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How Did We Get Here?

I don’t think gun rights has been this precarious since the 1990s. Why? I would propose:

  • Bloomberg’s infusion of cash has made a huge difference. We self-organize, as a movement. If the NRA didn’t exist, we would have to create it. I’ve always known we were good at this, but even I’ve been blown away at times at just how good we are at self-organization. The gun control movement does not self-organize. There needs to be an external force to organize a gun control movement. But the people are out there if you have money to pay people to organize them. Bloomberg has that money, and he brought that to the table. It’s starting to pay off.
  • The Supreme Court gave us Heller and McDonald and then went radio silent on the 2nd Amendment. This emboldened the lower courts to engage in full court resistance to those rulings. Culturally, I think Heller and McDonald were a huge boost to the pro-gun movement, and I would say the peak of our power was the 2008-2010 time frame, before Bloomberg really got started, and before it became apparent the lower courts were going to successfully engage in mass resistance. Having the courts abandon the Second Amendment was demoralizing for us and empowering for them.
  • People cheer flight from blue states, but that flight has consequences. Californians have successfully ruined several states of the mountain west. Where’s all the flight from New Jersey and New York going? Where are people from Massachusetts relocating to? And what is happening to those states? This is altering the political landscape of nearby states in fundamental ways.
  • A lot of the old 2nd Amendment warriors are continuing to get old, and wearing out. There aren’t the young people to replace them. Young gun owners have no idea just how bad it can get. Most of them don’t have the experience of having lived through the 1990s and early aughts. They were kids. They came into the issue around the time we were flying high. They don’t remember the assault weapons ban. It’s a theoretical threat to a lot of the young people. Gen Xers are not joiners. Millennials are better than us about that kind of thing, but as gun owners they strike me as still being less engaged politically than older gun owners. Hunting is in decline, but despite people throwing “Fudd” around, in my experience most hunters are pretty passionate about the 2nd Amendment. Shooters have been unwise to dismiss hunting. It was a huge mistake we’re going to pay a price for down the road.

What else? I’m sure there are other factors, but these strike me as big ones.

68 Responses to “How Did We Get Here?”

  1. Ian Argent says:

    Hemingway on Bankruptcy…

  2. KevinC says:

    The abandonment of a diverse list of blogs, forums and email lists in favor of the walled city of Facebook didn’t help either.
    Also, it occurred to me recently that the nature of the outings for Gun Culture 2.0 are less social than GC 1.0. Concealed carry is very, very personal, and while I may see friends at a maych, rare is the day I call them up to go shoot a match with me.

    • Sebastian says:

      Yes. I agree social media is a factor. But we do still have the forums and e-mail lists. Not so much the blogs. And though social media has issues, I do see a lot of self-organizing going on there among gun owners. Lots of informal groups.

  3. countertop says:

    Shooters have been unwise to dismiss hunting. It was a huge mistake we’re going to pay a price for down the road.

    True!

    Where’s all the flight from New Jersey and New York going?

    True! But for Rape and Blackface there was a 100% chance that Bloomberg was going to own Virginia completely after November. I imagine there’s still a 75% chance he’s going to own Virginia completely. I am fully expecting my right to own a firearm (let alone carry a firearm) in Virginia to be dramatically scaled back next January.

    When Republicans lose control of both the House of Delegates and Senate this fall, I expect Virginia to pass a gun show background check bill, an assault weapons ban, and re-instate the 1 gun a month limitation. I wouldn’t be surprised to also see them try to register ammo sales/purchases. Its going to be brutal.

    If the NRA didn’t exist, we would have to create it.

    True! The NRA has also found itself the subject of a lot of unnecessary and unwanted attention. The Russian Spy thing doesn’t help.

    Getting back to the idea of attacking Fudds – we love to attack ourselves. The stupid debates over machine guns and then bump stocks are insane. Anyone fighting over the right to have bump stocks in the current environment needs to be considered either a moron or a supporter of gun control. As silly as the prohibition on bump stocks might be, we aren’t going to win that fight with the greater public. it is not a sword to fall on. What is wrong with these internet keyboard warriors trying to make things more difficult all the time.

