9/11 Thoughts on Voting and Gun Rights

September 11, 2012 is an auspicious day for at least two reasons that I  can think of. First and foremost, its a day of remembrance of terrible events that happened only a few short years ago. Events that jarred many in this county out of the safe cocoon-like feeling that they had lived in and brought to their attention that even ordinary, everyday people could be victims of extreme acts of hatred and violence . . .

In some ways, September 11 was the beginning of our new firearms renaissance, too. Sure, the Heller and McDonald Supreme Court decisions sped things along and the various mass shootings over the years certainly contributed to the momentum, but it was that dark day in September that really got things moving forward. Today, more and more of our fellow citizens are coming to realize that they are the ones responsible for their safety and for the safety of their loved ones. And they’re purchasing their first guns and learning how to use them.  The tide of pro-gun in this county has been slowly moving in our direction ever since.

There are, of course, those forces arrayed who want to turn that tide wherever possible.  They can marshal fairly significant resistance to the pro-gun movement, particularly when they or one of their puppets holds an office where anti-gun legislation can be passed.  Pro-2A people must then fight that legislation in the courts which is both time and cost intensive. I’d much rather have pro-gun legislation passed and let the Brady Bunch and friends do the court route.

This brings me to the second reason that today is an auspicious day. In New Hampshire (and I suspect in many other places) today is the state primary election to determine who will represent the major parties in the state elections (Governor, state legislature, etc.) to be held concurrently with the national elections in November. State elections don’t often draw much interest. Heck, reaching 50% voter turnout in a Presidential Election is usually a struggle, so getting a decent turnout for a state election — or worse, a state primary — is nearly impossible.

But, to people who care about their rights, it’s no less important and arguably more important than the national election.  The men and women who run our states have more direct control over our lives than the President and Congress. Take a cautionary look at Illinois for example. It’s the only state in the union that flat out denies its citizens the right to bear arms. If you could change the makeup of the politicians who run the state, you can  change those laws.

For this reason, I made the effort today to vote in my state primary. While I generally try to avoid being a single issue voter, the fact is that I know very little about many of the candidates. What I do know, however, courtesy of a handy guide published by Go-NH, the state NRA affiliate, was how the various candidates stood with respect to gun rights.

In my mind, gun rights are a litmus test of sorts for a person’s position on other matters.  Chances are that someone who is pro-RKBA isn’t likely to support the passage of other laws that restrict our freedoms. A pro-gun candidate generally believes in the individual and wants to create a legislative environment with a government that interferes as little as possible. This isn’t always the case, but it is the rule far more than the exception.

While I consider myself a middle of the road voter and don’t ally directly with either major party, the Go-NH guide told me that if I wanted to vote for candidates that support gun-friendly laws, I needed to be voting in the Republican primary today. Had I chosen the Democrat ballot, I would have left a lot of blanks on it as I will not cast a vote for a candidate who is anti-gun.

The ranking of the candidates was based upon their actual voting history and in the case where the candidate was new or had no history, they were asked to fill out a survey and sign a pro-gun rights pledge.

What was surprising to me is that many of the candidates simply elected to not return the survey at all — both Republicans and Democrats. Particularly when you live in a state as gun-friendly as New Hampshire, you don’t do all that much harm to your candidacy by letting voters know you’re pro-gun rights. It’s a shame because many candidates did not a get vote from me for that simple reason.

The fact is many voters are single issue voters of one sort or another. For some, it’s a candidate’s support for one particular issue that will get them out to vote at all. For me, it’s just the opposite. I might like a lot about a certain candidate, but being anti-gun loses my vote for sure. I won’t budge when a candidate proposes to take away any of my God-given Constitutionally protected rights.

If you have the opportunity today, get out and vote. Perhaps you can consider your participation in the democratic process today a small tribute to all those people who lost their lives eleven years ago as well as to the men and women of our armed forces and first responder communities who have lost their lives over the past 11 years dealing with what was unleashed by the airborne cowards on September 11, 2001.

comments

  1. avatar Aharon says:

    I’m waiting for a certain person to first post something online before I vote.

  2. avatar jwm says:

    i am a single issue voter. that issue being guns. if every gun owner in america voted their guns this issue would be settled quickly.

  3. avatar anonymous says:

    “And they’re purchasing their first guns and learning how to use them.”

