This is Not 1994

 

TTAG reader Dyspeptic Gunsmith writes:

I was involved hot and heavy in the RKBA battles in CA in 1989, in the battles leading up to 1994 and several others besides. In 1994, the political climate was far different. I get the distinct impression that most of you on TTAG were too young to be politically aware in the 80′s and early 90′s, so I’m going to fill you adorable tykes in on what went before. Pull up a lawn chair while Grampa Dyspeptic fills y’all in. School is now in session . . .

First, the meaning of the Second Amendment was up in the air at that time. There was only desultory debate among legal scholars; the “received wisdom” from on high was that it was a “collective” right. There was only the beginning of legal scholarship being published for the “individual right” ‘interpretation’ of the Second Amendment. About the only papers in law journals by 1994 discussing the individual rights interpretation were Sanford Levinson’s The Embarrassing Second Amendment and follow-up to same.

There were some papers published by Don Kates arguing for a right to keep and bear arms, and that even if the Second were found to be collective by the SCOTUS, there was still an argument to be put forth for ownership of handguns for self-defense under the Ninth Amendment. Remember, the “assault weapon” issue was new back then, and that the real animus was against handguns of all types.

The NRA didn’t want to take any Second Amendment case to court for fear that they would lose. Constitutional experts like Don Kates used to fume at the NRA back then, because the NRA back then was filled with hook-n-bullet OFWG’s who thought that “assault weapons” were evil and that if they could just give the anti’s the “bad black guns,” and maybe even strict licensing of handguns, the anti’s would leave the hook-n-bullet boys’ Parkers and Winchesters alone.

In other words, we had a fight on two fronts: We were fighting the likes of Feinstein and Schumer in Congress, and we were fighting our supposed allies who stabbed us in our backs more often than they’d just keep quiet. What most of you don’t realize is that post-1994, the NRA became a wholly different organization. The hook-n-bullet boys were effectively purged from the leadership of the organization. I’d like to think that my group of RKBA advocates had something to do with Chuck Heston and Ted Nugent getting into positions of leadership at the NRA – because we campaigned to them directly and to the NRA’s leadership group.

In early 1994, there was precious little study of guns as a deterrent to violence or armed criminals. Gary Kleck’s studies and books were just coming out in early 1994 – and they sold like hotcakes among us in the RKBA movement back then, but the information was so new, the studies were still being hotly debated and answered by Kleck in refereed journals, that they were of little use in the legislative debates in 1994.

In 1994, there were the Brady Bill, the Feinstein/Schumer AWB and the “Safe Schools Act” that were passed in rapid succession. The pro-RKBA side was on their heels. The new breed of urban Jewish Democrats in Congress had the bit in their teeth and were feeling quite smug about themselves – they had found a new issue that played well among their urban constituents and (more importantly) among the pundits in the press, who have always been the true enemies of all liberties.

If there were one freedom in the Bill of Rights that I would extirpate in the interests of all Americans, it would be the “freedom of the press.” But that’s a subject for another time. Let us just say that without “the press,” the people are ignorant. With the press, they’re misinformed. I’ll take honest ignorance over misinformation every time.

In debates I had with people after their passage, I predicted that the Brady Bill would be found to be an unconstitutional mandate upon the states because it required action(s) by the states without money to fund these required actions by the states, based on the court case New York v. US and the disposition of Chief Justice Rhenquist against unfunded mandates and towards the doctrine of federalism.

This turned out to be true. I predicted that the AWB would eventually expire, because the AWB required a study of it’s efficacy as a condition for renewal in 2004. That turned out to be true. And I predicted (based on what Don Kates told me) that we’d see a true Second Amendment case and that it would be affirmed as an individual right.

Don Kates turned out to be right. I take no credit for that prediction. It did, per Don’s prediction, take someone else other than the NRA bringing the case to court.

I also predicted that the 1994 elections would surprise a lot of people. Liberals scoffed at me. They saw the upcoming election as a re-affirmation of the Clinton administration and the DNC in general, based upon accolades being heaped upon all these urban Jewish legislators ramming through their gun control agenda by a fawning urban media. Liberals didn’t realize that there were 535 seats in the US Congress and that liberal urban Jews didn’t fit and would never fit more than a handful of those seats.

The political climate in early 1994 was one of the GOP being the permanent minority party, with a few exceptions such as the Senate early in Reagan’s first term. The GOP basically never really got their way on anything. The Democrats had controlled the House non-stop since the start of WWII. There were pro-gun Democrats of the old stripe, but they were dying off rapidly and being replaced by self-promoting clowns like Schumer: lawyers who had never served in the military, parasites who are professional politicians since they graduate from law school.

Newt Gingrich set out to “nationalize” the election based on the idea of a “contract” with America, that if the voters voted for the GOP in their Congressional election, the GOP would bring a set of issues to a vote in their first 100 days in Congress. This played well, but by August 1994, the polling made it look as if the GOP was going to win only a slight majority in both houses of Congress.

After the rapid slam-dunks on gun control by the Democratic Congress, I predicted by September of 1994 to all my liberal friends (I was living in California at the time) that the GOP could take the Congress, and they’d take it in a big way.

They laughed in my face and told me that I, like every other gun owner, had my head up my ass.

In the week after the election of November 1994, I just smiled at these liberals. I think the most uncharitable I ever got was to say “Well, there are, in fact, several people at this lunch table with their heads deeply embedded in their rectums. I, however, having predicted this outcome and having erred only in that my predictions of the number of seats lost by the DNC were low, cannot be counted among them.”

I lost a bunch of people who had called themselves my “friends” at that point. They were beside themselves that we gun owners were, in fact, more in tune with America than they were.

Liberals were shell-shocked. The press was shell shocked. They walked around in a daze. They had literally no clue what just hit them. In conversations, they’d just splutter with incoherent rage, which has been largely their mode of conversation ever since. They were still riding high from electing a POTUS who had admitted to smoking reefer. That’s what passed for a qualification for office at that time for liberals: being a Baby Boomer who was “hip.”

They had been able to comfortably assume that the Democrats would control Congress at nearly every election, and that all they had to win was the Presidency so they could implement a huge laundry list of legislative mischief they’d wanted, but could not effect in the 12 years of Reagan & Bush Sr. A huge list. Here we were, only two years into liberal control of the White House, and it was all snatched away from them… by stump-jumpin’ rednecks with guns.

Yes, kids, it was a Real Big Deal. If you weren’t watching TV the night of the election in November, 1994, then you didn’t see the faces of all these idiots from the news networks as the results came in. By midnight PST, the prognosticators and commentators on the Big Three networks looked like someone had just stomped a litter of kittens to death right in front of them.

They were horrified that the American electorate was so far “out of touch” with all the “good” that had been done by Clinton in the first two years of his first term. But that night in November, 1994, the press was still thinking that this was the American electorate having a hissy about Hillary’s health care plan and Clinton’s various social issues such as gays in the military and the ensuing “don’t ask, don’t tell” nonsense. There was some credit given to the NRA and gun owners, but it was grudging and small.

