In any war, each side seeks to lure their opponent to a battlefield where the adversary will be disadvantaged and operate on what I’ll call the home field advantage. In the war for the Second AMENDMENT we, the People of the Gun, have failed to appreciate this doctrine.
This realization was brought home to me by Christopher F Russo’s article “Critical Race Theory: What Is It and How to Fight It” appearing in Hillsdale College’s ‘Imprimis.’
. . . [A]ctivists who have had the courage to speak out against critical race theory have tended to address it on the theoretical level, pointing out the theory’s logical contradictions and dishonest account of history. These criticisms are worthy and good, but they move the debate into the academic realm, which is friendly for proponents of critical race theory. They fail to force defenders of this revolutionary ideology to defend the practical consequences of their ideas in the realm of politics.
Most of us are Old Fat White Guys, stuck in our heads, beating the same spot on the same drumhead…“Shall not be infringed!” We fail to realize that that particular argument doesn’t resonate much in the hearts and minds of the softer popular culture.
Many of our unworthy opponents are academics, skilled at marketing in the political arena. For the most part, we are not. They have been overwhelmingly successful in taking over academia, from graduate studies through the education colleges and down through K-12. They have captured this market and we have failed miserably.
Similarly, they have largely captured minority and poor voters who live in dangerous precincts. They have successfully sold this audience on highly processed agitprop comprised of the planks in their political platform, one of which is gun-control.
We have mostly failed in imparting the message that the right to armed self-defense <em>shall not be infringed.</em>
As a result, we have conceded the home field advantage. Why? And more importantly, what can we do about it?
I want to emphasize that each of our habitual arguments does have its proper place somewhere in the theater of war. We need to work hard to develop our arguments on the meaning of the word “infringe” so that academics can present briefs to the five sympathetic Justices on the Supreme Court. There is no doubt that the <em>Heller</em> and <em>McDonald</em> decisions turned on the body of Second Amendment scholarship in the preceding couple of decades.
Yet other arguments have no place whatsoever. Defining the term “arms” is important with respect to “assault weapons” and magazine bans, but it’s utterly pointless to take the bait on whether nuclear weapons are protected by the Second Amendment. Neither soccer moms nor politicians are interested in that question other than to leap swiftly and irrevocably to the conclusion that gun rights advocates are insane.
We need to tailor our rhetoric to each respective audience. Arguments over the meaning of the key terms of the 2A will be formulated by academics. That’s not to say we laymen can’t make contributions.
Every new insight has potential value. Some novel insight will inevitably occur to one or another of us and make its way (e.g., through someone such as Clayton Cramer) into the body of academic literature and finally reach the Supreme Court. But these arguments should only make the occasional appearance in debates before politicians and voters.
Politicians are concerned with votes and contributions. Nothing much else registers with them. Your argument to a politician must either promise him votes or threaten to take them away. Promise him campaign resources, or threaten to deprive him of them.
Unless you’re independently wealthy you can make almost no individual impact with a politician. You have to win the hearts and minds of voters…persuade them to vote their personal sentiments and interests…and open their checkbooks.
Ultimately, no right can survive the juggernaut of statism unless it’s backed by a supermajority of voters. The war for the Second Amendment will ultimately be won in the bleachers of soccer fields and on stools in bars. That’s where we, the People of the Gun, can have an impact.
We aren’t those who are equipped to write amicus briefs for judges. Few of us can fly to Washington to lobby our Congresscritters. What we can do is lobby and persuade our neighbors. But to do that effectively, we have to choose our talking points strategically and tactically.
The COVID crisis and some ill-chosen tactics of leftists have opened a that’s battlefield ripe for our us. Government has demonstrated its clear ineptitude in managing and mitigating a public health crisis of pandemic proportions.
How can a voter believe these same people could make any impact on reducing “gun violence?” Point to any accomplishment government gun control has achieved since the landing on Plymouth Rock. Americans began buying guns in earnest at the beginning of the pandemic, when they feared they might have to defend their stocks of staples from marauding scavengers.
