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By Tim Underbakke

All too often in the comments sections of gun blogs, YouTube videos, or any other online community where people of the gun can come together, you will see a common trend. Someone from a state that is more restrictive in their citizens’ firearm rights will lament being unable to obtain a treasured item, or will ask if it will soon be shipping in a form that remains compliant with their state’s laws. The most common response from those who reside in a free state where such restrictions are not a factor is something like, “quit whining and move.” Some may consider the idea that one should be expected to uproot their family, give up a full-time job, and relocate to a new state, incredibly selfish. However, there is something far worse about that argument. It’s exceedingly short-sighted . . .

When a state passes a law violating firearms rights, and the citizens choose to leave the state to avoid the law, there are less gun owners left to fight the next gun control law that comes across that state’s legislature. When most politicians are met with less resistance on an issue, they are more likely to pass legislation that matches their agenda. There are always the rigid ideologues, but most politicians value their salary and position of power more than their agenda and can reach a compromise with a large enough pushback from the voting public. Without that voter base pushing back against them, the laws will continue to become more and more draconian. We have seen this outcome in states such as California, New York, or Connecticut.

Trying to isolate the states unfriendly to the Second Amendment has been an approach used in the past. Letting some states go in order to shore up freedom in other states may seem like a valid strategy, but it may well end in disaster. Every state that is “forfeited” to the anti-gun politicians is two more seats in the United States Senate and several United States Congressional seats that will likely be filled by someone who is either indifferent to firearm rights at best, or openly hostile to them at worst.

If gun owners keep losing states, we will ultimately lose the Congress. And when anti-gun politicians have enough of a majority where the politicians don’t fear a backlash back home in their voting districts, they will be able to simply pass whatever legislation they desire at the federal level. When that legislation is passed, it won’t matter what your local state’s politics are on firearms. And if you think your home state will secede from the union at that point, think again.

This leaves gun owners with a choice. A state embroiled in a gun control law debate is one of the places gun owners should be rushing toward, not away from. If we leave, we get instant gratification of not worrying about gun laws for the moment, but we may gamble away our freedom forever in the long run. Gun owners in states whose laws are less than ideal should be working to change that rather than planning on leaving.

Now that the Sandy Hook craze and the election cycle are behind us, gun control is not in the forefront of many minds. This is the perfect opportunity for gun owners to go on the political offensive. Don’t just settle for preventing the next bad gun law, work to repeal the bad laws on the books in your state. Washington residents should be fighting against I-594. Minnesota residents should be planning to fight their state suppressor ban. Remember, if we lose too many states, we may as well have lost them all.

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103 Responses to Better to Stay and Fight Than Up and Move

  1. I used to live in ma. I called reps, visited reps, testified at hearings, wrote letters. None of it mattered. 90% of the politicians, from governor to AG to state reps HATE gun owners. Not indifference, outright hatred. This also applies to their constituents. The AG has used its position to pass laws regulating firearms outside of the legislative process for over a decade and no governor, r or d, has ever or will ever call them on it. So I left, and now do not live in a state that hates me,and I can sleep better knowing my list of accidental felonies is vastly reduced

    • I fought gun control in RI for 15 years. Nothing changed. Best we got was status quo, which was a win, but permits will never be shall issue as the law requires. Folks in the People’s Rupublics of Massastan, Connectistan, Jerseystan, New Yorkistan and Califonisatan have it far worse. Fighting there is a lost cause.

      After 50 years in New England (the last 20 or so in RI) I got sick of libtards and finally escaped. Moved to MO where I have 15 acres, 3 ranges on my property including a 300yd rifle range and life is good.

      • and this may be the point within the point. States like MA, CT, CA, NY, and NJ are lost causes. They already have anti-gun pols from top to bottom and the populace is generally anti-gun. Nothing will be accomplished in these states. Other states that are swinging towards gun control like WA and CO are ones where its worth staying to fight. There is still a healthy number of pro gun folks in them and if they can be rallied, the fight might go the other way.

        • I disagree. Malloy may have won, but he got a “whopping” 50.7% of the vote. Basically the Democrat machine in CT managed to push him through. Gun owners in this state are livid, and many people who were on the fence before the new laws came in are now one-issue voters. I count myself among them (not the fence sitters, but the one-issue voters). Do I expect sweeping changes? Of course not, but if we completely abandon places as “lost causes”, in short order we are going to find ourselves in the position Europeans are in; their right to the most effective tool for self-defense doesn’t occur to them, because they have no history of having that right. Don’t think it can happen? Does Prohibition ring a bell?

        • @Kyle.

          Right there with you! You have to look at it like a strategy on a Risk board; it pays to expand you borders and harass you enemies on theirs. People staying behind to fight the good fight achieves that.

    • Exactly. Like being in Illinois. I got tired of fighting the battle, and paying the taxes to have my local governments fight against my rights. A media that was in the bag for the anti-gun politicians. Having to get multiple court wins to get concealed carry.

      Most states (most) with crazy gun control laws are also typically Nanny in other ways. Check out Mass, or NY, etc. So some folks move not just for guns, but it is a big point along with a number of others.

      Thats why I moved my happy butt to Texas. No more FOID. no more showing a State Firearms ID to even pick up a box of .22. no jerk pols trying to intro more and more bans of various things.

      • You hit the nail on the head there: most rabidly anti-gun states are shitty in a lot more ways than just 2A rights. Guns might be in the top ten reasons for someone leaving, but I’ll bet very few people leave solely because of guns. “Anti-gun” almost always means “anti-freedom” in hundreds of other ways.

    • I lived in MA for two years. It felt fairly hopeless. Sure, I was able to get 30 round pre ban AK mags, but I was always scared to take them outside to the range incase one stormtroopers decided to arrest me anyway. I didn’t want to spend a lot of money on trying to prove my innocence.

