preaching to the choir church
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By Steve Cañón

You’re probably familiar with the phrase “preaching to the choir.” Sometimes it’s an affirmation, sometimes a caution, sometimes a criticism, depending on context and both the speaker and those on the receiving end. We may be familiar with the colloquialism, but do we understand a subtle implication…what if the choir isn’t singing along? And what does that have to do with guns?

The never-ending debate over whether or not it’s politically effective to attempt to persuade people who don’t own guns that the Second Amendment is important and should be upheld ignores a more pressing, yet unacknowledged issue. We need to make sure we’re still preaching to the choir. All 100 million gun owners.

Capturing a few unicorn “undecideds” won’t seriously change the near even divide among voting populace of pro-gunners and anti-gunners. And for those who value the right to keep and bear arms, the most fertile ground for encouraging and increasing 2A support is the group of 100 million current gun owners.

One thing that should be clear is that gun owners are not all People of the Gun, and yet the POTG are all gun owners. This distinction has real meaning – a notable minority of vocal, dedicated gun owners drive the political support for maintaining and recovering Second Amendment rights.

The “drive-by media” will wail that the NRA is the powerhouse behind preventing allegedly rational politicians from implementing “common-sense gun control” measures. Civilian disarmament advocates and their media cheering section successfully make it seem that the NRA is made up of tens of millions of gun owners with billions of dollars to throw around in campaigns of intimidation against otherwise well-meaning Mr. Smith-type politicians. If only it were so.

Surveying the political polo grounds, a couple of question arise: Are we squandering our efforts on the chimera of converting the undecideds? Shouldn’t we focus our resources on energizing the frequently dormant gun-owning demographic?

Reading pro-gun blogs, one would conclude that the commenters are all single-issue voters, willing to sacrifice every other political stance in order to prevent any and all restrictions on gun rights. It would be easy to conclude that gun owners are a monolithic voting bloc who will oppose any candidate or issue that isn’t sufficiently pro-2A.

Is that true? Are the 100 million really prepared to sacrifice everything to keep the Second Amendment from being neutered? What should we deduce from the evidence today?

Felonia Milhous von Pantsuit managed to gather almost 66 million votes in 2016. Trump got just under 63 million. The POTG will become a marginalized fringe faction if the overwhelming number of gun owners refuse to act in concert to oppose anti-gun politicians at every level. 

The combined number of votes cast was 128,242,246. Clearly 100 million gun owners did not all vote against an opponent of Second Amendment freedoms. Indeed, we must accept that some significant number of gun owners had other goals that superseded concerns about the right to keep and bear arms.

The point being that even with a natural constituency of existing gun owners, we aren’t being as successful as we need to be at raising opposition to the anti-gun elements in society and politics. Yet many of us still look at and focus longingly on those “undecideds” as a way to raise our political power to defeat the forces of civilian disarmament.

If I were anti-gun, I would be asking a harsh question: If gun rights is such a motivating issue and the “gun lobby” such an all-powerful, monolithic force in American politics, why haven’t gun right supporters been able to build an un-opposable political machine big enough and strong enough to defeat all efforts to enact “common-sense” gun control and the politicians who support it?

Why isn’t the choir singing?

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    • we have to do all we can to counter their never-ending stream of misinformation that they constantly dispense…sometimes out of ignorance but more often deliberately…

  1. As Leighton Cavendish said “it really is THAT simple ” we also must vote against any & every gun grabbing , anti 2nd Amendment politicians & their minions. This country is so full of uneducated, leftnut , power seeking ,corrupt people that would just love to see us disarmed. We can not stand idle while they do so !!!

  2. This is why, love them or hate them all gun owners must go out, in force and vote in every republican on the ballot, even if they are stinky creeps. The time to vote against the creeps was in the primaries, now it is time to vote against the bigger creeps, the democrats. Any vote for a democrat is a vote to end the 2nd Amendment. I repeat. Any vote for a democrat is a vote to end the 2nd Amendment, no ifs ands or buts…. If the democrats take control of the house they will impeach Trump. If they start that process the democrats in the Senate will use the impeachment to get Never Trump republicans, squish republicans and fence sitting republicans to not confirm Trump appointees….claiming he can’t get his people confirmed because he is being impeached. That means the 2-3, maybe even 4 Supreme Court Justice seats that might open up, will not be replaced with 2nd Amendment supporting Justices, not to mention all the lower court judges as well. So for the next 6 years, we need the House and the Senate in Republican hands….if you value your Right to self defense. Tell all of your family members, your friends, bug your co workers as well…put out the word….this is a massively important election in November.

