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Francis X. Clines (courtesy

“The power of the gun lobby over statehouse politicians has led to a raft of laws dear to gun rights adherents, from a measure allowing concealed firearms on college campuses to one legalizing the open carrying of holstered pistols for those who like to swagger into restaurants and coffee bars,” Francis X. Clines opines at “The growing question of whether the lobby had nullified all serious political resistance was answered Friday when West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin, usually a reliable supporter of the National Rifle Association, vetoed a bill to scrap the current law that citizens have to get a permit and take gun safety lessons in order to legally carry a concealed weapon in the state.” Question: what is the gun lobby? Is it . . .

a dark conspiracy of evil master manipulators working behind the scenes in smoke-filled rooms to pimp gun sales at the expense of dead children? That would be the working definition for Mr. Clines and his fellow anti-gunners at the New York Times; a paper owned and manned by East Coast intellectuals for whom open carry is for boorish ballistic bumpkins proclaiming penis size (or the firearms equivalent thereof).

Attributing gun rights gains to a “gun lobby” marginalizes gun owners seeking to exercise their natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms without government infringement. It makes them seem like sheep blindly following men motivated by arrogance, greed and a desire for personal power. Which strikes me as a pretty good definition of anti-gun Progressives and the politicians who represent them . . .

Second Amendment advocates said the requirement for a $100 permit and lessons interfered with their constitutional rights and cost too much. The Republican-led legislature agreed, with significant Democratic support. But Gov. Tomblin, a Democrat, chose to risk the wrath of the gun lobby with his veto. He cited the “apprehension of law enforcement officers from across the state” that their job would be riskier and their lives less safe if people could stealthily arm themselves without so much as a lesson in safe shooting.

The governor had the comfort of knowing that retention of the permit requirement was supported by more than 80 percent of respondents in a state poll. But statehouse legislators across the country have demonstrated more respect for gun lobbyists than for public opinion — just as the national Congress did in refusing to enact safety precautions opposed by the N.R.A., despite the public’s outcry over the Newtown, Conn. gun massacre of 20 schoolchildren in 2012.

Truth be told, the “gun lobby” is an association of millions of gun owners, thousands of firearms industry workers and dozens of politically active gun rights groups, all working to prevent government regulation of the aforementioned right to keep and bear arms – by political means. Their victories at the local, state and federal level are an indication of their political clout. Nothing more. Nothing less.

When Clines laments Congress’s failure to impose “safety precautions” (i.e. gun control) after Newtown, when he suggests that pro-gun pols are ignoring “the will of the people” to appease the obstinate N.R.A., he’s willfully ignoring the fact that the “gun lobby’s” power comes from the ballot box. The pressure brought to bear on politicians by “the gun lobby” represents the success of our political system, not it’s failure.

Clines seems to be arguing that America’s political system is based on strict democratic principles: “majority rules.” America is not a democracy. It’s a Constitutional Republic, where gun rights are protected against government infringement by the United States Constitution. All our politicians swear a verbal oath to uphold and defend the Constitution no matter what the voters desire. For what it’s worth.

The vetoed measure, while eliminating the mandate for permits, had a clause that would have still allowed some permits to be issued to those people seeking to conceal-carry their weapons out of state. This was to accommodate the gun lobby’s larger and very much ongoing campaign to make concealed pistols a fixture of American life.

Firearms are a fixture of American life – not that Clines or his fellow Times editorial board members would know that. Guns are woven into the very fabric of American life. The threads were first spun at the beginning of our nation’s history by people who understood the natural right of self-protection and the need for a bulwark against government tyranny. In some ways, you could even call these Founding Fathers gun lobbyists.

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  1. That is one smug douchebag. So lacking is self-awareness that he doesn’t realize that everyone other than his two readers thinks he is an asshole?

    • Agreed. This was my favorite: “But statehouse legislators across the country have demonstrated more respect for gun lobbyists than for public opinion” – as if Constitutionally protected rights are subject to public opinion.

      • They are, actually, but only to REAL public opinion, as evidenced by passage of a Constitutional Amendment. Without that, claims of 98% support of the people, or whatever, are simply lies. With 80% approval, an Amendment could be passed in 6 months.

        • Probably the biggest advantage we have at the moment is the the Anti-2A’s have misidentified the gun lobby. They really don’t get the idea of a bottom up grass roots that isn’t organized and controlled by their “betters.”

          As long as they kee0 attacking the straw man and we are able to respond with the appeals to booth reason and emotion as we are doing, not only will we continue to win, they will continue to lose credibility.

          That’s the reason we are seeing the gun controllers getting more and more shrill. They’re tilting at windmills and cannot understand why they are losing ground in the long game.

  2. The gun lobby is coming for you.

    Is there a price the governor will pay for this? And what do you about a guy like Joe Manchin? Does the NRA go after him? Give him an F and support his opponent should there be one?

    WVA needs a house cleaning. All these democrat hangover states have a few lawmakers still towing the old party line.

    • G.R.I.P – stands for Get Rid of Incumbent Politicians. Vote them out every cycle. Regardless of party. Bye – Bye loser gov.