      The republicans I met there in office didn’t give a crap about the 2A. I’m back in the south where I can have whatever I want again. I was on the border of Kansas and Missouri and loved it last year.

    • Escaped from MA back in 2008.
      Maahtha Coakhead used “child safety” regulations to restrict what guns are even allowed to be sold in the state. 10# minimum trigger pull, drop tests, and a slew of other regs.
      The 10# rule is a blatant violation of the Americans with Disabilities act as well because it violates the rights of those with Arthritis.
      (But it is not illegal to bring a newly purchased gun to NH and have the trigger pull reset to factory settings.)
      MA is a lost cause.
      Every gun in my house is illegal to purchase in MA. But the ultimate irony is that they are not illegal for me to bring back into the state if I ever have the misfortune of having to move back .So this would seen to prove that MA gun laws violate equal protection of the law because I would be allowed to have guns that other MA residents are not allowed merely because I bought them legally in another state before moving there.
      MA Also has insane gun storage laws too.

    • Nonsense. I still live in MA and we didn’t just dodge a bullet last year, we started to make inroads.

      After Newtown, Massachusetts was thankfully slow to react. The Speaker of the MA House – arguably the single most powerful politician here – commissioned a panel which eventually recommended a $#!% load of new laws and restrictions, and there were rumors of more, such as one gun a month.

      I spent 10 hours waiting to speak to the joint Committee which was holding the hearing. Even though only half the members were still present to the end, the opposition was overwhelming. We even called and emailed in droves.

      In the end, nearly everything was scrapped. What was left was largely innocuous or positive. We can buy pepper spray now without a permit. Police chiefs have to put in writing their objections to issuing a gun license – which makes it easier to fight them in court (they’re now on the record). It was exactly the kind of situation this post is talking about. Stand and fight, don’t run and hide!

      Frankly, the recalls in Colorado and the abject failures to insert more gun control elsewhere probably helped – if it could happen there, it could happen here. Indeed, for the first time in years, my part of the state is represented by a 50-50 split of D and R politicians (for a time it was just D).

      Never give up. Sure it’s frustrating at times, but running away wins you absolutely nothing.

  2. Well, I agree to a point. Although CA is a lost cause, I will stay and fight for awhile. I’ll be damned if I’ll spend my retirement dollars here, though.

    Meanwhile, I’ll fight gun control in CA and elsewhere by supporting pro-gun pols, calling offices, writing letters, and a few other things.

    Cheers to anyone fighting for freedom, wherever you may be.

  3. Domino theory. It’s real and it’s happening. The “I594” nonsense is on the offensive heading for Nevada. If we don’t fight them in Over There, we’ll be fighting them here.

    • I am very pro 2A, however I don’t see how I594 is a bad thing. Don’t we want background checks to ensure criminals aren’t buying guns the rest of us wish to purchase? MI has a law on the governor’s desk that will all people with a PPO to purchase and conceal handguns. Thugs with guns don’t promote our 2A rights, IMHO.

      • That is exactly the thinking that got 594 passed. Unfortunately, it is incredibly misguided if one reads and understands ( if that is actually possible considering how poorly written it is) the initiative. It is a blanket mandate for background checks on all transfers no matter how temporary with very few exceptions. The short description may sound straightforward enough, however the text is 18 pages and laberynthine at best. Too many pitfalls making totally normal and responsible behaviors ( trying out a buddy’s rifle in the woods for example) into gross misdemeanors and/ or felonies. I would reccomend reading the initiative before asking what’s so bad about it. I think it will be clear by the end exactly what the problem is.

      • Please read the law… it is a convoluted mess. It covers transfers of possession as well as ownership. That means if I lend my father a hunting rifle because he’s thinking of buying a similar one, unless I transfer it while in the act of hunting (an actual exception in the law), he has to get a background check. And when he returns it, I have to get a background check.

        And if my old man accidentally does something to that rifle and needs to take it to a gunsmith, if that gunsmith doesn’t have an FFL, he needs to get a background check (again, this is actually stated in the law). And my dad needs to get a background check when he picks it up.

        And, while I’m waiting for my hunting rifle, if my girlfriend gets a stalker, I can’t lend her a handgun for her personal defense unless she is in “imminent” danger (and legally, “imminent” means “about to happen”, so unless you know that stalker is about to attack, simply having a stalker doesn’t put you in imminent danger).

        A lot of the sheriff’s departments around here have flat out said they won’t enforce it because it’s unenforceable.

        Sure, universal background checks are wonderful in theory. Practically speaking, it’s not enforceable, and trying to enforce it creates messes like I-594. And besides, considering the #1 source of firearms for bad guys are FFL dealers where they pass a background check (either through straw purchase, fall through the cracks, false identity, or nothing in background to disqualify), there is nothing preventing the sale off the record to bad guys. This law will do nothing other than make criminals of law abiding citizens.

        • At some point in time you just ignore laws created solely to restrict public & private lawful self protection and carry while do nothing stupid.

        • Where did you get the information that “most” criminals get their guns from gun dealers? I’d like to see a verifiable link… It is my impression that most criminals (those who intend to harm people) get their guns by stealing them, or buy guns that have been stolen.

          Background checks obviously do nothing to stop theft, and they do nothing to stop actual criminals from obtaining guns. If they do, I’d like someone to explain exactly how that happens.

      • “Don’t we want background checks to ensure criminals aren’t buying guns the rest of us wish to purchase?”

        How exactly does a background check ENSURE criminals aren’t ‘buying’ guns?