That, though, was just the beginning. BLM and Antifa rioters turned major metropolitan centers into riot zones. Americans, many of them first-time buyers, overwhelmed gun stpres. BLM/Antifa, enabled by local politicians, then doubled down with defund the police campaigns and cops rushed the retirement application office. Those who remained retreated to the peaceful neighborhoods, abandoning inner cities to gang violence.
Politicians also released violent inmates and enacted no-cash bail programs and decided not to prosecute many crimes. All of this has heightened the concern of the average citizen.
We have two sub-audiences here. One is the inner city resident who fears for his life, home and shop. Life was risky enough in these areas before 2020, but she could still call 9-1-1. When seconds count, a first responder was just minutes away.
Now her only reasonable expectation may be to leave a message on an answering machine. She and her neighbors have elected Democrat councilmen and mayors for decades. This probably won’t change.
Cops are quitting. Those remaining are retreating to outerwhitelandia. The inner city resident has been abandoned. Her future is in her own hands. Will she defend her family, home and shop or will she be disarmed…not un-armed, but dis-armed by her political choices.
Our second audience is typified by the metaphorical soccer mom. She doesn’t have to live in a gated community with 24/7 securitym but she probably lives in a bucolic suburban-like neighborhood. She rarely has occasion to be in or travel through anywhere she considers “dangerous.”
Violence is a statistical improbability for her. She will never invest in a martial arts training regime. The idea of using a gun is far outside her self-image. Yet she is aware of the plight of her minority single-mother counterpart in the inner city.
The question for the soccer mom is, ‘Would you disarm a disadvantaged mom in the inner city? Will you leave her helpless from attack? Will you allow her to only dial 9-1-1 while you simultaneously contribute to the BLM/Antifa defund the police campaign?’
In each case, as illustrated by these two examples, we can ask plain-spoken, practical questions which bring to mind some obvious answers. We need to avoid taking the bait like, ‘Do you advocate that every woman carry a gun?’ It’s not a binary, all-or-nothing choice. It’s an option for those who want to and can legally exercise their right to arm themselves for self-defense. Those who would do so if not arbitrarily forbidden by ill-conceived gun control laws.
These are personal decisions. None of us, individually, can do anything to influence policing, prosecution, sentencing, incarceration, not in our municipalities or states and certainly not at the national level.
Those of us who are fortunate enough to live in the 40+ shall-issue states have an option to arm ourselves outside the home. Will we decide and vote to keep those in the remaining states dis-armed against their will? Will we deny them that choice? This too is a personal decision, one which we make at the ballot box.
What do you – the inner-city resident or soccer-mom – make of the argument about ‘keeping guns out of the hands of those who shouldn’t have them’? How does that resonate with your sense of equality, fairness, justice? How can you distinguish between those who should versus those who shouldn’t have them? Do you measure by net worth or income? Education? Your need versus her need?
Granted, you might not feel a need to be armed, but how do you evaluate the need of an inner city resident? Will you advocate to de-fund the police where she lives while re-funding the police in your own area?
Such arguments are much more likely to engage a voter as compared to the constitutional rights drumbeat. The voter is far more interested in the possibility of using a shotgun for home defense or a handgun for carrying outside the home.
They can’t relate to the nitty-gritty of “assault weapon” cosmetology and just aren’t very interested. Carry rights in schools or courtrooms fascinates us, but the soccer mom drops her children at the curb. She’s more interested in whether she is un-armed in Walmart while a mass shooter or stalker can’t be disarmed when she’s there.
As rhetorical combatants on these fields, we have a choice: take the gun-controllers’ bait or apply the the best tactics we can to choose our own best battlefield. It’s time to decide.
Start peeling away other D constituencies too.
MarkPA…If your goal is Home Field Advantage you’ll have to cut your mile long “let me explain it my way” rhetoric and simply yank Gun Control out by its racist and genocide roots.
