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TTAG used to refer to states with draconian gun laws, stratospheric taxes and a general lack of personal freedom as “slave states.” Our Armed Intelligentsia told us to chill, so we did. Semantics aside, the ballistic bifurcation of America continues. After its failures on the federal level, the gun control movement has focused its efforts on state initiatives, driving a wedge both between and within states. Encapsulating the conflict, The Campaign to Stop Gun Violence routinely calls gun owners “insurrectionists” and publishes intra-state antagonistic anti-gun agitprop. But does that matter? Are these state-by-state fights for firearms freedom an indication of something bigger and more ominous, or just brush fires that need dousing at the ballot box in the laboratories of democracy?

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  1. If there’s ever a gun fight between the Free States and the Slave States, it’s no doubt the Free States will win again.

    • You are a 100% correct except this time the free states won’t have a massive federal government financing their war machine, like the last time.

  2. Yes, this site is “The Truth about Guns” and often, the truth hurts.

    The definition of a free person in all of history versus peasant, peon or slave has always been those that can KABA and those that can’t.

    So for those states that deny a citizen the right to carry a weapon for self-defense and for the defense of others; yes, the proper definition is that they are slave states.

    But as Jack Nicholson said so memorably, “You can’t handle the truth!”.

    • Why “slave state” rather than “peon state” or “peasant state”, or even the yet more accurate “serf state”? “Slave” means a lot more than lack of firearms, and as your post showed, not all those denied them have been slaves.

  3. I avoid slave states. Won’t step foot in MA, NJ, CT, NY.

    If we look at it superficially relying on stereotypes Maine isnt losing much if all the urban dependents and statistics stop going there. Maybe there is some benefit to Maine when the urban dependents spend their EBT at Maine shops but from what I’ve seen Maine (NH and VT too) would be better off if trash from CT NY and MA kept their crime down south.

    At least two-thirds of the time when a crime makes the news it’s some asshat from MA.

    On the flipside what state wouldnt want obviously employed individuals with expendable income to participate in a relatively expensive hobby such as shooting sports to spend real cash in their states?

    Keep at it CSGV. Do whatever you can to keep urban dependents and statists out of northern New England. I’ll do what I can to keep the same people who can afford to drop $3,000 on a rifle and $300 on ammo every month or so from spending any mnoney in those SLAVE states.

    • The only problem is that getting between ME/NH/VT and the rest of the country means passing through the checkpoint that is NY. We’re heading up that way for our anniversary before visiting my parents in MD (I know, I know).

      We’re routing through central NY just to avoid getting near NYC, but there was no avoiding the state altogether. And upper New England is so pretty it deserves my money (which they are taking a lot of).

      • It’s a serious problem lol, I’m a CT resident (don’t burn me at the stake) and despite being able to carry in a Maine or Vermont how am I to get there with NY or MASS blocking transit. As much as of an anti-gun state CT has become I’m just greatful it hasn’t gotten as bad as CA (fingers crossed) it does suck being barred from purchasing so many SA’s deemed ‘evil’ yet in the same breath I can buy any pre-ban I want, and the magizine restriction is rediculous. Just my two-cents, I don’t like how it is but it’s still home here so I’m not leaving.

        • Unfortunately the Taconic Parkway starts too damn close to NYC. I would go I-88 and get to VT as fast as possible.

        • Peaceable Journey laws in places like New York are considered an affirmative defense. That means AFTER you’re arrested and during court proceedings your can claim this exemption under federal law. Also good luck getting your firearms back after they’ve been seized.

          You can beat the rap, but you can’t beat the ride.

    • some asshat from MA

      I’m very surprised you didn’t just use the word “Masshole,” but maybe that’s a New Hampshire thing.

      • Masshole (n) – a term used in New England to describe a person from Massachusetts. Can be used in the following scenarios:

        1. “That Masshole is doing 35 in a 45! Damn leaf peepers!”
        2. “Why are all these Massholes causing traffic jams on Aquidneck Island?”

        The term also can be used as a form of self identification amongst people from Massachusetts. Synonyms are “flatlander”, “communist”, or “bastid.”

    • I don’t. I enjoy visiting CA and showing off all the cool toys I have back home in AZ, then explaining to the locals why the laws that forbid them from owning the same firearms are dumb because they don’t really prevent crime.

  4. It slays me that a State I vacationed in as a kid is now so full of freedom that dirtbag anti’s
    like are whining about them, and the State I’ve settled in was the litmus test
    for the Bloomberg machine for “the gun-show loophole.”

    Choices in life do, indeed, have consequences.

