Bloomberg Arlington campaign gun control
Courtesy Jeff Hulbert

By MarkPA

A friend recently told me a story of a conversation with a legislator which gave me a new insight. The gist of it is this:

A politician has zero interest in “the facts” that impinge on which way to vote on an issue. The ONLY thing he cares about is the impact of his vote/statements on the voters’ decisions to vote for/against him. Therefore, it is (almost) futile to talk to a politician about “the facts.”

To the extent that this is true (and, it it really IS substantially true) our REAL AUDIENCE is a critical vote pool. Identify the members of that pool and educate THEM. Each politician is elected by a fixed constituency of voters and some (established) constituency of major contributors. Some group is critical. E.g., it might be vital for a certain politician to win the votes of cattle farmers (or butchers) and to do this he needs the contributions of vegetable canning companies (or solar cell manufacturers). Identify these few constituents and then go sell THEM.

It should be clear that a politician who is elected by a solid block of Democrat voters is unreachable. Likewise, a politician with substantial support from Michael Bloomberg. It’s not cost-effective to try to reach that large Democrat voter block nor to convince Bloomberg. That eliminates plenty of politicians who can never be reached economically. You have lost the REAL facts battle – votes and money – before it starts.

Senate Democrats
(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Conversely, there should be plenty of politicians who are vulnerable to either a primary or general election challenge. EACH is equally threatening. Worst case scenario might be a target – suppose a MALE – in a solidly Democrat district fraught with gun violence, supported by Bloomberg.

HE’s being opposed in the primary by a WOMAN supported by some other important interest, say immigration. If you can convince HER audience that the gun-control message is futile then you make HER a formidable threat to knock HIM out of the Democrat NOMINATION.

We might be equally unhappy to have either HIM or HER in Congress. That’s fine. One or the other IS going to win. OUR objective is to bring the truth (about gun control, or ANY OTHER ISSUE) to those that matter, the voters and the candidate’s contributors. It may be that you have to convince HER audience of some totally UN-RELATED issue such as schools or parks. We don’t care WHY she might get elected, only that HE get DEFEATED.

Only now can you go to this guy and explain to him the relevant facts. His support of our issue (gun-control) is causing US to threaten his candidacy by SUPPORTING HER. We might be supporting her over guns/schools/parks; it doesn’t matter which. The relevant fact is that HIS support of gun control is a significant threat to his defeating her in the primary (or some other opponent in the general election).

In our worst-case scenario (a Democrat district, Bloomberg-financed) he might have to decide to risk some of his voters’ enthusiasm on one issue. He might have to forego Bloomberg’s future support. It’s a calculation for him; his only goal is to get re-elected. It’s doubtful that his not voting for a gun-control bill will lose him all of his Democrat voters. It won’t help him to keep Bloomberg’s contributions if she wins the nomination over an issue like schools/parks.

Polling Place vote voting sign
Bigstock

The ONLY “fact” that matters is that we find a way to threaten his re-election based on ANY competitive issue (guns, schools, parks).

It strikes me as though gun rights supporters ought to be working on the voters and the candidates’ contributors in our home states and Congressional districts. Find the weak and vulnerable candidates in specific races. Identify their opponents and their critical constituencies and contributors. Find the crucial issue in play — guns/schools/parks…whatever — and leverage the facts relevant to THAT issue.

We can’t do these things in DC. We CAN do them in our home states and Congressional districts. We need to pool our resources cleverly.

Identify which Senators and which Congressmen are absolutely secure and which are vulnerable. Move resources away from those who are secure and toward the vulnerable. Identify the viable opponents of the vulnerable and target their critical issues (guns/schools/parks). Educate the voters and contributors of these viable opponents.

Then, carry the message to the targeted pol in Washington. Let him know that we’re targeting him because of his position on gun-control.

THAT’S the only “fact” he will listen to.

86 COMMENTS

  1. Good article for insight into “politics”.

    For how many gun owners is “gun control” the single issue in their lives? If you favorite candidate is 100% on everything you support, except the Second Amendment, are you willing to torpedo everything else? Many here will say “Yes!”, but staunch 2A defenders do not represent a significant majority of gun owners. Politicians know this.

    • Well gun owners can do business as usual and sit there and allow gun control zealots to call them RACISTS, call their firearms Saturday Night Specials, Assault Weapons, Ghost Guns, Weapons of War yada, yada….

      Or they can let it be known to politicians et al that Gun Control In Any Shape or Form Is Rooted In Racism and Genocide. And to Cease Catering to Such Rot.

      If someone cannot comprehend the horrors associated with Racism and Genocide then they need to climb down from their ivory tower and educate themselves.

      Furthermore…Gun Control stands in line shoulder to shoulder with slavery, segregation, the KKK, lynching, Jim Crow, Eugenics and other race based atrocities attributed to the democRat Party. There are no ifs, ands or butts about that.

      And furthermore…If you are one of those who chuckle at N-word jokes and fear offending the joke teller well it’s time to decide between your 2A Right and appeasing joke telling bigots. That includes appeasing the pasty mouth pompous jerks on this forum who trip over themselves to wager on whether the perp in a news level shooting is Black or not.

      Too many radio Gun Talk types put the History of Gun Control at the Back of The Bus…Waiting on them to get their hands dirty is like waiting on Christmas. Are you hearing me Tom Greshim et al?

  2. If the only thing they care about is their own self-interest, wouldn’t the more logical thing to be to affect that interest directly? Politician fails to act regarding illegal immigration, the next busload of illegals gets directed to their personal house. If they let criminals out of jail, give those same criminals an address card telling them to thank the politicians who let them out but aren’t at home because they’re in DC cooking up more stupidity.

    What’s that? Isn’t that some kind of line in the sand we can’t cross?

    No. Absolutely not. That’s the politicians attempting to evade personal responsibility. They’re going to tell you that’s “off-limits” and you can’t do that.

    But the left has been doing exactly that thing for years now. They insist on knowing where you live and making you register for everything. They’ve shown how willing they are to “dox” conservatives of every kind to provide their information to the mob. They’ve spewed lies and deceit across the nation just to discredit their opposition. They’d have zero problem doing the same to you. They’re eagerly pushing measures to tell you how to live or confiscate your guns or force you to allow children to be taken away to be reconditioned by the state. Once again, it is rules for the plebs, not for the monarchists. None of the monarchists rights will be abridged even a little.

    Why did Nancy Pelosi have a complete meltdown about the plebs entering the Capital? Because they might have imposed some direct personal responsibility. Now she is busy assuring that she cannot be physically reached. At all. Ever.

    But the plebs are waking up and catching on to this scheme. They’re beginning to understand that if the rules really don’t apply to the democrats and their illegal and immoral behavior, then those same rules don’t apply to anyone. Turnabout is fair play, so if the otherwise law-abiding citizenry is going to be beset by criminals and illegals, shouldn’t we all share that same burden equally – including the politicians?