        You need to check out some of the statistics on the existing level of BGC’s. Lott, for example, has shown some interesting trends in the data. Out of over 75,000 “hits” on NICS a couple of years ago, how many do you think resulted in actual conviction of the criminal?

        I’ll leave it for a homework exercise. Hint, though: less than TWENTY.

        The rest of those “hits?” The vast majority of them were FALSE POSITIVES…that is, the .gov flagging a free, eligible individual as being a “prohibited person” when they weren’t.

        And UBC seeks to expand that in some very ugly ways.

        UBC can’t be separated from registration, and that’s the real goal. To confiscate, they have to know who has ’em. Don’t believe that is the end game? Suggest you take a look at the long list of things the FBI defines as “domestic terrorism” these days.

        So no, UBC in general and I594 in particular are about as far from good ideas as one can get.

      • I realize I’m piling on here, (new to the page) but any law that restricts personal liberties to do what you will with your own property is deplorable. I-594 is so vaguely written that one could theoretically find him or herself in a felony gun transfer by handing their son their hunting rifle. Any and all firearms require a background check to change hands so this means that if anyone carries or takes a shot with your rifle while hunting, you are a criminal. If you want to let someone, even within your own family mind you, shoot your gun at the range; you would have to exit the range, go to the gun store, get a background check on your own brother, drive back to the range, let him use it, then drive back to the gun store a second time to have the firearm transferred back into your possession or you are a criminal. This type of legislation does nothing but waste taxpayer money in the courts prosecuting those that are not responsible for the crime this legislation claims to address.

      • The had to lie to sucker gun owners into voting for it.
        They told people that merely handing a gun to a friend is not a transfer, thus trying to make people think that 594 would not ban loaning a gun to a friend. What they didn’t tell people too lazy to read the whole bill, was that 594 made it illegal to hand a a gun to some who then fires the gun without going though an FFL and paying the transfer tax as if it were being sold. The only exception was for a gun kept permanently at a gun range and for gifts to a spouse or teaching ones own child if that child is under 18.
        I took my family and friends to a range and left the fire my 9mm and my 22LR “assault rifle.” In post 594 WA, this would have been felony level violations for everyone of my family members that shot with me. (2 untaxed non FFL transfers is a felony. Handing a friend a gun to use is one illegal transfer. Him handing it back to you is the second. Now you face 10 years in prison for loaning a gun to a friend or just letting them shoot it at a range.)
        A friend who lives in WA, and says he is a gun owner, voted for 594 and believed the propaganda.
        NC has actual common sense laws, even if they do violate 2A. One must have either a Pistol Purchase Permit (PPP) for each pistol purchase or long gun purchase or a Conceal Carry permit for unlimited purchases. This applies to purchases/trades via FFL, private sale, or gun show sales.
        594 was all about making a lot more people into felons because even law enforcement doesn’t know how to or even whether they will enforce the law.

        • And that’s what happens when people let other people spoon-feed them information.

          Was the text of I-594 unavailable to the voting populace prior to election day? Could the residents of the state not read the proposed text for themselves?

          They’re probably the same people who bought, “If you like your current health plan, you can keep it.”

        • If you think NC laws are “common sense”, how about posting a list of the crimes they have prevented? Maybe some graphs on the overall decrease in crime between 10 years before and 10 years after their passage? The laws you describe sound completely useless to me, with the exception of making it more difficult and frustrating and expensive for a normal citizen to own/purchase a firearm, which is what they are designed to do.

          The most you should need in order to purchase a firearm is a driver’s license or other govt ID, and plenty of people will tell you THAT should not be required.

      • The infrastructure is not in place for background checks for every sale of a firearm. You would have to do a dealer transfer, which voids the reason many people choose to purchase private sale (no govt paper trail). Also, even if you could have something set up where a private citizen could call up the FBI and get an on the spot background check before selling a gun, the NICS system would quickly be crippled by the tens of thousands of additional calls they would be receiving on a daily basis. And I wont even bother piling on about how poorly I594 was worded, as the 10 others posters already hit the nail on the head for that one.

      • Find us one single crime in the history of the planet which would have been prevented by UBC, and we’ll talk. You have been, and are being, lied to. 594 or a Fed equivalent will spend our money to produce a registry to facilitate future confiscation, it will do nothing to prevent crime. The current background checks do vanishingly little, at enormous cost. I mean, billions of $$ for less than 50 prosecutions a year? Who are we kidding?

      • It is this kind of thinking that got us into this mess. What part of “shall not be infringed” do you not understand. Once we caved on “felons” and “crazy” we find ourselves being bombarded with all kinds of laws that make us felons or crazy.

  4. Thank you for writing this. Speaking on behalf of many in NJ who are engaged in the struggle to protect our right to self-defense, I agree fully. Our opponents would prefer us to retreat. I would rather fight them on their ground than on ours.

    As a reminder, a lot of lives are at stake, and a lot of other liberties, too. If the leftists complete their anti-gun-owner agenda in NJ, they will be able to dedicate more time and energy to taking away other rights.

  5. Some states are a lost cause, the numbers are no longer there. But states like WA, CO, IL and others are where the battle is. Stand and fight. If we can make ground in Illinois, you can too.

    • We needed the courts to make headway in Illinois, and there is only so far that one can make progress that way. Real change has to come through the legislature, and our legislature is controlled by a supermajority of democrats. And even though some downstate democrats are zealous second amendment advocates, there are not enough to matter. Add in the difficulties of overcoming our home rule provisions to ensure statewide rights, and there is almost zero chance that we will expand our gun rights any further in Illinois than where we are today.