    • Alpheus says:

      The funny and sad thing about the Russian “spy” is that she isn’t even a spy.

      See The Russian Spy Who Wasn’t

    • Patrick Henry, the 2nd says:

      There are two issues with bump stocks.

      First, there is the general belief they should be legal. I understand your argument that its not a hill to die on.

      Second, there is how the ban will work. Right now the way its done completely ignores current law, and sets up a very bad precedent for other rights (even all semi-autos). And the other laws proposed could ensure all semi-autos as well. Both are completely a hill to die on.

      • Sebastian says:

        The problem with the bans they were proposing is they would have been able to reach pretty much all semi-auto firearms. They were worded that broadly.

  4. Joe says:

    Gotta campaign against the Democrats who are on Bloomberg’s and other Democrat Billionairess Dime, attack them like a Strawman, and, engage in the “class warfare” political tactics that the Democrats use, and turn it against them.

    Bloomberg and other Democrat Billionaires have made a (literal) killing off of outsourcing American Manufacturing and other jobs, for example. They make big profits off of Slave/Sweatshop Labor in Countries like China, Csmbodia, Nicaragua, and elsewhere around the 3rd World.

    That’s who’s trying to take your guns away , America!

    Earth to the spineless Bush-Cartel Republicans at the NRA!; Get off your a** and help us out.

  5. Jay says:

    We’ve also gone from 2 states with “constitutional” carry to 14 or 15 in the same time frame, no? I guess I’m just a bit more optimistic.

    • Patrick Henry, the 2nd says:

      Yeah I don’t see that we are more precarious than we were in the 90’s.

      Sure we are still under threat, and I don’t think we should get comfortable, but I don’t see it being the worse ever.

      I don’t see Bloomy’s money as a big deal. What has he gotten? Some stuff in Blue/Purple country. But Red country has been expanding gun rights.

      The SC went silent because Kennedy was a squish. Maybe Roberts will turn into a squish too, but we shall see.

      Blue flight is a concern, but while some of those are bluies, some(maybe most) are certainly reddies. We are segregating among political lines. We are getting closer to a divorce, and I for one welcome it.

      I see plenty of youts getting involved in the gun rights movement. Sure they may be involved differently, but they are getting involved.

      Again, let’s not get comfortable, but we are definitely better off and way less precarious than any time in the past 30 years.

      • Sebastian says:

        Bloomberg has pushed Washington into the anti-column. It’s probably going to tip there. Colorado is precarious. Illinois. Oregon. Virginia. Florida.

        Florida would be huge. What are the big states?

        California
        Texas
        Florida
        New York
        Pennsylvania
        Illinois

        Florida would be a huge loss. I see Bloomberg as gaining states in his column.

        • Jamfish says:

          Still fighting here, btw (Greater Seattle Area)

          • Michael says:

            Kitsap County here. I moved here from Virginia for work in 2015. Since then, we’ve had universal background checks, emergency risk protection orders and the mess that is I-1639 (semi auto rifles are now semi auto assault weapons, 21 to buy a semiautomatic rifle, annual background checks (including mental health) to see if you’re prohibited and additional fees to pay for it). All passed by ballot initiative. At the beginning of the legislative session this year, they brought up a whole host more (high cap mag ban, expanded gun free zones, training requirements for CPL, expanded ERPO). And it they don’t pass, I’ll expect to some of them on the ballot in 2020.

            I’m trying not to be doom and gloom, but things keep going in the wrong direction.

            • Rod says:

              Democracy sounds like a great idea, until you have ignorant people stripping your rights via ballot initiative. We need to go back to having a Constitutionally limited Republic. (Easier said than done.)

              • Alpheus says:

                I have sometimes thought about creating a ballot initiative in Utah that would either severely limit them, or get rid of them altogether.

                While I value ways for citizen input, the ballot initiative system is just too susceptible to word manipulation and big money. They are also blunt tools: it’s not uncommon to agree with an initiative’s purpose, but disagree with portions of it, and there’s no easy way to amend initiatives.

                Removing or limiting ballot initiatives will be easier said than done, though.

        • mike w. says:

          Agree with Sebastian. And the already blue states? His money has made them far, far worse. I mean, DE was solidly blue, but there really wasn’t much of an appetite for the Dems to push gun control hard here until Bloomberg and Mom’s Demand came along.

