Question of the Day: Has a Sleeping Giant Been Wakened?

My Gun Rights Protect Your 1st Amendment Rights Greeting Cards

I recently wrote a post called DABDA. It applied the mental process of grief—-Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, Acceptance—to the challenges of armed self-defense. I’ve come to think that America’s Armed Intelligentsia are moving through this process en masse. I reckon the AI are at the end of the cycle, shaking off the depression born from the prospect of losing their Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms. They’re already moving into acceptance. Not acceptance of gun control (obviously). They’ve come to terms with the fact that they face a long and difficult battle. They’re . . . resolved. The majority of American gun owners are probably still in denial. But gun control advocates are already on the move, with everything to play for. Am I wrong?

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About Robert Farago

Robert Farago is the Publisher of The Truth About Guns (TTAG). He started the site to explore the ethics, morality, business, politics, culture, technology, practice, strategy, dangers and fun of guns.

59 Responses to Question of the Day: Has a Sleeping Giant Been Wakened?

  1. avatarMichael B. says:

    Because of all this I did something I never have before: joined all the gun rights organizations I could.

    I was always a member of the NRA, but my GOA membership had long ago lapsed and so had my SAF membership.

    Now I’m a paying member of all three again and I’ve donated to the Virginia Citizens Defense League. I’m looking for more gun rights organizations to contribute to, so please recommend them.

    I feel that we have a duty to exhaust all nonviolent political approaches to fight this corrupt government before falling back on the one that no sane person is spoiling to use to preserve our rights.

    So we have to fight them hard, give them not a single inch, and fight them forever. They must be fought in the legislatures, courts, and town halls around this country. If we do nothing the only option we’ll have left is the least desirable one.

    • avatarsurlycmd says:

      Yep, I renewed both my VCDL and Virginia Sports Shooting Association memberships recently.

    • avatarShire-man says:

      I did the same thing. Never was a member of any of them until this happened. Now I’m an NRA and GOA lifer and joined SAF too.

      The ground game is tougher. I’m either preaching to the choir or politely smiling while some emotionally crazed lunatic shouts insults at me.

      • avatarMichael B. says:

        I find that acquaintances who bring up bans don’t think about the actual impacts of it.

        “Should I be thrown in prison for ten years for owning something you don’t like that will never be used to hurt anyone?”

        Because that’s what the penalty will be, most likely, if an assault weapons ban passes. Ten years in the fed pen and for what?

        • avatarLarry says:

          And remind them of the tax revenues they will be missing while I’m in prison. Heck I will even be costing them.

  2. avatarBlehtastic says:

    There are a lot of gun owners out there that are either Fudds, or think of them as nothing more than cool toys. I’ve been trying really hard the past week or so not to start spouting off and alienating friends after I heard nutnfancy’s awesome words of wisdom. Either join the NRA (or GOA, whatever) or sell your damn guns.

    I don’t always agree with nutnfancy, but he’s really on point right now.

  3. avatarSteve in MA says:

    Gun owners action league is a good one up here in Massachusetts. Citizens Committee for the right to keep and bear arms is also really good.

    • avatarLarry says:

      A new poll has the majority of people against any ban on sporting rifles (what the misinformed media like to call assault weapons) like the ar15. Keep up the good work folks, our side is back on top.

        • avatarMikeP says:

          Good news I fear is irrelevant. Opposition to TARP was in the 70-80% range. Opposition to Obamacare was in the 60% range. These folks aren’t interested in balancing the will of the people against the constraints of the Constitution (as would be the case in a Republic run by honest people). They will manufacture consent – specifically, the *appearance* of consent – then force down our throats what they’ve wanted all along, I fear. They have a rabid, purple-faced, spittle-spewing crew of professional protesters toting empty boxes of “online petitions” and rattle cans ready to pose for the nearest camera (well, except for indie media that may not agree with their agenda or expose their parlor tricks on YouTube). This, it will be said by the mainstream meadia, is merely a sample of the outrage the “average American” feels about “weapons of war” in the hands of “regular people” with “no restrictions”, and therefore our Dear Leaders must “do something NOW!”. My fear. That being said, I’m not leaving or giving up on the fight. I just don’t trust them as far as I can throw them.