    • Trump being impeached is a little extreme. But yes, voting democrat is voting to end the 2a. If enough people voted against democrats because of their stance on guns to the point where they aren’t being elected because of it, then they will slowly change their stance on guns until they are being voted for. Politicians want votes so they can continue to sit in the leather chair. This is how a democratic republic was intended to work so that the elected officials accurately represent the people.

      So, the best way to see this change is in the message of this article exactly: get your ass, your friends’ asses and your family’s asses to the ballot box this November.

  3. “why haven’t gun right supporters been able to build an un-opposable political machine”

    Because we are all rugged individualists, and some of us would cut off our noses to spite our faces. Don’t believe me? Just read the comments any time that the NRA is mentioned in a post and then tell me I’m wrong.

    • And the 5 million members of the NRA carry the burden while most of the 95 million gun owners do not. Can you imagine how much clout we would have if the NRA membership was all 100 million . We need the rest of the gun owners to step up. You may not always agree on how the NRA handles each issue, but it’s strength in numbers. Join up !

      • Used to live in cali and donate or keep my NRA membership until a few years back when cali put out a ballot measure to make ammo buys HAVE to HAVE a NICS check, then only at dealers! mail order! and a ‘buy ID card’

        well all the NRA did was give back 100k of the millions I am very sure they got out of the state to fight it…that is when the NRA lost me for good…I only donate locally now

        you (the NRA) forgot us in cali…and like most of my buddies did…we forgot them!

      • I think the purpose of the posting was to get us to focus on getting the rest of the gun owners to become politically active against anit-gunners. It doesn’t matter if anyone joins any pro-2A organization. What matters is those organizations focus on the silent gun owners. That we POTG focus on the silent gun owners. Get them to put the Second Amendment high on their list of wants from politicians. And while we are at it, press the pro-2A organizations to go after the gun owners with appeals to vote to protect the constitution. Rather than Colion, or Dana or Cody, or whoever spending inordinate time and money countering the never-gonnn-change anti-gun coalition, do a 180 and talk up the need for all gun owners to band together to stop the wave of unconstitutional limits on our civil rights.

    • @Ralph: I agree; yet, I would elaborate that there are 2 kinds of stupid:
      1. – the activated minority of 100 million gun owners who are rugged individualists who would rather stand on their principles as minorities of 1 rather than form a coalition cohesive enough to overcome the Antis;
      2. – the NON-activated majority who own guns and are not conscious that the tiger WILL eat them last.

      I don’t have any hope for the rugged individualist. Each of them will insist upon dying as the last man. Getting them to work together would violate their individual constitutions. I imagine that the best strategy with these is to use them in the “good-cop/bad-cop” tactic. Those of us who are more politically oriented point to the shaggy-beard guys and say: “So, if you don’t want to deal with us, you can enjoy dealing with them – at bayonet point.”

      I do see some potential in the OP’s opinion: activating the inactive gun-owner. Just imagine us addressing an audience of 2 individuals. One is an un-committed non-gun owner. The other is a NON-activated gun-owner. We have much the same message to say to each of them. We need not elaborate on that message here; it’s just that it’s much the same message.

      The NON-activated gun-owner is either committed to his gun – convinced that the tiger will eat him last; or, he inherited his gun from his grandfather and it gathers dust in his closet. In either case, he needs to recognize the role of guns in society as important. That role is not the 3 days a year he spends hunting. Nor is it the 6 days he spends shooting trap or targets. It’s vastly more important than that. If all that is at stake for him is: no more 3 days of hunting; no more 6 days trap/target shooting; giving-up granddad’s gun; well, he’s not worried. They will never come for his gun; and, even if they do, there isn’t enough at stake to worry about it now.

      The NON-activated gun-owner must see that there is no “final solution” to the “gun problem” other than to COMPLETELY eliminate civilian guns. A single-shot gun action is fully suited to suicide; it’s adequate to the criminal’s purpose. There is no logical end but to gather up every last gun including the single-shot. Granddad’s gun is on the list. The double-barreled shotgun is on the list. The Winchester is on the list. And, when they are gone, the voters will all dance to the tune of the politicians who pay the police and soldiers.

      You can live without your sporting guns or your inherited gun. Will you live under the thumb of the politicians? That’s the real choice you face.

      • MarkPA,

        You can live without your sporting guns or your inherited gun. Will you live under the thumb of the politicians? That’s the real choice you face.

        That is the key point that we have to drive home to politically uninterested firearm owners. They probably don’t even care very much if they have to give up two days of hunting every year and one day of target practice as the result of government mandating the elimination of all firearms. What they SHOULD care about (hopefully) are the totalitarian politicians who mandate a firearms-free society — because those very same totalitarian politicians will implement many other mandates that are obscene to decent, every-day people.

        As I have stated before, our right to keep and bear arms is simply the proverbial “canary in the coal mine” with respect to totalitarian government employees. Government employees who attempt to disarm us reveal their true totalitarian nature.

