Here in Rhode Island, as in several other states (and probably more to come), we are facing a proposed “assault weapons” ban. The legislation is quite similar to the long-sunsetted federal ban as it limits the number of “features” that a semi-automatic firearm with removable magazine can have. Likewise, it contains a provision to limit the capacity of magazines to 10 rounds. Opponents of the legislation recently completed out testimony before the Rhode Island House of Representatives and Senate. Our opposition was well received and our numbers trounced those of disarmament proponents 25 to 1. In the effort to help others in the same situation, here’s our battle plan . . .
1. ORGANIZE. Pro-gun groups organized supporters through gun stores and gun clubs. We got in touch with as many people as possible at gun club meetings and provided gun stores with flyers to hand out to their customers.
2. CALL. We asked everyone to call their elected state representatives. Callers were to ask the Senators and Reps to vote against the gun control bills and advise them that they would support their opponents in the next election if they vote for the gun control bills. We also asked everyone to tell all of their friends to do the same.
3. SHOW UP AND TESTIFY. It’s absolutely vital to flood the gun control hearings with people who oppose the bills and for as many of them to testify as possible. While we will not change the minds of those on the committed right or left, truth and facts can influence those in the middle who are undecided or are maybe just over the line. Additionally, we are giving ammunition (pun definitely intended) to our supporters in the legislature to do what’s right and to for them to use to persuade their fellow lawmakers.
4. USE BUTTONS. We handed out 2-1/2 inch, yellow buttons that read “Gun Control Does Not Work” to all pro-gun attendees. RF was extremely generous and donated 1000 buttons to the cause. This had a dazzling effect when legislators looked out into the audience at the hearings and saw a vast sea of yellow buttons. The message was so powerful that most news coverage of the event included mentions of the buttons in their stories. Even if attendees did not testify, the committee members knew which side they were supporting.
5. SHOW A VIDEO. The State House would not allow me to bring firearms into the hearings for demonstration purposes, even though they allowed the anti-gun state police to do so. So I did the next best thing and created a video. The Senate allowed me to play it in the hearings, while the House did not. To counter that, I sent a copy on disk all elected officials in both the House and Senate.
Due to the large number of speakers, we anticipated that each would only be allowed 3 minutes, so that’s how long I made the video. It was an attention getter, if I do say so myself. During the many hours of hearings, the attention of the Senators drifted often, but during the video, all eyes were on the screen for the entire run time.
My video testimony was limited to what was in the Rhode Island bills, so I’ve since added to it to make it more universally applicable and am offering it here to anyone who can use it to fight for our Second Amendment rights and to educate others. It covers telescoping stocks, folding stocks, pistol grips, barrel shrouds, forward vertical grips and threaded barrels for flash hiders and compensators. The second portion covers the need for law-abiding citizens to have high-capacity magazines. Please feel free to use the video in your hearings or forward the link to fellow gun owners and friends.
If needed, I’d be happy to supply a file to anyone that contacts me (firstname.lastname@example.org).