    • I’ve been preaching this for years but no one listens. I’ve emailed my governor telling him the same thing, no comprande. No one has the balls to make a rock hard stand anymore except radical communist, ie liberal democrats.

  3. In thinking further about this, it occurs to me that our best strategy is to THIRD-RAIL gun-control. This was once the case, too long ago for most of us to remember. It could be made true again.

    There is NO logical reason for Democrats to ADVOCATE for gun-control. It doesn’t create a great opportunity for spending money; except, of course, on prisons. Democrats should be much more interested in creating a Critical-Race-Theory Indoctrination Corps thereby creating precinct captains throughout the nation.

    A Democrat incumbent wants to avoid a viable challenger in the primary or general election. The Democrat leadership wants to avoid losing any race to the GOP. These are the only two things that matter.

    (A RINO wants to avoid a viable challenger in the primary or general. GOP leadership wants to avoid losing any race to the Democrats. Only two things that matter.)

    All the PotG have to do is to put our resources everywhere that impact these considerations. The path of least resistance is to knock Democrat incumbents out by supporting Democrat challengers.

    Educate the voters in such a race that gun-control is ineffective. Educate the challenger that he can enjoy a new source of support if he will attack the incumbent on his futile gun-control plank. Win-or-lose doesn’t matter much. You have taught all Democrat incumbents that their fellow Democrat challengers can ride the gun-control rail to raise their cost-of-re-election.

    Permanently. A Congressman must run for re-election every two years. You have made a 2-year investment in educating a targeted Dim about the FUTILITY of gun-control ADVOCACY. So suppose you failed to knock him out in one election, you have a second opportunity just two years later. Continue the education program another couple of years; and two years after that. You have made the third-rail of gun-control a constant thorn in his side.

    Why should this Dim incumbent continue to vote and campaign for gun-control? Isn’t he a supporter of so many other issues near-and-dear to his constituents’ hearts that they will forgive him for being “soft” on gun-control? We can teach him to MOUTH the gun-control weeping-and-gnashing-of-teeth, with the lament that, tragically, gun-control has become the third-rail of politics. If he is to continue to do the good work of the Lord for his constituents he has to tread lightly (i.e., not at all) on gun-control. That is, when the roll-call for votes on a gun-control bill is scheduled, he will be in his District conferring with the voters.

    Sure, there is solidarity with the Dim Party gun-control platform. But no Dim candidate is going to loose his personal race because THE Party failed once again to push a gun-control bill through to becoming law. THE Party can mouth the gun-control agenda without really being serious about whipping its members to be there to vote for the bills.

    Once the message sinks in with the Dims, the RINOs should see the handwriting on the wall. Why would they want to draw our attention to their primary campaigns? There is no up-side.

    Senate races are harder to attack. Nevertheless, a Senator we’d like to target runs state-wide in a state with 1+ Congressional districts. We find one or two such districts with targetable incumbents and primary these. Win-or-lose, we’ve written our message on the walls of this Dim Senator’s bedroom. We’ve raised the cost of his next campaign 2-4-6 years in the future.

    • Republican in name only is a handy tag to place on a politician with whom you don’t agree. Trump was a RINO to many.
      When we get a politician who can actually think for him/herself, that focuses on the problems facing the people that elected him, others will get angry. Trump, like Teddy, bucked the establishment, would not take the money from the major corporations, and worked for the people – all of us. He tried to close down illegal immigration(which keeps wages down and destroys the middle class – while forcing the government to subsidize the workers’ families), he took a stand against imports(particularly those from China, who has no respect for patents and programming rights).
      We have to remember that there should be a balance in this country, not a stranglehold by the corporations and major players that will kill the middle class.

      • “. . . a politician who can actually think for him/herself . . . ” That’s a rare bird. I agree to be alert for such a possibility, but these will be few in number. You cited only 2: Trump and Teddy.

        More realistically, we have to work in terms of ‘a politician who actually thinks OF him/herself’. These are more numerous; they make the votes in Congress that count for the winning side.

        How do we steer our resources to influence a politician who ONLY thinks OF him/herself?

  4. I live in a red district within a red state. The fight to get elected doesn’t happen on election night, it happens during the primary. Whichever Republican wins the primary is guaranteed to win the election. That’s why some democrats vote during the Republican primary. They vote for what they view as the lesser of two evils. The problem with voting for the least worst Democrat is that Democrats seem to stick together better than Republicans. They all share the common goal of bigger government, more power, and more control over our lives.

    Speaking of a more power and control, the one, excuse me two trillion dollar “infrastructure package” hot off the heals of a two trillion dollar “relief package” is now the FOUR TRILLION “jobs and infrastructure” package. Their tax plan was going to pay for only a portion of the two trillion over about 15 years, and now it’s four trillion?? This is pure insanity. You have to realize they aren’t interested in logical solutions to problems. They’re only interested in getting while the getting is good. They’re plundering the country in plain sight. And the media yawns…

    • I argue that to win on the gun-control issue it’s NOT important to find the lesser of two evils. Whichever politician gets elected s/he will always vote in whatever way s/he perceives to be in her prospective interest. Her/his vote is always available for sale to the highest bidder.

      Instead, I think we need to de-politicize gun-control by making it a third-rail issue. Nothing that could possibly gain you a vote; something that could only get you knocked-out in a primary. Or, at least, increase your cost of success.

      Social Security is such a third-rail issue. It’s inconceivable that any politician would advocate for cutting benefits for the elderly. Nothing to be gained (from young voters who can’t imagine the FICA tax burden facing them in 20 years). Everything to be lost from elderly voters whose bread and butter you propose to take-away.

      I can’t – for the life of me – identify why the Dims are so deeply invested in gun-control. Do they really think that their constituents won’t vote for them if they are consistent on EVERY other plank in THE Party platform? Squishy ONLY on gun-control? How do they suppose they are going to steer money to their constituents by making new gun-control programs? Will they hire a new army (like TSA airport workers) to work for ATF?

      The only possibility that I can think of is that there are a handful of major contributors – like Michael Bloomberg – who pay them for their advocacy of gun-control. Let’s imagine that Bloomberg is like a puppet-master who pulls the strings on all the contributions of heart-felt gun-control supporters. (This might be true, or not, but it helps to focus the thought pattern.) We can’t dissuade Bloomberg. We can’t out-spend Bloomberg. Yet, we do have the power to influence voters and contenders for the Dim nomination in marginal Districts/states.

      When, ultimately, we deal with a prospective voter about the futility of gun-control or the appeal of some other issue (schools, parks) we take the control away from Bloomberg to buy that vote. Do enough of this and the incumbent will have to decide whether Bloomberg’s money is enough to stop his primary opponent. When he’s no longer convinced that Bloomberg’s money is the decisive factor then he will become squishy on gun-control. He will have to try to persuade Bloomberg that he is still “right” on gun-control but that he has to win the next election. Bloomberg will have to decide when to move his money to a different politician.