      • Illinois IS NOT a lost cause. The MAJORITY of the legislative supported gun rights for years. (They were quick to take down the results of previous CCW votes). The problem was Mike Madigan (speaker or the house) and his power centers around the Democratic Machine out of Chicago. He was the one that changed the rules and required a super majority for the passage of legislation. Personally a lot of “anti gun” democrats are anything of the sort, but say they are against guns because it is politically expedient. Why do you think that the court order resulted in total state preemption of all handgun laws, and not the mess that you have in DC?? As for the FOID card, big deal. I personally like them for face to face sales, and I like that you can now check that they are valid before a sale (I don’t like that is mandatory). I would LOVE to see a national FOID system that like the Illinois system only verifies the legality of the owner and NOT record the firearm involved in the transaction. Wrap it up with a National CCW license and override all local firearms laws. Maybe Illinois can be a model for the country.

        • Madigan is a nightmare but he did not impose the supermajority rule. Gun rights advocates wanted a bill to pass with a supermajority so that it preempted our home rule law. No supermajority = no preemption. We could never get a supermajority on CCW until the legislature had a gun to its head with the Seventh Circuit decision.

      • Jeff, I had the same opinion as you five years ago. But I was convinced that a defeatist attitude will gain you nothing. Five years later we have concealed carry, and I am now able to possess a SBR if the mood strikes me. Emperor Madigan is powerful, but he is not omnipotent. I expect more progress on 2nd amendment issues in the next couple of years in the Illinois legislature.

        • I live in Cook County and have been eyeballing the Troy PAR lately because of the Cook County AWB. This may be part of the cause for my pessimism.

  6. I despise I-594, but I love Washington State. My parents, my adult children, and my wife’s siblings all live here. I’ve lived here since 1961. I’m not going to abandon ship. I’m in it for the long haul. At least until I run out of cliches…

    • Yes 594 was quite the fiasco. Failing in the majority of counties except in the population rich west side, which is where it mattered the most. That’s where Bloombag spent his money, that’s where the high profile shootings including Lakewood happened.
      What we do have going for us is a pretty strong State Constitution. We can have short barreled rifles, high capacity magazines, suppressors, just no full automatics yet. Not that most of us could afford a FA anyway.

      Give it a couple of years and watch legislature pick 594 apart. But you know, I’m in Spokane and honestly, 594 is going to have zero impact on me.

    • Same here Colt.. We live in WA State, and enjoy the benefit of having Idaho on the other side of the stop sign ( literally )… we will stay and fight until things go “California” and we have to fall back.. or rather cross the street, kick out the renter, and live in the rental.. Idaho is the last stand..

      • Eastern WA for the win! I like having Idaho as my neighbor across the fence. I do all my shooting in Idaho anyway (it just happens to be where my favorite shooting spot is), so a lot of I-594’s most obnoxious provisions don’t affect me as a practical matter. As for the rest, I’m going to treat it like the unenforceable garbage it is.

        I’m pretty sure a solid majority of our legislators know what a hairball this new law is (they refused to pass a bill just like it post-Newtown), and I’ll do my part to make sure they know exactly what’s expected of them when the chance comes to repeal it in two years.

      • That’ exactly how it is also. If sh– really got bad here in Washington, it would take nothing to go just over the border into Post Falls. That’s where I launch my boat anyway, or I could kick my renters out of my place in Arizona.
        But I don’t see it ever getting that bad. Washington is a pretty gun friendly state and yeah, in a couple of years, Shea and his buddies will pick 594 apart for the garbage it is.

      • I’m just over 150 ft inside Walla Walla county, its really easy to forget Mommy Seattle exists down here in the asphalt jungle redoubt. We just keep her tipsy with our prissy wines and then ditch her and go Bigfoot hunting stoned.

    • I live in WA and I agree: I-594 sucks. I have hope things will be changed soon though; SAF has already filed a lawsuit, and I think pro-gun citizens have quite a big influence (at least until the next election in 2 years) if they use it.

      Let’s all continue to fight for WA gun owners, and educate those around us about our rights.

  7. What we need is more gun owners moving TO gun control states.

    Also, we need to be having more children per unit time than them.

    • Except gun control States tend to have higher taxes and cost of living too. If I get married and have children, it will severely cut into my gun and ammo funds. I would rather support gun and ammo companies. Well except Freedom Group.

    • Why on earth would anyone in their right mind move INTO these failing states, with their crumbling economies, ass-backwards “Common Core” schools, and unfunded liabilities (mostly in the form of pensions) that will have them declaring state-wide bankruptcy within the next 10-20 years?

      I used to live in ZOO York. I wouldn’t go back there even if you paid me to.

      The same would apply to TAX-achusettes, Barry-land, DIS-connected-cut, Silly-NOISE, KOMMIEfornistan, Screw-You Jersey, and all the other crime and corruption-ridden neo-liberal cesspools. Once colloquially called “Slave States” here on TTAG, which is still a much-too-polite moniker for those dumps.

    • The problem, as others have already states, is that the gun laws are only the tip of the problems in these states. Konnecticut is LOST… a wasteland of stupidity at this point, and my wife and I are MOVING

  8. To a point. Knowing when to fight is important–but there’s a point, a line you cross where it becomes evident that no matter what you do, things aren’t going to get better. So at that point do you stay and fight anyway, wasting precious time and resources on a battle you know you can’t win? Or do you move to a territory you know you can still hold, hunker down and be ready to fight when they come to you?

    • “… at that point do you stay and fight anyway, wasting precious time and resources on a battle you know you can’t win?”

      That is the key. It might feel good to “stay and fight” but it is utterly and totally ineffective in Hawaii, California, Illinois, New York, Maryland, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island. No amount of writing letters, sending e-mails and tweets, calling bureaucrats and politicians, and standing around with signs at rallies is ever going to change any policies in those states. Ever.

