I Think She’s Right

Ashe Schow:

Basically, the left had money and infrastructure ready to go for an all-out assault on guns and the NRA, they just needed the right moment — the right victims.

It’s sickening, when you think about it; they were basically waiting for children to die so that they could swoop in and blame everyone they dislike, instead of the actual shooter. They paraded grieving children in front of cameras without any care for their well-being just to help their cause.

And as much as it pains me to say this, and as much as I think this was a horrible thing for the Left to do; the right should learn from these tactics.

I think the reason for this is most of us really just want to be left alone, and aren’t really the rallying, marching, and organizing types. The reason the religious right was so successful within the right coalition, is they were the ones who really wanted the power to bring about social change that’s more amenable to them. My primary issue with the religious right was their failure to recognize that culture leads to politics. If you’re trying to use government to correct cultural trends you don’t like, you’re fighting a rear guard action, and you’re destined to lose. That’s why I think they will suddenly find themselves out in the cold when the current realignment finishes. If you want political power, you have to get people back in the pews.

Ashe Schow is at least as uncomfortable with these tactics as I am, but as we’re observing, they do work — especially when they are well-executed and well-funded. This is a big reason I called on NRA to up their game. Our movement is very good at self-organizing, but it’s exhausting for the people who have to put it together. As a movement, we’re firing on 3 out of 6 cylinders on a good day, because most of us have jobs and families. NRA has a great role to play as facilitator, but as I noted, parts of NRA seem overly focused on using members as passive consumers rather than as active change makers. We’re a lot better at getting people into pews than the religious right is. What we have remaining to do is to get them to do more than just listen to the sermons.

33 Responses to “I Think She’s Right”

  1. StephanA says:

    That is why I am an NRA member, but also a member of the Ohio Gun Owners. We had a rally at the state house last Saturday. Not much news coverage but we had over 1200 people. We are fighting the governors gun ban, and for our stand your ground law. The politicians noticed. Our problem right now is most of us have jobs so we are limited in what time we have to give to the cause. It was a tiring day 2 1/2 hour drive to get to Columbus, about 2 hours demonstrating then the drive home all in crappy cold weather.

    • Sebastian says:

      I’m not really all that big on these annual rallies. I think they are a poor tactic and a waste of energy. You’ll note their side waited for a highly emotional pretext before they started executing. Rallies are a good tactic if you have something bit to push, or to fight, but you need to turn out big numbers for it to make a difference. You have to turn out crowds that impress. People turn out to state capitols for this or that all the time, and if your crowd is an “all the time” crowd, no one is going to be impressed.

      • Joe says:

        We’re gonna need counter-rallies to these gun-ban rallies as an MMA Style punch-back, very soon. We are in Defcon 3 or even Defcon 2 right now. This Parkland School Shooting and the well oiled coordination of the gun-banners in the Shooting’s aftermath, has put the 2nd Amendment into “in Jeopardy Status” like it was in the 1970’s. Take a look at this…..reminiscent of the 1974 Massachusetts Handgun Ban Popular Vote Ballot Initiative.

        • Sebastian says:

          Rallying isn’t honestly all that effective unless you can organize huge numbers. That takes a lot of money and organizational energy. It’s a smart tactic for them, but that doesn’t automatically translate into it being a smart tactic for us.

          It might be under certain circumstances, but I’d much rather 5 million NRA members write their Congressmen and Senators than show up to a counter protest.

          • Joe says:

            I support your suggestions 1,000%. And,….I act on them with determined fervor. My suggestions though, that I think would help us would be The NRA, 2nd AF,and GOA need to find more ways to coordinate together, and going all in with every possible local, county-wide, and state-level 2nd Amendment organization, to coordinate proactively with one another.