  3. There has been blood running in the streets since we got Constitutional Carry here in AZ. Maybe the governor of WV is just worried about his shoe-shine expenses. I wear waders most of the time nowadays.

    Sorry, I was having a bad dream. Actually, nothing happened.

    • Andy, you bring up exactly what I think every time some politicians screams that there will be ‘murder, bloody murder’ each time a CCW initiative or (GASP) constitutional carry initiative is brought forward.

      Do they truly believe that the residents of their state are such blood-handed thugs/animals as compared to other states that have a high level of CCW holders and (GASP again) states like AZ with constitutional carry?

      Where is the blood? Where? 😉

  4. “…Congress failed to enact safety precautions after Sandy Hook….”

    I’m not sure the NYT or its readers would forgive me for this, but I consider being lawfully armed a “safety precaution.”

    • Congress really should have enacted requirements for armed teachers, get a CCP or find another job. That would enhance school safety.

  5. In NC, The required CCH class cost $100. Then $90 to apply.
    A real baton compared to San Fran sicko where it can cost over $1000 because they require a psychological exam as well. This is also to ensure that mere mortals cannot afford to even apply for a permit and that keeps SF safe for criminals to work in.

    • I always laugh at the fact that these loons believe that gun manufacturers are these huge corporations raking in billions of dollars in profit every year when the reality is that most of them are relatively small and many have been on the ropes, financially, many times. No, the gun lobby exists because those of us that cherish freedom and self reliance won’t allow our rights to be removed by people like this guy.

    • This is the scheme that local liberal pols trot out at least once a year around here:

      “Well, if they can afford a gun, they can afford…”

      Fill in the list with whatever burdensome ‘tax’ they wish to apply in order to restrict 2A rights, particularly to those who are often the most in need (poor in high crime areas) of a defensive FA.

  6. Maybe if this guy looked out of his window once in a while instead of staring at his navel all day he would see that this boogeyman “gun lobby” is made up of normal people who want the government to actually go to work on things that make sense. Gun laws don’t make sense and people like this guy do not understand the second and third order effects of these bad laws.

    • Sixpack,

      I’ve been in this fight since Carter was POTUS. It’s always been their modus to paint the combined 6.5 million NRA/SAF/GOA/CCRKBA members and another 100 MILLION non-affiliated legalgun owners as a tiny special interest group. That is called projection because that is what THEY are but given a huge megaphone by the lying MSM. To admit who we ARE is to admit that 67% of the voting public owns guns and likes the RKBA.


    • I sincerely believe that people like the author know exactly what they are doing and are doing so in furtherance of their agenda. They very well know that pushing an offensive image is going to be more effective in garnering sympathy, votes, contributions, and manic rage from their assemble supporters.

  7. I find it almost comical that the the antis are effectively tilting at windmills… the so-called “gun lobby.” They misattribute the success of Gun Rights / Constitutional Rights to a nearly mythical (and imagined) version of the NRA “dragon.” They truly don’t realize where the real power resides… us… the gun owners… who are politically active.

    Keep on tilting at the windmills, dumbasses! We’ll keep doing our business as usual… and to borrow from Charlie Sheen… WINNING!

    • Generally speaking, I think we should often just STFU about how misunderstood the power and position of the NRA is, it works to our advantage when the NRA has a “conversation” with a politician regarding the upcoming elections. Probably also when they consider entering a lawsuit or a prosecution. If these dumbasses think its all about the immense power of a few people, let them!

      • I hear ya. But, even funnier is that we could lead them by the hand, right to the facts, and they would remain willfully ignorant and press on in their Quixotic quest. We could give them the keys to the castle, and they’d still be butting their heads against the door. It amuses me. 🙂

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  8. Could it be…that there are more of us than there are of you?

    But I bet Clines couldn’t get his mind around that.

  9. If he WV Governor gets another A+ from the NRA, I quit. Anybody know how to quit as a life member?

    I also question the numbers in this article. I do not believe that so many Americans are anti-gun. I believe that to be another lie from the anti-gun crowd and believed by politicians soon to be out of a job.

    • Some politician was a life member and quit. Was it Bush 1? It was simple enough, as I recall, just get on national TV and make an ass of yourself.

      • Yes, it was Bush Sr. This was our first indication that the Bush family is a bunch of crapweasels and fork-tongued liars on gun rights.

        • If “the Bush family is a bunch of crapweasels and fork-tongued liars on gun rights.”, why did Bush 2 allow the Clinton AWB to sunset?

          I’m not saying he’s a prince, but we sure as hell could have made out a *lot* worse.

  10. Hey – Easy on the “East Coast intellectuals” thing over there, Bob 😉

    (just kidding of course, I get it. Still though, hit a little close there i guess haha)

  11. Tomblin bit off more than he can chew and will pay for it. This elitist douchebag wouldn’t know the first thing about liberty if it bit him in the ass. He’s been programmed since birth to think all things go through government like a good little lemming.

    • I’m suspicious about that supposed “support” from 80% of WV. NY, MD, NJ? Maybe, but I have a hard time with WV. It would be really fine should it turn out that he believed a poll by Moms Dimbulb Actions, and got tossed out on his ass for it.