      The author’s comments about Senators actually argues for us to move away from those states because Senate representation is the stopgap provision of government to prevent populous states from running roughshod over less populous states. Fact: the combined population of California, Illinois, New York, and New Jersey adds up to about 80 million people or 1/4th of the total population of the United States. That means those four states comprise 1/4th of the seats at the House of Representatives … many of which are gun-grabbers.

      I don’t see other states out-populating those four states any time soon. Thus, in the long game, our best strategy may very well be to ensure that pro-gun Senators hold a majority in the Senate. In order for that to happen, pro-liberty (and pro-gun) people need to move to “purple” states where there is a fragile gun-grabber majority.

      Look at it this way. Imagine that 15 million people who live in California, Illinois, New York, and New Jersey are ardently pro-gun and vote that way. Now imagine those 15 million people relocate to Washington, Oregon, Colorado, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan … infamous “purple” states that almost always end up sending gun-grabber Senators to Washington D.C. Suddenly, those six states send 12 pro-gun senators to Washington D.C. insuring a pro-gun majority in the Senate and voila — no more gun control in those states or at the Federal level.

      This makes a lot more sense to me.

  9. No, it’s not short-sighted. There are some states that will never go back. It’s good to be on the vanguard of gun rights but pointless to be so deep in enemy territory you can’t even see the light. I won’t tell people to ‘quit whining and move’ but I will try and bring a bit of reality to those who are so deluded as to think someone like Cuomo will be defeated because of gun laws.

  10. I don’t think my pro gun vote will be missed when I leave ca, but I bet it will be gladly embraced to reinforce the pro gun culture in AZ.

  11. Some people thought Illinois was a lost cause. But not Otis McDonald. He stood and fought, along with a few others. Thanks to them, Chicago’s handgun ban was ruled unconstitutional. After more standing and fighting, we now have shall issue concealed carry.

    Illinois may never be considered a gun-friendly state, but I can now protect myself and my family. Some people said it would never happen.

    We need more people like Otis, and a few less cowards.

    • People write us off as another ‘full retard’ anti-gun state.

      Yeah, sure. We didn’t get CCW until the courts said “F*** youuuuu”, and we can’t have NFA stuff (Except SBRs w/an 03 FFL), but we have no AWB,/mag capacity limit and we fought one off when many other states knee-jerked and passed ’em.

      The FOID, although kind of a pain in the ass, is rather convenient. I can check if someone’s card is valid or has been revoked (they don’t come confiscate ’em when they’re revoked, so be careful.) via Illinois State Police website, and BAM! Instant ‘background check.’

      It’s not Arizona, but it’s better than NY/CA/CT etc.

      Edit to add: To all you out-of-staters, remember, Cook County=/= Illinois.

  12. First they banned guns in California, and I did not speak out…

    Retreat is not an option. Evangelism is. Gun owners, for all our bluster, seem to like the idea of retreating to the ranch and locking the gate. We get fed up, wanna be left alone, screw the world. I feel that way every day. But while each of us may be only one voice, but every neighbor or relative we take to the range becomes one more. If they convince one anti-gun friend, that’s two…

    We must all hang together, or surely we will hang separately.

    • I’ve spent a fair pile of treasure on ammo for new shooters and am happy to say the evangelism of boom works quite well in California. A half dozen gone from apathetic or even freakout to questions about where, when, what and the inevitable gateway gun. I have had multiple retreat to the redoubt moments in the last month alone, but then I remember that education is a damned powerful weapon to fight the copious amount of dumb here. I’ve also come to realize that quite a few Golden Staters are apathetic as opposed to antis, good starting point.

      By the by, is your user name a nod to the character in Hidden Fortress?

  13. Do what’s best for you. Leaving NY and moving to VA was a great decision for me and my family. I think the states with the most restrictive laws are otherwise not great places to live. If you like it then stay. If not you should move. Pretty simple to me.

    • Welcome to the Old Dominion. It’s good to know not all “escapees” want to turn our fair Commonwealth into another failed Yankee state.

  14. For those of us you can’t leave or don’t want to leave an rather stay and fight where’s the support? Don’t get it from the NRA that’s for sure. Dont get it from other gun friendly states. So we are left to deal with it ourselves. The best most can do is keep the line from moving.

    Why stay? You’re not wanted, you’re not respected, you’re treated as monsters. Why wouldn’t I want to move to a place where I have to deal with none of that?

    And those who say you should stand and fight ,from the comfort of a better place. why don’t you help? Research a little find ways to send money or to help grassroot organizations.

  15. Where do you think everybody from the lost-cause states of NY, NJ, CT, MA and IL are moving to? Coming soon to a state near you. And they’re not all free-thinking libertarians or conservatives. Just as many are progressive-minded authoritarian collectivists.

    FL is the next state to fall hard. PA, VA, NC, and TX, in no particular order. Yes, TX.

    At least we’ll always have TN – The Patron State of Shootin’ Stuff.

    • With the influx of loyal Democrat voters from down South, I’d expect Texas to turn blue sooner rather than later. When that happens, the GOP will never hold the Oval Office again. Democrats will at that point hold five of the most populous states in the US, with nearly 200 votes among them. From there, they just need to pick up a few more reliable and moderately populated states. Once they have a lock on the Presidency, getting Congress won’t be hard.

    • ” And they’re not all free-thinking libertarians or conservatives. Just as many are progressive-minded authoritarian collectivists.

      FL is the next state to fall hard. PA, VA, NC, and TX, in no particular order. Yes, TX.”

      Maybe more than ‘just as many,’ at least in these parts.

      There are a butt-ton of folks in this area (eastern part of the state) that have progressive ideologies and think it is their purpose in life to reprogram NC from our “backward Southern ways” to proper thinking. I know some that outright HATE Southerners and The South…openly, and with vitriolic bigotry (they were brought here by .gov via PCS Orders. Others…retired here, but who knows why if they hate us so bad.