    The fact that I-594 is all but ignored changes little. It’s a long way from Constitutional
    Carry in this exceedingly leftist State, ruled by the left side, Washington.

    • Now, Maine really is Vactionland!

      It will be interesting to see how the new rules affect commerce as it will attract more gun-owners to the state for recreation.

  5. If I was mounting a concerted effort against all of you, could you be certain I would tell you? In the inverse, could I be certain, even with/through comments here?

  6. Its two Americas in just about every possible way, not just guns. There’s the American that I was born into (during the Reagan years) and the America that I see now, which is entirely different. I don’t even recognize the place where I was raised anymore, though I can remember neighbors and relatives telling me how peaceful and how nice the place had been for decades before my teenage years. Some how its been rigged so that those of us who liked our America are the bad guys, are backward, for wanting things the way they were, when people were upright and could depend upon common values. Now nothing is a value outside one person’s feelings, and it doesn’t matter how bad it is for society, how much it tears the dependable institutions apart, how much it softens our brains and pushes us away from actually thinking for ourselves. As long as we are FEELING for ourselves, thats all that matters.

    • I am a millennial and I have experienced that exact same change. It started with the internet and the information age because that is when people were able to seek out information on their own, and not what the media chose to show. Think how censored WE were to the truth because WE didn’t have multiple information sources available, and forced to rely only on multiple news agencies. The policies of the past have caught up and this is where the can has stopped from being kicked down the road. Thankfully my generation has the most trained and experienced warrior class in our history and that is backed by Desert Storm and Nam vets.

      In a way sir, you were brainwashed just as much as my generation is, but the sad thing is my generation chooses to be willfully ignorant. Where yours did not have the information readily available to know any better.

  7. Whatever you want to call it, slave states and free states, communist states and free states, whatever, it is about Freedom. For the most part, pro gun states are very pro liberty. For the most part, most anti gun states are heavy into regulations of all kinds, taxes, etc.

    Slowly we are seeing the creation of two Americas the problem is they are no longer Geographically divided.

    I am sure given the choice, Indiana, Wisconsin, Kentucky, South Carolina, West Virginia, Maine, Vermont, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas, Louisiana, Texas , Missouri, Kansas, North and South Dakota , Nebraska, Wyoming, Alaska and parts of Colorado, Oregon, California and Washington state would love to split off.

    NY, NJ, MA, CT, CA(southern), Illinois(Northern), MD, etc are like a different world. The people just embrace a totally different ideology of how people should live their lives.

    • It’s not northern/southern California, it’s the Bay Area and the LA/San Diego metro areas versus the entire rest of the state.

      • I spent half of my 21 year Air Force career in NorCal at two duty locations. And I agree that, by and large, it is “The Bay Area” and “LA” against the rest of the state. But those two areas have so much power that the rest of the state gets ignored when it comes to making legislation. BTW, good luck until the rains come back. And when it does, good luck with the flooding.

        • Downhill house racing season!!! There are tears in my eyes after reading that one, I’m going to use it. Got a nice dump of rain on northern San Luis Obispo County on Sunday, and man was it a mess. Mudslides, rockslides and PG&E trucks everywhere. Can only imagine what it’ll be like in all those nice suburban hillside enclaves in LA-LA-land, especially on the heels of this fire season.

    • That different ideology being one based on living other people’s lives for them.

    • If we in upstate NY could cut off Westchester and everything south of it we would be more like VT and Maine. Unfortunately, the Dems and RINOs form that part of the state hold sway in the legislature and Governor’s office.

  8. Fight every brush fire with a counter break. Truth and reason only win when intelligent people put forth cogent arguments. The struggle for freedom is relentless.

  9. I really like their “Avoid…..” campaign. I saw a comment on facebook that summed it up best: “They are quarantining themselves!”

    We should encourage them to avoid leaving their wherever so that the rest of us can get on with the business of the day.

  10. One, yes: there are Two Americas. The anti-RKBA slave states are slowly but surely being isolated and marginalized – but there is a long way to go.

    Two: thanks, CSGV, for the high recommendation to visit Maine!

  11. There’s also Right-To-Work states and Communist forced unionization states.

    Unfortunately, I live in WA which is forced unionization.. Hopefully someday none of them will be because all unions will be banned. There’s no reason they should be allowed at all.

    • Yes, there is–individuals should be allowed to associate for any lawful purpose. What there is no [good] reason for is government-enforced favoritism for unions.

      • Yep, and I don’t much care for unions, but wanting to ban them(at least private ones) is also pretty authoritarian.

        • Chip: I can’t speak for Evan, but I didn’t read his comment that way.