    • Also there are many collectivists in the gun community who worry more about how they appear than they care about defending their individual rights. The over sanitized forums at NES is all the proof you need to realize that the gun community is in trouble.

      • “The over sanitized forums at NES is all the proof you need to realize that the gun community is in trouble.”

        All the more need to rouse the current gun owners, rather than spend time gaining a few “undecideds”, now and then.

        • Not throwing NES under the bus, we’ll maybe a little, but the mindset with far too many gun owners is protecting their hobby, their standard of living and their image. There’s no “rousing” people who are heavily sedated with decades of social engineering. Look at many Of the posts here. The powers that be know this. They are playing he long game.

  4. Yes, we should talk about the Second Amendment among ourselves, but for the rest of the country we need to broaden the issue. Gun control amounts to harassment and discrimination against gun owners by busybodies motivated by bigotry. Got it: harassment, discrimination, busybodies, bigotry. That’s what we should be discussing.

  5. Good points. You even have, or at least had, one pro Hitlery gun writer on this blog, who only supported Hitlery because the continual panic was good for his business. Completely failing to realize a Clinton presidency would be the end of his business. The GOP as a party is pretty much right about everything as it is. At least as they say. The RINOs have to be forced to fall in line with the real conservatives to achieve success. But like it or not, the GOP is now not only the party of gun rights, but of low taxes, less government spending, less government intrusion, sane health care and education policies, sane border laws, and a far superior foreign policy stance. The democrats have made clear their goal is destruction of the constitution and America. And rob you blind in the process. The choice is simple. Support the Republican Party, change what you don’t like about it in the primaries, or watch the country collapse from failed democrat/socialist policies.

    • Wow. How can you type with your head so far up your ass? You honestly believe that the GOP is ‘right’ on most issues? Please don’t vote or reproduce.

      • Explain how they are wrong? Instead of insulting why don’t you lay it out and prove me wrong? Because you can’t. The Republican Party IS right on most issues. The real question is getting rid of RINOs and putting the squishy republicans feet to the fire. And might I ask, who exactly do YOU support? Democrats? Third party of non relevance? Get real.

        • And this is exactly why you will never convince folks to listen to you.
          They listen to what you have to say, come to a site like this to learn more and you just lost them. What they see are unhinged keyboard commandos ranting and almost all gun sites seem to have the same type folks on them.
          I found taking people to the range, in one case inviting them to an Project Appleseed event with me got them to be more interested in their firearms. When he made rifleman that Saturday that sucked for me but oh well. I give ammo as gifts and invites to go use it to folks I know have guns.
          I have friends who are not comfortable around guns, they know I own a few ( more than a few) and target shoot. But we seldom get into conversations about guns. I know they do not like them and they know I do so we leave it at that. But I have extended an if you ever want to learn about them or try one invite to them. No pressure just an invite. You never know, maybe one day one will get curious.
          One thing I’ve noticed, some gun owners just can’t help themselves. I was at the range in the spring and two females, obviously in a relationship were there and you could tell they felt uncomfortable and were debating setting up or leaving. Thanks to Joe Bibleblaster Rangemaster AKA the screamer and a couple of his friends they left. Good job Joe, I’m sure you felt good running them off. Did you notice a few others including myself left shortly afterwards and in my case haven’t been back there? I have other places I go to so not going there won’t affect me. But those two women, odds are any potential interest in guns may have been extinguished. .

        • Did you not see what he posted to my original post? Did you not see my response? I was correct, and I won. He had, and continues to have nothing to respond with besides slurs and bigotry. My responses to him are just. He issues insults, I told him to prove me wrong. He couldn’t, so under a different name he posts the same insult. So who exactly is the jackass here? I think I’ve made my point.

        • No you just fed a troll. Those kind live for the thrill of getting under someones skin. You did not win you simply encouraged them to slip in again and see if they can rile someone up.
          I was commenting about both, the troll and the response.

        • Well, I was going to answer you point for point but Sponge Bob Square Pants came on TV so I got too distracted.

  6. The Antis’ soft underbelly is, I think, this: Think of the Progressive platform. It consists of many planks; only one of which is gun-control. The Republicans WANT you to keep hammering away at gun-control. That brings out the NRA and the gun-owner vote. These gun-owners will vote for Republicans, even RINOs. Keep it up. You will lose Democrats in Congress and state legislators – over guns. And, you will lose the rest of the Progressive platform planks.

  7. In Christian circles “preaching to the choir” implies edification ie “building up your faith”. Never is this quite so evident in the constant infighting of so-called pro-gun groups. The NRA is the big dog. Rarely does the media,dumbocrats or the ignorant masses ever mention GOA,SAF or really anyone else. I’m with Ralph here…after Newtown ALL of our rights were threatened. The NRA was the bulwark against the demscum…if there were perhaps 30 or 40 million NRA member’s what clout would we have?!?