            Once again to disclose, I’ve contacted spokespeople and representatives with my State Gun Rights Group, Buckeye Firearms Association, and multiple National Groups, those being Gun Owners of America, 2nd Amendment Foundation, and the NRA. I told them all that I would love nothing more than to see all of them reach out to one another and coordinate grassroots efforts together. I was well recieved by the people I spoke to, and they informed me that I’m not alone, and massive amounts of other gunowners and non- gunowners supportive of us have spoken and continue to speak to them about that.

      • StephanA says:

        This was not an annual rally. We have a large push on to get a stand your ground law in Ohio. We have legislation that is in on the table and we are trying to get as many politicians involved in sponsering it, and getting it passed with a veto proof majority since our governor has goon full squish since he has illusions of grandeur for running for president again. At least he is term limited out.

  2. Harry Schell says:

    Almost like they knew one was coming, and wanted to be ahead of the curve. Reichstag Fire…or close.

    • Joe says:

      They knew it was coming. Florida LE Agencies had over 50 cases with evidence to put Nikolas Cruz into a Mental Institution for life.

      Ironically, EU Intelligence Agencies all knew about the Paris Nightclub Terrorists, knowing for over 6 minths about their mass-murder plans, but let ’em walk.

      The EU has since adopted a Uniform Gun Control Policy that affects all EU and Non-EU Schengen Area members, like……Switzerland. The biggest thing to come out of that EU Gun Control Policy is that they are trying to break the gun-cultures of Switzerland, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic, all 3 Countries with Rights To Bear Arms.

  3. TexasCharlie says:

    The anti-gun left does not want any distraction to interfere with their crusade. They do not want to talk about the actions of the Broward County Sheriff and his deputies before and during the shooting. Nor, the unintended consequences of the Obama-Holder Promise Program (which kept Cruz out of the criminal justice & mental illness system). An any mention of arming teachers as a possible solution is a complete anathema to them. Only banning semi-automatic firearms and standard capacity detachable magazines will be acceptable. Teachers who are willing to discuss the possibility of being armed are being shunned by colleagues (and I believe in some cases – e.g. in Northern NJ – suspended from teaching).
    This has many of the trappings of an extremely intolerant religion which treats any disagreement as heresy or blasphemy.

    • Joe says:

      I saw that on the Drudge Report a few days ago about that NJ Teacher. Suspended for exercising the 1st Amendment Guaranteed Right, to Freedom of Speech. The school said; “How dare you. You right-wing-nut-job; how dare you express dissent to our crusade to abolish the 2nd Amendment”!!

      Make no mistake, the Gun-Ban Movement and Hate-Speech, Anti-1st Amendment Movement are working hand-in-hand together. You see it with how Social Media Outlets are censoring out 2nd Amendment Material. This is being done to suppress the pro-gun movement, thereby removing dissent to the gun-banners to ensure that they can never lose.

  4. Joe says:

    The NRA, 2nd AF,and GOA need to find more ways to coordinate together because it can’t just be 1 or the other over another. They both need to get together and coordinate together, with State affiliates, all together and with one another, in well coordinated fashion.

    I’ve contacted spokespeople and representatives with the Buckeye Firearms Association, Gun Owners of America, 2nd Amendment Foundation, and the NRA of course, and that I would love nothing more than to see all of them reach out to one another and coordinate grassroots efforts together. I was well recieved by the people I spoke to, and they informed me that massive amoubts of other gunowners and even non- gunowners on our side have spoken to them about that issue and situation.

    We’re gonna need all of that because the Establishment GOP Donor Class is now dumping $$Cash into the gun-ban agenda. Bloomberg and the Democrat Party Billionaire Donor Class now have “bipartisan” backing.

    Also, Florida really is in Jeopardy, and if Florida falls into the “California-Blue” Column, say goodbye to the 2nd Amendment by 2030, for all of America. The Democrat Party Billionaire Donor Class of Hollywood, Silicon-Valley, and Wallstreet, the Establishment GOP Donor Class, as well as former Obama and Clinton Campaign Staffers with the backing of gun-ban and other Leftist Splinter-Faction Groups are trying to succeed in getiing an Assault Weapons ban into the Florida State Constitution. This is reminiscent of the 1974 Massachusetts Handgun Ban Popular Vote Ballot Initiative.