      Defusing gun-control as a money-winning and vote-winning tactic should be our strategy.

      • I agree the lesser of two evils approach doesn’t really work in congressional elections or gun control. It could help with other things like criminal control when it comes to electing AGs, governors, mayors, etc.

      • “I can’t – for the life of me – identify why the Dims are so deeply invested in gun-control.”

        I think most of it is an echo chamber effect, being led by a few power brokers who understand how much they will be able to accomplish whenever the citizens become disarmed. The majority of the left have little actual understanding, but they want power, and they can get a measure of it by riding the coat tails of the power brokers, and they know what they need to do: drink the koolaid and share it. One thing they seldom realize is how thoroughly that koolaid will poison them in the end. You may think you can negotiate with the devil, and come out ahead, but you are gravely mistaken.

        • I think you are spot on.

          Why do we all sing the same suite of hymns as are posted on the board at church? It’s simply because that is the way we are accustomed to the service being organized. Some churchman is in charge of choosing the hymns and listing the numbers on the board. We sing according to that middle-functionary’s hymn list.

          Bloomberg likely believes – sincerely – that gun violence will be reduced if only the noblemen have Pretorian guards. But he’s not the only powerbroker in the game. Somewhere there is some middle-functionary who takes advantage of the order-of-service to choose the hymns.

          “. . . they want power, and they can get a measure of it by riding the coat tails of the power brokers, and they know what they need to do . . . ”

          The possibility exists – but they are blind to THIS scenario: Push comes to shoot, and their brown-shirts, black-shirts, blue-shirts, olive-drab-shirts are out-gunned or don’t follow orders.

          Thereupon, all the kool-aid drinkers will stagger around like zombies wondering what the hell went wrong. They will be absolutely convicted that if only they could have taken the candy from the babies that Utopia (and power) would be theirs.

          Where is the chink in this great plan?

          Perhaps it’s in DIVERSITY and INCLUSION. When everyone of diverse color and creed is an equally-powered player in the game, then it becomes vastly more difficult for the kool-aid drinkers to imagine they can get control.

          The English BoR preserved arms for Protestants, to the exclusion of Catholics. The initial American construction of the right to arms carved-out native Americans, and then Blacks. The post-Reconstruction continued to exclude Blacks.

          By 1960 Blacks HAD enough arms to exercise the power of self-defense. In their ghettos; and, in isolated street confrontations. That set the field of battle on which MLK could envision a non-violent civil-disobedience resolution of the Civil Rights issue. There was always an iron fist inside the velvet glove.

          Today, there is no minority group more threatened than inner-city minority residents. Perhaps Latinos will become a target in much the same way as Asians have been targeted in isolated cases. The Left wants to de-fund the police. Who will be there to respond to 9-1-1 calls?

          Mostly-peaceful-protests represent little threat to those of us in rural and suburban areas who have long been prepared to defend themselves. Perhaps we need to show our fellow Americans the peace-of-mind that preparedness brings. What is called in Mexico “auto-defensas”.

      • “I can’t – for the life of me – identify why the Dims are so deeply invested in gun-control.”

        Dude nailed it (further down the page): It’s all about emotion.
        Constitutional, principled, factual, and pragmatic factors overwhelmingly favor our side. The ONLY factor in their favor is emotional, ad hominem BS. “People who believe individuals are responsible for the outcomes of their own choices aren’t nice.”

        You nailed it yourself with Socialist Security. A retirement pyramid scheme is not remotely an enumerated federal power. The demographic pyramid’s slow inversion may escape the casual observer, but no one who passed elementary arithmetic could possibly believe that people who put $50 a month into a non-interest-bearing government piggy bank in the ’50s are “just getting their own money back” when they cash $2800 checks today. And yet, “Taking [other people’s] money away from the elderly” is just as untouchable as you say.

        Gun control fits this narrative perfectly. “Shooting criminals – uh, I mean the underprivileged victims of our racist patriarchy – isn’t nice.” “Gun owners are just a bunch of dumb [members of the only demographics against whom hatred and discrimination are still OK].” Etc.

        • And this is why an old, fat white guy in a wheelchair speaking calmly, rationally, and sincerely (with facts to back up his position) has the ability to get people to listen- I connect with them emotionally. And through the portal of emotion I bring education, logic, objectivity and simple truth- which allows people to discover for themselves the real consequences of believing one can increase freedom by restricting it.

          As I said- the truth sells itself. The onus is on the teacher to reach the student.

        • Peter Gunn,
          I am completely in agreement, admiration, and gratitude for everything you’re doing, but I think your second paragraph is over-optimistic. Situations like yours – where someone exhibits the outward signs of a favored victim class, but refuses to be a victim – are powerful but also extremely rare.

        • Umm makes a good point. Peter Gunn is in a unique position to be “The voice crying in the wilderness.” The John the Baptist among we PotG.

          I take his teaching to heart. How can we take this teaching and “put it in a bottle”?

          I don’t think we should buy wheel chairs or crutches (though one day I might need a walker). Rather, I think we need to figure out how to tell a 1st Person, 2nd Person or 3rd Person story.

          To illustrate what I’m imagining, suppose we made a list with two headings:
          1. – Well what about . . .
          2. – Good point, let me tell you a story . . .

          We all pool our memories and imaginations to fill in the list under heading #1. Start with “Well what about just running away”.
          Then, we pool our answers for the corresponding answers under heading #2. Start with “How does the guy in a wheel chair run away? Let me tell you about Peter Gunn’s situation. He had an accident, was a patron of a restaurant. They put up a GFZ sign. . . . ”

          Does some such approach make sense? E.g., don’t we know the arguments on both sides? Don’t we remember the news stories that correspond to each argument? Can’t we build a list of names and narratives of actual cases that respond to the gun-control arguments?

          No doubt, someone else has a still better way of packaging our message. We just need to find a few such ways and put the resources together for mutual use. Our “bullet list” of talking points.

        • If I had the know-how, I would make a podcast (I think that’s the term- where I can record/video my story and share it on the internet?) because each time I sit outside that restaurant I experience truly amazing things.

          For example: this past Friday after I had been there about an hour a young man came and stood beside me holding up a handwritten cardboard sign saying “This guy sucks –>”(with the arrow pointed at me). I found this curious, so I asked him why I sucked- but he refused to speak to me. Over the course of about thirty minutes I politely asked him questions about his stance, but he continued to ignore me.

          After about forty-five minutes I noticed another young man standing between the sign holder and me, and he asked me what was going on. The sign holder immediately said “He sucks”, so the other young man asked him why I sucked- but the sign holder ignored him. I told the young man that the sign holder wouldn’t answer me either, and then the sign holder started to speak- but the young man interrupted him and said “No- I want to hear it from him”.