          As a understand it, RTW usually means an individual has a choice whether to join & pay dues into a union, or not. It doesn’t ban them. Or am I mistaken?

        • @ Chip: The original comment included a statement to the effect that the government should not allow unions. I think that is the statement that Evan was specifically responding to. It is the one I was responding to at any rate. And just to be clear, I am not a supporter of unions in general, especially since I worked in a unionized shop which was the most employee-unfriendly place I ever worked. Fortunately, I live in a right-to-work state myself. @ John L: That means that an employer cannot force you to join a union as a condition of employment.

  12. Ya know, the funny thing is, all the grabbers will swear up and down that they are not against guns per se, they are just against violence. So take a look at the poster above: Does it say anything about avoiding Maine because it is a dangerous, violent state? Any statistics about how much more likely you are to be shot in Maine than in, say, New York? Any direct indication at all that Maine is a particularly violent place? Of course not, it would be so patently, demonstrably false that they don’t even try to lie about it, which we all know they are certainly willing to do. I’d say that poster demonstrates absolutely that gun-grabbers are not about controlling violence, they are about controlling ordinary people’s lives.

    • +1,000. Maine has one of the lowest crime rates in the nation, so wtf are these people smoking to make them think the whole state is one giant powder keg? Also off topic, but over the years I’ve found that people who bill themselves as “anti-violence” are always the most likely candidates to put on a shiny new pair of jackboots and start throwing undesirables into a gulag. The entire world-view of the utopian idealist consists of plugged ears, covered eyes, and an unconquerable refusal to see the world for what it really is, warts and all. If you try to break that cycle, you’re met with unhealthy amount of self-hatred disguised as righteous anger, because at the end of the day they know they’re wrong but just won’t believe it.

  13. “… an indication of something bigger and more ominous…”
    Only if the anti’s are successful in getting politicians to attempt to trample our rights.

  14. The last 8 years alone prove that it’s ALL about the states. Federal gun control attempts are nothing compared to what can happen to your rights at the state level. Combine Democratic leadership and enough cities full of stupid liberal voters, and in a flash, you’re behind enemy lines.

  15. The problem is that the ballot box is becoming irrelevant. One judge can overturn a law passed by duly elected representatives or enact an entirely new law (via judicial fiat) without consulting the legislature. I don’t really care about the whole “gay marriage” thing, but I am disturbed by how this new “right” was effected against the solid opposition of the people and their representatives. If the USSC ever discovers a “right to feel safe” in the Constitution, we can kiss our guns goodbye, despite the opinions of the people we chose at the ballot box.

    • I’m sure Heller and McDonald are happy for “judicial fiat”. As long as the judges are loosening government power, what is the problem?

      • We shouldn’t get hung-up on the ebb and flow of judicial decisions. Over the history of our country there have been horrible decisions and great decisions; and a lot of pretty mundane decisions.

        In the long-run the judiciary is going to reflect society as much as it is going to impact society. (Not comforting in light of Keynes’ observation that: In the long run, we are all dead.)

        What we need to be focusing on is consolidating our own message: the liberty of the individual to pursue his own personal view of happiness. (Or, however you would prefer to frame it.) Some sort of Anti-Statist message. We haven’t been successful at this so far. No where near as successful as the Progressives who sell the idea that milk and honey flow from the teat of Uncle Sam.

        Next, we must convey this message to our children, friends and neighbors. If we fail to influence voters we can’t expect our legislators to be convinced.

        Following, we need to sharpen our politics with our legislators. Look what we have accomplished in the last 30 year in establishing Right-to-Carry in our State legislatures! Why can’t we make this work with our Congress-critters.

        To impact the judiciary we need to control the Senate. We’ve substituted Mitch for Harry; noticed any improvement? What are we doing wrong; and, what do we have to do differently?

  16. The states are the battleground. Since the gungrabbers were b1tchslapped by the NRA in the Senate during the post-Newtown insanity, Bloombag et al recognize that they will not be able to force any anti-gun laws through Congress for at least the next three or four election cycles. However, as experience in New York, Maryland, Connecticut, Oregon and Washington shows, individual states are for sale — and damn cheaply at that.

    The states are where the war will be waged for the foreseeable future. Kansas and Maine prove that we can win at the state level, so the battles in the states will be — for lack of a better description — life or death.

  17. Democracy: Two wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for dinner.
    The USA is a constitutionally limited democratic REPUBLIC, not a democracy. The word democracy does not occur in our constitution. That fact is ignored by the purported Constitutional law professor in the White House and various other politicians. A democracy can vote away rights (see example above).

    • “Democracy: Two wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for dinner.”

      You skipped the second part of that…

      Liberty: An armed sheep contesting the vote.