Exposing the Sickening Truth About Gun Control gives you Home Field Advantage.
I’ve not heard that expression ” cut your mile long”. What does it mean?
The length of the article being so long.
It wasn’t actually a mile, but it felt like it after he read it… 😉
“Brevity is the soul of wit.” – Shakespear
Actually, I rather like an article that goes into depth and explores issues rather than spitting out sound bites and cliche like often happens here, especially in the “Comments” section. Being able to think critically, logically, and with an “out-of-the-box” perspective is necessary if one wants to move into the offense rather than constantly being on defense or being only reactionary. It really pains me that one must point all of this out and the fact that one must is an indicator or the battle we face.
“Actually, I rather like an article that goes into depth and explores issues rather than spitting out sound bites and cliche…”
Stop right there, Bucko.
I have a 1st Amendment, or some constitutional right, to not think about anything. Thinking is an oppression of my human rights, making me ungood belly feel.
If a person cannot express themselves in two lines or less (using the seven words you can’t say on the radio), they are a FUDD, an OFWG, or just showing off.
A blog like this is not a university lecture hall. It is a place where like-minded can come together and exchange cuss words and register agreement, or hound the intellectuals into retreating, better yet, abandoning the forum.
“Thinking” is not welcome, here.
The county is now owned by the libturds and will not recover.
You can not win an argument with an idiot. They drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.
Qoute from Mark Twain, and it’s as true today as it ever was.
Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy has quote too. He tells idiots “go fvck yourself.” Terse, yes, but it’s very eloquent in its simplicity.
There is a big difference between us. I am a realist. You have your head up your ass and can’t see anything.
Saying nasty things to me does not make my comments any less correct.
TTAG: why are you letting his personal insult stand? Why have you not deleted it.
We don’t need deadweight quitter crybabies like you anyway………Your surrender laced attitude is why the left has their psychopathic, barbaric hands in academia, and have completely hijacked it.
You laughed them off in the past, have shouted “It’s all the same and doesn’t matter”, and are now telling the rest of us to give up.
“TTAG: why are you letting his personal insult stand? Why have you not deleted it.”
You must be new around here, d. 🙂
TTAG is a contact sport, and a place that those with thin skins and delicate constitutions probably won’t enjoy.
Take a look at my user name, what’s in between the quote marks should give you a clue as to the ‘lay of the land’ ’round these parts.
EDIT – BTW, d, Ralph has been here at least a decade, and is a person least likely to have his head up his own ass.
I hope you plan to stick around and contribute, I like hearing new points of view on things…
Read Ralph’s comment again. I don’t see anything where Ralph was insulting you or disparaging you. In fact he was affirming your comment.
“In fact he was affirming your comment.”
Ralph can be a bit of an acquired taste for those not familiar with his caustic writing style.
There are number of folks here I don’t bother reading.
Ralph is one I *always* read… 😉
Seriously, who cares about this stupid opinion articles?
“Seriously, who cares about this stupid opinion articles?”
You ought to. It’s our rights at stake, here…
your “rights” ended when the republic was destroyed in 1865. Amerika has a coward problem. Also a stupid slave problem. YOU are not free in Amerika. Half of what you produce is stolen in taxes, by your “massa” (thug) in gov’t. all of it for permission to do things in this evil empire. O B E Y ! and go your way
There is a very powerful and truthful proverb:
“You may not care about politics, but politics cares about you.”
In other words you ignore prominent political battles to your own peril.
And true to form, right now there is a huge political battle to reduce you to the human equivalent of a dairy cow which the Ruling Class will “milk” (use, abuse, and exploit) to the maximum extent possible. Of course part-and-parcel of the Ruling Class using, abusing, and exploiting you is disarming you so that you cannot respond with a “heckler’s veto” (e.g. resisting their use, abuse, and exploitation with force of arms).