  12. This guy is indeed a smug asshat.
    As was pointed out we don’t live in a Democracy but a Republic.
    I believe in our Constitution as written.
    Not as some others do,
    I will call our current administration what they are, Terrorists who believe they control us. With little or no regard to the letter of the law.
    They don’t and never will.
    If the NRA next time gives the WV governor anything over a D+ endorsement. I too will quit it and join some other organization that will use my donations for the greater good.

  13. He’s just envious. He wants the power he thinks the”gun lobby” has over us mindless drones dancing to the tune of the NRA and the gun companies.

    What he is really doing is transferring his contempt he feels for the mindless drones that populate his own liberal/regressive party that worships at the foot of their god called the state.

    He cannot imagine independent, responsible and mature adults outside of government control actually taking responsibility for their own protection by carrying a weapon for self-defense.

  14. ” gun rights adherents”? WTF does that mean? Is it another way of saying “gun clingers”? The implication there is that gun rights are passe and we should just let go of the notion, isn’t it?

    • ‘Bitter Clingers’ I think it was, Doc.

      Next time one of those ‘Holier-than-thou’ fvckwits starts to yammer that crap at you just put on your best calm, serene persona and tell them: “Consider this an excellent opportunity for you to work on your coping skills.”

      If that doesn’t sink in imply that staying out of ‘flyover country’ will be a good way to avoid getting shot.

  15. I will never understand why our side doesn’t play it like the progressives play the voter ID thing. Just say that a fee for a CCW permit is racist and violates the civil rights of low income minorities. In fact, the whole idea of requiring a licence to carry is racist. After all, we all know minorities have difficulty obtaining these documents.

    • Governments will argue the need for licenses forever, unless the fee disappears, in which case the requirement for a license will disappear immediately, its not necessary any more.

  16. Substitute “Millions of law abiding gun owners” for “Gun Lobby” as you read these articles.
    To Liberals the dumb voters can’t make the right choice so they need it shoved down their throats by their betters in the legislature.
    Sort of explain’s out current President’s behavior.

    • Having lived in a West coast liberal area for decades, I can assure you the attitude is; “Those stupid hicks in flyover country need to realize their moral and intellectual superiors know what’s best for them and shut up and do as they’re told.”

      I moved back to America several years ago, things are much better now.

  17. I am the the gun lobby.
    Gonna make a shirt that states precisely that. I am not the NRA, but I am pro 2A……..

    I am the gun lobby.

  18. What anti-gunners don’t understand is that the gun lobby, just like the militia referred to in the 2A, is all of us. Any red-blooded American who believes in freedom and personal responsibility.

  19. This idiot wonk things that because that The Gun Ban Lobby is made up of groups funded by Bloomer or The Brady Bunch that we are organized the same way. They haven’t figured out that the NRA, GOA etc are made up of millions of members.

  20. Let’s not talk about the “gun lobby.” Let’s talk instead about the Media Oligopoly and how it corrupts American life, intimidates and libels people with no consequences and exploits the First Amendment for its own ends. That’s a conversation worth having.

  21. The power of the gun lobby people over statehouse politicians has led to a raft of laws dear to gun rights liberty adherents…”

    There. Fixed it for you.

    BTW, we’re not done.

  22. (Sorry. I was typing away and my incomplete comment posted itself. What’s up with that. It should have read…)

    “The power of the people over statehouse politicians has led to a raft of laws dear to liberty adherents…”

    There. Fixed it for you.

    BTW, we’re not done.

  23. They either don’t get it or are willfully ignorant of the fact that, like the AARP, most of the ‘gun lobby’s funding comes not from huge corporations but individuals.

    That’s okay. As long as they can’t figure that out they can’t combat it.

  24. I can’t bring myself to read literary garbage by some anti gun clod who sits down and bangs out some trash while thinking they are cute with a “boy I really got them” attitude.
    Media opinions are some of the most worthless, nonsensical trash a person can read and this anti-gun garbage from Francis X. Clines is no exception.

    Why would I read anti-gun opinions?

  25. These type of creeps support MDA and other Bloombum astro-turf organizations. They would not know a grass roots organization if it bit them in the arse.

  26. I find the use of “gun lobby” just as bad as “those people” when used to de-humanize and diminish respect for individuals. However, I don’t have any issue with requiring training for carrying concealed, or limited background checks, provided a good majority of folks can legally obtain firearms.

  27. He cited the “apprehension of law enforcement officers from across the state” that their job would be riskier and their lives less safe if people could stealthily arm themselves without so much as a lesson in safe shooting.

    Indiana: No requirement for lessons or any type of proficiency with the sidearm you expect to carry. Also, no blood running through the streets. Result.

    Never let the facts get in the way of a good hand-wringing additional intrusion on our rights.

  28. Francis Clines needs to experience a nice violent home invasion, perhaps a good mugging on his way home
    from some trendy restaurant, maybe a good beating at the hands of an armed thug. Then we will learn if he
    is a rational being or if he is the typical brain dead liberal who is incapable of understanding the basic realities of life.

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