        • avatarAK says:

          Uh Larry, doesn’t that link show that more people are in favor of new laws against “assault weapons”?

        • avatarRobert M says:

          MikeP,

          And many congressmen / senator’s loss there seats over Obama care. Not many Republican or Red State Dem are likely going to go against the will of the people that elect them to pass Gun Control. The only way I can see it happen is if the senate passes an appropriation bill to address the taxes, and spending cut and includes the gun control as part of it. I am sure the House version wouldn’t include it but what comes out of the settlement committee would be anyone guess and if the house felt the grand comprise was worth it.

          Thanks
          Robert

  4. avatarCoyote Gray says:

    I am actually feeling optimistic. Largely because their appears to be a back lash against the media and our fellow citizens for demonizing every gun owner in this country which has coalesced us. Some 2A supporters would have been open to talking reasonable gun laws; or at least seemed happy to sit on the sidelines and let our inept legislative branch figure it all out. Particularly right after the Newtown Tragedy. Now, I’ve heard from many gun owners who are doubling down on the NRA’s opposition to ANY new gun laws and simply waiting for the battle to come.

    • avatarBiofire says:

      I am also optimistic. Explaining the need for AR-15s and 30 round mags as a practical matter, rather than a philosophical 2A issue, seems to be working, at least in my corner of the world.

  5. avatarDaniel says:

    Within the family, we have begun having conversations which we’ve never even dreamed of having before, and they have broadly added up to our increased resolve to protect the right which protects us. I’ve also completely gotten over the fact that some folks we know who were once nice people turned out to be seething with hatred when the cards hit the table, and I have long since made peace with the fact that these two-faced wolves in sheep’s clothing exist, and will continue to exist. That accounts for just about everything that even marginally held us back. Considering that this was a family conversation which everyone with firearms participated in, I’m willing to bet that we’re not the only family in this nation who has gone through these motions.
    I think we just made a sudden jump to gun owner 3.0.

    • avatarJon says:

      Agreed, as my experiences in talking with extended family members over the last couple of days have been extremely positive.

      I’m the only one in this large group that actually owns a “military-style rifle”, so I wasn’t sure what to expect when the conversation turned to Newtown. But everyone understood and agreed what was at stake if the Federal government attempts to pass another gun ban.

      One of those family members (who–again–does not own a military-style rifle) renewed his NRA membership as a result of the media assault post-Newtown. Another family member has decided to purchase an AR-15. Two other family members (both female) have decided to purchase handguns and obtain concealed carry permits. My father-in-law, who has never owned anything more powerful than a 9mm, is incensed that the media are portraying semi-automatic rifles as machine guns. A brother and brother-in-law, both of whom are on the opposite end of the political spectrum from myself, nonetheless perceive that the Feinsteins of the world are simply taking advantage of the situation for their own political agenda, rather than proposing anything that would actually help to prevent another massacre like Newtown.

      So like you, Daniel, I’m feeling encouraged. I’ve said several times on this board that we’re stronger than some of us think we are. Now, I’m starting to wonder if we’re stronger than even I thought we are.

  6. avatarBiofire says:

    In response to your question–we’ll see. We all know that gun debates come in cycles. I myself wrote (and got published) a letter to the San Francisco Chronicle railing against Di-Fi about using the word “clips”. In the letter, I said that only in CA do we ban things that we don’t understand.

    But here’s what I don’t understand about gunners. It seems that everyone wants to win by arguing about the 2A. And yet, I don’t think that argument persuades many people because it often comes off like a he-said, she-said argument where there is no clear winner. And right now, we need to persuade people.

    So for now, I think the way to persuade them, is to explain when you might want to have an AR-15. So here are some ideas:

    1. Its like a fire extinguisher. I really hope I don’t need a 30 round mag, but here in Oakland, home invasions of four armed career criminals is not uncommon. In some cases, these criminals just shoot to kill, and then rob the house. Its a lot easier than tying people up. So yes, in an emergency, I do need 30 rounds.

    2. Remind people about the LA Riots. Korean store owners used AR-15s with 30 round mags to defend their businesses.

    3. Hurricane Katrina. Cite “The Great New Orleans Gun Grab” by H. Masson to explain what happens in times of emergency. Local POs went house to house confiscating guns from law-abiding citizens. You know what happened next.