          I then proceeded to tell my story to the second young man, and by the time I was close to finished, I noticed that the sign holder was now holding his sign down by his leg- words facing in. When I finished talking, the (former) sign holder said “Sir, I owe you an apology- I didn’t understand why you were out here protesting”. The three of us engaged in meaningful conversation for another fifteen minutes or so before they both had to leave- each one fist bumping me before leaving. What started out as an uncomfortable pseudo-confrontation ended with three fast friends seeing eye-to-eye.

          I’ll admit it- was kinda emotional… in a very positive way.

        • MarkPA, Peter Gunn,
          Great ideas! I’m no social-media expert myself, but I think that in particular is a phenomenal idea.

        • Two highlights from this Friday’s protest:

          The young black man wearing a Black Lives Matter t-shirt who asked me about my stance, listened to me, and then said he agrees with me and supports me 100%. He especially took issue with the restaurant welcoming open carry LEO’s to dine in their “Gunn-Free Zone” while prohibiting lawful, concealed carry licensed citizens from entering. “What do they think- cops are better than us?” he said.

          And another man who’s starting his campaign for City Council who listened to me, and then asked me if I’d be willing to speak at one of his events. I told him that I’d be happy to.

  5. This touches on something I’ve long observed, elections are decided by “the muddle in the middle,” the “undecided,” who I will suggest are the least qualified to be making that decision. (If you really can’t figure out which of the two major world-views in play today are best for our country, then you really don’t need to be choosing ANYTHING of importance about your life, and especially not about MINE!)

    This article is exactly the kind of information we all need to know, and to share among our freedom-loving friends and neighbors.

    • “the least qualified to be making that decision”

      Which is exactly why Democrats and their propagandists in the media appeal to emotion rather than logic. They never really tried to convince anyone to vote for mumbling, lost Joe. They only focused on vilifying that traitorous, racist, Nazi scumbag Trump.

  6. “There is NO logical reason for Democrats to ADVOCATE for gun-control.’

    Except that it is a proven winner, each election cycle? Anybody have a count of Dims who lost their seats only, or primarily, because of supporting gun control?

    Trump had all the logic and stats in his favor, but Dim logic (whatever that is, applied to whatever is at hand), fear, obsfucation, dissention scared up a Dim win against a doddering, befuddled old man….not to mention retaining control of the house, and splitting the senate down the middle.

    • If you don’t believe that there was voter manipulation going on there(from both sides, against Trump), our country will never get back to the people.

    • “. . . who lost their seats only, or primarily, because of supporting gun control?”

      Well, that APPEARS to be the ball, but that’s NOT necessarily the critical ball.

      Suppose you are the incumbent and your position on every issue – from A to Z – is perfectly aligned with those of your constituents. Let’s further suppose that you were squishy on G (Gun-control). Would your vote against a gun-control bill lose your constituents’ heartfelt support? Would your failure to be in Washington on the day of a gun-control bill vote cause you to lose your support?

      Your election is likely to turn on your competitiveness in charisma. Look at AOC’s victory over a well-entrenched Dim incumbent.

      Or, your election is likely to turn on lots of issues – other than gun-control – where your efforts haven’t proven credible. Say you have been a vociferous supporter of schools or parks but the schools haven’t improved or the parks have never been built. Your charismatic opponent might erode enough of your support on schools/parks. She might be convinced that gun-control is NOT the issue that she needs to embrace to keep her viable in the race.

      What do you do? Go to Bloomberg and ask for more money to argue why your failures in schools/parks shouldn’t be held against you notwithstanding the allegations of your opponent in the primary?

      Gun-control is the make-or-break issue for Bloomberg, but not necessarily for any of your voters.

      Find the vulnerable incumbent. Talk to his potential contenders. Discover how you might help a contender win the race. Make his pitch, and undermine your audience’s confidence gun-control. Make Bloomberg’s money much too expensive to the incumbant.

    • “…scared up a Dim win against a doddering, befuddled old man…”

      …scared up a Dim win FOR a doddering, befuddled old man…

      FIFY

  7. Americans have been indoctrinated since the 1970s to be good little sheep blindly following Communist politicians and their media enablers. As a result, the lunatics are now running the asylum. An electorate with the average intelligence of a sea turtle is never going to drive favorable change.

    Let’s face it — America as we knew and loved it is dead.

    • That was true before the 2020 summer of discontent.

      It’s a new year. Memories of 2020 and the issues that arose that year are still very fresh.

      When seconds count the Crisis Intervention Social Worker will be there in . . . ;
      ‘Your hold time is now estimated to be 28 minutes. Or, press star to leave a message.’

    • Give the Sea Turtles a little more credit then that. Electorates cant even find their way back to dry land.
      hmmmm, not a bad idea.
      .
      The bubbles quit comming up, he musta sunk.

  8. It could be argued that entangling oneself in a corrupt, self-serving, incongruent, and irrational system may get you closer to your intended goals- but at what price? What amount of dishonesty, subversion, and moral turpitude are you willing to commit to get your way? Do you consider yourself more honorable than another while committing the same transgressions as they are? Who decides what improprieties are acceptable?

    Or, one could simply focus on educating people- the voters. You do not have to demean yourself and get down into the gutter with the rats and play their game. You can just talk sense to real people- the truth sells itself.

    For the past few weeks I have been protesting outside of a local restaurant that has recently adopted a discriminatory, dangerous, and unconstitutional firearms policy. Every single person that I have spoken with has not only been receptive to listening to what I have to say- after hearing me they have agreed with me completely. Many of them went straight into the restaurant and told them that they agree with the fat old guy in the wheelchair out front, and they need to change their policy.

    Moreover, every person I have spoken with has admitted that they have never had anyone talk to them so plainly and reasonably about firearms. They also have never had the Constitution, civil rights, self defense, crime statistics, and political agenda explained so thoughtfully, objectively, and effectively. Each one said they learned something by talking with me.

    Empowering people by educating them with the truth is how real, meaningful, and effective change takes place- much more so than playing games like “politics”.

    • “. . . the fat old guy . . . ”
      For community solidarity it’s important to maintain consistency of expression. It’s:

      “old, fat, [white] guy”

      Substitute color with which you identify at the moment.
      If your body mass index doesn’t qualify you as “fat”, stretch the truth.

      You make excellent points.

      I don’t think it’s necessary, nor tactical, to make the pro-gun argument in conjunction with a political campaign. E.g., to say: ‘I urge you to vote against Congressman Incumbent because he advocates for gun-control and instead, vote for his challenger, Ms Contestant who is interested in schools and parks.’

      Instead, I think you appeal to a (likely) voter with a self-interested argument. Or, an empathetic argument. E.g., ‘You might feel pretty secure in this neighborhood because you don’t go out after dark; but, what about your neighbor lady who has to walk home after her 2nd shift?’

      The individual you are speaking with might not be able, immediately, contemplate shooting a gun herself. Likely, it’s easier to gain empathy for a neighbor in greater risk. If she can’t imagine anyone she knows carrying a gun you might ask her if she knows anyone who has served in the armed forces or who is a police-woman. That might be the stepping-stone to acknowledging that use of a tool is not necessarily incompatible with her feminist viewpoint.

