s no longer okay to bash gun owners. I’m starting to grasp the Trump technique, but I don’t think I have the stomach for the bridge-burning it entails. All I can think of to do is try to put pressure on the upstream sources of the bad attitude, but that’s what ‘we’ have been doing, and it seems to have pretty limited effectiveness.

    1. Stacy, good post. I looked up “Overton Window”; very informative. First thing I think we PotG need to do is to understand this concept. We don’t.

      Too many of us PotG espouse an “absolutist” view. For the sake of the argument here, let’s suppose the absolutists are right. They checked with God and the Founders and got confirmation of their views. OK, where does that get us politically? We PotG would reach Utopia if only we could get our fellow voters to believe that EVERY violent felon’s 2A rights were restored after his release. Yet, if we can’t persuade a majority of voters to see the truth; well, then we FAIL. Maybe we could persuade a majority of voters to believe that women, who have no criminal record, and are well-trained, have a Right-to-. . . -Bear-Arms. Does it make sense that Melania – and her chamber maid – can get a DC CWP but couldn’t get one in NY City? If we could get a voter to entertain this proposition then we might get him to contemplate his vulnerability when he is old or disabled. And so forth.

      I urge you to read Scott Adams (Dilbert’s author) book Winning Bigly. He explains why he predicted Trump’s win. I don’t think a win is possible by “putting pressure on the upstream sources” such as Sen. Feinstein. These don’t have skin-in-the-game. Rather, I think it’s a grass-roots proposition. How to persuade individual voters to see responsible gun-owners as individuals; and, then, to realize their own personal vulnerability. Yes, you – Miss/Ms/Mrs. American – might someday be the victim of a threat to you (or your children). You too could level your field of play; you are more likely to prevail if you do.

  4. It’ll take a multipronged attack.

    We need to increase the number of gun owners, by making it easy to try it out, learn, and shoot.

    We need the courts to do their job, by striking down bad laws.

    We need Congress to do its job, and pass National Reciprocity which will override those bad laws.

  5. And my 2 cents is that concealed carry reciprocity would have helped with this substantially.

    The theory goes that people in restricted areas would suddenly be aware that they are second class citizens, and demand more of their rights.

    This wouldn’t be a huge groundswell of change, but it’s definitely more “yes” votes in areas we other wise have written off.

      1. Or the people who want to carry but can’t and are stuck living there because that’s where they are employed or its all they ever knew.

        Its been shocking, now that my parents live in Florida, who every day for the last couple of years something seems to happen to my dad with regard to buying a gun, shooting a gun, carrying a gun, lending a friend a gun (or borrowing a gun), ordering ammo over the internet, buying ammo, etc. that he can’t believe is legal because over the 50 years he lived in New Jersey it simply wasn’t something that he could do and New York/New Jersey were the center of the universe and certainly everyone else had laws like them.

        1. I’m speaking pretty generally. You’ll find exceptions. I know NJ folks who carry even though it’s illegal. A big issue is many of them are so used to disregarding the law, they don’t get all that bent out of shape about more restrictions. It’s like the weather to them.

          1. Which is why keeping shall-issue away is The Hill To Die On for the anti-gunners.

            Lotta people who might “carry occasionally” if it wasn’t illegal.

            1. Ian, I agree that Shall-Issue is the Hill-to-Die-On. And, therefore, that’s the hill where we must target them.

              Wrenn vs. DC is the BIG WIN that has received relatively little comment. Overnight, the DC Circuit declared that the “Average” citizen is the one who has the “right” to “bear” arms. THAT is the death-warrant for Won’t-Issue. IMO, we need to chip-away around this Wrenn decision, making the breach in the Won’t-Issue laws incrementally larger.

              Several States are Right-to-Carry to residents but NO-Issue for non-residents; or, are otherwise restrictive to non-residents (e.g., IL). How could these restrictions possibly stand under Wrenn? If a NON-resident were to be found to have a right to apply for a non-resident CWP then such a development would strengthen the argument that the “Average” citizen has a right.

              Next, what would we make of Won’t-Issue once the Courts recognize a right of non-residents to apply for a Non-Resident permit? E.g., if a PA resident – a Shaneen Allen – has a right to APPLY for a NJ CWP, then on what ground is she denied for want of “need”?