    This Parkland School Shooting has put the 2nd Amendment into the “In Jeopardy Status” that it was in during the 1970’s…….truly unreal.

  5. Dave says:

    First off, @Joe, NRA does not cooperate, collaborate with, work with or even acknowledge the existence of, other gun groups, and will go out of their way to not mention the names publicly of any other gun group. They have done so, but it is exceedingly rare and they maintain a publicity blackout for anyone that is not an NRA affiliated group unless communication is approved through ILA leadership at HQ.

    2nd, NRA was ready with money, Wayne’s sporting a new 7 series this year, I think the lease ran out on ’14 7 series he was commuting in. Your NRA membership money is buying new Euro-luxury barges for the staff.

    The money just wasn’t ever going to be spent on reclaiming lost gun freedoms or advancing gun rights. This lesson has been learned before on much smaller scales. Every time this happens, our side diligently stays silent “out of respect” while the left sets the narrative, establishes the discussion on what freedoms our side has to lose in order to satisfy them and each time the shrill cries have gotten worse and worse.

    Some in our community have scoffed at their strategy of jumping right in with both feet, proudly proclaiming “what success have they had?”

    success is not always measured by a passed bill. Sometimes it’s measured in how much money the other side has to spend defending, to the point that they now cannot afford any offensive actions. So, where are the chuckleheads who thought the left’s strategy of immediately announcing plans for gun control after a mass shooting was a bad idea?

    Some of us may not like it, but it is effective and at least now nobody can mount a credible argument that it isn’t effective.

    • Joe says:

      It’s up to us to change that, and it must be done in the near future. The NRA needs to have another “Cincinnati Takeover-1977”, sooner rather than later.

  6. Just a comment … the tactic of getting kids to do a walk out was brilliant.

    My daughter, a Freshman who isn’t anti-gun (she already owns a gun that would be banned, though it’s in my safe) is walking out as well. High school kids will ALWAYS take an excuse to walk out of class for a little while and hang out with their friends. We’ve had several student protests over the years here for various things, and oddly enough you get massive participation on school days but on weekends … mostly just the parents and kids they drag along. And if you talk to the students they often barely understand the issue but are glad to leave school on a school day.

    The thing that bothers me is the hypocrisy of the school district. They say they will allow the walkout because they “don’t want to get political.” Something tells me if the walkout was to support the resegration of school and establish a separate school for Jews they might find themselves willing to take a political stance (and of course I would be deeply offended by such a movement as well).

    The scary thing here is the momentum this builds. Every single news source, even supposedly conservative Fox, presents this as “Maybe this energy will be enough to get something done” and students are getting indoctrinated to believe that banning guns is the common sense solution.

    We need to come up with a counter to that. I think we can. Americans tend to love freedom. But we have to get our message to everyone’s eyes, change hearts and minds, even with the media against us.

    Social media can do that, but unfortunately the pro-gun stuff in my feeds is all “MOLON LABE AND 2ND AMENDMENT MO FO — I’LL KEEP ALL MY GUNS AND TAKE THEM ANYWHERE I DON’T CARE WHAT LAWS YOU PASS” which doesn’t work for anyone but the true believers.

    The good thing — the anti-gunners are just as extreme and just as off-putting.

    Guess we’ll see where it ends up.

    • Joe says:

      Fox News has swung, on the average of the political spectrum, so far Left since 2015, it isn’t funny. Sean Hannity, Mark Levin and Laura Ingraham are great Conservatives and Social Libertarians, but the rest of the Network negates them because of how far left it’s gone overall.