      What is in your audience’s personal interest – or personal experience of empathy? That will prove most persuasive. You will certainly be asked to field ‘but what about . . . ‘ questions. Suicide, assaults, homicides, accidents. That’s the point to respond: ‘Do you really think that X-gun-control will do much to impede . . . ?’

      I discourage arguing about any issue that is NOT a LEGITIMATE part of public policy. Allegations about a candidate’s personal proclivities are – likely as not – to taint one’s own credibility. Nevertheless, others’ judgements might differ from my own. E.g., one might feel that the allegations of harassment by Gov. Como are sufficiently plausible as to create doubt about his character and fitness for office. It’s a personal judgement call.

      I don’t think it necessary to persuade a prospective voter of your OWN personal position in respect of your Constitutional right to a giggle-switch. Your audience might be amenable to hearing out the arguments for Shall-Issue, but not Constitutional-carry or select-fire. Our aim ought to bring our audience along the path of liberty as far as they are willing to walk with us.

      • I witness sincere empathy when I explain how my wife and I have been eating at this restaurant (that we love, btw) for over seven years, but in the last few months they’ve adopted a discriminatory policy that affects me directly. When the drunk driver put me in a wheelchair a little over three years ago, I lost my ability to “run”, “hide”, or “fight” when facing an able-bodied attacker. The problem started when the restaurant decided that I would no longer be able to defend myself while dining on their premises. Overnight, I became persona-non-grata to them and somehow unworthy of the right to defend myself while on their property. We had been loyal customers for years- what happened?

        Every. Single. Person. I talk to not only “gets it”- it outrages them when I explain this to them. It is here that the “light goes on” for them- it’s obviously demonstrative that one does not have to actually be in a wheelchair to grasp the relevance of the infringement of basic, human rights.

        Helping others educate themselves in intrinsically satisfying- and it assists in making our world a better place one voter at a time.

        • Agree with Miner49er.

          Now, the trick is, how to package this technique and produce it in volume?

          At a gun rights policy conference a few years ago in Chicago I met a couple of advocates who were CWP-holders. They were blind. They explained the right to bear arms to be from their point-of-view. Something I hadn’t fully envisioned before.

          Telling a story is the most effective mode of communication. Facts don’t matter nearly as much. Recount the story of Amanda Collins or Sarah McKinley.

          How to do this?

  9. Great article! I’m a Legislative Liaison for a couple of AKC dog clubs and deal with animal rights extremism, supported by Democrats! One of the things I’ve learned is that ALL politicians have one thing in common : “they all count votes”.

    • Please contribute to our body of knowledge:
      1. first and foremost, what doesn’t work so that we can stop waisting resources;
      2. second, what will work?

      Most of we PotG just aren’t well steeped in the art and mysteries of political persuasion. We need those few of you who do to give us input.

      If you guys were to tell us that beating our heads against a brick wall isn’t especially effective, we might redirect our efforts.

    • Having worked in state government for over 40 years in a job where I sometimes was a geology and geographic information systems (gis, the new political power technology of the 90s and 00s?) resource person for politicians I concur about votes, but power is equally, if not more, important. This is the technology that has enabled many changes for the better, but the relevant, but possibly questionable, one for politicians is the ability to fine tune redistricting based on various data sources including, but not limited to census data. At first I was involved in an informal steering committee of interested state, federal, and private parties. Later as some awareness grew I was on a state government only committee, but when the Super Secretaries (appointed by and directly under the Governor) finally understood, that committee was instantly dissolved and reconstituted and my boss’s boss’s boss, one of these Super Secretaries, ended up in my position. The good part for me was I got out of politics and into what I originally signed on for and enjoyed, field geology, for my last twenty years or so including creating my own digital data with this still relatively new and obviously very flexible technology. I did get around and was able to discuss my experiences with equivalents in other states and my experience was not unique.

      Bottom line is that politicians are attracted to power like moths to a flame. Sometimes they benefit, but frequently it destroys them. I now am retired and live by choice in a red county in a red state where pretty much everyone owns guns and so am not too useful beyond e-mailing Congress critters but I’m hoping my experiences can prove useful.

  10. Mebbe all the “suggestion’s”would work in a normal human population Mark. I live in Cook County,ILL. Hopelessly controlled by Dims who are fond of power,perks & pots of $$$$. Ralph is right…

    • Yes, I imagine so. (I lived in and near Chicago for many years.)
      Nevertheless, we need two kinds of input:
      1. – general political tactics and strategy
      2. – specific on-the-ground local politics.

      I think that there is likely not much we can do for Chicago. Provide individual support to those folks who want to get carry permits. Try to understand exactly how it is that once they pull your FOID on a “mental” issue, why is it that there is no qualified Doc in the state who will do a re-qualifying consultation. That should be part of our case against gun-control. (They will try to get a doc-letter requirement and then see to it that no doc will ever sign your letter.)

      A scatter-gun approach is unlikely to be cost-effective. Too many BBs will land on infertile ground. It may be that IL and NJ gun-owners need to send their support to advocates in MI.

      Yes, we’d each like to play a role in our own Congressional District. Nevertheless, our own districts either need-no-help or are beyond redemption. We need some sort of clearing house to identify the races where the circumstances are more hopeful.

      Those of you who are plugged-into your own local politics are in a position to know the local climate.

      I wonder if some organization such as the DC Project could serve this role. Collect grass-roots data from each Congressional District and State and start ranking races which are least-favorable to most-favorable.

      Move resources from least-favorable races to most-favorable races.

      • My solution??? We’re eventually moving to Indiana…at my age(67 next month) I’m not stressing out!

  11. “How to influence politicians and change their votes ”
    Jinping , Bloomberg, Zuckerberg, Gates.
    A whole bunch of money is what it takes.

    • So, we don’t have that. Never will. We will have to have better tactics and a well-designed strategy.

      Are we going to do that? Or, are we just waiting for the Apocalypse?

    • “A whole bunch of money is what it takes.”

      Yep. See my post below about the cash that Zuckerberg gave as payroll incentives to election workers in Detroit. Supposed to be kept on the down-low, but a FOIA request unearthed the documents.

  12. The article isn’t wrong but it’s not so simple as that either. Relatively few voters are single issue voters. Most have to balance the good and the bad, consider the odds of how each candidate will act on several issues important to them.

    An example of the cost of short term, tunnel vision thinking is what happened with an influential group of pro-gun or at least not anti-gun Democrats. The “Blue Dog Democrats” were not as liberal as the leadership of their party. Liberal on social issues, they were more fiscally conservative than a lot of Republicans and had no interest in gun control, or were against it. At the opening of the Obama administration 65 of them sent a letter urging the new administration to stay the hell away from gun control. While certainly not the only reason for Obama never doing anything but talk, the influence of 65 Democrat members of Congress advising to steer well clear had to be a factor.