    I really really disagree with the second part of that sentence.

    As Todd Green wrote in a comment on another blog:

    The generally accepted number in the gun industry, based on various surveys of gun-buyers over the years, is that on average, a handgun purchased in the United States will be fired less than 50 times. For every internet poster who own ten guns that have each been fired 1,000 times, there are dozens and dozens of people who walked into a gun shop, purchased a pistol and a box of ammo, and never once took that gun to a range. Those people, obviously, don’t read and post on forums and gun blogs.

    Ask anyone who’s worked at a gun shop and I guarantee they’ve had customers complain about having to buy A WHOLE BOX of ammo when the gun only holds 15 (or 8, or whatever).

    When I worked at SIG, there was serious discussion about producing a pistol that came PRE LOADED with 15rd in a non-removable mag. The gun could be made of very cheap material because it only had to survive 15 rounds of fire. It was rejected on technical capability grounds, not because there would be a lack of demand.

  4. avatar Aharon says:

    True that many gun owners never fire their guns (I think especially handguns) or if they did go to a range or event with their new gun, and fired the gun, it left their home often only once or twice. That does make shopping for ‘used’ ‘like new’ handguns a bit easier.

  5. avatar Thomas Paine says:

    OT- anybody watching the Zimmerman/Martin thing on Dr. Phil?

    1. avatar Sanchanim says:

      Oh please dr. phil!!! I wonder what he is calling Mr. Z.

  6. avatar Sanchanim says:

    Having been raised a liberal I hate pointing fingers, but…..
    You only need go as far as the DNC platform to figure out who to vote for.

    “We recognize that the individual right to bear arms is an important part of the American tradition, and we will preserve Americans’ Second Amendment right to own and use firearms. We believe that the right to own firearms is subject to reasonable regulation. We understand the terrible consequences of gun violence; it serves as a reminder that life is fragile, and our time here is limited and precious. We believe in an honest, open national conversation about firearms. We can focus on effective enforcement of existing laws, especially strengthening our background check system, and we can work together to enact commonsense improvements—like reinstating the assault weapons ban and closing the gun show loophole—so that guns do not fall into the hands of those irresponsible, law-breaking few.”

    It is right there in black and white: “We believe that the right to own firearms is subject to reasonable regulation.” or “enact commonsense improvements—like reinstating the assault weapons ban and closing the gun show loophole” How many times have we seen instances where “common sense” isn’t logical at all. We only need look at Chicago to see that cities and states can thumb there nose at the Supreme Court with impunity. This all of course is driven by an anti 2-A mindset and such travesties of justice are simply ignored.

    If you are an official member of the DNC and running as a democrat than you are forced by the party to adopt this stance. So if you are a one issue voter, there you go.

    Most of us are not one issue voters. But having said that, many also feel two things. One is they are afraid of change again. Two is they know things need major change, and anyone else is better than where we stand right now.

    You are right about one thing, undoing something that might even be blatantly unconstitutional is very difficult. It is much easier to pass legislation than it is to repeal it.

    1. avatar anonymous says:

      Tell that to <a href="http://john-ross.net/congress.php">John Ross.

      In 1998, I was the Democratic candidate for U.S. Congress in Missouri’s 2nd District. (I ran as a pre-Roosevelt Democrat, which is what I am: a Democrat without the Socialism.)

      1. avatar jwm says:

        if the dems ever want my support they’re going to have to can schumer, difi, boxer, pelosi and both clintons. that’s a good start in the right direction.

    2. avatar Johnny Mac says:

      I would just like to point out that for all of the fear-mongering–not necessarily unjusitifed–Obama has not actually signed any anti-gun legisliation into law. Which puts him ahead of Mitt Romney.

      The DNC platform calls for a renewal of the “assault weapon” ban. Mitt Romney signed a ban like this into law when he was governor of Massachusetts.

      I think there is sense in what you say, but the higher up in the elected-position hierarchy you go, the more there are issues that trump gun rights. How else to explain gun advocates stumping for a Republican presidential nominee with a proven anti-gun track record?

      By all means vote Republican for your congressman and senator (with a few exceptions) but Mitt Romney had his chance years ago to prove himself a friend to the pro-gun crowd and he blew it. The Republican party tends to take the pro-gun vote for granted, and, in this case, it is undeserved.