          Hell, last session we pro-gun folks packed legislative hall, inside and out. People were really concerned. I’ve never seen pro-gun mobilization like that here before. The Dems basically told us to screw off, they paraded women in Mom’s Demand shirts onto the floor of the legislature during hearings/votes.

          Now they got the 1 seat in the senate they needed to completely ignore us and ram whatever they want through this year. Maybe there’s a way we get lucky, but I don’t see how. It’s going to be ugly.

        • Patrick Henry, the 2nd says:

          Washington was trending that way anyway. I don’t think Bloomy had anything to do with it.

          Colorado, Oregon, and Virginia were all heading that way too. Again, I don’t think Bloomy had anything to do with that. Illinios is a blue state, so that’s been lost for awhile (a court case is the only reason we got carry there).

          We’ll see what happens with Florida, but there were a lot of GOP squishes there. But again, I don’t think it has anything to do with Bloomy’s money.

          The concern over Bloomy seems similar to the concern over Soros and Koch. I think people far over estimate their power.

          • Richard says:

            CO, NV and WA had their own native billionaires beating the gun control drum too.

            Forming alliances with anyone willing to fight the tech oligarchs is important too whether they agree with us on gun control or anything else.

            I have no use for the National Enquirer or AOC but I cheered when they whacked Bezos.

          • blackpilled says:

            You are deeply fucking clueless.

            Bloomberg has architected state-level takeovers in all of those places.

            Holy fuck, go read the bills for yourself. They’re all the same, clearly drafted by the same lawyers and fronted by the same small coterie of sociopaths financed on Bloomberg’s dime.

            Bloomberg’s people draft the legislation and submit it to legislators who are friendly or bought, they signal boost the legislation on The Trace and other media outlets, and then he flies out his gaggle of idiots (Shannon Watts, David Chippman, et. al.) to give emotional testimony in front of various state legislators and the state-level press, who signal boost it further.

            If you look at this from a systems perspective, it’s all very obvious, very brilliant, and tremendously nefarious.

            • Patrick Henry, the 2nd says:

              So? Again, those places were going that way anyway. I don’t see how Bloomy made it worse.

              People who decry about Bloomy are the same people who decry about Soros and Koch. They attribute way too much success just because they are rich and visible.

              Call me names all you want, but I know if we focus on Bloomy we lose focus on fighting the real battles.

              • Sebastian says:

                I’m not going to call you names, because you’re a sharp dude. But I think you’re wrong about this. Soros and Koch do actually fund quite a lot of political activity in the causes they favor. But they are not as effective as Bloomberg has been, I think largely because Bloomberg has been a lot more focused on one issue and he’s been good at hiring smart people.

                All those states had the potential to be tipped: Bloomberg wouldn’t have the same luck in TN as he has in WA, but he knows that, which is why he’s pouring money into the states where he can fight on favorable terms, and using the ballot which favors big spenders. Money and organization are very important. The potential is there, but someone had to come in and hook the machine to the battery, and Bloomberg came with the machine.

              • blackpilled says:

                Holy shit.

                It really is true that those who refuse to see are truly the most blind.

                Colorado, as one example, was not “already going that way.”

                The move to push Colorado from Red to Blue was heavily orchestrated and influenced by a small contingent of psychotically leftist billionaires. In fact, this is such a well known, commonly accepted fact that you can even read the fucking book about it:

                https://www.amazon.com/Blueprint-Adam-Schrager/dp/1936218003/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=the+blueprint&qid=1552095289&s=gateway&sr=8-1

                If not for a concerted effort on the part of Tim Gill, Rutt Bridges, Jared Polis and Pat Stryker, Colorado would still be a solidly red state. But between those four dumping tons of money into the state Dems; their willingness to front for heavily liberal causes like gay rights, legalized marijuana, and mail-in ballots*; and a completely feckless and utterly clueless GOP establishment, the push to turn Colorado blue was highly successful and yielded tactics that are being ported to other states.

                And then stumblefuck motherfuckers like yourself bumble along, look at the situation, and, based on your own personal moral code, assume that the blue shift must have been some kind of organic thing, because you’re completely incapable of understanding the mindset of your opponents.