    • “In Christian circles “preaching to the choir” implies edification ie “building up your faith”. ”

      Hhhhmmmm. Isn’t “preaching to the choir”, even in Christian practice, merely “spreading the Word” among the faithful, those who already agree with you, to the exclusion of those in real need? Not picking an argument, but in my part of the country the phrase is, “Evangelizing the Saints”; same concept.

      • The saved are already the SAVED. You won’t get “more” saved but your faith becomes deeper and more Christ-like. SEE: St. PAUL…

  8. That “few unicorn undecideds” is a much larger number than you think. Especially in the 25-35 year old bracket. I can’t count how many people I’ve influenced that used to be anti-gun.

    • What surprised me is how many gamers like guns. I sold an AR to one and took him and his buddy out to try it out along with a few of mine. The one liked a little 10-22 takedown I fixed up and apparently bought one himself as he contacted me later asking where I bought the barrel and stock and how did I make the trigger like that. The other really liked the AR10. To the point where I think he was wishing he had found one of them instead of the AR15.
      And if you listen to them they like to talk about the guns in the games. I’m an old fart so it’s a bit harder for me to relate to them but they are a group that should be easy to get interested in the real thing.

  9. The problem is the one world government types trying to make the US like their countries. The politicians(both rep and dem) go right along with this because this increases the power they have over the people.
    Maybe the only way to show the under 30s that gun rights are basic human rights is to make them see the abuses the government performs against their peers. Then they can decide if they wish to be citizens or subjects. This is the point I always start with and it usually gets them to at least realize that I have a point.

  10. The choir wants to eliminate the NFA. At least some of the choir want to “eliminate” the NFA. But the choir doesn’t want to support the Bump Stock. The choir can’t even agree on the right to bear arms. In other words open carry.
    I would say choir is confused not United.

  11. I think it is critical to begin the “pro-gun” discussion with facts and figures about how much more often innocent citizens defend themselves with firearms than firearms are being used unlawfully. Our opponents are making moral arguments (about saving lives) while we are arguing for our liberties under the Constitution. Regrettably too many Americans (especially women and younger voters) find the (seemingly) moral argument the more weighty. They believe that gun control will prefer the life interest of victims to the liberty interests of activists. They need to be made to understand that according to CDC and FBI studies, the life interest of millions of Americans, not just the liberty interests, is actually undermined by gun control. Once it is made plain that guns save so many more lives than they unlawfully take, the seeming moral argument of gun control has the rug yanked from under it, and only then should we begin to discuss 2A (and our natural and civil right of self defense that lies behind 2A).

    • I think the article is pointing out the futility of trying to convert “undecideds” and anti-gun dolts. We have been arguing facts and logic to anti-gun crazies for how long? The result?

      Whether one side or the other used emotion or logic, the numbers will net about even. Instead of wasting time battering walls, we should be appealing to the 100 million gun owners. We can see from the vote count that “the 100 million” did not vote as a bloc to stop anti-gunners. We cannot conclude that the 62 million Trump voters were all gun owners, nor pro-Trump. We can conclude that 100 million gun owners should be highly energized by threats to the Second Amendment, but they are not. Where should POTG be “preaching”?

  12. the only time to preach to the choir is about activism, making sure people are still active and participating. preaching about the inaccuracies of studies and ineffectiveness of gun control laws, will do no good.
    again, like everything, context matters.

  13. I left a state in which my vote and the votes of other Rs and INDs meant nothing. The liberal left ran that state. Many other folks are still in that same spot, the northern and west coast states will always go Dem. I guess we must all move to places where the new resident gun owners will tip the scales in order to get National legislation passed.

    • Congratulations on following your convictions.

      The idea of overloading free states with gun owners has attraction, but the numbers are not necessarily persuasive. Taking the 2016 elections as proxy, the slave states lodged 2million+ more votes than the free states. If not for the Electoral College, the slave states would have won the election for president. There is no Electoral College for regular legislation.

      Even in the free states, there are large enough numbers of slave holders to make politicians squishy. This means even if the Dimwitcratics lose in 2018, there is no assurance that the majority party will support loosening the straps on the second amendment. The free states may not even have the votes to protect the residual of the second amendment we enjoy today. Not to mention that the salvers have figured out that it is to their advantage to force even their slaves onto free states as a means of turning free states.

      100 million gun owners are not a voting block. If they were, we would have little to talk about, one way or the other. My guess is that there are maybe, just maybe 15 million voters who put “gun rights” at the top of the list when considering elections. We are not politically powerful enough, and that is our fault. We can’t complain that we lost just because the other side won. The other side won because we (2A supporters) fail to persuade.


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