      NC has a lot of issues going on that reflect this internal conflict. We have done “pretty good” in the last couple of years on gun laws, but there are other areas, specifically regarding agriculture, commercial fishing and management of public lands, where the carpetbagger influences are gutting the state (and her people) of any sovereignty at all….it’s ok, so long as “they” have restaurants to eat at and condos to visit at the beach, right? I mean, never mind the people that ACTUALLY live (and have lived) and work here…

      So…all you in states that are “lost?” Well, truthfully, we ain’t moving there (for a LONG list of reasons). We have our own fight. Progressive and Statist ideology always seeks to expand. We are holding our own, gaining ground or losing it…HERE.

    • Interesting theory, but I would not be betting on TX reversing course real soon, the momentum is great in the other direction, and increasing.

  16. I’m more in favor of “stand and fight” than “retreat to a better state” but…

    Pro-gun states are getting anti-gun infiltrators from anti-gun states. When pro-2a
    folk move from CA, NY, etc to Texas, AZ, NV, etc, they’re also offsetting those transplants, too…

  17. All very funny to say to stay or go back, but look at a story earlier today about French Jews. Should they stay and fight? Almost all of us or our ancestors came from somewhere else, they voted with their feet and tax dollars for the location/government that best fit their values. To say that they should have stayed ignores the truth that sometimes one needs to run and fight another day. Should have the Jews from 1930’s Germany all stayed to fight? Should all of the people under the rule of the USSR stayed and fight? Were they wrong for leaving their hostile homelands? Perhaps taking one’s skills and know how to a more friendly location is what people need on both sides of the fence. Each person needs to choose for themselves. And others, perhaps, should let them make that decision and keep or opinions to ourselves.

  18. The way I see it, those of us in the more free states should go out of our way to support and encourage people in the less free states to work for freedom. Yes, some will find defecting to a freer state the best course of action, but others will be called to struggle against oppression. While being glad for the new neighbors escaping to liberty, we should also support those working to free people in their own state.
    Really, no state is “lost” until people fully give up.

  19. The pilgrims moved which was good for them. The founders didn’t move and that’s good for us.

    Nothing wrong with being a pilgrim, they were brave but nobody on this blog talks romantically about things they did or said. And I of coarse talk about this as a young person from Idaho who enjoys tons of freedoms that others fought for.

  20. I’m with Curtis in Illinois. I think more good CAN come especially with the new governor. I’m not a fan of Rauner bit anyTHING is better than Quinn. It was more than 1 Indiana jerk who told me I had to move because Illinois would NEVER have CC…just remember approx. 37% of voters showed up for the last election.

  21. My state votes 55-60% Democrat and all that goes with it. I have written, I have spoken, I have donated. If every conservative in the state left at once it wouldn’t change national politics one iota or jot. The only palatable option to remain in the state is to move to a conservatively minded region where the law enforcement keep their oaths.

    • A very excellent point.

      All these “lost states” have non-lost bubbles. Shoot, county maps of California or NY do not support the conclusion that their “one size fits all” government really represents the population of the entire state. That’s the same argument we are hearing from WA, by the way…the whole “East of the Cascades” thing.

      Consolidation of forces: I think if there is a strategy that can work in the ‘lost states,’ it would be to grow the bubbles of population that currently oppose the urban majorities. Grow the numbers there, consolidate. Just a thought…just “spitballing” as it were.

      • “the whole “East of the Cascades” thing.” Isnt really a bubble at all, Eastern WA is more common with Idaho and Eastern Oregon. it’s not a Pocket of resistance, surrounded by a sea of blue, the Cascades play a huge mental role for Eastern Washingtonians.. ” heading over the pass” is a blanket statement here, no matter what road you take. Even the weather clearly defines your trip. , and People look forward to cresting Snoqualmie,Stevens or White pass Going east because from there, Eastsiders consider themselves already home even if it’s another 2 or 3 hr drive..

        • ““the whole “East of the Cascades” thing.” Isnt really a bubble at all, Eastern WA is more common with Idaho and Eastern Oregon.”

          Fair enough.

          With the term ‘bubble,’ I was referring more to places seem like TOTALLY lost causes where there ARE bubbles that can be fed and grow.

          I’ve never quite understood why Electoral College delegates were wholesale granted to a state like California rather than by district. That alone would change the balance of power – so-called ‘enclaves’ would be broken up and the representation in government would be truer and less centralized.

  22. I haven’t given up, but it’s depressing. I live in a good town with a good CLEO who signs of on Pistol Permits as a matter of course, so we have virtual Shall Issue, but not every town is so blessed. I’ve been thinking about getting a piece of property in PA where I can acquire and shoot whatever I like, but it seems like PA is now the new front line, as is Virginia.

  23. Which sums up why I choose to stand and fight in Colorado. It’s been my home for most of my life. I have roots here that go back generations. I’ll be damned if I let those bastards win without a fight.

  24. Well the issue is somewhat complicated. I would propose, rather than seeing it as a state issue, seeing it as an urban issue. Even in pro gun states, the most anti-gun agitation comes from the bigger cities. Where gun rights really succeed is when they are at least a contestable issue in an urban district.