                *It’s an open secret that the left is using these to stuff the ballot boxes in order to win elections and generate the illusion of a mandate.

  6. Brad says:

    Re: people don’t know how bad it can get.

    I think you are right, I’ve seen that phenomenon myself. But I also think that problem only applies to people who have always lived in Free States.

    Those of us still behind enemy lines know all too well how bad it can get. In fact we knew it first, as anti-gun States led the way, before the Feds bigfooted around during the Clinton administration. And we are reminded of it every year as new anti-gun laws are shat upon us.

    I just helped a friend move move from Commiefornia to Arizona. He used to have quite a nice niche business as an FFL dealer, selling milsurp rifles for decades within Commiefornia. He hopes to renew that business at his new home. As it was the gun-control laws of Commiefornia that finally drove him out.

    I hope to follow his path and establish my residency in Arizona before 2020. We can’t be the only people like that.

    Even in Dem dominated States like California there are millions of passionate gun owners who stew under the oppression of the local anti-gun majority. And as we flee to Free America we bring the warning of just how bad it can get to our new home.

  7. Richard says:

    Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.
    Ronald Reagan

    So your theory about generational shift is basically channeling Reagan.

  8. Chris says:

    Another factor we’ve discussed before is the demise of the Blue Dogs and the “purification” of the Democratic party.

    The ACA ended most of the Blue Dogs… Bloomberg also invested in Dem Party Primaries to elect anti-gunners. The result is that gun rights only have meaningful support in the GOP. That has two implications:

    1) Blue states controlled solely by the Dems now have no blocks to any crazy gun control. In the past, a key committee chair or other old school legislator could water things down, but that’s rapidly fading. Rhode Island and Delaware are some of the last hold outs of blue states where a few old guard Dems have yet to fully yield to progressive insanity.

    2) The GOP has to be JUST better than the other guys on the issue. They don’t have to work hard to pass anything substantive and actually compete for votes. Where will gun folks go? The Dems?

    In the long run we have to get some sort of gun rights support (or at least toleration) in Democratic party primaries. If this remains a one-party partisan issue we’ll be shoved in the corner.

    • Alpheus says:

      This is something that irks me greatly, but is nonetheless out of our hands. Democrats working to protect gun rights were pushed out of their Party by supporting something that the People didn’t like, but had 100% nothing to do with guns.

      Sigh. What are we supposed to do about it, though?

      Perhaps the problem rests in our system being only two-party, and we would do well to transition to a system that encourages more than two. But then, that system would have to be nationwide…and it’s difficult to change things State by State…

      • Chris says:

        We need pro gun Democrats to vote in primaries. We need pro gun conservatives in hopelessly blue states to register as Democrats to strategically vote in the party primaries. And we need NRA and the state level affiliates to maintain truly bipartisan influence networks.

        • Sebastian says:

          Agree completely. I wish that wasn’t such a heavy lift. But we do need to be a force in both parties. We’ve done it before!

          • mike w. says:

            Agreed. Heck. I’m a registered Dem for exactly this reason. My question is, in Blue States are there any pro-gun or even moderately pro-gun candidates left in the Democratic party to strategically vote for?

        • blackpilled says:

          There are no more progun democrats. They’ve all been run out of the party or told to sit down, shut up, and vote as their told.

          The entire party has been infiltrated and subverted by a virulent strain of Marxist- and Social Justice-flavored activists who are quite successfully dragging the entire party leftward and completely off the reservation.

  9. Miguel GFZ says:

    We now have certain Gun Groups that have found out that there is profitability on bad mouthing the NRA and scream “NO COMPROMISE!” Somehow also the sold the idea the monetary contribution os all they need to secure gun rights and one machine gun in every gun safe.
    When they fail to demonstrate any progress (and they always fail) they go back again to blame the NRA.

    If we do not get an AWB passed this year, it will be a frigging miracle.

    • Sebastian says:

      Those groups have always been around, but I think they sow more fertile soil on social media.

      • Miguel GFZ says:

        That is a great point…

      • blackpilled says:

        It’s not just groups. There are very active online contingents of supposed gun owners who work quite actively to dissuade people from supporting the NRA at any opportunity.