But then, in the weeks after the election, more and more political prognosticators and polling groups who completely missed the anger of the electorate went combing through the exit polling, the pre-election polling, the individual races for the Congress… and they all came to the same conclusion:

Gun owners had power. Real political power. Political power like no one in Congress had seen since the days before the Civil War when the Abolition movement swept the Whigs out of power.

There were several out-going Democratic members of the House who, in the aftermath of losing their seats, went up to Schumer and screamed in his face that “you did this to us! You and your stupid obsession with guns!”

Oh, and for our Jewish readers, allow me to remind you that there’s always been a strain of anti-semitism in the DNC… and it started to float to the surface after all these comfy white, well-to-do academic socialists in the think tanks and the DNC fumed about the “the Jewish obsession with guns…” – because then, as now, we saw that the vast majority of the members of Congress carrying these bills forward were Jewish – and from safe districts where they didn’t care about how this issue hit everyone else who might have been a Democrat.

That about wraps up my trip down memory lane of 1994 for you youngsters. Now let’s talk about the current situation.

We now have a Supreme Court case as well as constitutional scholarship that the Second Amendment recognizes an individual right to own weapons. Period, end of discussion, done deal. The Heller decision is significant in that all nine justices agreed that the Second Amendment recognizes an individual right. The overall decision was 5-4, yes, but the issue of individual vs. “the militia” was not 5-4. It was a slam-dunk done deal.

We now have decisions on the books incorporating this right upon the states, ala the “incorporation doctrine” of the 14th Amendment. We have many more studies, stats etc. We have the election of 1994 as a cautionary tale for Democrats in heavily pro-gun districts – and trust me, the Democrats now know that gun owners don’t forget and never forgive. There is NO OTHER ISSUE in American politics that causes a political hack to lose their seat as fast as voting against gun owners in districts where there are a significant number of gun owners.

We had none of those things in 1994. NONE. We were arguing that the Second Amendment recognized an individual right in the face of Supreme Court decisions that were rarely clear on the topic, or touched the topic only as a tangent.

Prior to Heller, the clearest case that could provide precedent for arguing that the Second recognized an individual right was the Dred Scott decision, and legal scholars don’t like to cite Dred Scott v. Sanford because it says that black people are not people, they’re property, and as such, property doesn’t have rights. One of the rights that the Dred Scott decision says that blacks could not be afforded as property was the right to keep and bear arms – making it clear that Justice Taney saw the Second Amendment as an individual right.

We’re now in a much stronger position. The only people arguing that the Second Amendment applies to only “the militia” are loons or the very highly uninformed. They can be put down very rapidly with Heller. It’s the law of the land, period, done deal.

Then we have the abundance of statistical information developed since 1994. We had very scant information and much of it cherry-picked on the uses of guns for self-defense. The anti’s were promulgating their “studies,” which were invariably statistically invalid for one reason or another and there were so many bits of “conventional wisdom” floating around about guns that people actually believed that you were 12 times as likely to die in your own home if you owned one gun than if you owned none.

That’s now all well-discredited nonsense and Kleck’s work has gone on to inspire more and more solid statistical work by criminologists and social sciences statisticians than we ever had going into 1994.

There is no need to panic. There is a need to buckle down and get to work. We have court decisions, statistics, criminology studies and public opinion on our side. We must, as we did in 1994, discredit and humiliate the editors and reporters in the press when they pull stunts or publish falsehoods and propaganda, as is their habit, but that’s old hat for guys like me now. If I can make a journalist cry or look like a lying sack of crap in public, then I’ve had a good day indeed. But that’s a goal I keep to every day – not just when there’s a need.

In short, this is nothing like 1994.

Now, get off my lawn and get to work.

avatar

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.

109 Responses to This is Not 1994

  1. avatarpk in AZ says:

    Great read!

    • avatarSanchanim says:

      That was truly Epic Dyspeptic Gunsmith…
      Putting you and Bruce in the same room might be dangerous, kind of like crossing the streams, or finding out Vader isn’t Luke’s dad, I mean a real game changer!!!
      Keep writing..

      • avatarDyspeptic Gunsmith says:

        Bruce’s work is awesome. His work is top-drawer stuff. Years ago, I wrote a couple pieces for RKBA folks that were cited, referenced and footnoted as Bruce’s are – so I have a very good appreciation for the effort he invests in his pieces. He makes it look easy, but it’s a bunch of work.

  2. avatarMD Matt says:

    This is informative and a joy to read, like all of DG’s posts.
    Can someone speak to the reference to the 9 justice majority in the Heller decision affirming the individual right to self defense?
    Specifically, how I can speak to people about a 9 justice agreement when the actual vote was 5-4 and how that plays for future challenges.

    • avatarLoyd says:

      As always I feel educated after reading DG’s posts, but I have to agree with MD Matt’s question: one of the two dissenting opinions in Heller speaks directly to the militia clause and a collective, not individual write, and is joined by all 4 dissenting justices.

    • avatarDyspeptic Gunsmith says:

      Sure Matt.

      If you read the two dissents to the majority opinion, the two dissents agree that the Second recognizes and individual right. The dissent written by Breyer thought that the individual right might not be for keeping a gun in the home to shoot burglars, and the dissent written by Stevens argues for government restrictions on the bounds of the individual right.

      But the important thing out of Heller, IMO, is that no justice subscribed to the previous prevailing opinion that the Second Amendment recognized a “collective” right – ie, a right to own weapons only in connection with service in the militia, and if there was no militia (because militias had been supplanted by the National Guard), there was no right.

      That was the prevailing received wisdom from all manner of legal scholars, lawyers and retired judges on the Second Amendment going into 1994 – and even throughout the rest of the 90′s as more and more states were passing shall-issue CCW laws.

      • avatarjason says:

        (because militias had been supplanted by the National Guard)
        The national guard is and has been an extention of the standing army since its start. And can not be the militia for any state since in its wording the militia is to guard against the standing army. at the time of the second amendment every one had a gun. no gun no food. the second amendment has been studied and found to be in place to for the protection of the persons right to defend himself against government.
        So if they got em we got em.

  3. avatartdiinva says:

    As much as you can identify people with Jewish names in forefront of anti-self defense movement I think you have got understand that they are mostly Jews in Name Only (JINO). Most of them can be politely called “socialists” who would sell out their more religious brethren in a heartbeat.

    • avatarMark N. says:

      Jews were always in the forefront of the socialist movement, and many early members of the Communist Party (until purged by the anit-Semitic Stalin) were Jewish. Their view then, as now, was that they were fighting for social justice, where there was a huge gap between the rich and the working class, the latter living mostly in abject poverty, working twelve hours a day, six days a week for a pittance of a wage, where child labor was common (even in so very civilized England), and where illness meant a loss of job and home.

    • avatarSanchanim says:

      I agree, after living in Israel I find most US Jewish people pathetic. Please don’t take that the wrong way, but once you have lived in Israel, fought for it’s defense, and done what a true Zionist would do, coming back here you have to laugh. Their ideals are completely left field. They are week minded, believing in an unattainable utopia. they have not understood that their critical thinking on this issue is flawed. Once they realize that they can work towards real good, but until then they will simply go along as sheep.