      One thing on antigun momentum, is that by judging and analyzing recent history, the Newtown Sandy Hook School Massacre was politically worse. Support for stricter gun laws was way higher after that, and the antigunners had a good 8 month stretch of non-stop momentum going their way.

      I think we’re in for a rough ride like 1993 and 1994 with the Federal Assault Weapons Ban.

      • Bitter says:


        Please keep in mind the warning I gave you earlier. You’re nearly 1/2 of the comments on this thread alone (7/16 at the time of this comment), and about half of those comments on this single thread have been posted after you were asked to back off and not take over so many threads. Pick what you’d like to argue wisely rather than trying to argue with everyone.

  7. Patrick Henry, the 2nd says:

    Absolutely agree. We need to better mobilize, and we need the NRA to be a part of that.

    They were definitely ready to act, but I think having the kids willing to be useful idiots was just luck on their part.

  8. Richard says:

    Somehow we need to figure out a way to combat the leftist billionaires who are into gun control. Rightist billionaires seem to be thin on the ground and those who exist are either non-political or not into this issue. Real grassroots is perhaps the answer. Perhaps the NRA has contingency plans when an atrocity occurs but from what I have seen they just go dark for a while. It is not like we don’t know what the left is going to do at this point so we need to have our plans in place too. And a billionaire or three to fund all of this wouldn’t hurt.

  9. Chris says:

    These events are predictable: in a nation of 300M+ people there WILL be a few high profile mass killings every year, and some of them will use guns. This is even true in the EU (they have these massacres with 6+ dead about as often as we do).

    The Antigun Left is primed to exploit them as the above link points out.

    The progun side (I’ll point at NRA as they’re the big gorilla, but others share the blame/responsibility too) seems to have no gameplan. There should be a binder on the shelf at NRA HQ with the 24 hr, 72 hour, and 30 day response plan to follow up any high profile incident with guns: school shooting, jihad, random mall attack, whatever. The memorandums of understanding with partner organizations should be signed, celebrities lined up, etc.

    Instead it seems like they’re figuring it out for the first time, every time. For some reason NRA couldn’t even dust off the response from Sandy Hook (School Shield) and push that. That’d be a very effective immediate 24 hour reaction to any school event, even before all the facts are out (as long as you can quickly verify that the school and its staff didn’t participate in the program).

    In these days of highly targeted social media and ads big money isn’t important. Moving fast, capitalizing on the 24 hr news cycle narrative, leveraging partners, and smartly targeting the critical demographics in the right places with surgical social media ads counts for more than raw money. But doing all that requires a plan.

    We have the facts on our side in this debate, and the moral high ground if things are spun correctly in favor of self defense. We have 1/3 of the US population as gunowners. The fight is not unwinnable.

    Instead, now we’ve lost a ton of momentum. Even the NRA is coming out in favor of banning bump stocks (which may well include match triggers and a ton of other accessories, the way many states are wording their bans) and “extreme risk protection orders” on the FL model that allow the .gov to seize your guns once a judge rubber stamps the request from the antigun Broward County Sheriff’s Office (or CT State Police… whose boss says NRA members are “terrorists”).

    I don’t know if NRA is surrendering because of the Fudd wing, or because the back-room negotiations with the GOP leadership are indicating that we WILL be getting gun control and NRA can either appear to be supportive and retain access/influence, or fight it and risk looking like its feckless.

    WTF, over?

    • Sebastian says:

      I don’t know if NRA is surrendering because of the Fudd wing, or because the back-room negotiations with the GOP leadership are indicating that we WILL be getting gun control and NRA can either appear to be supportive and retain access/influence, or fight it and risk looking like its feckless.

      It’s damage minimization. We’ll get a lot less damage from a narrow rule at the federal level, rather than fighting and losing this in a dozen more states with bills that have very broad language. This is a “stop the bleeding” move. Once you start losing, it’s hard to stop. Really hard.