        These people are generally most active on Reddit and Facebook.

        • Sebastian says:

          We don’t need the NRA! We’ll fight them with Facebook memes!

          • blackpilled says:

            You have a boomer-tier understanding of memes and clearly think that sticking to the “calm, rational, logical explanation” methodology of the last couple of decades will win the day.

            Guess what?

            It won’t.

            You’re fighting today’s war with the last war’s weapons, and that’s part of the reason (though not the entire reason) why we’re losing.

            If you want to win, you’re going to have to leverage all tactics available; including memetics, social outgrouping, isolation, freezing, and other techniques.

            Frankly, while there’s always been a vocal contingent of pro-gun, anti-NRA idiots, they’ve never been signal boosted as widely on the various social media platforms. If you comprehend the architecture of what’s going on, it’s pretty clear that’s not likely an accident.

            The field has changed, and most of the people who were instrumental in the large-scale victories of the late 90s through the early 2000s have failed miserably at understanding that very basic fact.

  10. Stacy McMahon says:

    Polls consistently show most people aren’t in favor of confiscation or other draconian regulations, so I tend to think that despite all his money Bloomberg will hit a wall at some point. The fundamental fly in the ointment is always that the antis don’t just want “reasonable common sense laws,” and everyone knows it. Money can’t buy Bloomberg through that wall, unless he can snow people into thinking everyone else wants a ban. Which is what he seems to be aiming at with all the fake statistics and media campaigns.

    I feel like it woild help at this point to have marches, not necessarily with guns on display but with signs saying we will not comply. Sort of a preemptive preference cascade, to make sure nobody feels like they’re alone in believing in their rights.

    • Sebastian says:

      I think you have a lot more faith in the average voter than I do. Caleb has a good article about this and he’s absolutely right.

      • Alpheus says:

        Reviewing that article makes me wonder: is there any way *we* could find rich people for whom *defending* gun rights is pocket change? It would be nice if we could have someone who could easily toss in $1M into the ring whenever Bloomberg, or Steve Ballmer, or Paul Allen, throw that much into the ring themselves.

        Another thought: perhaps it doesn’t matter how much money we throw in. Perhaps we need to get good at creating good soundbites that are more effective at countering the ballot initiatives that have good soundbites in their favor, rather than focus on the nuances of why a given ballot initiative is bad….

    • HappyWarrior6 says:

      Yes. You’ve discovered a mostly Debbie downer blog which paints a black sky portrait onto everything analyzed. You could add 10 more concealed carry states tomorrow and this blog author would still complain.

      Get ready to keep arms at a low ready as long as you read Sebastian’s words.

      • Sebastian says:

        What’s going in our favor? The way I see it:

        1. We’re gaining ground in a few states where the gun laws were at base already pretty good.
        2. The Supreme Court now seems willing to revisit the 2nd Amendment.
        3. We’ve had some electoral success in races that count. Particularly FL could have gone hard anti and we largely held them off in 2018.

        Going against us?

        1. No ability to pass things at the federal level. Fortunately, that’s probably true for the antis as well.
        2. Momentum halted in purple states. When was the last time we scored a major legislative victory in a purple state?
        3. Losing ground in blue states, including blue states that formerly had relatively good gun laws. States Bloomberg is actively flipping? Washington, Oregon, Nevada, New Mexico, Colorado, Vermont, Virginia, and we have a real threat of a ballot measure in Florida in 2020.

        Is it pessimism or reality? I don’t wish to be a downer based on faulty perception, but by my perception, Bloomberg is becoming very effective and learning how to beat us.

        • HappyWarrior6 says:

          Pretty simple: They don’t pass and enforce unless WE LET THEM. We get on their elevator and scream at them. We should adopt the same strategy as the homos did – don’t let up. And we never put the guns down in the battle. They never put theirs down and neither will we.

      • Stacy McMahon says:

        Sebastian isn’t a “Debbie Downer”, he’s an experienced activist with political insight at a technical level that most of us don’t get to see. I don’t always agree with him, but I respect his opinions. You should, too.