    California… I drive some of the rural highways and see signs advertising AR-15s. A politician in the district my grandma is in has a strong pro-2a Congressman and state representatives, and the main challenger in the assembly race was even more pro-gun (or more vocal at least about that)

    My own home district has changed radically for the worse in the last twenty years, as have many districts I have studied that in a very short time when from being overwhelmingly GOP, with often libertarians (as in my district) get double digit percentages as well, to now solidly voting for very liberal candidates. If you look at the percentage of eligible voters that is a clue as to how that happens. Defeatism begets defeatism. If just 2% of the eligible voters in my city who are pro-gun and didn’t vote voted, the results would have changed. You can argue that the SOS Initiative, passed overwhelmingly every outside the SF bay area (including Los Angeles) was the start of California’s dive from moderate and contestable to overwhelmingly liberal. Perhaps. But it is certainly exacerbated by defeatism.

    The real solutions for every state and country is this, be involved in the local politic whereever you are. If you move for your own reasons somewhere you like better, fine, that is your choice (I have moved in and out of CA, always back in begrudgingly). Don’t deride those who are here, but support them, at least with moral encouragement.

    Also, promote, as much as you can in your position, the shooting sports, the culture of responsible self defense, etc. And, while I personally hate urban living, recognize the urban centers dominate (especially after SCOTUS in Reynolds ruled that the US is not a Republic…. excuse me, ruled that having legislative apportionments modelled after the Federal system, were not republican and hence unconstitutional). And how do we spread a healthy gun culture to the city.

    • Good points.

      “Even in pro gun states, the most anti-gun agitation comes from the bigger cities.”

      And college towns, which are more “urban minded” and “progressive programmed.”

    • The Bay Area especially, and after that Los Angeles are the liberal areas. Much of Southern California is not a problem.

      Heck, Southern California was historically the conservative half of the state, and while it has been shrinking, the old ethos/culture that remains is still fairly conservative, in a libertarian leaning way. My own district is in LA county and only recently flipped

      It is North/South, but more coast/inland. And urban/country (though San Diego is more purple now than red, it is somewhat an exception there)

  25. If I were going to live forever, sure, I’d stay and fight.

    But I’m not going to live forever, and I want to enjoy the rights and freedoms I should have. Ergo, moving to a place where I can enjoy them. The battle will be everywhere soon enough.

  26. We are behind enemy lines here in NJ, but like an good insurgency we are gaining strength. This is a tough fight but not one that cannot be won, but it will take a new approach the old regime could not stomach….meeting the Anti-gunners on their own terms and how they conduct their fight.

  27. This article is a lie. I live in NY and it IS better to move to a better place. I’m moving in August of this year.

  28. Quit whining and move.

    Heroic stay and fight bravado is typically empty. Republicans in some of the worst northeast slave states actually do have the votes to win elections. They just prefer tio sit on their butts and watch T.V. rather than vote.

    Look at their numbers during any high profile presidential election. The numbers are there. Voter turnout for both parties tends to fall off in off year elections, but if Republicans stood firm and showed up in those off year elections, they could take back their states.

    They won’t, though, so don’t bother. Quit whining, move to a free state, and prepare for the coming conscious uncoupling of the United States.

  29. Only relevant in states that are still transitioning like Washington.

    No gun people are moving into MA, NY, CT, CA and anybody born into those states is born into a situation that is far beyond hopeless.

    Life is too short to stay in North Korea when South Korea is just over the fence.

    The same excuses I hear for staying in these places is like the excuses people have for staying fat. My friends and family all eat crap so I’ll eat crap too. My job has me at desk 12 hours a day so I can’t work out.

    You want to play martyr that’s fine just know nobody is going to erect any statues of you in the town square.

    • “No gun people are moving into MA, NY, CT, CA”

      And, aren’t businesses, gun and other, leaving those areas in droves as well?

      People will move if the pressure to do so is great enough. Often, that comes in the form of following jobs.

      I heard a piece on the radio the other day that just flabbergasted me. The dude was saying that in San Fransisco, $3000 / month for a one bedroom. That is absolutely NUTS. Gasoline well north of $3 a gallon, even NOW (we’ll probably go under $2 in the next 2-3 days, and we have the HIGHEST state gas taxes in the SE). Average commute times were insane and crime is high. BART is so crowded one can hardly get a seat during rush commutes.

      Yet, this guy was telling me how GREAT it is to live there!

      Why someone chooses to live like that is a mystery to me. Crime, high cost of living, high model of statism … what’s the draw? (The answer is almost always…”night life” and “things to do” and stuff like that…)

  30. Tim,

    Everything you say makes sense IF this Republic can be saved. I’m not sure it can. t’s going to be difficult to have a country in common with people that believe that citizens should not have a right to protect themselves, and that it’s OK for the government to force people to do things that are morally abhorrent to them in order to make a living…you’ll recall the people that were forced to bake for and photograph gay weddings, even tho they were opposed. Somehow the right to make a living consistent with your beliefs was omitted from the Bill of Rights…possibly because it was inconceivable to the founders that it would come to this.

    If we win any or all of the legislative battles currently raging, or any in the future, we still have millions of people to whom Obama makes sense, and to whom freedom, of any stripe, does not. Not sure I WANT to share a country with that sort of person.

  31. As an unfortunate resident of Connecticut, I can tell you that unless SCOTUS does something that reverses what’s happened, there’s no way in hell anything will change here. Ever. The people in power are all a bunch of manicured handed protectionists, each pushing their own agenda, and spouting “For the good of the people.” And worse, the people who vote these idiots in outnumber the civilian sheepdogs and freedom lovers.

    Connecticut IS a lost cause. Plain and simple.

    New Hampshire, Vermont, and Maine are all that’s left here in the Northeast where freedom is still appreciated.

  32. As I understand it, a federal union of sovereign States, each of which that could make its own laws (except for those things enumerated in the constitution) – each a different experiment in self-governance. Don’t like the approach to self-governance taken in one State? Move to a state more in line with your desires. So, yeah, under original intent, I think the idea of moving to a State with better laws is reasonable.