You are thus facing two–and only two–possible choices:
1) Resist the Ruling Class in the political arena where it will cost you a relatively small amount of time and money.
2) Resist the Ruling Class on the battle field where it will cost you a GIGANTIC amount of time and money–and possibly even your life.
The author of this article is advocating that we first try resisting the Ruling Class in the political arena and that we develop a winning strategy for that arena. I see nothing wrong with those lines of thinking. I hope you will agree.
A dairy cow.
Better put the kickers on this one
Bad bad moojo
read the 202 words of the pre-amble. alter, abolish, SEPARATE from such government abuse. Do you know what 100 lawyers at the bottom of the ocean is? answer: a good start
There is only ONE way to win.
The problem is, only a small minority are willing to engage, reminiscent of the Revolution, and yet still winnable.
Remember Lexington and Concord, and the shot heard around the world.
They risked it all.
We now have our own King George, also known as dementia Joe Biden. and all his goons, the former redcoats. I guess we’ll just sit and take it…..
Our society and situation could very well devolve to the point that force-of-arms is the only remaining viable solution. I like the idea of trying to keep both options open.
IF you dare to compromise with the communist….YOU will lose. There is only one winning option, death to tyrants (John Wilkes Booth)
It needs to be an actual grass-roots effort.
Meaning, conservatives who will dedicate themselves to being good public school teachers.
The Leftist scum consider it a calling. If we refuse, it will be at our peril…
Or, we could get rid of the public school system. It is just an indoctrination camp. Replace it with home schooling, charter-schooling, faith-based schools, and free enterprise schools. Vouchers for all. Shop around. Break the teacher’s union.
“Or, we could get rid of the public school system.”
Never gonna happen.
The Leftists want to control it, so they can instill a Leftist style of ‘programming’ young “Skulls full of mush”, so to speak… 😉
That has been the plan since Stalin started sending people here and recruiting people here in the 1920s. McCarthy was right, but he never knew how right he was. It’s been going on for 100 years.
Stalinist communists took over academia, much of government bureaucracy, and education. After the USSR collapsed they turned their allegiance to Communist China. This is the final stage of a communist plot to destabilize and destroy America.
to secede from a tyrant in England (1776) was OK? but to secede from a tyrant (1861) in the Den of Corruption, is not ?
That would be a 10A matter. Start making that change at the state level.
like Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Georgia did? good luck Your vote was watered down in 1965, stolen in 2020. wise up !
Haven’t given up in my state (Iowa). As a matter of fact “We the People” of Iowa continue to Win victory after victory on the road to deregulation of Our 2nd A Rights. How you ask? By electing the right people to the right offices and allowing previous Democrat policies to continue to fail their Acolytes. Unfortunately for many of them it takes a Life Altering event to wake them up to the folly of their Ideology. The inroads “We the People” of Iowa are making are not limited to 2A Rights. We have strengthened Our support for LE as well limited the ability of shyster lawyers to bring frivolous lawsuit against Citizens when it has become necessary to use their 2A rights to defend themselves, their families and neighbors against Criminals and threats of bodily harm. At the end of the day it all comes down to “Votes Matter” along with the realization that only You can make the change happen. Sitting on your ASS and complaining on the Interweb accomplishes nothing with the exception of paving your road to Hell. Keep Your Powder Dry.
I experience equable positive reception by my audience every time I confirm:
“Our civil rights are not contingent upon other people’s behavior”.
I blame not the evil man for his actions, blame the cowards that will not stop him
Anyone know where I can pick up an 80% receiver for a nuclear Death-Ray gun?
Great essay! When I argue gun rights I use a technique I learned at IBM: spread the FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt).
Fear of what might happen.
Uncertainty of when and how it will happen.
Doubt that without a gun, they will be able to survive.
“Anyone know where I can pick up an 80% receiver for a nuclear Death-Ray gun?”
The Possum is working on something along those lines in his burrow in the banks of a Kansas ditch… 😉
Would not surprise me at all!
