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It’s a Tactic

A lot of people are pissed at Rob Pincus for this. Maybe they should be. But I’ve done posts here along these lines. The trick is that if your opponent has a popular premise they are using to push their agenda, you can accept that premise, but on terms that your opponent will never or can never accept. By doing so you expose their true intentions, and if they prove successful in the end, at least push them farther away from their original position.

That said, times today are different, and with the current polarization, I’m not really in any mood to play games. It’s looking to me like we have an opportunity to prevail without having to concede points to make things less bad. They didn’t quite get the conditions they needed to support their narrative with the past couple of incidents. But that might not hold. There are plenty of nuts out there.

It’s also a tactic that you don’t make concessions when you don’t have to. Only make concessions when it’s the choice between bad and worse. My issue with Pincus’s piece is he wrote it before it was apparent that kind of thing was going to be necessary. If the Dems don’t have the votes, they don’t have the votes. Let it be.

14 Responses to “It’s a Tactic”

  1. Andy B. says:

    “It’s looking to me like we have an opportunity to prevail without having to concede points to make things less bad.”

    I agree about there not being any need to concede points, but I’m not seeing the opportunity to prevail. I should withhold further comment until perhaps you can expand on that. Prevail in what way? Merely not lose any more ground?

    Historically, I can’t get over that the broader “gun rights movement” worked overtime and fought tooth-and-nail to create and empower the primary tool that is going to be used against us; I always knew that once “Instant Background Checks” were created, they would become a noose that over time would be drawn tighter around our throats. So, now we are facing and fighting against expanded background checks. What did anyone ever expect than that they would be expanded?

    That wasn’t just an example of “making a concession.” The gun rights community demanded that the background check tool be created. If any “concession” was made, it was conceding that “background checks” of some form were a fundamentally good idea; for the first half or so of my life to buy a handgun in Pennsylvania required a “three day waiting period” during which an old fashioned paper check was made. No one seemed to think that the concept of placing a prior restraint on an alleged “constitutional right” was any sort of problem, and today we are arriving at the logical conclusion of that.

    I’m not old enough to remember or have known the history behind the “waiting period” background checks, but I’m sure it was agreed to by Responsible Gun Owners of an earlier era.

    One other thing that amused me in the cited content: There was that Good Ole Phrase again, “Enforcing Existing Laws.” Those would be the laws real gun rights advocates fought against tooth-and-nail yesterday, but the enforcement of which we are asked to insist upon today?

    I’m turning this into a rant so I’ll stop here, but to generalize, we’re not going to get anything tomorrow, that wasn’t insisted upon by the majority of the gun rights community, yesterday.

  2. Richard says:

    The Left and especially it’s anti-gun activists never bargain in good faith. If they want something they have to give something. My favorites are universal reciprocity and eliminating gun-free zones except in very limited circumstances (e.g. jails).

    • Andy B. says:

      “The Left and especially it’s anti-gun activists never bargain in good faith.”

      You’ll have anticipated what I’m going to say by now, but don’t kid yourself that anybody bargains in good faith. All power-seekers are cut from the same cloth.

      “My favorites are universal reciprocity and eliminating gun-free zones…”

      The only form of reciprocity I’m interested in is universal constitutional carry, and constitutional carry is something progress has been made on. Universal reciprocity would be a counter-incentive to that.

      I used to have occasional rhubarbs with other PA activists who I called the “reciprocity mavens”, who would give public lip-service to wanting constitutional carry, but privately opined that “PA has too many [n-words] and [sp-words] so it could never work here.” And that was how they would advise the few state legislators they were going down on.

      Being big-time combat-handgun competitors with lots shooting buddies who were cops, they reflected their cop friends’ opinions and desires, and were primarily interested in being able to travel interstate with their handguns without need to be concerned how the guns were secured in their vehicles as they moved between states while driving to matches. Not an evil desire by any means, but not the all-encompassing need of the general public who may want to carry a gun once in a blue moon for actual self-defense, while traveling across state lines.

    • Andy B. says:

      “The only form of reciprocity I’m interested in is universal constitutional carry”

      I forgot to add, that I also oppose “universal reciprocity” because it would invite the federal government in to set the standards for issuance of carry permits. Eventually the standards would become de facto prohibitions.

      There is a “full faith and credit” analogy in drivers licenses. It was the federal government that forced all states to adopt picture-ID licenses back in the early ’80s. They did so by threatening to withhold highway funds from uncooperative states.

      At the time everyone thought picture IDs were a swell idea, but I warned that in short order they would become de facto internal passports as existed in the Soviet Union.

      The next time my drivers license needs to be renewed, I will have to jump through many of the same hoops I would if I was applying for a passport; otherwise I won’t be able to use it to board an airplane or enter a federal building.

      “Don’t leave home without it.” Just like in the old Soviet Union.

    • Andy B. says:

      “I also oppose “universal reciprocity” because it would invite the federal government in to set the standards for issuance of carry permits.”

      Forgive me for preaching on these issues, but I take them seriously.