    4. Read “Armed” by Kleck and Kates to make sure that you really know the scientific facts about gun use AND about how the media portrays guns.

    There are certainly more reasons, but I have had success with these.

    • avatarDaniel says:

      My general argument for home defense:
      What kind of sadistic monster would handicap themselves in the defense of their family’s lives?
      If they try to dance around that question with a “Yeah, but-” then wag your finger and say “answer the question.”
      If you can’t appeal to their humanity, then they are unreachable. Emotion is the alpha and omega with these people. Like any good martial art, you use your opponent’s momentum against them: If they answer in the negative to such a question, then they’ve turned their own argumentative logic on its ear, and you’re not going to reach them.

      • avatarW C says:

        I live in a small town, and in the past 10 years, there have been four instances of self-defense guns being used. The first user is now in prison, having used her self-defense gun on her cheating husband. The second user is now missing a thumb, having accidentally shot it off. The third user will be in prison for the rest of his life, having killed his two neighbors over a boundary dispute. The fourth user is dead, having killed herself one miserable Valentines Day.
        Not once was a bad guy prevented from breaking into a home or doing harm to anyone’s family. I know gun sites and magazines are full of those stories, but they shine a light on only very select cases, which if repeated over and over, can lead to paranoia about all the bad guys ready to “get” you. If you know some local paramedics or police, they can give you an idea of what percentage of gunshots are accidental, self inflicted, used on a family member, etc. in your area.

        • avatarDaniel says:

          Hi W C,
          I think we all know that there are irresponsible, and- tragically- suicidal people in society. That will never change, and my heart goes out to the families that are touched by this kind of violence. I do not see why that is some kind of argument against those of us who know how to handle a firearm in a bad situation and would never use it for evil, or turn it on ourselves, though.
          All my love and respect to those whom have been touched by gun violence, but an equal measure goes out to those who know how to handle them and wish to ensure their families’ future with them.

        • avatarRobert M says:

          WC,

          OK so we take away there guns. So the wife stabs her cheating husband. The second guy is he was careless so who know if he would or wouldn’t loss something with a power tool. How many people ever year get hurt with power tools yet we don’t see people calling for stiff controls or outright bans on them. The 3rd guy who killed his neighbor would have likely used a chain saw or a knife just as easily. and finally they woman who committed suicide is actually unusual. Men use guns woman prefer hanging and leaving there car running in a garage. But the fact is if she was serious about committing suicide then there are lots of other ways she could do so.

    • avatarAlexBosco says:

      I agree with you, but you mention things that are perceived and happen rarely. As I always tell people I think it’s best to inform yourself with facts. The antigun nuts want to ban assault guns…so lets do the math. If homicide by firearm is a little less than 12000 deaths per year, and rifles (assault guns in this case) account for a little less than 2%, we are talking about 240 deaths per year caused by an assault rifle. There are anywhere between 3 and 5 million assault weapon owned by law abiding citizens. Lets use the lowest number possible and say 3 million. This means that .008% of assault guns are used in a homicide amongst a pool of over 3 million law abiding citizens. SO…the antigun nuts and people like Diane Fienstien want to ban a type of gun owned by over 3 million to stop .008% of crime??? And the logic here is where???? The facts stated above can be found on the CDC and FBI websites.

    • avatarMr aNINNYmouse says:

      “2. Remind people about the LA Riots. Korean store owners used AR-15s with 30 round mags to defend their businesses.”

      AKs too….

      [don't marginalize us AK guys, man ;) ]

  7. avatarDracon1201 says:

    I have joined every organization I can and thrown my support in strongly, I argue any anti gun crap I overhear, and assimilate any fact I find. Yeah, yeah they kinda invoked a cluster**** of backlash that is gaining momentum in the face of the mistakes the constitution hating, victimizing thugs have created in their haste. The horses have amassed, now someone just needs to yell “charge!”

  8. avatarJ says:

    Yes most Americans are acting just like the Californians before them. Go ahead and give up on your rights and see what happens. See where it gets you in 10 years. I bet you the county won’t be better.

    You could concede to the kings and queens to live an oppressed life if you so choose. Just remember it is a lot harder to go back on that decision.