      • avatarpat says:

        So true. The American secular athiest jew vs religious Israeli are almost extraterrestrially different.

    • avatarErik says:

      Boggles my mind that ANY Jew could be for disarmament or for Big Govt in general….you don’t have to be a scholar to see that historically unarmed (or sometimes even armed) Jews fair VERY poorly against Big Govt from ancient Rome to the Crusades to the Inquistion to various Pogroms to the Holocaust. If I were a Jew I’d scream ‘NEVER AGAIN!’ at any c@cksucker that even hinted at gun-control…..actually even though I’m a gentile I do that.

  4. avatarRandy Drescher says:

    Oh for the wisdom of o, turn many many non black dem voters against the party, thats quite a plan pres. Yeah, lets mobilize 50 million gun owners against our party, I’m sure it will work out well. Lets tell people that the AR is the deadliest thing on the planet but if brought into a school for guards, it couldn’t kill a baby bunny. Nice moves, Randy

    • avatarAlphaGeek says:

      Everyone has their own style… But every post of yours reads like you’re addressing it conversationally to yourself when you end it “…, Randy”

      Sorry, for some reason I just couldn’t ignore it this morning.

      • avatarSammy says:

        I totally disagree with the Geek. Your post was excellent. full of history known (or remembered) by few. Thank you for your insight and recollections. An effort to enlighten others is to be commended and not criticized because a Geek wants to be a literary critic.
        I’d like to personally thank you and others that have worked to preserve our Second Amendment and have laid the ground work for for our continuing fight.

        • avatarAlphaGeek says:

          You do realize I was responding to “Randy”, not the author of the post, and said absolutely nothing about the content of either DG’s or Randy’s contributions, right?

  5. avatarjwm says:

    Agreed. I started this fight in 68. Been at it ever since. DG is so right in stressing that we finally have a supreme court ruling that confirms the individual right.

    I think for the most part the anti’s understand this. They’re simply hoping we’ll blink first and reach a “compromise”. Time to dig in our heels and spit in their eyes.

  6. avatarChristoff says:

    Fascinating historical analysis worthy of multiple rereads, with one incredible idiocy embedded:

    “If there were one freedom in the Bill of Rights that I would extirpate in the interests of all Americans, it would be the “freedom of the press.” But that’s a subject for another time.”

    Without that freedom, you would not be publishing this, gramps. You think that with North Korean rules on expression that private gun owners and other libertarians would control what information is allowed to see the light of day!? You suppport liberty or you don’t, and the right to speak is at least as fundamental as the right to tote an AR.

    • avatarAccur81 says:

      Dyspeptic was referring to the massive representation of firearms in a negative manner. To dishonest reporting and mortally flawed studies which were transmitted as facts. In short, Dyseptic had (has) a problem with extremely biased journalism. Certainly Dyspetic is biased towards the benefits of gun ownership, but he is backing that opinion with solid facts and demonstrable evidence. Journalists in 1994 were not so forthright.

      I have to say, I’m not very enthusiastic about being lied to by the media as well. Yes, reporters have 1st Amendment rights, but I am not impressed with their immensely flawed tactical analysis, erroneous reporting, and general dismissal of facts which do not support their anti gun agenda. It doesn’t make me anti freedom – it makes me anti stupid.

    • avatarDyspeptic Gunsmith says:

      I support the right to free speech.

      I don’t support the right of an unaccountable press under the rubric of “freedom of the press.”

      Just as you have a right to keep and bear arms, but you don’t have a right to mow down people who you don’t like, likewise does the press not have a right to defame and libel individuals or groups and then hide behind “freedom of the press.”

      And that’s what the press is now doing and has been doing since the 70′s.

      The press must start to suffer accountability for their actions, starting with libel and defamation of private individuals, to malfeasance of obfuscation of the truth that private individuals try to promulgate, only to be shouted down by people who “buy their ink by the barrel.”

      The press, by the very nature of the institution itself, is anti-democratic and elitist. And I’m very much an anti-elitist sort of guy.

      • avatarSanchanim says:

        Agreed.. I remember studying English in high school. We had a news paper, and we also wrote stories op ed’s etc. It is important that there would be journalistic pride and professionalism. that seems to have been tossed out the windows.
        We have major reporters Zakaria from CNN who openly plagiarize, take a month vacation and come back with no penalty. EXCUSE ME!!!! If this had been a college course I would have been tossed on my ear out the back gate, no questions asked, no coming back next year not ever!!! There are no repercussions to their actions so why should they have integrity?

      • avatarRich says:

        It sounds like what DG is putting forth is that te press should not be immune to malpractice, which I essentially has been since the Sullivan decision in 1964.

        The “absence of malice” standard needs to be revisited.

  7. avatarAvid Reader says:

    Nicely done, sir.

  8. avatarsm424 says:

    Great article DG. Regarding these “jewish” politicians, we know good and well that they have very little to do with their heritage. They might have jewish names and jewish mothers, but they don’t practice a damn thing. Judaism is a lifestyle, not a name ending in stein, berg, or thal. Being that I walk around with a kippah, I always have this discussion with people at gun shops. They tell me how they can’t understand why jews are anti-gun. I always answer that bloomberg plugging in the menorah in time square, doesn’t make him the representative of our people, and that most jews that are in touch with their history are very much pro-gun. Bloomberg, feinstein, and schumer seem to have forgotten real fast about 2000 years of oppression and murder…

    • avatarJoe Grine says:

      After what happened to the Jews in WWII, it boggles my mind how any Jew could be anti-RKBA. My ancesters on my mom’s side are German, and 14 of my relatives fought in in the German Army and Navy. 8 or 9 of them died in the war. So I can somewhat understand why my German relatives are such pacifists now. But having been the victim of a tyranical government, it would seem to me that they would realise the need for an insurance policy against tyranny.

  9. avatarPantera Vazquez says:

    Beginning a new year with a fight on one’s collective hands, it is a good service you provide, via this remarkable article, reminding those too young to know, that this is only the latest skirmish in a LONG battle between ideological camps. Let us hope the youth utilizes the assets afforded them and joins the struggle as opposed to peeking from afar. MOLON LABE

  10. avatarPeter says:

    The rise of the internet has also dealt a severe blow to the MSM.
    I can still recall fuming as NBC constantly showed video of M16s firing full auto and claiming that was the type of weapon being banned.

    • avatarOddux says:

      My fiance came in and noted I’m wearing my “I have a hard time believing that” poker face. I’m sure I am.

      I tend to everything someone says with a heap of salt once that person establishes a pattern of pointing at Jews at every opportunity.

      • avatarFelix says:

        Ditto. The dyspeptic diatribe against Jews caught me off-guard; I almost quit reading several times, and any future rants by DG will always bear the stench of bigotry, deserved or not. Being Jews has nothing to do with their politics.

        • avatarLance says:

          I agree half way there are good Jews who keep and bear arms. But all the Biggest gun banners then and now are Jewish. Not there heritage is the problem Democrats are all idiots is the real one.