Good article; I tried something similar years ago in one of the writing contests, wasn’t received well by people who didn’t understand the need to tailor an argument to the intended audience. Hopefully this one goes better.
“…wasn’t received well by people who didn’t understand the need to tailor an argument to the intended audience.”
Exactly. You, “Get It”… 😉
Record firearms sales say a lot more than this guy.
“Ultimately, no right can survive the juggernaut of statism unless it’s backed by a supermajority of voters. ”
Game, set, match.
“Game, set, match.”
We just need a few more willing and eager to play some dirty pool, Samuel… 😉
“or on stools in bars”,
I’d like for you
To listen to
A joke I heard today
Of a woman who said she was through
And calmly walked away.
Pop a top again.
“Pop a top again.”
Now that’s an oldie but goodie country song from *way* back… 😉
It’s NOT IN my home still holding strong for all my rights for freedom in AMERICA
I present the facts and ask if anyone should be ruled by emotions. If they believe emotions trump facts, I know they are an idiot and incapable of learning. I will apologize to them saying I was wrong in thinking they were more intelligent and bless their heart.
I have found the few who can debate facts, often reevaluate their position. The honest ones may agree to disagree but admit the facts are compelling.
Often the argument of military grade weapons comes up. I explain what military grade really means and using the Ford F150 advertised use of military grade aluminum as an example they relate too. For humor I tell them military grade is often associated with the lowest bidder. As a historical reference I show the how the militia had superior firearms compared to the Continental British Armies.
If we must argue emotion, we must base it on facts. We can use emotion with factual evidence of how women have been murdered, often brutally, by their stalkers because of petty laws that left them unable to protect themselves. We can use the fact that during the reconstruction era black people and white Republicans were lynched, tortured and laws were made to keep them disarmed. Would they want to fight the KKK in the night with words or a Winchester?
I prefer fact over emotion, but I understand so many in our society have been taught emotions are what really matters. This was by design by those who wished to degrade others to their own advantage for perceived power over them. After all if you manipulate someone’s emotions, you can manipulate their complete life choices.
After all if manipulate someone’s emotions you can manipulate their complete life choices.
Said the Cop pushing buttons.
I am looking at the media and the marxist politicians . None of them are salvageable. There are cops who fit in that, but they mostly are part of those marxist ideologies that run our worst cities where violence is rampant. There are good cops out there. We rarely see them in the news.
Unfortunately, those “good” cops are being rooted out as “extremists”. From DoJ, DHS and DoD programs identifying and purging wrongthinkers to a sheriff’s captain being fired for pro-2A support.
Once these “good” cops have been removed, what is left?
Americans are NOT free. Government in the US does not respect any human rights at home or abroad. Every single part of the Bill of Rights is violated at the federal, state, and local levels each day by the police — backed up by “our” military, which stands ready to turn its weapons against the American people as soon as the order is given. It has done so many times in the past. So much for that oath to protect the Constitution, eh? The Constitution is DEAD..
And why should I thank veterans of any war fought since WWII? Whom did they fight who was a threat to me? Were the VC or the Taliban going to invade Iowa and take over the Wal-Marts and Best Buys? Gimme a break. I don’t sleep peacefully in my bed at night, and the reason is because America has turned into a police state, thanks to the “War on Terror,” the “War on Drugs,” and all who contribute to these anti-American abominations.
Awww law enforcement all retired and left baby mama in da hood by herself. Yeah don’t care.
Everyone knows how to do that job better so get after it.
Gated community lol virtue signaling white privilege punk trying to make someone feel bad. Most of us don’t live in gated communities. Yup we live decent because we chose to and worked hard to.
We are old white fat guys. No you chose to be fat that’s your problem so quit trying to be relatable. Put the Twinkie down, stop typing and go for a walk.
You did zero good with this article.
aah haha i disagree, but you now.
maybe the donald will buy some big media.