              Let’s imagine that Shaneen is sufficiently determined to acquire her NJ Non-Resident CWP. She will pay the fee NJ prescribes. Take the training NJ prescribes. Pass the written test; pass the live-fire qualification. She has no criminal record (having been pardoned by NJ’s governor.) NJ DOES issue CWPs to residents – politicians, political donors, celebrities, armored-car drivers, judges, prosecutors – so why not Shaneen? Is she denied simply because she is not a member of NJ’s body-politic? What must she do to qualify on a “need” criteria? Become a celebrity? Make a million dollar donation to the Democrat Party? The “need” prerequisite of “Won’t-Issue” falls-apart (once a NON-resident has a recognized right to APPLY for a CWP).

              Now, turn to Congress. If Shaneen can be denied a NJ CWP for want of “need”, then we are entitled to ask whether anything remains of her “right to . . . bear arms” in NJ, a State of the United States? Under the assumed propositions that: the Courts find she has a right to apply for a non-resident permit; and, she meets NJ’s requirements (fee, training, test and qualification), then where is the legitimate objection. She WOULD have met NJ’s objective prerequisites for its own residents; but, NJ REFUSES to issue a CWP to Shaneen on terms it has prescribed. Now what? Will Congress allow a State to deny a Federal Constitutional right?

              At this juncture in the progress of the debate, is it not incumbent upon Congress to compel, by law, that the several States adopt a Shall-Issue law for Non-Resident CWPs? What would remain of the “States-Rights” or “Race-to-the-Bottom” argument here?

              1. I don’t need convincing – I’m in that choir.

                You need to talk 60 members of the Senate or 5 members of SCOTUS into agreeing with you.

                1. Yes, 5 members of SCOTUS. How hard would that be? It seems to me that SCOTUS ought to jump at the opportunity to rule:
                  1) yes, there really does seem to be a “right of the People” to “bear arms”; and, that:
                  2) the legislature can prescribe a means by which a member of the People can apply, irrespective of whether he is a resident of the State, for certification that he meets that State’s requirements prerequisite to bearing arms; AND,
                  3) equal protection of the law applies to all applicants (i.e., Shall-Issue).

                  Now, then, it’s up to the States to decide what the qualifying criteria are and apply them without discrimination or favor.

                  Some PotG wouldn’t like such a decision because they really want “Constitutional-Carry”. Yet, even VT forbids those under 16 from carrying handguns. Fifteen and under can only bear long guns. So, unless the right to bear arms is free from any qualification whatsoever, these won’t go for an incremental slice.

                  I’d rather see breaking the back of Won’t-Issue first. Then we can gain traction in the last 8 restrictive States. Thereafter, we can attack fees by analogy with the poll tax; training by analogy with literacy tests, and likewise for other impediments.

      2. Along this line, NJ is keeping out people who might be inclined to move there, due their anti-gun laws. I was offered my father’s property in So Jersey back in the mid 00’s. It wasn’t the only reason I declined, but it was a factor in the decision.

        A few years prior to that, I discovered that he was voting for anti-gun politicians, even though he was a life long gun owner (born ’25/lived in DELCO until moving to NJ about’68). He had no clue, was just voting for entitlements, it seemed. At some point, he began storing his guns in PA. Rusting in the cellar was part of it, but the onerous laws became a concern, I think. He only hunted in PA, and transporting long guns tends to be obvious if stopped. He always had at least one handgun at his place (which we never found).

  6. Although I agree introducing more people to shooting and making them “yes” people will help, it doesn’t go far enough – I know (or know of) many people who do own a gun(s) who still generally support various levels of gun control.

    Owning a gun doesn’t magically change your views on life. That takes a lifestyle change. So instead of focusing just getting more people to own guns, the focus should be on creating a culture that attracts people to join and participate.

    The various shooting sports, organization, media, brands, and other avenues to attract people into some sort of lifestyle change that involves shooting and owning firearms is what is necessary for success.

    So taking a person to the range one time, even if they genuinely enjoyed it, and even if they purchased a firearm as a result just won’t cut it. They have to have a stake, other than the mere possession of an object, that would be put at risk with additional gun control legislation.

    1. This is true. And I say that speaking as someone raised in CT, who was pretty close to hoplophobic, but transitioned into gun-nut as an adult.

  7. While gun ownership for sport is probably down, gun ownership for defense appears to be up.

    That is something people in urban areas should be able to appreciate- if they can get a gun without the problems Sebastian mentioned.

    Good good post.

      1. I’m not sure how practical this would be, but I would like to see shooting sports rise up that are fun to watch. Classic target shooting is rather boring to watch, because you can’t see the targets, and the shooters are just there.