        • avatarDyspeptic Gunsmith says:

          Oh, but it does.

          In the 80′s and 90′s, I myself wondered why and how these urban Jewish politicians got away with this agenda of banning guns. I figured their voters would be seriously pissed off as well.

          Then I learned as the data started to come out on the demographics of gun ownership in the US by race, political party, gender and age, that Jewish males owned guns only in a rate of about 15 to 18%, and Jewish females were the lowest gun-owning demographic in the US – with about 7% of Jewish females owning guns.

          In other words, the urban Jewish politicians found a point that resonated with both the local and national press/media, didn’t offend enough of their urban constituents in their precincts in NYC, Chicago to cause them any worry at the next election… so they rode that issue to national name recognition and political power.

          The best examples of that time were Schumer, Lautenberg and Metzenbaum. Feinstein got on board after the shootings and California Street. All of these members of Congress were what the British would call “back benchers” in their parties – never really selected to carry forward any legislation or issue that got big press, never getting their faces on the weekend shouting face shows, etc.

          Then gun control came along in 1994. Suddenly, here was an issue that favored them – they couldn’t lose. Their gun-owning constituents were small enough in number to not affect them and they had their faces on national TV shows and in the NY Times week after week as soon as they latched onto this issue.

          Sorry to be the bearer of truth, but that’s it in a nutshell. Your complaint is rather like the ones I hear from blacks who complain that I’m un-PC when I point out that about half of all homicides in the US are committed by black males between 15 and 35 years of age. If you take away that one cohort that composes perhaps 4% of the overall US population, you cut firearms homicides in half in the US.

          Sorry fellas, but it isn’t racist to talk the truth and back it up with numbers. It might not be a truth you like to hear, but I strive to point out the truth.

        • avatarSanchanim says:

          I don’t think Dyspeptic Gunsmith is being anti Jew. Really we have seen major swaths of Jewish urban dwellers who are decidedly anti gun. Take you average Jewish American Princes, I dated a few of those, and even the sight of a firearm makes them woozy.
          People ask me am I Jewish. I say no I am Israeli. There is a difference. As an Israeli I would be the first to say arm our teachers. I would be the first to say teach all our kids how to shoot, and about gun safety.
          I would also be the first to make military service mandatory as well. I know that rubs people the wrong way, but there are so many out there that can’t wash their own clothes, shave, get up on time, or do much of anything in life without mamma, that really it would do them good.

        • avatarMr aNINNYmouse says:

          Sanchanim mentions compulsory military service. That reminds me that some countries (some in the Soviet Block, perhaps) had “citizenship training” – which included basic firearms training, muster, physical training for the purposes of readying the citizenry for rapid mobilization. It’s kind of what the militias do, but mainstream and without the “prepper” overtones.
          Perhaps various gun groups could organize public/community outreach events that would allow interested non-gun owners to explore their curiosity, learn about guns and safety and put to rest some hoplophobia (while I use that term, I have to acknowledge that we should be careful with it as it is believed to be a pejorative term).

  11. avatarDavid says:

    I was young but I do remember the early 90′s. Much has changed. One thing that has not and few care to bring up is how The Founding Fathers viewed the 2A. A militia in the 1770′s meant you brought your own gun to battle – in much of the world it is still that way. You know those portraits and statues of “The Minuteman” – that is his gun that he brought from his house and will go back there should he survive. Culturally and historically a militia meant an armed populace. It did not mean an auxiliary unit in the army or navy – the U.S. Constitution makes provisions for that elsewhere. The private vs. collective argument is a false dichotomy born out of an anachronistic reading of the 2A. The “right” is both collective & individual.

    • avatarJAS says:

      The 2A is not only a Right, it is an unalienable one:

      “Those rights, then, which God and nature have established, and therefore called natural rights, such as life and liberty, need not the aid of human laws to be more effectually invested in every man than they are; neither do they receive any additional strength when declared by the municipal laws to be inviolable. On the contrary, no human legislature has power to abridge or destroy them, unless the owner shall himself commit some act that amounts to a forfeiture.”..

      William Blackstone

      The right to keep and bear arms is part and parcel of defending your life and liberty as espoused in the paragraph above.

      All the 2A does is ratify “in law” that this unalienable right “shall not be infringed”.

  12. avatarchris says:

    THANK YOU, mr. Dyspeptic Gunsmith! i’m VERY new to “gun culture” and the recent “media firestorm” and rumors of doom and gloom (at the hands of DiFi) have me pretty scared. but you have breathed new life into my confidence in freedom.

    as a follow up question, what are some good resources to research gun-related stats?

    • avatarTommy Knocker says:

      Try giving the following a read. Its been worked on for a number of years. I dont think there would be much objection that it serves as a goto reference for base info on a variety of topics.

      http://gunfacts.info/

    • avatarDyspeptic Gunsmith says:

      If RF permits me, I will write up another post with a heap of sites from where to get criminology papers, DOJ and state stats, stats from other countries, court opinions, etc.

      There’s a great deal of information that is now available for free on the ‘net that was not available back in 1994. That’s something else I forgot to mention, because I guess I’ve been too close to this series of tubes for too long.

      In 1994, you youngsters have to remember that we had had a “modern” web browser such as you now know it for, oh, about a year. It ran only on X Windows – which unless you’re a Unix hacker, you’ve probably never used. Most Unix workstations were well beyond the ability of individuals to buy them. Back then, personal computers only occasionally had Ethernet interfaces, and even then, most personal computers networked over Novell or Vines (for PC’s) and AppleTalk (for Macs) – and these protocols didn’t connect you to the Internet except through gateway routers.

      There were perhaps only 1500 web sites on the Internet – world wide. Newspapers weren’t on the ‘net yet. The bandwidth available was a mere fraction of what we have today. Gun owners and the RKBA folks “networked” via the “old” network like UUCP and USEnet. Email wasn’t yet ubiquitous as it is today. Cell phones were rare and expensive.

      People in Congress didn’t know the Internet from their buttocks or a warm rock on a sunny day. Most people in Congress today are still ignorant about what, exactly, the Internet is – I hold out no hope that there is a single person in Congress who can tell me how many bytes there are in a TCP or Ethernet header, much less how HTTP servers work. But those yahoos in Congress now do know the power of the populace communicating with the ‘net… and that’s why they like to hide the details of their legislation through back-room deals – the proverbial “We have to pass it to see what’s in it” nonsense.

      In 1994, while the level of communication among gun owners was low, the level of communication among the gun grabbers was high. They owned the media. They owned the newspapers. They owned radio, TV and worked in these industries. For them, jabbering about their gun grabbing agenda was their job. For RKBA people, it was done on their spare time, on their personal dime.

      The ‘net as we know it today is a huge asset to co-ordinate, educate, inform and lobby that we did not have in 1994. TTAG is part of that list of assets we have that we did not have in 1994. RF, DZ, sorry about overlooking this. It didn’t occur to me until Mrs. DG reminded me “Well, today we have the Internet everywhere… and in 1994, you were almost too busy writing code to make that happen to remember it…”

      • avatarMr aNINNYmouse says:

        “Unix workstations” ….”Novell or Vines” ….