    That coalition was decimated by directed attacks from Tea Party candidates. While many of those TeaBaggers got into office, they could not hold office as they were a herd of knuckle dragging morons and their incompetence was not well received by their constituents. Some lost to Republicans, some to more party focused Democrats. The end result was strengthening of anti-gun votes.

    Gun rights would be in a stronger position today had Blue Dog Dems not been targeted by one-shot dilettantes who had no clue how to legislate and little to no ability to get re-elected.

    I have to look at every candidate from the totality of who/what they claim to be and want to do legislatively. Hold that assessment up against their opponent. Party can go fuck itself for all I care, my loyalty is to the Republic not some damned cartoon elephant or donkey.

    Anyway, yes, I do write and tell politicians their anti-gun chatter will take my vote from them and put my dollars to their opponent. It’s kind of the minimum any of us can do and should do on the issues we care about.

    More important though is to never support a nut case, a moron, an incompetent or a criminal for office. Even if that person speaks words you like. Do not be swayed by their words, consider their deeds in and out of government.

    And always tell them what you think.

    • “. . . it’s not so simple as that either.”
      Absolutely true. The older I get the more aware I am that issues are multifaceted. One is not going to get an adequate picture from examining just one facet.

      Yet, we have to discuss one facet at a time. I could write an encyclopedia; but no one would read it. Especially not on a blog.

      I agree with your point that it wasn’t a good strategy to target a Blue Dog Democrat with an ideologically correct Republican who could NOT hold her seat. Yet, that wasn’t the facet that I was thinking about.

      So now there aren’t any (many) remaining Blue Dog Democrats anymore. We hope to see Democrats who are simply squishy about their lip-service for gun-control. Your point, in translation, is to NOT target a Dim who is merely squishy about their gun-control. There are better targets.

      So, let’s suppose the issues might be enumerated A . . . Z. All the Democrats – the incumbent and his potential primary opponents – are all pretty much in alignment on most of the issues. This strategy is NOT about choosing among the lesser evil on 26 issues. We will never agree on that. Rather, it is to propose to target the incumbent who has emphasized gun-control, trying to knock him out of his seat with another Dim whose constituents might be persuaded that it’s time for the incumbent to be replaced. Issue at stake need not be gun-control; might be schools or parks.

      The only one whom we really need to communicate the gun-control issue to is the incumbent. We want HIM to know that he was targeted because he was an advocate for gun-control. Ideally, he wouldn’t even see who it was wandering around his District who was motivated by hostility to gun-control.

      Whether we really were effective or not might not matter. If we knock-him-out (or compels him to mortgage his votes on other issues for more campaign funds), and he THINKS he was targeted for gun-control, the message will be clear. Gun-control was a third-rail FOR HIM.

      Suppose Bloomberg contributed 20% of his campaign funds. Suppose we caused him to have to raise half-that-much from still other sources to be sure of winning the next primary. He might wonder whether the 20% from Bloomberg was worth the cost of soliciting still more money from other interests.

    • If you really were loyal to the constitutional republic, but you couldn’t stomach Trump, you could’ve voted for no one. Or a third party. Those would’ve been principled and logical choices.

      But instead, you violated your own advice to “never support a nut case, a moron, an incompetent or a criminal for office” by voting for the current administration, which is infested by communist nut cases, criminally corrupt, AND headed by a puppet president whose political career spans nearly 50 years of incompetence and who is basically a moron by way of senility at this point.

      And you just couldn’t shut up about how virtuous you were in doing it.

      Zero credibility.

      • “Zero credibility.”

        Yup, that’s yourself in the mirror alright. You have no clue what a communist is, but you support an authoritarian wannabe dictator for a second term.

        The question of Trump versus America was that of a clear, present and existential threat to our national security, our economy,our survival as a nation and our form of government.

        You should consider that a whole lot of people who previously voted for Trump voted for Biden for exactly the reasons I cite. If you are one of those believing Trump lies about stolen election, you are just another damned fool who bought the con job.

        • “You have no clue what a communist is,” says the guy who voted for a VP who’s the closest thing to a red commie we’ve ever had in the White House.

          Looks like I struck a nerve. The truth stings, doesn’t it.

    • “Gun rights would be in a stronger position today had Blue Dog Dems not been targeted by one-shot dilettantes who had no clue how to legislate and little to no ability to get re-elected.“

      Correct.

      • I have no knowledge of the story behind TEA Party contesters bumping the Blue Dogs but then not being able to hold their seats. Nevertheless, it seems plausible. And, true or not, it’s a lesson in the complexity of real life.

        The gun-controllers use their vivid imaginations to tout a proposed new control that they are convinced will end gun violence. And they are baffled when it doesn’t work.

        We are vulnerable to this SAME ERROR; imagining that an obvious move on the chess board will bring us closer to victory; but then our opponent takes our Queen.

        The leftists have been strategizing for 170 years. We conservatives just want to be left alone; we won’t read Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals. And so, we will always be behind the 8-ball.

        We would be much better off if we improve our game in “politics by regular order”. No one will be better off if we imagine we’ll get our act together when it’s time for “politics by other means”.

    • Yes Democrats are more extreme and hyper-partisan these days because…people on the right. It has nothing to do with the news media, social media, and now powerful corporations aligning themselves with the Left, and bullying and scaring people into silence while pushing their propaganda. Cancel culture is a product of the Left. They’ve used it to silence whatever moderate Democrats are left. Nancy, Chuck, Joe, and Company aren’t newbies that just recently popped up because the Tea Party won some elections.

      They’re more partisan now because they think they no longer need bipartisanship. These people are acting like tyrants because they feel like they’re on the verge of permanent one party rule.

  13. TTAG is so political now….

    Whatever happened to the days of tacticool analysis/critique of full sized glocks with stick mags (minus the holster), $700 pocket knives and field notes featured in “Pocket Dump”?

    1911 vs Glock beefs, anonymous instruction on proper cross draw, Product Sponsored links to the latest Magpul fleece, and the occasional ex Special Forces dude shilling overpriced striker pistols stippled and laser engraved by Wilson Combat used to be the highlight of my day.

    Let’s bring back the days when we all bickered about steel vs plastic, caliber and the acceptable amount of dry practice reps executed per day.

    I say this as a little robot my wife bought is vacuuming under my feet. The times are surely changin’.

  14. “When we get a politician who can actually think for him/herself, that focuses on the problems facing the people that elected him, others will get angry.”

    Durn straight !

    Trump didn’t punch every item on my list of what a good Republicrat should push, support, enact. If a politician won’t, or doesn’t, do everything the way I like, then what good are politicians? It is better to not vote for less than “pure” politicians, and let the nation burn to the ground. There, that’ll show ’em.

    Vote my way, or don’t bother to reach out to me. I gots better things to drink.

  15. “If you don’t believe that there was voter manipulation going on there(from both sides, against Trump), our country will never get back to the people.”