  9. avatarLance says:

    I think your right gun owners like this weekends protest in W. Virgina shows we are waking up and will fight for our freedoms.

  10. avatarAccur81 says:

    I rejoined the NRA and joined the Firearms Policy Coalition. I’m much more excited about the FPC, personally. I’m not terribly impressed with LaPierre. For $900 grand a year, I expect a whole lot better. Regardless, I appreciate many of the NRA’s prior efforts and legislative pull.

    Regardless, my resolve and that of our family has been strengthened. I’ve got a son on the way any day, and I’m already in the process of building him an AR-15. That little bugger is going to grow up with an appreciation for freedom.

  11. avatarJay Dunn says:

    Today I did something I have never in my long life ever done before. I wrote and sent what I believe were non-hysterical and well-reasoned letters to:
    My congressman-John Yarmuth
    My US senators-Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul
    My Ky. state senator-Julie Denton
    My Ky. state representative-Darryl Owens

    I cannot join the NRA since I am already a member, but tonight I am going to join the GOA. All of this is because of you people at TTAG/AI

  12. avatarAnon in Ct says:

    Nationally, things will likely be OK.

    Here in CT, we are fvcked.

    • avatarWhilemyTZgentlyweeps says:

      I thought the same thing.

      Living in CT all my life, I understand the invincible ignorance and parochial mindset of CT residents when it comes to, well, anything. The state is falling apart around us, but no one seems to notice. It is akin to when the residents of Sunnydale, CA in Buffy the Vampire Slayer ignore the vampires, demons, and assorted supernatural nasties that run amok in their town because they don’t want to deal with it.

      So, yeah we got a hell of a battle on our hands. But I’m not ready to play dead. In full disclosure, I certainly was for the first few days, but as the days wore on, and the more I thought about it, the more pissed off I became. Here I was grieving for the loss of what was, in a very real way, the continuation of the human race and future, and Dannel is on the radio ready to come to my house and take my Saiga. What the hell is wrong with these people? I’m done dealing with their self righteous ignorance. I’m ready to fight.

      In the past week, I’ve joined CTcarry and CCDL and made what donations I could afford. I will be writing my representatives. I am coming out of the gun cabinet, so to speak, with my friends. I’m going to buy an NRA shirt and walk around the mall. I will show up and respectfully protest where needed, and speak where I can.

      If Bye’s legislation passes, it will end, in short order, any substantive gun rights in CT. With those gun rights, as we’ve seen in Great Britain, go the right to effective self defense. It troubles me greatly as, at the end of the day, how legitimate or just can a government be, local or otherwise, that fails to protect and recognize the right to to self-defense, which is antecedent to the existence of the state?

      We can’t just give up. Keep the faith and keep fighting.

  13. avatarSteve Ramsey says:

    I’m seeing signs that the firearms community is getting activated. There is more talk-back in the papers and on the net.

    The anti gun advocacy seems to be losing steam:
    Liberals Panic As They Lose the Gun Narrative
    http://townhall.com/columnists/kurtschlichter/2012/12/26/liberals-panic-as-they-lose-the-gun-narrative-n1473885

    And one poll looks less than disastrous:
    Gallup: Majority opposes ban on so-called ‘assault weapons’
    http://www.examiner.com/article/gallup-majority-opposes-ban-on-so-called-assault-weapons?cid=db_articles

  14. avatarChris says:

    How many guns and AR style weapons were sold in the last 10 days? Hundreds of Thousands? Millions? Not sure how many we’re from first time buyers or current owners but every semi auto rifle produced in the foreseeable future will find a good home until it becomes illegal to sell them.

  15. avatargringito says:

    Laws and even the Constitution are –in essence- man made social agreements.

    We may agree that not all Laws are intelligent or helpfull..but they are what they are.

    So what would you do if (just as a hypothetical nightmare..) the majority of the U.S. citizens decides ¨we want no guns in the hands of private persons – we ban all guns” and ¨we decide to abolish the Second Amendment to the Constitution”?

    The decicion to do so may not be the best for society..but you are outnumbered by your fellow citizens.

    And now what???

    • avatarjwm says:

      Gringito, there’s a procedure for changing the constitution. If the anti’s thought for a minute they could pull it off they’d already be at it.