        I’m just old enough to remember those terms…

      • avatarCodewarrior says:

        “People in Congress didn’t know the Internet from their buttocks or a warm rock on a sunny day.”

        Speaking as a web developer, they still don’t. The internet is their Achilles heel.

      • avatarCharlie says:

        Are you sure about those dates? It seems to me I was dual booting Slackware 2.X and Windoze 3.0 or 3.1 by 1994. But anyway, you didn’t need a PDP-11 to get on the net (such as it was then), just a couple of PCs, a switch, and a pair of modems (one of which was tied to a 386SX-16 server sitting on a “backbone”. But I didn’t say that. lol).

        Charlie

        • avatarDyspeptic Gunsmith says:

          Yep, I’m pretty sure.

          When I started writing router code in 1991, we had no “web browser.” There were applications like Telnet, FTP, gopher, etc… but there was nothing with a GUI.

          By 1994, I recall the first version of a GUI browser running on my NCD in black and white. Later that year, I got a cast-off Sun-3 with a color tube….. that was a hoot.

        • avatar16V says:

          Mosiac was ’93, Navigator was ’94.

      • avatarSanchanim says:

        I would say submit away! I submit when I can, and they don’t all get posted but I try and contribute where I can.
        “People in Congress didn’t know the Internet from their buttocks or a warm rock on a sunny day. ” I hate to say this but they still don’t!

  13. avatarNobody says:

    Great article. Thanks.

    Here’s a map of right to carry States over the years.
    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/a8/Rtc.gif

  14. avatarJon says:

    This is a great read. I was first becoming interested in firearms when the 1994 Federal Assault Weapons Ban was passed, and it’s easy to forget how much things have changed.

    We can beat whatever is coming if we have the will to do it. Contact your legislators and remind them that we’ve tried this before, and it didn’t work. Finally, refresh their memories (just in case they’ve forgotten) that the last time Congress tried this, we voted them out, and we’ll do it again.

  15. avatarThomas Paine says:

    thank you sir.

  16. avatar16V says:

    A good read and some good near history.

    I am curious why the 80s, where those 90s round of controls originated, is being left out? Going for a two-parter?

    There was a fair deal of writing about this topic back in the mid 80s. The mentioned Don Kates with Handgun Prohibition and the Original Meaning of the Second Amendment 1984, Stephen P. Halbrook, That Every Man Be Armed: The Evolution of a Constitutional Right 1984, and others that I’m forgetting. There were also more than a few articles in law journals from the late 60s through the 70s, as the GCA of 68 started to be analyzed vis-a-vis the 2A.

    I would also just offer that beyond Scott, that Miller was a rather good indicator that the 2nd was an individual right as the Court ruled the significance of the “militia”, was that it was composed of “civilians primarily, soldiers on occasion”. (Though there was lots about Miller not to love…)

    • avatarFelix says:

      Probably because this post is in regards to a new and worse AWB by the author of the original 1994 one.

    • avatarDyspeptic Gunsmith says:

      In Miller, the SCOTUS took “no judicial notice” of the Second Amendment’s application to the sawed-off shotgun Miller was busted for – because if they had, the type of shotgun for which Miller had been sent up would have been found to be within the type of weapon used by “the militia” in that it was basically what the military was using in the trenches of WWI.

      As for the 80′s: There was no huge national push for gun control in the 80′s. There were issues like James Bennett (former “Drug Czar”) freezing the civilian pool of full-auto weapons that could be transferred, and there was (on the flip side) the Fireowners Protection Act to end-run local ordinances that would have made criminal the legal transport of firearms. But in the whole, the 80′s were pretty quiet. If we want to go back in history to the start of the modern nation-wide gun control movement, then we go back to the 60′s, and start with the aftermath of JFK’s killing, then RFK, MLK, et al. This is where the GCA 68 comes from, and that bill was carried through the Congress by Senator Thomas Dodd, father of former Senator Chris Dodd (both Democrats). I recall the JPFO publishing a piece in the early 90′s in Guns and Ammo about their suspicions that Dodd Sr. had lifted ideas on gun registration from the Nazi laws prior to WWII.

      • avatar16V says:

        You lived through a different 80s than I did.

        Shortly after the Jodie Foster attention-getter, prior to “Brady” being anything but an unfortunate man who was in the wrong place at the wrong time, the winds of gun control were blowing pretty well. Sure, it wasn’t like today’s non-stop coverage, because save for a bit of cable, there was no mainstream 24-hour back then, and 85%+ of the media wasn’t controlled by 6 companies. But the talk was out there.

        As FOPA was passed in 1986, I saw the 80′s as the beginning of the next wave post-GCA. FOPA expanded the number of prohibited persons, took away the new auto-guns via the Hughes Amendment, and it’s prohibitions against tying non-NFA gun owners to a database are routinely ignored by ATF. It accomplished just about nothing positive, but was a huge negative.

        My point with Millerwas that even then, the definition of “militia” was inclusive of everyday non-professional soldier citizens. Moreover, the Court was never focused on a person belonging to the “well regulated militia” merely that the weapon was suitable for use by the “well regulated militia”. As noted, short bbl shotties were a trench warfare weapon in WWI, this could have been an interesting…

        Of course, we’ll never really know what would have ultimately become of Miller as the Supremes reversed and remanded the case back to the Circuit. As Miller was murdered prior to the remand, the case died with him.

        • avatarDyspeptic Gunsmith says:

          Oh, the talk was certainly out there, but there were no political figures who were investing their careers in writing and sponsoring gun control legislation. There was no one like Feinstein, just waiting for the opportunity to put a gun control bill she’s been working on for a year (or more) onto the calendar. There was no one like Obama in the White House, who had prior ties to gun control groups. (most people forget that Obama was on the board of the Joyce Foundation before running for POTUS).

          So while there were people yammering about gun control in the 80′s, it was nothing like the 70′s or the 90′s, where gun control was the hue and cry of the political class.

          The 80′s had a lot of the press carping about gun control because of the wave of drug gang violence in major US cities at the time. The Uzi was the Evil Gun of the period.

        • avatar16V says:

          I agree ’tis all writ much larger, louder, and more incessant these days. True, there are more public one-trick ponies who are just chomping at the bit to get our guns. I see that more of an extension of the publicity machine and need to appeal to the LCD rather than as a huge shift from 30 years ago. We could kick that can around for days.

          Much like the Fourth Estate 70s v 80s. The 70s were the racial hangover from the 60s coupled with the beginnings of the crumbling industrial economy. I always found crime angle to be the driver, the gun stuff was more of a corollary. But, everyone has a different perspective on that.

          I’m just saying it was all there in smaller doses, especially a President who was quite familiar with gun control legislation. Regan enthusiastically signed Mulford as Gov of Cal, which took away right to carry on your person, in your car, or in public on the street. Not to mention the 15 day waiting period. He also signed FOPA as President knowing full-well what was in there.