  18. Who told you to quit saying slave states? Not me-and for your information adrik northern Illinois is pretty pro-gun. Even Cook co-CHICAGO IS THE problem…

  19. America, the U.S. specifically, is divided, but not on guns.
    The division is between those who want regulations and those who don’t.
    Guns are a small issue in the big picture., until the regulators take 100% control. Then guns will replace the ballot box.

  20. I’m all for polarization amongst the states on this issue. I can’t wait to escape New York and I’m glad there are states that love firearms freedom even more than my neighbors hate it here. I already have the fervor of a convert, but I can’t wait to breathe deep the freedom like I just escaped the USSR. I practically feel like kissing the ground when I’m in the “firearms freedom belt” of Arizona, Utah, Idaho, and Wyoming (I consider Alaska and New Hampshire on par, but they’re isolated. Some other states are decent.). I’m going to feel like a Bible-belt small-town gay moving to San Francisco. Finally out and proud.

    I wish the Arizona Trail was extended into a good trail that went all the way from Mexico to Canada only through firearms-freedom states. If so I’d definitely consider doing an open-carry thru-hike cross-country with an AR-15 on my back the whole way.

  21. Avoid Maine… because it’s so dangerous… because guns. LOL, except that its one of the safest States in the country.

  22. Our Armed Intelligentsia told us to chill, so we did. I did? You do not have to chill on my account.

  23. OK, is it becoming clear why those of us who live in free States should NOT REMAIN COMPLACENT that 5 – 10 States remain in slavery?

    We have at least 40 States’ Senators and Representatives. Why can’t we get them to FORCE National Reciprocity to pass? What’s “in it” for our Congress-critters to continue to frustrate the will of their constituents?

    National Reciprocity would not require Congress-critters to divert ANY Federal money from their deserving contributors.

    National Reciprocity would not affect these Congress-critters re-elect-ability. Angry hoplophobes in CT, MD, RI, NJ, NYC, MD, DC, CA, or HI can’t vote against candidates running in Alabama . . . Wyoming.

    What could possibly explain why free-state Congress-critters are not passing National Reciprocity? Are they on Bloomberg’s payroll? If that’s the case, why do we continue to re-elect them. We could, instead, just vote for Democrats.

  24. Our Armed Intelligentsia told us to chill….

    No, the precious snowflakes who don’t or “can’t” leave said slave states told you to chill because the term offends their sensibilities. Some of us slave-state refugees applaud the term and wish the rest would get over it.

    Being inclusive is awesome, so long as it’s consistent. Why are some peoples “feelers” more important than others?

  25. The truth hurts. America does have many slave states and, to be quite honest, this is not a free country at all as a whole. The government controls every facet of our lives, we’re all content to let nine robed political activists control the lives of 320 million people, and half of our populace is either stupid, evil, or both.

    The divide will only grow, I believe. Progressive Fascism has taken too much of a hold in the country and claimed too many lemming foot soldiers to be turned back. They’re as fanatical and violent as ISIS and are just waiting for their excuse.

  26. “Our Armed Intelligentsia told us to chill, so we did (in using “Slave States” – ed) … The Campaign to Stop Gun Violence routinely calls gun owners “insurrectionists” and publishes intra-state antagonistic anti-gun agitprop. But does that matter?”

    Yes it matters, but not the way it seems. Agitprop stirs up the already convinced. It doesn’t convince. And it doesn’t last. Long term *doing* agitprop raises awareness of the issue, while making the originator look distasteful, untrustworthy, and self-interested.

    Indeed, agitprop is often intended to *diminish* and *disparage* the folks advocating for the other side, dirtying up the position by dirtying up the people. Yet *doing* agitprop dirties up the one doing it. Now no one trusts them.

    For example, the infamous “bitterly clinging” comment, due to psychological defects if you read the rest of the quote. That may stir-up the “antis” briefly, but the stain on the reputation of the “pros” can be forever. And I’ll claim that was some combination of intended, and based in a consistent world view. Not this issue, which they disagree on because they are “bitterly clinging”, which suggests we are causing them some distress. Rather, they are distressed and weak, so they bitterly cling, so that’s why their position on this issue. They’re wrong on this issue because they are defective. Thus they will be wrong on everything … because defective is forever.

    It’s insidious.

    The game is to pay attention to who’s getting dirtied up in the long term: unreasonable, unreliable, histrionic, etc. The counter-move is to make perpetrators of agitprop own their over statements in a way that dirties them up: untrustworthy, manipulative, self-serving, etc. Also, if you can help someone understand that *that guy over there doesn’t like you*, they’re unlikely to trust or agree with him on anything.