    If, by “manipulation”, you mean voter fraud/cheating, well as long as there is a Chicago such will be the case. However….if it were provable that millions, yes millions, of votes were fraudulent, wouldn’t we have seen that proof in multiple places (not counting the MSM)? Allegations can crack the door to truth, but irrefutable proof crashes through.

    My “take” on the election was that too many people treasure manners over results (that “I’d rather lose with integrity, than sink to street fighting.” thing grinds my grits). Too many people still think that politeness is a priority over message. Trump lost because of it.

  16. Yes, there are not enough billionaires supporting conservative policies and ideas. Why is that?

    I have no idea.

  17. “Would your vote against a gun-control bill lose your constituents’ heartfelt support?”

    50yrs ago, maybe not. Today? Look around. The power of “woke” and “cancel” culture would likely destroy such politicians (not that there will never be exceptions).

    The toleration of the destruction going on in major, left wing-controlled cities tells us the danger of not enabling the mob.

  18. In a fight to the death, there can be no rules….except winner takes all. If a person is not willing to use any weapon, any tactic, to save their lives, they are a menace to the rest.

    Win first; then talk about the rules of social discourse. Lose, and your ideas are lost, also. People in the Deep South may still talk about “The Cause”, “The Great Cause”, or even “The Lost Cause”, but neither they nor their ancestors remain in combat on the battlefields of Fredericksburg, Cold Harbor, or Culp’s Hill. “The South” lost, and those states have no political power to bring back “the good ol’ days”.

    There can be no substitute for victory.

  19. “Our aim ought to bring our audience along the path of liberty as far as they are willing to walk with us.”

    Seems to me, we, the nation, departed that landmark long, long ago.

    Generally, I think you have good ideas….for a time ago.

  20. “TTAG is so political now…. ”

    Yes, times are a’changin’. Everything is politics, and politics is everything. Eventually, even table knives will be banned, or you will be guilty of a heinous crime if you use one in self-defense.

  21. Democrats simply weigh the value of Bloomberg’s money against pissing off moderates and conservatives, and 2A “democrats”. They take the money and then spend it in the urban population centers of states to buy votes. Imagine all the money spent on gun control politics spent directly on controlling violent and deranged people…

  22. “Ah man…. Such a Gloomy Gus.”

    Not gloomy at all. I read the back of the book, and know how it all turns out. “All we are is dust in the wind.”

    • In the not too distant future the only votes being cast that will influence anyone are the ballots coming out of the barrel of a gun. Millions of people every month are buying guns, and as much ammo as they can find, for a reason. And it ain’t because they plan on hunting rabbits and deer.

  23. I understand your sentiment, however…..

    Millions of new gun owners aren’t thinking, “Comes the revolution….”

    • Exactly 1 week from today (4/19/1775) is the Anniversary of the beginning of the War for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms in Our Nation. When a Ruling Government decided that the Citizenry needed to be disarmed as a point of Control. Once again a Government is working to deny the Citizenry the Right to keep and Bear Arms. Maybe not as overtly as then, but none the less the objective remains the same. An Unarmed Society is much easier to Control than one that has the tools to Fight back against Tyranny. How will YOU Honor the Courageous Sacrifices made by those Founding Patriots who Fought, Suffered and Died? That You could enjoy the the Freedoms and Liberties their struggle handed down unto Our Nation. Will it be the standard Complacent Cowardice of doing nothing or simply screaming to the choir on the Interweb. Words did not Win the Day in the fight for Our Nations Freedom 246 years ago. They will not Win the Day against the Tyranny “We the People” face Now.

  24. When the Marxists win, voting always becomes a boring show, with always the same results. I am amazed to see so many people that are still naive enough to believe in voting. Past a certain age, naivete is no longer cute.

  25. “This (GIS)is the technology that has enabled many changes for the better, but the relevant, but possibly questionable, one for politicians is the ability to fine tune redistricting based on various data sources including, but not limited to census data.”

    Sorta, kinda related, but in the line of power seeking, there is this:
    Biden order to Consumer Finance Protection Bureau (re: credit reporting companies):
    https://www.investmentwatchblog.com/social-credit-biden-wants-to-cancel-credit-bureaus/

  26. “Funny, I don’t think Livgren has thought that way for a long time.”

    His own Bible carries the words (Genesis 3:19 and Ecclesiastes 3:20) so he can’t not think that way.

    But, I understand your intent.

  27. The political leaders of the first American Revolution were not nameless, faceless non-entities. The leaders were well known. There was an unknown underground network doing much to frustrate the Redcoats, and many in the colonial militias who supported insurrection. Today, we have scattered, disorganized clusters and individuals who may be unknown, but they are politically leaderless. Has there ever been a political armed revolution that had no compelling leaders?

    American Revolution #3 will not be a fight for freedom, but the inexorable grinding down of the populace. The mere fact that there an alleged 100 million+ gun owners should have ensured that a political move to disarm the populace couldn’t even get an audience. Yet, here we are: Waco, Ruby Ridge, Bundy; no revolution.

    The ballot box is the only box with any effectiveness (depending you which side you take).

  28. Perhaps individual examples from gun owners can be effective…one-on-one, in relatively small venues. The overarching issue is the blind fear of the random gun owner “snapping” and shooting up a location not in the inner city.

    The non-donor class of anti-gunners imagine a world where despite any physical inabilities, they are safe from “mass shootings” (which are really the face of gun ownership to the fearful). these people are dealing in absolutes, not “reasonable risk”, or “near zero” statistics. It is impossible to convince such people that legal gun ownership can be made to eliminate all possible dangerous scenarios.

    Gun-grabbers are fighting a war to eliminate a fear. Gun owners are fighting a war to protect their natural, human and civil rights. The fearful are backed by billionaires. The civil rights activists are backed by statistics.

    • “The non-donor class of anti-gunners . . . are dealing in absolutes, not ‘reasonable risk’ . . . ”

      OK, so you are right. The first step is to define what one’s audience is NOT. Now, you can stop wasting your breath.

      Whom might you be able to move? With what message?

      Alternatively, maybe it’s some other class.

      Or, maybe it really IS the non-donor class of anti-gunners who want an absolute guarantee against civil war.

      Suppose you introduce consciousness in a non-donor that she’s tacitly supporting a non-zero risk of that which she has been told to fear. The entire supernumerary cast of Duck Dynasty emerging from the woods determined to do precisely that which she has been told to be terrified of.

      Leave them alone and they will continue to whittle and chew tobacco and do no violence to anyone.

  29. A REAL Patriot would PRIMARY these TRAITOR politicians . . . The 2A represents PROTECTION against TYRANNICAL government! One Enlightened Patriot. Team Trump And His Allies 2020 – MAGA (WE’RE NOT going away!).

  30. “Whom might you be able to move? With what message?”

    You probably already know that anti-gunners who can be persuaded to not be so are as common as unicorns. And if unicorns be found, there are not enough to move the needle away from anti, to pro gun advocates. Reason? As noted, the blind fear of “mass shootings” controls the narrative, and the emotions of what are essentially children in adult bodies.