          I’m no Obama fan, and given Mitten’s enthusiastic signing of an AWB while he was a Gov, I’m rather sure neither is our friend.

  17. avatarsdog says:

    this is an outstanding peice on the hisotyr of the fight that we are about to revisisit. This should be a must read for the 50 mil 2a advocates in USA.

  18. avatarRalph says:

    Perhaps the most important point is the one not made — there has been a shift in thought among the most vociferous and unanimous antigun ethnic group. Jews have gone from a single voice crying out in the diaspora — Meir Kahane — to Alan Gottlieb, Alan Gura, Robert Levy, Aaron Zelman, Rabbi Dovid Bendory and our own RF as the point of the pro-2A spear.

    Times have changed, but 2A rights are more jeopardized now than in 1994. While Gura and Levy were busy winning Heller and McDonald, four of the SCOTUS judges were busy stating that people have no right to defend themselves, even in their own homes.

    Be afraid, brothers and sisters. Be very afraid.

    • avatarMike in NC says:

      Don’t forget one of the great WTF lines from the Obamacare ruling that the Supreme Court is not here to save the people from their political decisions:
      “Members of this Court are vested with the authority to interpret the law; we possess neither the expertise nor the prerogative to make policy judgments. Those decisions are entrusted to our Nation’s elected leaders, who can be thrown out of office if the people disagree with them. It is not our job to protect the people from the consequences of their political choices.” NFIB v Sebelius, pg. 6.

    • avatarKris says:

      If I’m not mistaken, I believe David Kopel is Jewish? I could hug that guy. Man is he good.

      • avatarDyspeptic Gunsmith says:

        He is. So is Don Kates. Don used to chortle about how he’d pulled a guy who used to be a low-profile environmental lawyer into the gun rights issue.

        They, along with Aaron Zelman (founder of JPFO) were doing some seriously heavy lifting in those days.

        Zelman and JPFO were some of the most in-their-faces warriors on the issue you’d ever seen – including putting up a billboard outside Mass Turnpike, (a really high traffic area) and somewhere around Cranston, RI, with a picture of the little Austrian watercolor artist, right hand raised, with a caption “All in favor of gun control, raise your right hand…” Oh, the furor over that sign.

        Zelman basically said “So… you’re saying he didn’t support gun control? Is that what you’re saying?” One can imagine the spluttering in response.

        Aaron Zelman passed away in 2010, and is a guy I really miss on this issue. He knew how to get under the comfy urban liberal political skin. He had a sense of humor and was utterly fearless about jumping into the public fray.

    • avatarEd Miller says:

      Aaron Zelman, RIP :(

  19. avatarST says:

    Thanks for the article and great read.

    However, I must be the uncharitable weasel who points out the other side of the coin. In 1994 more Democrat voters owned guns then they do today. In the mid 90′s owning a gun was an American practice,not a partisan political issue as it is today.This paradoxically means less Democrat voters will care enough about gun laws today to make an activist vote as happened in 1994.

    Another factor of note in recent times is the increase of former ” minority” voters. In the mid 90′s Latinos were not as strong of a political category. Today they’re poised to become THE majority electoral group. Women voters are also entering the political sphere , and these two categories for the most part align with the Democrats versus the GOP. With these facts combined we get a frightening picture: the classes of voters who are growing in population and influence today compared to 1994 are Democrat supporters- and gun ownership is becoming a GOP staple.

    • avatarJPD says:

      ST, do not be too quick to discount women and Latino’s on gun rights. Here in Texas, the largest demographic currently getting CHL’s are women.

      Most of the people I work with are hispanic, most from Mexico, or native born. Self defense and gun ownership is big with them. These are all, honest, hard working, employed, with families. Some are legal, others, not.

      With gun ownership with an approval rating of 54% (last credible survey performed) nationwide, it is obvious that this is not decided by party, but by common sense.

      • avatarDyspeptic Gunsmith says:

        You are quite right. Many Mexican immigrants aren’t sold on the benefits of gun control to reduce crime – because they’ve seen the results up close and personally. The poor are defenseless victims in Mexico, thanks to gun control and it’s selective applications.

        Interesting footnote: Many people think that “Mexican carry” is a pejorative against Mexicans, that they’re too stupid or cheap to know how to use a holster.

        Wrong.

        “Mexican carry” developed in response to Mexican gun control laws. When Mexico started enforcing their laws against carrying of guns, the vaquero, who had previously been quite justly proud of his gun leather, found that being caught wearing gun leather even without a gun was taken as evidence he was or had been carrying a gun – for which the penalties were rather severe.

        So the resourceful vaquero decided to “keep the gun, leave the leather.” This way, if confronted by the law, he could toss his revolver out into the brush and say “What gun? I don’t have a gun.” and the police had no other evidence of his carrying a gun. “Mexican carry” was born.

        Fingerprints and serial number tracing makes this tactic less successful than it used to be, but it still works in all sorts of countries.

        The current Mexican government agenda of gun control against the poor and politically disenfranchised is one of the most monstrous ills of North America, making poorer people defenseless victims in the face of the vicious narcotics cartels operating with nearly no hinderance from the law.

  20. avatarkarl hungus says:

    im not in the armed forces because of medical reasons. but i do beleive, and feel free to correct me, that the correct response to this post is…

    Hoo Rah

  21. avatarJay W. says:

    The founding fathers envisioned people who had been successful in life and were most likely in the twilight of their lives imparting their wisdom as lawmakers for the good of the country and probably never envisioned “parasites who are professional politicians since they graduate from law school” running the country as we have so many, today. I believe they would nod their heads in agreement at your description.

    Thanks for the recap. It was helpful.

  22. avatarStephen says:

    Great. Very well written. And best of all, TRUE.

  23. avatarLoyd says:

    Every time DG speaks, I feel enlightened, even when I already knew the information. Thank you sir!

  24. avatarYawner says:

    Thanks for the pick-me-up. Now forward!

  25. avatarRydak says:

    Very well written and factual, a bit much on the self indulgence part, but otherwise, very nice and informative. I remember 94 was like it was yesterday. And your right, we are not in the same situation. We have many more tools at our disposal now.

    But there is one thing that has changed a bit, more like enhanced a bit. Liberal biased news media was strong then, but today, its Olympic Class media biased, so much so that it has, for the first time in our nations history, singlehandedly, elected a person to POTUS who does not have a single accomplishment worth listing on a resume to his name and a background as shady as Jimmy Hoffa’s, more so even, If they can do that, god only knows what they can do here. Our greatest strength is our culture, laws are nice, but we were just turning the gun culture 2.0 into main stream, they have used Newtown to undo most of that, with the uninformed at-least, which is a solid portion of America.

    • avatarDyspeptic Gunsmith says:

      Well, in defense, this was originally a response to a comment on another thread.

      RF lifted this from the comment and put it up as a stand-alone post, so the self-indulgent bit seems out of place rather than a response to the comment I originally posted this under, which sounded very down-in-the-mouth and self-defeatist.

  26. avatarAlphaGeek says:

    I liked this article because it has a picture of one of my favorite handguns.