      1. avatar Totenglocke says:

        The problem being that, while Mitt is extremely anti-gun (as is Obama), Mitt will not want to do anything too stupid in his first term or he won’t get re-elected. Obama won’t have a third term and can do all sorts of evil things once he’s no longer accountable to the American people.

        Just look at the judges he’s appointed so far – do you really want more judges like that? What about the bullshit that is the Executive Order and how many freedoms he could take away with that?

        I utterly despise Mitt and honestly haven’t decided yet if I’ll hold my nose and vote for him just to get Obama out or vote for Gary Johnson, but I do know that I truly do not want an Obama unleashed.

        1. avatar Anon in CT says:

          Mitt’s far from perfect, but if we can also elect a Congress which will send him good bills, and not send him stupid sh*t, to sign, he will be an acceptable president.

        2. avatar That_Guy says:

          You want to talk about taking away freedom? How about we thumb through the patriot act.

        3. avatar jwm says:

          neither party has done anything about the patriot act. in that regard they’re equally guilty.

        4. avatar Billy Wardlaw says:

          I take the long view. I am voting 3rd party.

        5. avatar Totenglocke says:

          @Billy – If we had restrictions on laws such as congressmen / senators who propose (I’d say vote for, but that might be a bit harsh) unconstitutional laws lose their jobs and have to pay a hefty fine for trying to violate our rights, we wouldn’t have to worry about nearly as much and I think a large number of people would vote third party. Sadly, we have an out of control government that can take away our rights at will, so we end up voting for the person who’s going to take away the least rights or at least the ones that aren’t quite as important.

  7. avatar bontai Joe says:

    My state primary was some months ago, and I did vote in it as I always do. Too many sacrificed too much over this nation’s history to give me the freedom to vote, that I can’t bear the thought of not going to the polls. On this day of rememberance, I remember standing in a fairly long line at Walmart 11 years ago to buy ammunition. We each quietly took our turn, bought what we felt we needed, the clerk asked each of us why we were buying ammo that day, and I think we all answered that hunting season was coming soon, and we needed to sight in our rifle(s) and handgun(s). I suppose if any of us had said, “I’m buying these bullets go I can kill me some (insert ethnic slurr here).” that they would have been turned away. Funny how no one asked me why I was buying 50 lb bags of rice, and a case of tuna fish and another of spam and bottled water at the grocery store. I look at some of my choices this November and I think, would I want that person in charge during another attack? And I’m not just talking president, but also US senator, congressman, governor etc. How would these people handle a similar situation? Would they surround themselves with the type of staff personnel that can also deal with it, or will it be a room full of cronies and butt kissers. I live in PA, but work in NJ and 11 years ago, we went home early from work, because the media was reporting that the bridges over the Delaware River might all be closed as a security measure. Closed with the use of National Guard troops. That would have prevented me from going home. I’m not sure how closing a bridge would protect anything on either side, but those were the kinds of decisions being pondered that day. Remembering the aftermath of Katrina, it was local politicians that pretty much violated everyone’s rights in New Orleans. Just about anyone with a decent liberal arts education can run local, state and federal government agencies and bureaus when all is running smoothly. The folks we WANT to be running things are the people that can run them when the poop hits the ventilator. That is who we need to look for in this election and every election. Former Mayor Guliani in NYC would be a good example, not especially a likeable guy, not flashy on TV, but in a crisis? pretty good guy to have around, and most of his staff showed similar talents. Avoid the guys that would hole up in a bunker and let the rest of the population die. Avoid the guys that declare marshall law, disarm everyone, and then leave you to defend yourself (Katrina, Rodney King riots in LA come to mind) Important stuff to consider above and beyond the school tax bill, property tax increases, and the other “regular everyday stuff” that government does.

  8. avatar Ing says:

    Some very good points here. Please, don’t be a single-issue voter.

    If you’ve considered the big picture and Second Amendment concerns are what tips the scale, that’s fine. But if guns are the *only* issue that decides your vote, then you are officially part of the problem.

    Democrats and Republicans alike have rotten planks in their platforms, and you have to weigh the good against the bad. Voting constantly on one single issue tells politicians that they can do anything else they want, as long as you get your Scooby-snack. That said, there’s power in using your vote to let them know exactly which straw broke the camel’s back.

    Government will never change for the better if we don’t make politicians of all persuasions account for the stupid things they do.