        Something like IDPA 3-gun, though, involves movement between targets, and shifting between guns. I suspect that this would be more amenable to becoming a spectator sport than classical target shooting. I’m not 100% confident that it’s amenable enough…and it might be difficult to create something that’s both entertaining to watch and safe to participate in…

        Come to think of it, there’s another shooting sport that has potential, that comes from Great Britain, of all places: using shotguns to shoot down airplane drones. It’s practically a competition between the shooter and the pilot…

  8. I actually think that rebuilding the social culture around shooting is going to be an important part of this.

    First, it strengthens us from the inside. A gun club social event will bring people from all of the sports. They have the chance to talk and have it really sink in that we’re in this together. A guy who has only shot shotgun sports his entire life and has no interest in modern rifles is much more likely to get on board with a little more activism because Joe who makes the awesome venison chili for the holiday party every year may ditch the club because his matches will have to be cancelled with new gun control. It makes it easier for him to tell even family members during the times of debate that a nice guy from the club would be a real person impacted. It may not sway people to us, but it might dampen opposition if someone finds out that one of dad’s friends would be swept up in control.

    Second, I think that purely social events are a way to get more family and friends involved in the community and emphasizing that we’re in this together. You may not be too quick to tell a colleague that you’re going to a shooting match after work, but it can humanize a group a bit more to say that you’ve got to be out the door at 4:30pm so you can get to your shooting club Christmas party in time and stop by to pick up a toy for the club’s Toys for Tots drive on the way. (I know this is a bit super cheesy, but it happens. I’ve been a member of a gun club that had regular holiday parties or dinners and usually had a themed community charitable aspect to them.) It’s a reminder that we’re good people and is a nice soft sell.

    Third, I think it hits at something that can be a great appeal – bringing the fun back to the shooting culture. Shooting is still fun right now, but really making it a good time to hang out with the people in the community. Even as much as I enjoy the Firearms Law Seminar and exhibit hall at NRA conventions, it’s the conversations and dinners that make for the best memories. That social part isn’t just fun for us, but for new people in the issue, too. In DAR, they face the same issue of getting people to buy in for the long term membership (or, for our issue, involvement/activism) and their research indicates that you’re more likely to stick with the group for the longterm when you make friends. The same applies to us.

    Unfortunately, even with the best of resources available, this is still something that’s hard to build. It’s easiest to do in a private club with a solid clubhouse and resources to either purchase food or provide it cheaply, but even then it takes years to really build an organic social structure. But much of the newer shooting culture has come up through commercial ranges. It’s much harder to build that social aspect with commercial ranges, though I suspect it could be done. Maybe such efforts in those locations could target the newer customers to try and encourage those friendships in the culture.

    The more fun we have within our group, the more that those outside of our groups who know us will see that we’re decent, fun people and want to be part of that.

    1. Commercial ranges; hmmmm. OK, so, commercial ranges have business records of their customers, including home addresses and ZIP codes. Larger ranges are computerized; so, they know that they have clusters of active customers in certain ZIPs or clusters of adjacent ZIPs. Commercial ranges could “mine” these business records looking for individuals who are “leaders” who might be persuaded to form local social groups, “Podunk Hollow Friends of Hot-Shot Range”.

      Perhaps the commercial range would promote itself by offering the affiliated social clubs a speakers bureau. E.g., if the social clubs have a monthly meeting the range might have a dozen speakers who rotate and give lectures on lawful use of deadly force, trigger control, or whatever. Likely, occasional users of the range have a bit more time to attend a monthly social gathering in their own neighborhood. Becoming more active socially, they might patronize the range more often.

      1. I actually think a “happy hour”-style event targeted at customers in a small neighborhood area is probably a good idea for the cause and for business. There are so many ways that could be done – a special discount period for those people visiting the range, free food and beverage in a lounge area to sit & socialize, a preview of some kind for a particular sport or type of gun you’d like to promote, etc. Of course, this would require a range to have an outgoing person willing to act as greeter to get people talking, and that might be pretty tough for some ranges to find on their staff. :)

        I can’t tell you how many times I would put address labels from NRA on our Friends of NRA mailings and see people just 2 houses down from each other. I’d wonder if they even know that their neighbor was also a member. And if they did know it, how likely is it that they would be more social with one another? (Of course, I seem to recall one year when I ran into like 5 on a two block stretch and thought that would make a very nice place to hideout during a zombie attack since we were only targeting Life+ members and I’m sure there were more annual members on the block.)