        • HappyWarrior6 says:

          “political insight at a technical level” read: JUST HANG IT UP SINCE WERE LOSING OUR RIGHTS ANYWAY

          That mindset I do not accept nor respect. Every month or so like clockwork we get a depressing post in the midst.

          What are you doing to advance gun rights and what is your plan to resist tyranny?

          • Alpheus says:

            So, are you saying that we should completely ignore the issues that Sebastian brings up? I fail to see how Sebastian is saying that we should just “hang it up”.

            The first step in planning to resist tyranny is identifying what it is that tyranny is trying to do, and why things are trending that way.

            To take one example: we know we’re having a hard time getting the new generation to understand what the threat is. How do we teach them? How do we reach out to them? Heck, how do we *organize* them?

            Finding good answers to these questions, and acting on them, would go a long way to help secure our rights!

            • HappyWarrior6 says:

              Note that the tone of your response centering on constructive thought on this topic is *much* different from the sorts of remarks I read from the blog author on a consistent basis when it comes to gun laws. I agree with the obvious requirement that we understand, know, define, and classify the enemy. However, demoralizing our own cause is not the way to accomplish this.

              I plan on preserving the gun culture for my kids, and to do that requires a few things:

              – Lifting up our sleeves to do the heavy lifting of mobilizing, advocating, rabble rousing
              – Not shying away from promoting the gun culture when possible among friends, family, co-workers
              – Not shying away from resisting immoral law, authorities, mobilizing for direct action (this sounds lefty, but we need to stand together and keep ’em at a low ready quite literally perhaps)

              • Sebastian says:

                I plan on preserving the gun culture for my kids, and to do that requires a few things:

                I don’t think any of your points are wrong. But I’m not sure at what point I apparently pissed in your corn flakes. I’m not saying it’s hopeless. But part of knowing how to dig your way out of a hole is knowing how deep of a hole you’ve suddenly found yourself in.

              • Alpheus says:

                That’s a good start. Those are things I think all of us are planning to do.

                But should we just roll over and let Bloomberg have his way with initiatives? I’d like to come up with a good strategy to neutralize those.

                What can we do to export gun culture to places that don’t have it?

                What can we do to encourage Democrats to support gun rights?

                These are a few more questions that are in my mind. They are issues that come to mind by reading Sebastian’s post.

            • Patrick Henry, the 2nd says:

              I think understand the situation better is a good start. As I’ve said, I don’t see the dire threat Bloomy poses. I don’t think he’s gotta a lot of big wins. Has he flipped any state that wasn’t already on the path to being flipped? Not in my view.

              So we need to focus less on Bloomy, and focus on WHY those states are being flipped, and what we can do to flip them.

              • Sebastian says:

                Dems weren’t that enthusiastic about gun control until there were money and votes in it. Bloomberg is responsible for both those things being true.

          • Sebastian says:

            JUST HANG IT UP SINCE WERE LOSING OUR RIGHTS ANYWAY

            Yes. That’s exactly what I’m saying! And people wonder why I’m finding better ways to spend my time.

      • blackpilled says:

        Sebastian is an optimist.

  11. Alpheus says:

    I still wish we had a good way to import gun culture into places where gun culture is deeply oppressed, but I’m not sure how to go about it.

    Video games, perhaps? Or even laser-tag type games that could be played in the home?

    I’d like to think there’s something that’s both simple and effective in getting footholds into these regions!

    • Sebastian says:

      That’s largely going to be up to the courts at this point. The big thing you have to break are the New York City restrictions, and get some basic protection for semi-auto rifles. If they can’t really ban “assault weapons” we’re in pretty good shape. People keep saying carry is a bigger deal, but I think they are wrong. Getting bans off the table is more important.

      • Mike W. says:

        Simply getting the Courts to actually enforce “Hey, when SCOTUS said you can’t ban / defacto ban entire classes of guns that are in common use, they meant it” would be a huge win.

        The anti-gunners know full well that the Courts are just rubber stamping any and all gun control by all but ignoring Heller and McDonald.

      • Patrick Henry, the 2nd says:

        I think both are equally important. Bans just to take it off the table. But getting carry is exactly how we expanded gun rights. We went from 1 constitutional carry state to 15! That’s 30% of the states that don’t require a permit. That’s a huge win.