    (Oh, and it was well written, too.)

  27. avatarKris says:

    Not to plug other sites, but this is RKBA porn defined.

    http://www.davekopel.com/

  28. avatarDavid-p says:

    Great article DG. I agree with all of this and while I don’t think that this ban will gain momentum I will do my part with my elected officials to make sure they understand i dont want this. Right now our only enemy is ourselves and thinking some one else will do it for us.

    The only other thing that I would add to you article, unless I just missed it, is how mainstream “assault weapons” are now compared to 94. I bought my first AR when I turned 18 and that was during the 94 ban. The look on family and friends faces when you pulled it out to shoot. One of the first things that they always used to ask “is that legal” & “can you just hold on the trigger”. After some education about the difference and some time on the range many would simply state “I have to get one of these!”. With the prices of AR falling and the price for other guns climbing, many of them did buy one.

    My brother in law, who is a public school teacher, was a tough sale on one. He does not oppose guns, as he is an avid hunter, he just didn’t see the need. One day he told me that he was going to buy a new gun and asked what I thought he should go with. I asked him the same question as I do anybody,” what are you wanting to do with it?” He said “coyote hunt mainly, but maybe plink, maybe home defense, & take my daughter to the range”. He said he was looking at a new Remington 700 and at that time a friend was selling one of his used AR for about $50 more than that 700 was going for. I told him that he may want to consider the AR if he is wanting to do all of that- “it’s kinda the extended cab pickup of the gun world, it won’t do anything great but it will do everything good enough”. After showing him what I was talking about on mine he agreed and bought it, and since bought two more.

    He isn’t the only one, NSSF said it was the single gun model that more people are buying to take out to the field. Is this what it designed for? No, but it does the job very nicely. There were many shows out there like 3 gun nation, son of guns, American guns, and modern rifle adventures. And while none of these shows were great, they got a lot of people who knew nothing about guns interested enough to learn the difference and maybe even buy one.

    The only thing I do know for sure is a lot of people who I know who didnt own an AR before me, do now and when I pull my AR out of the case to shoot it doesn’t get a second look from others- it’s too main stream.

    • avatarDyspeptic Gunsmith says:

      You do have a point. Perhaps because I’ve been around guns for so long, and back then I was somewhat selective in the choice of people around whom I’d pull out an AR, I don’t really watch much TV, I didn’t notice the “mainstreaming.” I’ve commented on other threads that the AR is “their weapon” to the returning vets of Desert Storm through today.

      When I bought my first AR was just around 1992 or so, and you’re right – it was nowhere nearly as popular as today, there were nowhere near the accessories you have today, and if you wanted an AR, it came in one caliber: .223/5.56.

  29. avatarLance says:

    Very good point I also add that the 94 AWB barely passed a ll Democratic House barely. But now the House is GOP and a number of congressmen already says no to a BIG Obama AWB. Also the Feinstine bill is so massive it may not pass the Senate either.Like I always said call your reps and Senators who are progun and say NO BAN!!!!

  30. avatarLiberty2Alpha says:

    Thanks for a great article, DG.

  31. avatarJim B says:

    We have to get all gun owners to stick together. Well except those damn hook and bullet boys. The hell with those Fudds, right. Some of you guys make me laugh!

  32. avatarCA_Chris says:

    In my opinion, this push to ban guns is a violation of the 1st A as it is an attempt to install religious beliefs against guns as law, a violation of 2nd A right to arms and defense, a violation of the 4th and 5th amendments, and really a violation of the entire Bill pf Rights as an act of invading and seizing the private property of law-abiding citizens in the name of some new-age moral crusade, without due cause or process.

  33. avatarGregolas says:

    DG, many thanks! Your perspective lends both hope and encouragement. As Churchill said,”Never give up! Never, never, never!”

  34. avatarLarry says:

    Call your legislators tomorrow and personally remind them that you are against ANY bans or restrictions on firearms before DiFi introduces her Anti-freedom legislation on the floor Jan 3rd.

  35. avatarWilliam says:

    Here’s hoping this doesn’t seem too impertinent, but golly, this is not KANSAS any more.

    We are NOT playing on the same playing field as then, as I think you seemed to suggest.

  36. avatarCharlie says:

    This is an excellent article! Well written, and with lots of good behind the scenes info. There’s some great info in the comments too. I had always wondered when NRA went from being a bunch of hat sellers to a real gun rights group.

    But we can’t ignore three key events leading up to the 1994 election that may have had considerable influence:

    Waco (February 28 to April 19, 1993) and Ruby Ridge (August 21 to 31, 1992) were very current topics, and the abuse of firearms owners by ATF was seen as rampant. The “Public Safety and Recreational Firearms Use Protection Act” (spit!) which passed on September 13, 1994 may well be what tipped the cart, because by election day the following November much of the public was in a very nasty mood indeed.

    So don’t count your chickens yet.

    Charlie

  37. avatarAtime4Choosing says:

    The DG is correct; it’s not 1994. But that’s what scares the hell out of me.

    I would not of imagined the extent of encroachment by government just a few years ago.

  38. avatarDarrin says:

    So, when do we get the National Firearms Act of 1934 reversed? I think it’s time for our good citizens to be allowed full military spec, true assault rifles. Sounds like it’s time to push back, rather than just simply defend our rights.

    • avatarSoccerchainsaw says:

      That’s what I’m talkin’ about! We cannot let these whiners keep us on our heels struggling for balance. We need to knock them into a corner and not let them breath.
      For starters let’s hammer them with the fact that decades of efforts to demonize firearms helped to create the current environment that is conducive to these hienous criminal acts. They try to tell us that we’re stained with the blood of children while it’s dripping off their hands.

    • avatarMD Matt says:

      Either when we are able to normalize firearms ownership in the public eye or when something better comes along that turns automatic weapons into the equivalent of today’s bolt action rifles.
      I find the prohibition on fully automatic weapons amusing, as most modern militaries teach semi auto as the way to go. Full auto is neither accurate or particularly useful, save in the case of area suppression nor the use of SAWs and the like. Which doesn’t stop me from wanting one. In particular I’d love to get my hands on one of the WWII Thompson sub guns. But, you know the larger problem is the 1984 act, which is why most automatic weapons are so out of the average citizen’s price range. You can own a fully automatic gun now, but since the supply is finite, prices are astronomical.
      I think we have a better chance of winning through with deregulation of suppressors before we’ll see the giggle switch unrestricted.
      As to going on the attack for our rights, everything I’ve learned about the battle, this article inclusive, has shown me that we’re better off instituting gradual change rather than seeking drastic immediate adjustments. The more concealed carry and gun ownership become the new norm, the more support we have for pushing through those changes.

    • avatarDyspeptic Gunsmith says:

      We do it the same way we get everything else back: By salami slices.

      Repealing the NFA ’34 outright would cause Congress (even the Republicans) to die of morbid mental flatulence. People in Congress hate seeing vast chunks of law simple undone – too many of them view the huge wad of federal law as some sort of actual accomplishment of which they should be proud. Wholesale elimination is akin to blowing up Mt. Rushmore to some of them.