  9. CCW Reciprocity is huge. So is the elimination of Gun Free Zones, especially those that have the criminal law behind them. When you confront one of these while armed, you have to turn away or leave your gun in your car which is a bad idea. Lots of people end up leaving the gun at home to avoid this choice.

  10. Any kind of exposure is good, anything that counters the “guns are bad” “guns are scary”

    In some places gun owners are an unknown “other” like the boogeyman. Fear and ignorance of the unknown.

    People thinking “wait, but Mike W. owns and carries guns and he’s a nice, normal guy I enjoy hanging out with” throws a wrench into that thought process.

    Obviously getting them to answer “Yes” to gun ownership is important, but I think it starts even before that.

  11. We in the gun rights community need to be more proactive in our messaging, no doubt. We also need to make Gun Rights an “Across the Political Spectrum Issue”, rather than a Balkanized, Identity-Politics issue. However;

    I hate to be the harbinger of bad news, but the 2nd Amendment Rights Community needs to ASSIMILATE. IMMIGRANTS. INTO IT’S SPHERE.

    Unfortunately, the truth must be spoken. The 1965 Immigration Reform Act, and the 1986 Simpson-Mizzouli Act are fully responsible for tirnimg States like Illinois, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Connecticut, and most importantly, CALIFORNIA! into 1-party Democrat Dictatorships that have destroyed the 2nd Amendment in those States. We always hear the left bragging about the “changing demographics”, when in reality, America’s demographics are being changed by force!

    Colorado, Oregon, Washington State, and sadly, Virginia are almost finished turning fully blue, and North Carolina, Florida, and shockingly, Georgia are either turning purple, have turned purple, or are close to turning blue.

    1. You left out my state the Peoples Republic of Massachusetts. Another Democratic machine controlled liberal haven with an AG that is their accomplice in gun control. When will people here wake up and realize they are voting in the same idiots at every election.

    2. Immigrants; hmmm. Most of these come from places that are . . . what is that characterization again? Something about “holes”. You know the ones, where the criminals have guns but the law-abiding don’t.

      PotG are ABSOLUTELY CONVINCED that Latinos favor gun-control. But I am NOT convinced. I have more than a nodding acquaintance with Mexico where their citizens have the right to keep arms on their home-properties but not carry them in public. Moreover, Mexicans have a relatively loose notion of the rule-of-law. As a consequence, it’s commonplace for rural Mexicans to keep and bear arms in the countryside; and, even to carry (clandestinely) in neighboring villages. City dwellers often keep arms in their homes but don’t carry.

      Where do illegal Mexican immigrants come from? Rural areas, by in large. Here, they live under a cloud of vulnerability to both ICE and criminals. They are forbidden to keep or bear arms by US law; but, they are not – in principle – opposed to the idea.

      We really ought to suspend our disbelief for a moment and try outreach to the immigrant community; legal and illegal alike. Make the pitch for why America is different from the place they came from because – HERE – the People are vested with the nation’s sovereignty, which includes the right to exert that sovereignty in any case where government fails to protect us or is actually the agent of our oppression.

      Conventional wisdom might be sustained; i.e., we MIGHT find that few immigrants are interested in the RKBA. On the other hand, it’s also possible that we find pockets of interest. E.g., we might be surprised to find eager interest on the part of illegal Mexicans while legal Mexicans reject our overtures. Perhaps all Hondurans would be interested, legal and illegal. What if Muslim Indians were interested while Hindus are not?

      Immigrants have children, who become teens and then adults. These 2’nd generation citizens have a mixed relationship to the culture of their parents’ home-country and that of the US. They might be naturally curious about this 2A culture in the land of their birth (or adopted country if they were born overseas.) It’s really novel to them; and something different from what they have been told about other countries.

      Once we open a new fissure in the wall of opposition we might be pleasantly surprised to discover that it travels within a new sub-culture.

  12. I know it’s easy but the gun rights community has (more or less) hitched its wagon to reactionaries and racists who will end up on the wrong side of history. Call the opposition coastal elitists all you want but that’s where society is headed. A structural bias in how our political/constitutional system is organized that favors small-population and rural places and gerrymandering which reinforces that bias will only get you so far. You can shut down the borders 100% tomorrow and it won’t make a difference because the demographic trajectory in the 20-50 year time frame is already set in motion.