      But, for the sake of argument, they pull it off and make all guns illegal. That’s the beauty of being an old fart. I know I’ve got fewer years in front of me than I have behind me. If they want my guns they can come and get them. There’s nothing I can do to stop them. Hopefully the one’s that come will be young with a lot to live for.

      Because they’ll have to decide if my guns are worth dying for to take. I know they’re worth dying for to keep.

      And for those of you that think this is false bravado, I’ve risked my life on more than one occasion for things that had less meaning and value to me than my guns.

      And what example would I be setting for my kids and grandkids if I submitted meekly to the tyranny of the mob?

      • avatarAccur81 says:

        Molon Labe or Captain Moonlight?

        • avatarjwm says:

          For more than 2,000 years the Spartans that flung those words into the face of their enemy have been remembered. Books have been written, movies made about them.

          Not a bad legacy. Pray for peace, prepare for war.

    • avatarWhilemyTZgentlyweeps says:

      I was thinking the same thing today. I’d rather not have to think about it. Recently, the focus of TTAG has been rational arguments for why greater gun control would be counter productive. But what if all our efforts fail?

      You mentioned the concept of government and its laws as a social contract. It is not because we have made laws that our right to self, liberty, and property exist. It is because they exist, whether as a byproduct of God’s plan, natural law, or just the roll of the dice, that we make laws.

      Laws are the collective recognition that we have an individual right to the defense, even through force, of these three essential aspects of our humanity. If an individual has the right to use force to defend himself, his liberty, or property, then we have the right to come together collectively to create a common force for the defense of these rights.

      However, what happens when a government actively abrogates those rights? Can it really have any legitimacy? What do I do then? I’m not a chest thumping type and, frankly, my last fight was in freshmen year of high school. Its not just the second amendment issues, as many of our other rights are also under attack, and they are all equally important.

      I will be honest. If this continues, it may require something of all of us that, frankly, are we ready for?

      • avatarMy name is Bob says:

        Yes. My rather liberal leaning father asked me on Christmas Day, “If they repealed the 2nd amendment, would you turn in your guns?” To which I replied, “Over my dead body.”

        • avatargringito says:

          Ok folks…but then you would no longer be a good law abiding citizen.
          The fact that a government may ban ALL guns does not necessarily make this government tyranny, in particular if it is (hypothetically) supported by the majority of its citizens.
          Ya see the problem?

  16. avatarSDFreeman says:

    “Father the sleeper has awakened” from the movie Dune

  17. avatarCasey T says:

    While this awakened the gun control lobby, I think it also awoke the gun lobby. Look at everyone joining some organization to protect gun rights and everyone talking with family and friends about guns. The country is polarized but as we endure, so does our education of the public. We will get there.

  18. avatarGreg in Allston says:

    I certainly hope that the “sleeping giant” has been awakened and that soon there will be even more rifles, pistols and shotguns behind all of the blades of grass in this fine country of ours. First on the list is that we need to make the Gun-Free-Zone fantasy disappear. This fatal delusion and its proponents have been directly responsible for an unspeakable amount of carnage. It simply has to stop.

    All of the Armed Intelligentsia need to support the organizations that try to protect our specifically enumerated, essential, fundamental civil and human right to the proper and most effective tools by which we may defend ourselves, our loved ones and our communities against those that would do us harm. If you aren’t a member of the NRA, SAF, GOA, JFPO and your state chapters, you need to join now. If you have problems with Wayne and the NRA, keep it in your back pocket for the time being and work to make changes down the road. Now is NOT the time to focus on minutia, trivialities, petty or real disagreements. Now is the time to coalesce as a united front of unassailable purpose.

    Sadly, the events at Sandy Hook Elementary have provided our opponents with the “American Dunblane”. As we can all too plainly see, they are not letting this crisis go to waste. The martial arts teaches us that it is to your advantage to turn one’s opponent’s energy against them. We must do that now and we must deliver a crushing blow. If we don’t all hang together now, we shall all be hung separately later.

  19. avatarCoyote Gray says:

    Just joined the NRA right now. I’d be interested in seeing how their numbers have looked since the tragedy.

    • avatarLance says:

      NRA membership is skyrocketing. NRA and Fox news said since the murders 8000+ a day are signing up for NRA membership!