        Getting National Reciprocity would be a great way to get guns into those places.

        But it would also take the courts to do their job. Maybe now the SC is finally ready to do that.

  12. Will says:

    “Shooters have been unwise to dismiss hunting. It was a huge mistake we’re going to pay a price for down the road.”

    When I think of “hunters”, I picture my father’s generation. Born in 1925, he and all his buddies had guns, and it seemed to me that they viewed that as an accepted and normal part of life in Delco. Around 1950, they leased a cabin in the north east PA area, mostly for deer hunting.

    They grew up with guns, so they didn’t seem to make a connection between politics and gun control efforts. My father moved to the Jersey seashore around ’68, and eventually ended up storing his long guns at the home of one of the group, due to rust prevention as much as NJ anti-gun efforts.

    During a visit in ’99, I was dismayed to discover that he was a longtime Democrat voter. He either never made the connection to their stated anti-gun agenda, or he valued their freebie/socialist programs more than freedom. I gathered that the group acted in a similar manner. When I hear the term “Fudd”, those guys are who I picture.

    Part of the problem may be due to their common practice of buying/trading used guns, so they would not have had much exposure to the FFL dealer system.

    • Sebastian says:

      I will admit I don’t have much experience with that generation on the gun issue, and what little I have has been negative. The Greatest Generation loved themselves gun control. But Boomer hunters I’m around all the time are better on the gun issue than a lot of Gun Culture 1.0 shooters.

  13. Stacy McMahon says:

    For those who are confused about how older folks who grew up with guns, don’t have any personal problem with guns, and use their own guns regularly can still vote Democrat and not see the problem with gun control, in my considered opinion it’s this:

    The Greatest Generation lived through WW2, an existential conflict that was managed and successfully brought to resolution by big government. They also accept the notion that FDR’s quasi-socialist programs ended the Great Depression. After the war there was the Great Society, War on Poverty etc which were also seen at the time, and largely still today, as successful big government programs. Many also spent their working lives at unionized factories and see that setup as the path to middle class dignity and success.

    Those people, and plenty of their children and grandchildren, simply don’t see government regulation as a problem. In their minds, overregulation, arbitrary and capricious application of laws, cronyism etc are isolated exceptions, not the rule. They assume that if the Sheriff turns down someone’s CC license, there must be a good reason for it. They figure that registration, purchase permits etc will only ever be an issue for ‘the wrong people’.

    In other words, they don’t see the incompatibility between “reasonable, common sense gun laws” and gun rights. I think that is actually the biggest political issue we have.

    I also think it’s largely intractable, so Sebastian is probably right that the threat to focus on is the well-financed media campaign targeting low-information voters who respond to emotion-driven social media-style appeals.

  14. Scott in Phx says:

    Because the weasel Republicans who had 2 years of ABSOLUTE control couldn’t be bothered to do pretty much anything their base wanted them to (notable exception McConnell going nuclear to get the SC judges).

    But, NCCR, which would have killed the restrictive states carry laws and done more to advance the right to arms than anything else could?

    And would have set the anti-gun movement back on it’s heels.

    Nope, couldn’t be bothered with that.

    Weasels.

    • Ian Argent says:

      What happened to NCCR getting voted on was Parkland. It was scheduled for a vote about a week after Parkland went down.

      However, we didn’t have the votes in the Senate. We needed 60, and based on the previous vote in 2013 (for the Senators still in office) and the expressed leanings of new Senators, we had 58 or so votes (you can find my post on the topic last year around this time here).

      Without 60 votes, you can’t do much in the Senate. And the 2018 election didn’t get us 60 either (though I suppose I should double-check that). The increase in Republican seats was at the expense of Democratic Aye votes.

      • Scott in Phx says:

        McConnell could have nuked the filibuster for everything and then the Reps could have passed it.

        The Dems constantly say they want “democracy” so McConnell should have given it to them good and hard.

        So now we won’t get NCCR from the House, but oh, I hear the Senate Reps are interested in passing it now.

        See what I mean? Weasels.

        Yes, I know there weren’t 51 votes to repeal Obozocare, or give us NCCR.

        Because they are WEASELS.

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