      • Chris says:

        Concur the bleeding needs to stop. I’m an NRA Endowment member, officer of an NRA club, and NRA instructor and I’m realistic about politics in most cases, nor am I reflexively anti-NRA.

        That said having NRA lobbyists backing awfully broadly worded vague legislation that I think makes nearly any semiauto legally hazardous to own is a bridge too far. Appeasement doesn’t stop the gun grabbers.

        Example — the NRA lobbyist in Delaware is supporting the language below, which will make owning a wide variety of mods for semi firearms a Class E Felony.

        “I understand there is some discussion about amending the bill on the floor of the Senate to address some of our issues,” Rick Armitage said. “But this is still something that should become law.”

        (6) A trigger crank, bump-fire device, or any part, combination of parts, component, device, attachment, or accessory that is designed or functions to accelerate the rate of fire of a semiautomatic rifle but not convert the semiautomatic rifle into a machine gun.

        In the eyes of an unfriendly prosecutor I assume that includes match triggers, lighter buffers, oil lubricants, replacement springs, muzzle breaks, and a whole host of other things, right? The courts won’t save us with “void for vagueness” Because Guns (and if NRA supports the laws I assume they won’t fund a court challenge).

        Worse yet the proposed legislation makes possession (without installation in a firearm) a felony. So having a bottle of CLP or a match trigger in a safe is a felony? It’s insane that NRA is backing something so dangerously vague. Maybe they’re just hoping to have a chance to shape the legislation and the final version will be less awful but they’ve opened the doors to a whole host of nonsense here we’ll be fighting off for years.

        #Freedom’s Safest Place!

        • Sebastian says:

          It’s Delaware, a solidly blue Democrat run state. Sometimes you don’t have a choice of not losing, and it’s a matter of trying to clean up language so you don’t lose as badly.

          • Heather says:

            I haven’t been following this too closely, but I’m not seeing them actually trying to clean up language or anything. And even if they are, if this is the best they can do, maybe it’s better to STFU instead of pissing off supporters over ratcheting something from 99% bad to 95% bad.

            • Sebastian says:

              The goal is to save semi-automatics. So I wouldn’t call writing language that covered bump stocks or trigger cranks, but didn’t focus on “rate of fire” is a 5% reduction in harm. We really don’t want to get into “rate of fire” language, or anything else that will put semi-autos in legal jeopardy.

              • Heather says:

                I get that. But I’m not seeing it, you know? I hear people saying “Oh, they’re doing back room deals to stop xyz!” and maybe they are and it’s great, but when all I can see is caving on this that and the other thing, plus the dysfunction in the education side, I certainly start to wonder if they’re actually doing what they say they’re doing and how effective they really are.

                • Sebastian says:

                  On a good day, I think NRA probably only runs on 4 out of 6 cylinders. And that’s probably a bit generous.

                • Sebastian says:

                  It’s also a difficult thing, because if you want into the proverbial smoke filled room, you’re not going to talk about what goes on inside it. I trust the ILA people not to make concessions unless they are necessary. I am very worried they are sort of caving on GVROs. I suspect the issue is they are ready to lose in so many legislatures, and the White House is caving on them, that they figured it was better to buy some due process if this has become a losing issue.

                  I worried when Bloomberg started pushing this idea it was going to get traction.

  10. Bryan H. says:

    The ability of anti-gun forces to immediately and cynically capitalize on these incidents is discomforting – and as noted, effective. The NRA (and the GOA, SAF, etc.) needs to get a clue and a plan.

    Second Amendment defenders seem to always be at the bottom of the power curve. The NRA likes to say that they are the oldest civil rights organization. They should also strive to be the most successful civil rights organization. Successful civil rights organizations should not be content to continually play defense; successful civil rights organizations are continually on offense and advancing the agenda of their membership. Successful civil rights organizations coordinate with other like-minded organizations, groups and individuals to move the agenda forward; this might include the GOA, SAF or pro-gun Democrats. Successful civil rights organizations value and foster relationships with anyone who is friendly to their agenda; particularly, if they are actively and vocally friendly.