    1. I think it is pathetic how representatives of the party of slavery, the KKK, lynching, Jim Crow and Bull Conner get away with calling the Republican Party “racist.”

      1. because their party isn’t calling for slavery, the KKK, lynching, Jim Crow and Bull Conner in 2018. pointing out that these things were loved by Democrats decades convinces… who?

        meanwhile, every time someone flagrantly racist (say, David Duke) tries to hitch their wagon to a mainstream political party these days, it’s the Republicans. so shoo them away, or don’t, and see what happens.

  13. I’m a Latino gun owner and Life Member of the NRA since 1992. I’m really not a big fan of how the NRA has basically gone all-in on the culture wars and Trump. I think there’s a ton of room for growth of the movement in minority communities, but that’s not going to come from the current NRA talking points. To that end have focused my 2A donation to Maj Toure and his BGM movement and the 2A Foundation, and will continue to do so until the NRA works through this phase.

    1. I definitely dislike the NRA talking about the culture wars and Trump, unless its specifically gun rights related. No reason to turn off potential converts.

  14. We won’t win the culture war until we can break back into the restrictive states via NCC.

    Have to break the back of the restrictive states.

    When it becomes possible to carry because you’re from outside the state then those states will eventually have to liberalize their own laws.

    1. Yes, you are absolutely right. National Reciprocity is critical to introduce guns into a normalized status in the Won’t-Issue States.

      But how do we accomplish this? Without an effective answer to this question, we are apt to be wasting resources on futile efforts.

      I think too many PotG mistakenly imagine that the people confined to Won’t-Issue States ought to free themselves. E.g., that somehow 1 million NJ gun owners should take it upon themselves to out-vote the Democrat machine.

      Another dangerous idea is that PotG ought to just let NJ fail as an economically viable State – let it go bankrupt. Let NJ tax-payers migrate to successful States leaving the new governor to turn-out-the-lights after bankruptcy.

      NJ gun-owners – half of whom are Fudds – can’t out-vote the Democrats. Yes, we cordially invite these NJ gun-owners to move here to the Shall-Issue Commonwealth of PA. Yet we can’t stop their sister Democrats from moving here as well, joining our fellow Democrat Pennsylvania voters. The great exodus from Won’t-Issue States to Shall-Issue States is more likely to turn Red-States Blue than it is to make the 2A sacred again.

      IMO, the vitality of the 2A rests with gun-voters in the Right-to-Carry States. We – and ONLY we – can tip the scales in our own State elections for US Senators. The 40 Right-to-Carry States elect 80 Senators. We need only 41 Senators to filibuster any Federal gun-control legislation or SCOTUS appointment. We need only 60 Senators to pass a gun-rights bill in the Senate.

      I hold that if we have – say – 40% of the votes in our own State in favor of gun-rights then we only need to get another 10% of our neighbors to vote for gun-rights Senators. That’s realistic. If gun-owners in a Blue State number only 4%, they have to persuade 46% of their neighbors to see the value of the 2A. Just isn’t going to happen.

      1. It passed the House, it could pass the Senate right now if McConnell would go to 51 votes to pass legislation, you know, Democracy.

        But getting 51 Republican Senators might even be a stretch.

        So, only way is too put pressure on the Republicans, convince them that if they don’t vote for reciprocity then they won’t get elected/re-elected.

        I don’t know how to do that for all of them, or any of them for that matter.

        Maybe if the House gets re-elected and we can point to the fact that voting for reciprocity helped (or didn’t hurt) the Reps there then maybe the Senators would get on board.

        Also, convince Trump to give us more than lip service on the 2A.

        Yes, I know, better he than Hillary, but he hasn’t really delivered anything of substance on the 2A.

        1. I don’t want democracy, thanks. That’s the wolves and the sheep voting on what’s for dinner.

          This should not be this hard in the Senate. There are 40 (-sh) Shall Issue or ConCarry states.

          When I did my post on the Senate math, I happened to notice that there are easily a half a dozen NO senators who represent ConCarry states. They are all hard-core long-term anti-gunners. At least a couple should have been knocked off in their last run but for own-goals in their opponents’ campaigns.

  15. The Rochelle Hathaway situation is a good case of how you can lead people to gun-ownership but you can’t make them think.

    I agree that gun-ownership will lead most people to have self-interest in preserving their own rights. Their right to property if nothing else.

    But the rot in American culture goes deep. And the threat to gun-rights is entwined with that cultural rot.

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