      Anticipating arguments and recalling past arguments, yes, the feds could force their way in anyway. They are just more likely to do it sooner if states are asked to apply “full faith and credit” to each other’s carry permits.

      Some of the highest-profile “shall issue” states in the country, I would not submit to all of their requirements for obtaining a carry permit; and I observed that our Pennsylvania “reciprocity mavens” were willing to give away our home-state store, on the hope that they would be able to achieve reciprocity in more states. For example, gun rights poseur representative Daryl Metcalfe introduced legislation on behalf of the reciprocity mavens, that would have taken away the administration of carry permits from PA county sheriffs and turned it over to the State Police; at the same time creating a computerized permit record system that could be accessed by police anywhere in the country.

      No thanks.

  3. Patrick Henry, the 2nd says:

    I read it and kept waiting for the other shoe to drop… and boy did it.

    Its fine to compromise when something is coming. If the left had 60 votes for a UBC in some form, you work to make it best it can be and fight another day. But they don’t. The bill is dead.

    They talk about a make or break moment – what are they smoking? Nothing has changed here, not really.

    But back to what do do to make it the best – if they proposed allowing running a background check on yourself and then presenting the pass (and that background check is used for way more than guns) – that is a fine idea. That was proposed back in 2013. But we don’t need to propose that now. We are fine.

    • Andy B. says:

      “if they proposed allowing running a background check on yourself and then presenting the pass (and that background check is used for way more than guns) – that is a fine idea.”

      Still sounds like prior restraint on one or more constitutional rights to me.

      Background checks may be acceptable when you go begging for special privileges (e.g., me and the VA) but not when all you seek to do is access a fundamental right acknowledged by the constitution.

      E.g., how about a background check before you can attend a church, or a license to attend political rallies or demonstrations?

      • Patrick Henry, the 2nd says:

        I didn’t say anything about making it required…

        • Andy B. says:

          Then I guess I just don’t understand what you are proposing. It still sounds like your “pass” would be de facto “required” to be used for “way more than guns”. Who would be given the discretion whether to honor your “pass” or not?

          I’m seriously interested, because I’m interested in all kinds of “alternative” proposals, and I guess I’m just not getting yours.

  4. Dave says:

    My impression is that Mr. Pincus is a self interested, preening narcissist wondering why he’s not more famous and more acknowledged as the gun rights deity he is. It’s a shame really, because if we’d paid more attention to him while he was trying to force us to purchase the valhalla cd’s he cold mailed us, we wouldn’t be staring at a Judas Goat within our community right now.

    Did anyone mention Rob calling open carriers “ass clowns”? google it.

    He also doesn’t like to be challenged or debated on his positions, as many in the 2A community have done. He’s great at getting clicks though and, making bloggers talk about him and blog commenters comment about him.

    I will counter Mr. Pincus with my proposal: If they’re so much a threat that they should be denied gun ownership / purchase, then they’re not allowed to walk the streets as free citizens, they’re in jail or prison. That way the rest of us don’t have to pay for the crimes of a few by sacrificing our liberty.

    • Andy B. says:

      “Did anyone mention Rob calling open carriers “ass clowns”? google it.

      Not doubting you (or what appears to be a thousand other people who seem to know about it) but do you have a link for the original source for that? There have been so many people talking about it, I can’t find my way back to the thing itself.

      I never heard of Pincus and I doubt he’s very important, so I won’t waste my time either defending or attacking him. He sounds garden-variety in the gun rights movement. But “context” is important. If he was talking about people who open carry for intimidation or veiled-threat purposes, yeah, they’re ass clowns, because that will backfire, and I think it is now demonstrable that it has. It they are sincere open carriers who have been persuaded there is some useful educational value in open carrying, or demonstrating for their rights, that’s different.

  5. Sean says:

    I’m glad I read your post before I even heard of the Rob Pincus article. Even then I mostly skimmed his article and didn’t really read it to understand it. It’s become totally freaking obvious that no one in the gun community bothered to actually read the article, because it’s exactly what you said it was. It’s a rope-a-dope. There’s no possible way for the anti-gunners to accept these policies, because they don’t want to reduce violence. They simply want to ban guns.

    Too bad our side is just as stupid as the other side.

  6. Andy B. says:

    Rob Pincus’s resume includes:

    “Rob has experience as a law enforcement officer and executive protection agent and was also commissioned as an officer in the United States Army Reserve after graduating from the Military College of Vermont with a degree in Political Science. Rob serves the San Miguel County Sheriff’s Office as a Training Officer and has been a staff writer with S.W.A.T. Magazine since 2001.”

    Considering that every time my gun rights were seriously “questioned” or violated, the incident was initiated by a LEO — either a local cop or the county sheriff — I’m a little confused why Pincus would be considered any kind of spokesman for gun rights. He may be super on firearms tactics and gun-related esoterica, but he would have no credibility with me when the question was any variety of individual rights.

  7. RAH says:

    Don’t know the guy. Had a hard time reading the entire piece. It is treasonous for sure. Expanded background are not acceptable. Period.

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