    But the real problem, moreso than the encroachment of the federal government that largely muddles the differences between (no longer in any way) sovereign States, is the dominance of City-States that is turning our republic into a democracy. Illinois is blue, and has progressive laws, because of Chicago. That’s probably true for states like Oregon (Portland), Washington (Seattle), Massachusetts (Boston), and Connecticut (Hartford, AKA Gang City), as well. (The list goes on.)

    The checks and balances in the constitution aren’t sufficient to allow both urban and rural areas to self-govern. The urban areas – with considerably different values and issues – dominate the rural areas.

    I say all that, so that I can say: “just move” really doesn’t solve the problem. It merely shuffles it around. What we really need is some way to provide better checks and balances between urban and rural areas.

  33. The author is engaging in simplistic math, while ignoring the obvious and the historical. To wit, the system was designed to work that way – its why the freedom to move between the States is an enshrined Right. Secondly, when a State reaches that “draconian” moment is precisely when people see things for what they are and begin to reject it, when they really start to push back.

    Lastly, if the author applied his own logic to both sides of the equation, he would realizes that moving to a more gun-friendly State shores up the defense of 2A Rights there, in the same way he claims it diminishes them in the States that pass such restrictive legislation.

  34. The British had to pull out of the fight at Dunkirk or they wouldn’t have been around to fight another thing. George Washington withdrew from battles several times including pulling out of NYC for the same reason. When you get wiped out, you are done. It is hard to fault anyone in NYC or San Fran in leaving. In fact, if pro-gun people were to move to Austin, Tx or Tampa, FL, they would help turn back the liberal tide in those cities.

  35. I’ve been hearing this nonsense for 20 + years now. Every state would have been democrat 90 years ago.

    What’s all this garbage about VA, NC and PA “falling” or whatever. Do any of these people spouting this nonsense even have a clue of what gun laws were like in VA, PA, and NC in the 1980’s? I’ll give you a hint, THEY SUCKED!!!!!

    VA was may issue and they didn’t accommodate non-residents at all. forget OC as they didn’t have preemption except for when they “accidentally” passed it in 1987, so they repealed it.

    NC was open carry only with basically everywhere but the sidewalk being a place off limits.

    PA was may-issue crappy as well.

    Even in the the year 2000. The midwest “republican strongholds” had garbage gun laws. Do people remember how bad Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska were to name a few? They were god-awful gun states.

  36. All this article does is reinforce that the experiment that is our government, has failed. It has a pretty solid foundation, but it’s time to tear the structures down and rebuild anew. Some of our citizens had this figured out less than 100 years after it’s inception. We’ve been letting it limp along for far too long I afraid…

    “But whether the Constitution really be one thing, or another, this much is certain – that it has either authorized such a government as we have had, or has been powerless to prevent it. In either case, it is unfit to exist.” -Lysander Spooner 1867

  37. Americans simply need to stop shirking their responsibilities. It is EVERY American citizens responsibility to uphold and defend the Constitution.
    The answer is so simple it is ridiculous but far too many Americans are too lazy or selfish to do it.
    Boycott Glock! and any\every other gun company that sells to unconstitutional states.
    I call out Glock because they are arguably the biggest with the most clout and the most to lose in a boycott.
    The Constitution is supposed to protect EVERYONE’s rights and EVERY American needs to stop buying products from companies that sell to domestic enemies of the Constitution!

    • These are old and tired conservative talking points. This is main time when people on the right embrace socialism. Saying nonsense like “it’s everyone’s responsibility” or whatever just further shows how indoctrinated people really are and how much they suffer from cognitive dissonance.

      You can’t “uphold and defend” the constitution, the government will steamroll over you. If you survive, you will be railroaded in a court with a “jury of your peers” and your life will be ruined.

      The other guy who quoted Spooner had it dead on correct.

  38. I-594, 18 pages to define UBCs. What could possibly go wrong?

    The problem is that a reasonable person would assume that a background check would apply to a SALE. But this bill was written by progressive idealogues that flat out lied in every ad they ran for this CF.

    The idea of UBCs is to promote the theft of more firearms. No, it is to generate lots of false positive. Oh wait, useless and unconstitutional.

  39. Like others have said about these anti-gun states and myself formerly living in one (Maryland) you don’t know what it is like to live there and visiting doesn’t even count because you actually have to live in one to experience how they are not like the rest of America.

    They are literally European-style bubbles of smug, self-righteous arrogance that what they are doing is right and to question them then you must be some uneducated hick. It is also not just guns. It is everything else. I’ll give you a unique Maryland example, a rain tax. That’s right. THEY TAX THE RAIN THAT FALLS ON YOUR PROPERTY.

    How many of you in freedom loving states who tell others to “stay and fight” have any experience with dealing with these kind of folks? Even the progressives in your states would pass as right-wingers in these places with how far left they are.

    On another note if your practice what you preach for all those to stay living in oppression while you live in your bastion of freedom, why don’t you move to them and fight. Be prepared to give up your AR’s, normal mags, and purchasing freedom. Be prepared to accept registration, waiting periods, licenses, “approved” gun rosters, fees, and classes that would pass for a CCW but are only good just to buy a gun. I guess if you only like revolvers, bolt guns, non-repeating shotguns, and leverguns AKA Fudd/old timer guns then hey at least you don’t have to worry about those being banned/regulated out of existence for right now……

    Since I like semi-auto clones of military rifles and mags well above 10 rounds, the kind of items those slave states love to ban, it made moving more important to me. I bet if they were after guns you like you would not be as hypocritical and less willing to stay.

    I will close with what someone said above, life is short and I’m not going to get any younger. I would like to (already am) want to experience freedom now while I am relatively young rather than never as an old man fighting in a place where the majority don’t want it.

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