    And as noted previously in this blog, successful civil rights organizations actively and aggressively build and foster their grassroots at all levels – locally, statewide and federally. There needs to be a plan and an infrastructure ready to grow and coordinate grassroots activists.

    The grassroots are what gives a successful civil rights organization its strength, vitality and power; particularly, the power and strength to influence politicians, the most weaselly, weak and lazy persons known to mankind. Successful civil rights organizations doggedly pursue legislation to make right deficiencies in the law (i.e. National Reciprocity, the SHARE act, etc.); they do not make false compromises with groups acting in bad faith (anyone associated with Bloomberg or other gun control advocates).

    Using the Cake analogy, second amendment advocates and gun owners have been compromising since 1934; there has never been a moment when gun controllers have relinquished a single law or regulation without a fight – they’ve got almost all the Cake. The best that can be said of the current state of affairs is that any improvement in the lot of gun owners and second amendment advocates is that any legal or regulatory improvements are “crumbs” to use Pelosi’s word. Successful civil rights organizations push their agenda on all fronts; legislatively to remove unjust laws and judicially by advancing sympathetic cases that have a good chance of winning with good, decent people who have been deprived of their rights. They do these things at the local, state and federal levels. Always be on offense, a good offense is the best defense.

    Successful civil rights organizations are not caught flat-footed when events happen; they have a plan and are ready when events happen. And if things like Bump stocks come up, have tightly written, precise legislation available and ready to mitigate the damage that would be caused by poorly written, imprecise, vague or overly broad legislation.

    Gun controllers want to raise the age to 21 to buy a gun. NO, “the right to buy weapons is the right to be free” to quote A. E. van Vogt. That same 18 year old, who couldn’t buy until 21, could enlist and be issued automatic weapons. The NRA fancies themselves an educational organization; devise a model gun safety and basic marksmanship program that can used by high schools and colleges – not just Eddie the Eagle but build new shooters. Foster youth rifle teams and competitive shooting. The more people who have exercised their second amendment rights and the more that guns are demystified, the more secure the second amendment will be. This type of program would be well within constitutional and legal limits at the federal level and in most states.

    Use last year’s ATF white paper by Ronald Turk as a to-do list; the NRA should write the legislation to make these things happen and pass it on to Congress. Let Congressmen and Senators know you’ll be following up to see their progress… If the NRA needs help devising model policies or legislation, talk to the Heritage Foundation or ALEC, they’ve been doing it for years. Don’t forget to grade on judges as well as legislation.

    Sorry for the long post, :) Bryan

    • Sebastian says:

      Successful civil rights organizations should not be content to continually play defense; successful civil rights organizations are continually on offense and advancing the agenda of their membership.

      What is National Reciprocity and SHARE Act?

      • Bryan H. says:

        Sorry, tried to put way too much in one post. They’re two different bits of proposed legislation. Neither has been acted upon and at this point neither are likely to be acted on.

        Point is both should have been acted upon last year. However, the Senate only works two days a week and is subject to filibuster rules and the House slow rolled them both. Our erstwhile friends in Congress should have pushed these forward but didn’t; additionally, the NRA didn’t get on to Congress to act on this legislation. Momentum for legislation is gone and now we have a continual drip of headline grabbing shootings preventing any movement for National Reciprocity legislation or the SHARE act. We’re on defense again… And when Bump stock legislation comes up, I bet the NRA doesn’t have some sort of model legislation written so that match triggers, standard capacity magazines, springs, etc. aren’t included.

        PS: I don’t know where the appreciation section is but thank you and Bitter so much for this Blog, it’s probably the best on 2nd Amendment issues.

    • Sebastian says:

      I’ll say it again: you don’t always have the choice of not losing. We would love to not compromise with Bloomberg. But what do you do when legislators force a compromise, as happened in Florida?

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