  9. avatar Mr. Lion says:

    I’m not a single issue voter. I’m a survival of the effing country voter. Besides that, the rest is minutiae that is easily dealt with after the fact.

  10. avatar Michael B. says:

    I largely think voting is a waste of time, but when I do vote I pull the lever for pro-gun candidates only. I’d rather not become a criminal just because Dianne Feinstein and a bunch of statist anti-liberty pigs have a majority.

    You can hem and haw over every other damn issue. But your right to defend yourself from criminal attack (whether the criminal is government or one of its enabled inner-city thugs) with the most effective means possible is the most basic and most important right you possess. You have a right to life. But if you can’t protect it then you’re **** out of luck. Nothing else matters.

  11. avatar Bob says:

    In my mind, gun rights are a litmus test of sorts for a person’s position on other matters. Chances are that someone who is pro-RKBA isn’t likely to support the passage of other laws that restrict our freedoms. A pro-gun candidate generally believes in the individual and wants to create a legislative environment with a government that interferes as little as possible. This isn’t always the case, but it is the rule far more than the exception.
    You’d be surprised – most of them are all for freedom as long as it is not the freedom to marry who or what you want or freedom to do what you want with your body or freedom to believe in what god/gods you want.

  12. avatar Dracon1201 says:

    I say put Obama in the White House and have a Republican majority in Congress. Four years where no sh^t gets passed is a good four years for us until we can swing the majority of the public and start to work against the Democrats Anti 2a stance. Maybe we can then not have to worry about gun rights so much after that. If we buy some time, we can make it a major issue that they can’t touch out of a fear of the votes of the public.

    1. avatar Jim Barrett says:

      Four more years of Obama means that it is likely an Obama-nominated justice replaces one of the remaining conservatives on the Supreme Court. If that happens and another gun case makes it to the SC, you can expect things to go the other way. Heller and McDonald were one vote majorities. Change one “conservative” to a “liberal” and that one vote majority starts undoing gun rights. Remember, in the end the Constitution means whatever the heck the SC says it means and our personal beliefs don’t matter. If they choose to one day interpret 2A differently, then things could get very ugly.

      1. avatar Mr. Lion says:

        To say nothing of what can be accomplished via executive order.

        Doing nothing in the state the economy and fiscal sanity is in right now would be economic suicide. We don’t need four years of do nothing malaise. We need eight years of sound fiscal policy, and as is increasingly becoming an issue thanks to “smart diplomacy”, foreign policy.

    2. avatar din says:

      oh, so you mean exactly like things are now? look how well that’s been working out for the country. I agree that gun control needs to be taken off the table entirely, but having a bunch of corporate plunder-and-burn types continuing to run the show isn’t going to make things better, either. and before any knuckledragging pigschtuppers complain about socialism, please remember that a) no, you are never going to be rich enough for taxing the upper-class to matter, despite your conviction that obama is the one keeping your dumb ass in the poorhouse, and b) the country’s history is full of instances of actual patriots stepping in to prevent assclowns like romney and his ilk from continuing to sodomize the entire nation, and as soon as people start bitching about taxes all the stuff that makes America great starts to disappear.

  13. avatar RIGHT! says:

    The Dems were taken over by Commies dressed as Socialists in the 1930’s
    In the 1960’s they were Marxists Dressed as socialists
    In 2012 the Marxists wore Burkahs, rejected Christian Culture, the most modern, open and enlightened religion on the planet, Damned Israel, the fountain head of Christian belief and embraced Islamo Fascisim.
    I hope I’ve made my feelings clear

  14. avatar John Dickson says:

    I would encourage everyone to disregard what ANY politician says……instead, look at that they DO. An excellent article on the Mitt vs. Obama record, plus the fluff coming out of their respective mouths in The Christian Science Monitor. Reprinted in the Business Insider. http://www.businessinsider.com/obama-vs-romney-gun-control-2012-9

    Interesting…..Obama has reduced restrictions on gun rights. Mitt, in 2007 supported ban on assault weapons…….

    Now as far as limiting our freedoms. Have you actually READ the Patriot Act???? Signed into law by our Republican president and congress. If you have not noticed our freedoms being taken away over the last decade, you may want to re-evaluate.

    And no, not democrat. I am a registered Republican. Just not one who ignores the facts and listens to the con job politicians of every stripe puke out every day.

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