    Thus “slave states” is a bad plan. It’s counterable in a way that makes gun rights folks look stupid … “Hey, I haven’t seen an auction with humans. I believe chattel slaver is against federal law, and as I understand my history there was a civil war fought in part to assert that federal law is supreme on this one.” There’s also a lot of extraneous noise if a white guy says anything about “slaves”, and the caricature gun person is an OFWG.

    “Slave states” re gun regulation is bad propaganda. Don’t do it.

    “Insurrectionists” is just as bad, propaganda-wise.

    “‘Insurrectionist’? Really? I’m talking about the law here.”

    “Wow, really? What’s ‘insurrectionist’ about the law as it stands, and working through the legislature? Rather the opposite, I think.”

    “Oh, you don’t like it when people stand up for their rights when some local official oversteps. Like saying ‘no’ to the TSA when they’re unnecessarily obnoxious is insurrection? Or maybe the civil rights movement? Protests of cop shootings?

    I think the differences are 1) peaceful 2) within the law and 3) not harming others. Are you saying that’s not OK?”

    And when they gripe about the NRA’s hold on the legislative process (which IMO is exaggerated):

    “So, people shouldn’t advocate for their hobby, when the legislature tries to shut it down? 30 million or so active recreational gun users, last I saw – 9% of the population, or so. BTW, advocating with the legislature is hardly ‘insurrectionist.'”

    “Oh, I think you have it backwards. I can get how you’d be confused about that. See, where you live, nobody has a gun but criminals and law enforcement. Yet, lots and lots of places, everybody has a gun … not shooting each other, it turns out. Most use of guns has nothing to do with threat to another person – rather the opposite. Unilaterally changing that without appeal to law is a kind of insurrection, I think.”

    When things get a bit more pointed, as often “insurrectionist” gets thrown around when someone sees a gun (not in the hands of an active criminal or law enforcement. Active criminals with guns in their hands doesn’t seem to send folks to the fainting couch so much.) go there, too:

    “Really, that was illegal? Why didn’t they get arrested?”

    “Oh, yeah, that lady was taking pictures of an airplane display. When they searched her car, they found a rifle in the trunk – hardly ‘brandishing.’ Also, hardly ‘insurrection.'”

    And, there’s energy to cast this as executive and administrative fiat – whether it’s true or not, but let’s follow Uncle Saul’s advice here about that.

    “Insurrectionists? You mean the folks who keep getting their executive actions thrown out by the supreme court? If somebody’s trying to remake the country outside the law here, it’s not the gun owners.”


    Let them spew and flail. First, withstand the short-term onslaught of the wee-wee-ed up (to borrow a phrase.) But then, the slow grind of the general impression formed by the less involved builds and builds in the other direction.

    Play the long game. Remember you are playing to the audience. Let the unreasonable people flail and discredit themselves. They tend to be oddly cooperative in that.

    None of this is new.

    • Very well reasoned.

      When the uncommitted public compares the Moms’ rhetoric to that of us PotG, whom do we want to appear to be historonic? The Moms are my candidate.

      We ought to think about a new pair of terms besides “free States” vs. “slave States”. We all harbor a dilution that we live in “freedom” even as the chains tighten. Those who are already shackled to Government payments might be least aware of their loss-of-freedom.

      The Won’t-Issue policy strikes me as – most clearly – creating a class-based society. Those whom Congress has granted a “title of nobility” enjoy:
      – the privilege of going armed; and,
      – arming their employees (squires) to guard their property.
      The rest of us – not designated as nobles – are denied our 2A rights.

      And the proof of this assertion? Who has a CWP in NYC, NJ, MD, and other Shall-Issue jurisdictions? Answer:
      – men of means; and,
      – armored car curriers who transport the money and property of these men-of-means.

      And, it’s a well-kept secret to boot! The men-of-means so privileged are a closely-guarded secret. Nevertheless, a NYC list has been leaked and it’s populated with names such as the NYTimes publisher, Donald Trump and so forth. The only Joe-Sixpacks on the list are armored car company employees.

      Where is it in the Constitution that a “right of the People” is so explicitly honored only for the wealthy and influential?

      How might we convey this “class-based society” distinction? Maybe “equal rights States” vs. “class-privlidge States”?

  27. Frankly, this has more of a “Yelling at the mirror” vibe. Nobody is listening to this crap.

    Try doing a google search on “Avoid Maine” – just using your graphic as an example. Nothing… nada .. at least not anything that relates to these folks.

    Now try doing an image search with that exact image. Again, nothing.

    They are simply yelling this stuff at each other.


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