By Brian Conmy
Gun rights supporters are about to be dealt a serious blow in California. I know most of you are thinking “what else is new” and unfortunately, so am I. The sad fact remains that whether Governor Jerry Brown decides to sign the current batch of gun control bills sitting on his desk or let them simply become law by not touching them, those laws will have far-reaching consequences for all Americans. We live in a time where civil rights advocates have seen staggering accomplishments for their narrowly-focused efforts, while at the same time, other rights and freedoms that fall outside the scope of these advocates are continually infringed upon at both the state and national levels . . .
For those who were around during the Cold War and the many hot spots of the efforts to oppose Communism, the Domino Theory should sound vaguely familiar to you. Maybe during the Korean or Vietnam Wars you heard the President or some young soldier talk about why the United States had to fight the war on foreign soil so that the war would stay on foreign soil. While the merits of the wars themselves are continually debated by any and everyone with an opinion, the facts remain that there is still a de facto state of war that exists between the two Koreas and South Vietnam wasn’t the only nation in Indochina to fall to Communism after the complete US withdrawal in 1975.
The People of the Gun have been very successful in the past decade by continually expanding individual firearms ownership and carry rights. These efforts, in no small part, relied heavily on a litany of Supreme Court cases that tipped in the favor of gun rights advocates by the slimmest of margins. Even more ominous are the civilian disarmament laws being passed in the wake of horrific tragedies. These new laws, most passed without the normal legal procedural processes normally associated with such legislation, are an affront to all of our Constitutionally-protected rights and are not limited to infringements on the 2nd Amendment.
By completely writing off California (and New York and New Jersey and Maryland) as a lost cause, we are not helping our efforts. While I agree that California is nowhere near firearms friendly, by packing it up and saying “it’s over”, we give the opposition the foothold they need to push their agenda on the rest of the country.
We already know that the majority of gun control laws introduced at the federal level start in one of the above-mentioned states as state laws. We also know that most gun control advocates cite lax laws and poor regulation in adjacent states as the reason for the failure of their beloved civilian disarmament ideals. Look at Colorado and even parts of my state, Arizona. Californians are leaving their state and moving into states with better tax laws. When they get to those states they then try to implement many of the exact same laws that drove them out of their former home. The more Californians who move out of California and into traditionally gun-friendly states, the harder it is to fight them on such a vast landscape. No, the place to fight is in California where the majority of the federal pro-slave staters reside.
We aren’t in a shooting war with the other side, as was the case in the aforementioned wars, but make no mistake that the Domino Theory is very relevant in this war over ideals and legislation, even more so than during the Cold War. While we do have limited financial resources and we must pick our battles carefully, we must also think of the $5 or $10 that can be given to gun rights organizations in California as, to quote President Eisenhower, “the cheapest way that we can prevent the occurrence of something of the most terrible significance” which would be California state gun laws at the federal level.
It’s much easier to convince a generation of citizens that a right is antiquated or unnecessary when those being indoctrinated have never experienced that right themselves. We must all recognize that there will never be a day when you pull up TTAG and see a story entitled “Gun Control Defeated… Forever”. We are fighting a war of ideological attrition and conversion. This war can never fully be won by either side, but the battles must be continually fought at every location where the opposing view rears its oppressive head and speaks with its forked tyrannical tongue.