  20. avatarThe 4th says:

    This “don’t let a crisis go to waste” administration would do well to remember the voter response to the assault weapons ban in November 1994.

    I have spent a lot of time lately arguing with liberals on Facebook (sometimes shamelessly plagiarizing arguments found here – thanks for the AR definition post) about gun bans and gun free zones. They have nothing but an emotional response and are running out of steam. There has been almost no replies to my last several posts. As Charles Krauthammer said, “Gun control impinges upon the Second Amendment; involuntary commitment impinges upon the liberty clause of the Fifth Amendment; curbing ‘entertainment’ violence impinges upon First Amendment–protected free speech. That’s a lot of impingement, a lot of amendments. But there’s no free lunch. Increasing public safety almost always means restricting liberties.” Liberals are very willing to impinge on the Second Amendment, even when study after (peer reviewed) study shows that it is not simply useless, but counter-productive. The other amendments – not so much. That would violate their emotional absorption.

  21. avatarSammy says:

    Some of the arguments are really incoherent. I just Juan Williams say 1) “We need to prevent serial numbers from being able to be filed off” and 2) In a discussion on that paper’s interactive web maps of gun owners ” I wish we had a map with dots for the criminals who had guns” DUH! These are counterpoints to our God-given rights? Yea, Constitution-Bill of Rights. Fine. Nature, or whatever you deem a higher power demands you defend yourself and keep yourself and your family alive. Period.

  22. Wrote letter to Obama and senator about gun issues. Good to let the politicians know where they stand, especially when reelection will loom in a small state.

    The gun prohibitionists attempted to manipulate a random act of mindlessness into a longtime agenda. Fortunately, the American public are smart enough to see that Feinstein, Pelosi, and Obama aren’t leading, but reacting to a madmen to push a preexisting agenda.

  23. avatarJohnnyNRA says:

    On Monday March 11, 2013, Congress is reportedly beginning impeachment proceedings against Barack Obama.

    Members of Congress are reportedly beginning impeachment against Barack Obama based on the grounds of unauthorized military use in Libya and Syria. Congress is also looking at his involvement in Fast and Furious.

    According to Congressional representatives Barack Obama has violated the rules set that clearly state that the President must seek Congressional approval before using military force. Now he says it was OK because he had international support. But how does that make it okay? They aren’t our Congress. They don’t determine what is right or wrong for us

  24. avatarJohnnyNRA says:

    Members of Congress are reportedly beginning impeachment against Barack Obama based on the grounds of unauthorized military use in Libya and Syria. Congress is also looking at his involvement in Fast and Furious.
    According to Congressional representatives Barack Obama has violated the rules set that clearly state that the President must seek Congressional approval before using military force. Now he says it was OK because he had international support. But how does that make it okay? They aren’t our Congress. They don’t determine what is right or wrong for us.
    Congress constitutes an impeachable high crime and misdemeanor under article II, Section 4 of the Constitution.”
    The Republicans want to know how President Obama was able to use military force in Libya last year.
    Republicans are pushing a resolution through Congress, which has been highly underreported by mainstream media, to look into further actions to be taken upon the President. Since it explicitly states in the Constitution that the President must ask permission from Congress to use military forces in another country, sources say there is clear cause for impeachment

  25. avatarJohnnyNRA says:

    The constitutional powers of the President as Commander-in-Chief to introduce United States Armed Forces into hostilities, or into situations where imminent involvement in hostilities is clearly indicated by the circumstances, are exercised only pursuant to

    (1) a declaration of war,

    (2) specific statutory authorization, or

    (3) a national emergency created by attack upon the United States, its territories or possessions, or its armed forces.

    Now number 3 is the most important because the President could twist it around to say it qualified under this section. There’s no set definition of this particular clause in any great detail

  26. avatarJohnnyNRA says:

    This further proves is why Congress is on recess, and been getting so much beef from the press

    This concurrent resolution was agreed to by both chambers of Congress on February 15, 2013. That is the end of the legislative process for concurrent resolutions. They do not have the force of law.

    http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/113/hconres15

  27. avatarJohnnyNRA says:

    H.Con.Res. 1: Regarding consent to assemble outside the seat of government.
    http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/113/hconres1

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