      So we go after suppressors first. Then we go after SBR’s. There’s a load of technical data and points that can make this argument ours.

      At that point, full auto and short barrelled shotguns become a big hurdle – one which will probably not easily chipped away.

  39. avatarAdam says:

    Don’t forget what happened happened to the Liberal Party in Canada.

  40. avatarBiofire says:

    I wish there was a good online criminology class that dealt with gun issues and research. I’ve read a lot of books and article, but there’s nothing like a good course to make you really learn the material.

  41. avatarSoccerchainsaw says:

    Great article. I would caution on two points. You mention that we have public opinion on our side. I say the public opinion is fickle and fleeting, we really have to work hard to keep it oriented in the proper direction. Next, you mention more than once that Heller/McDonald are settled law as if we can relax about that. SCOTUS decisions can be overturned, wasn’t Dredd Scott overturned? We cannot allow ourselves to relax on any front. Thanks for your work on this article.

    • avatarDyspeptic Gunsmith says:

      Dred Scott was never overturned in case law, to my knowledge. I’d be happy to be corrected on that, but I believe the SCOTUS puts the principle of “stare decisis” over the moral repugnance of Dred Scott.

      It took a Constitutional Amendment (13) to overturn the legal decision of Dred Scott that slaves were property, and the 14th Amendment to give these people who were no longer property the rights recognized as innate to all free people.

      In other words, to over-turn Heller, I believe we’d be talking of another Amendment, unless the SCOTUS wanted to break with over 200 years of stare decisis as their bedrock principle. If the SCOTUS did that, then we’d see nominations to the court become even more political than they are now, because justices could and would be imbued with the power to wipe away established case law that they don’t like.

  42. avatarMr aNINNYmouse says:

    OK, so….

    - we have the research and statistics
    - we have the legislation on the books
    - we have presumably growing NRA/FPC/otherorg membership (and, presumably, funds)

    Where is the public information campaign?
    Where is the mainstream national TV coverage of the “good-gal-with-a-gun-saves-many-in-san-antonio-theater”?
    Where are the PSAs that say “Gun people are FUN people”?
    Where are the PSAs that get people to check the facts and stats for themselves?
    Where is the coverage that would make for a *conversation* rather than a propaganda campaign and a verbal browbeating we’ve been seeing?

    • avatarMD Matt says:

      Waiting for the media to choose to bring it to public attention.
      Most outlets have no interest in the kind of campaign you’re talking about. Bad guy kills 6 sells more papers then good guy protects 60.
      Most of the action being taken is under the radar, in our courts where it’s not good form for the media to point out that the antigunners have lost almost every case of note in the last 4 years.
      Sorry it’s the truth. Everything you’ve suggested is being done.

      • avatarMr aNINNYmouse says:

        OK. But public opinion must also be an area of focus. Working behind closed doors while the “information deprived” voters (is that the term Obama’s team used) are riled up against the evil NRA and racist hillbilly gun nuts will only take us so far.

        • avatarMD Matt says:

          Public work is done every day.
          I agree, a positive campaign should be pushed and it is when you see concealed carry permits skyrocketing, you know we’re winning.
          The major problem is whether to wait to strike when tempers have cooled and sandy hook is less of an excelerent or to try and fight now and deal with the backlash.
          Right now, media and comercial America feel that guns are bad business.
          Look at the shows canceld and stores not selling guns.
          We have to make this an economic issue for those outlets.
          We have to make it a political issue now, not just when election season comes around.Without support from these forums, we’re going to have to raise public support at the grass roots level.

    • avatarMike in NC says:

      It’s hard to overcome the media when they refuse to sell air time or page space to the largest of those groups: NRA

      • avatarMr aNINNYmouse says:

        There must be a way around that.
        If there is no way, then we have been completely marginalized and are irrelevant in the decision process.

        • avatarLance says:

          Yes new media: Blogs web sights takl Radio new conservative news sights even some channels.

        • avatarMr aNINNYmouse says:

          I don’t disagree.

          Now consider where your typical upper blue-, lower white-collar couple with 2+ young kids, a home, bills and aging parents get their news?

          30 minutes from the local big-3 broadcast network affiliate, maybe 60 minutes from one of the cable big 3 (cnn, msnbc, fox) and maybe Jon Steward…

          They may use Facebook, maybe pinterest. Not many people in that demmo actively tweet (“actively”= read and interact with other tweets)

          Parents of younger kids who have mortgages and busy jobs may prefer watching the big game than reading blogs.

          They will go to cnn, tmz, facebook, youtube, people, and their bank’s sites first and about 99% of the time.

          Those are the people who need to be the focus of any campaign.

    • avatarLance says:

      I agree. Most media types been brainwashing in National socialism since there college years they want there Socialistic ways imposed no matter what. SO they will lie cheat and cover up to get gun bans drug liberalization and church discrimination threw. We must always uncover there lies and tell the world about them. Its up to us to d it.

  43. avatarGreg in Allston says:

    DG, this is a truly outstanding post!! Thank you for your diligence, your service and your perspective.

  44. avatarAharon says:

    Dyspeptic Gunsmith,

    Wow man, just wow. I’m kinda speechless. You are a fascinating person and I’m glad that we are on the same side. I’d like to see you write more at TTAG. I have read through the follow-up comments and you guys are great. I really took it all in and have learned much tonight.

    “the pundits in the press, who have always been the true enemies of all liberties.”
    — Looking down at it from a 10,000′ view that statement about liberties is interesting to reflect upon.

    “all these urban Jewish legislators ramming through their gun control agenda by a fawning urban media.”
    — It is a bit amusing to think that the J.L. are making life more difficult for other democrat socialists within their districts.

    “I lost a bunch of people who had called themselves my “friends” at that point.”
    — I can relate to that experience with modern liberals (not moderate liberals) friends that used to be in my life.

    “If you weren’t watching TV the night of the election in November, 1994, then you didn’t see the faces of all these idiots from the news networks as the results came in.”
    — I saw the faces and heard their whining. I was working in Berkeley and living in Albany California (just north of Berkeley) in a liberal Jewish coop with two feminists and a nerd. When I moved out from that ‘latest life experience’ a Christian woman that I was friend’s with teased me that the experience turned me into a right wing fascist.

    “for our Jewish readers, allow me to remind you that there’s always been a strain of anti-semitism in the DNC”
    — True and I think it’s getting worse and more open as the Democrat Party becomes more progressive and fascist in its support for the nanny-state and the NWO. It would be funny if the long term trend wasn’t so destructive and dangerous.

    “The overall decision was 5-4, yes, but the issue of individual vs. “the militia” was not 5-4. It was a slam-dunk done deal.”
    — I didn’t know that distinction.

    “The only people arguing that the Second Amendment applies to only “the militia” are loons or the very highly uninformed.”
    — I spent the previous week commenting on the Huffington Post before I deleted myself off their site. Loons and more loons are all over that site. Interacting with many of them is like trying to reason with a mentally insane person.

    “There is no need to panic. There is a need to buckle down and get to work.”
    — Work is good.

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