    Once upon a candlestick, I didn’t own a personal firearm, and didn’t care who did. If a “bad guy” possessed a gun during a crime (or just standing there), whatever reward that person earned was fine with me. Today, letting well enough alone is no longer part of the societal contract to live peacefully with fellow citizens. The lines are starkly drawn. The division is a near even split regarding the right to keep and bear arms. There is no tidal wave of voters determined to put a stop to gun-grabbing people, politicians, and donors. Gave up long ago the notion that it is possible to have anything in common with Leftists, especially language.

    • “. . . anti-gunners who can be persuaded to not be so are as common as unicorns.”

      Our messaging challenge is vastly more complex than any of us can fully appreciate. I presume that the anti-gunners are along a spectrum where some are so very nearly unmovable that it’s cost-effective to avoid them. A larger number are somewhat more moveable. The greatest number just haven’t had occasion to think enough about guns to be really deeply invested in their conviction.

      Everyone, along this spectrum, is vulnerable to some shocking experience. It’s said that a Republican is a Democrat who got mugged. At the extreme, very few will have occasion to be shocked to the degree necessary to open a channel of communication. Conversely, of those who haven’t had occasion to think much about guns; these hold out more hope.

      First, it doesn’t take so large a shock to cause them to pause and take notice. 2020 brought us the last year of the Trump administration, hit by COVID-19, and then the Summer of discontent. 2021 brought us the shock of the first year of a HarrisBiden Administration, control of the House and almost complete control of the Senate. And, looks like a Spring of discontent.

      John & Jane Sixpack are continuously bombarded by uncertainty about civil disorder. Those of us who live in relatively peaceful precincts haven’t experienced any direct threats. Those living in major metropolitan areas have. The shock experienced by people in the Minneapolis/StPaul area must be astounding.

      I wonder where these first-time gun buyers live. If they are mostly out here in Red-landia, then it’s not culturally significant. But, if these first-timers are in Blue-istan, it’s a different situation. Whereas you might never have known of a neighbor who kept a legal gun; now, you have learned about a couple of neighbors who have armed themselves. And, you have heard that generally there are a lot of first-time gun buyers in the country.

      You are aware of civil disorder not far from where you live; and in other cities not so different from your own. You are sympathetic to BLM and think that the police ought to be re-imagined. Yet, there are pressures which are coalescing which cause you to start to think about your personal security in terms not 100% invested in 9-1-1.

      What you might think in such a scenario is unpredictable; but you are apt to start to be open to thinking. You hear that guns and ammo are in short supply; there is a run on gun shops. That’s going to prompt you to think: ‘If I don’t buy a gun soon, will I have the opportunity to do so if-and-when I finally decide I really need one?’

      Just pulling the trigger on buying a gun is NOT going to make a person a Second-Amendment-One-Issue-Voter. Such a voter will STILL have dozens of reasons to pull the Democrat lever in the voting booth.

      I suspect that the Democrats will come up one vote short in the Senate to get anything passed; and, then they will lose control of the House, Senate or both in 2024. The role gun-control plays in that predictable disaster (for them) will weigh heavily on their minds. Maybe they will decide to fight-the-good-fight but gracelessly lose this round so that they can continue to beat the gun-control drum into the next quadrennial election.

      Alternatively, they succeed in pushing a bill through; but, they can’t enforce it. They subject themselves to ridicule for having passed a bill that wouldn’t accomplish anything if they did enforce it; and, they don’t bother to enforce it anyway. That’s apt to backfire as the Federal AWB backfired.

      In any case, we have to make the best of the hand we are dealt. What is that “best” we can make of what we expect in the next 2 years?

  31. “What is that “best” we can make of what we expect in the next 2 years?”

    At the last job, had a female supervisor from another group hang out in the break room with some of us who were 2A defenders, but not really “gun guys”. The female supervisor had two daughters in high school. For some reason or other, I emailed Cooper’s color alert concept. I got a cold response to that. The supervisor said the ideas were possible useful, but she didn’t want anything to do with guns. I responded that she could edit the email to eliminate referenced to firearms. The woman’s reply was something like, “But it comes from people who like guns.”

    Gave up searching for unicorns.

    • Very disheartening. I think it important to contemplate the best tactics for each situation.

      Likely, for people with no prior exposure to guns, it’s better to start with a consciousness-raising discussion about personal responsibility for one’s own security. The Stupid-places-at-Stupid-times-. . . discussion is key. Your audience knows what she does each day, each day of the week, etc. Start evaluating those activities in light of the “Stupid” criteria and stop/reduce doing things counter-indicated by that rule.

      The color chart is good. The idea is not to know when to draw your gun. Instead, it’s to develop some sense for a possibly developing situation where you want to be somewhere else if you were to be correct.

      A bouncer or cop needs to use the color codes to prepare for trouble he really does have to confront; it is his job. For the ordinary civilian, it’s to avoid trouble at the last minute rather than deal with trouble at the last second.

      If the audience won’t think about taking personal responsibility for her own security then she isn’t ready to consider a gun.

      A different situation is where the context is NOT personal security, it’s curiosity about the shooting sports. Then, a whimsical trip to the range to try shooting just one time is fine. You want to avoid talking about self-defense in such a situation. Probably best to shoot first with a 22 rifle, not a handgun. So, self-defense isn’t a natural topic to raise. Only after the new shooter has shown enough interest to go back to the range a third time (or so), respond to self-defense inquiries if she raises the question.

      Any discussion of the right-to-bear-arms might best be considered as a third-party issue. It’s not that your audience might have to consider what role a gun might play in HER OWN self-defense. No, that’s TOO close to home. Rather, it’s about whether Amanda Collins (of Reno NV) had a right to carry a gun – for which NV permitted her – walking to her car from night class. Did her University really NEED her to be raped FIRST before they let her carry her gun. We can’t be sure what the outcome might have been had she carried her gun that fateful night; but if she had done so, a second woman might not have also been raped and a third might not have been raped and killed. (The rapist was ultimately executed; better by Amanda than by the state, don’t you think?)

  32. @Peter Gunn: These past 12 months or so have been a watershed period in America for the gun debate.

    Congress has brought the 2A to public attention to a degree never before seen. BLM and ANTIFA – to say nothing of COVID-19 – have made people aware of the fragility of their own personal security. Will 9-1-1 answer with a voice-mail invitation when seconds count?

    Now may be our opportunity to ignite some critical thinking about the intersectionality of the right to arms and to be secure from unreasonable searches and seizures.

    Exactly how is it that the Bill of Rights form a warp and woof which holds it’s form only through the support of each thread interwoven with the other 9. Indeed, all the rights beginning with habeas corpus through the right of 18-year-olds to vote.

    If it really IS “the system” that must be re-envisioned, then why is it that ONLY “the system” can be trusted to be armed?

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