September 11, 2012 is an auspicious day for at least two reasons that I can think of. First and foremost, its a day of remembrance of terrible events that happened only a few short years ago. Events that jarred many in this county out of the safe cocoon-like feeling that they had lived in and brought to their attention that even ordinary, everyday people could be victims of extreme acts of hatred and violence . . .
In some ways, September 11 was the beginning of our new firearms renaissance, too. Sure, the Heller and McDonald Supreme Court decisions sped things along and the various mass shootings over the years certainly contributed to the momentum, but it was that dark day in September that really got things moving forward. Today, more and more of our fellow citizens are coming to realize that they are the ones responsible for their safety and for the safety of their loved ones. And they’re purchasing their first guns and learning how to use them. The tide of pro-gun in this county has been slowly moving in our direction ever since.
There are, of course, those forces arrayed who want to turn that tide wherever possible. They can marshal fairly significant resistance to the pro-gun movement, particularly when they or one of their puppets holds an office where anti-gun legislation can be passed. Pro-2A people must then fight that legislation in the courts which is both time and cost intensive. I’d much rather have pro-gun legislation passed and let the Brady Bunch and friends do the court route.
This brings me to the second reason that today is an auspicious day. In New Hampshire (and I suspect in many other places) today is the state primary election to determine who will represent the major parties in the state elections (Governor, state legislature, etc.) to be held concurrently with the national elections in November. State elections don’t often draw much interest. Heck, reaching 50% voter turnout in a Presidential Election is usually a struggle, so getting a decent turnout for a state election — or worse, a state primary — is nearly impossible.
But, to people who care about their rights, it’s no less important and arguably more important than the national election. The men and women who run our states have more direct control over our lives than the President and Congress. Take a cautionary look at Illinois for example. It’s the only state in the union that flat out denies its citizens the right to bear arms. If you could change the makeup of the politicians who run the state, you can change those laws.
For this reason, I made the effort today to vote in my state primary. While I generally try to avoid being a single issue voter, the fact is that I know very little about many of the candidates. What I do know, however, courtesy of a handy guide published by Go-NH, the state NRA affiliate, was how the various candidates stood with respect to gun rights.
In my mind, gun rights are a litmus test of sorts for a person’s position on other matters. Chances are that someone who is pro-RKBA isn’t likely to support the passage of other laws that restrict our freedoms. A pro-gun candidate generally believes in the individual and wants to create a legislative environment with a government that interferes as little as possible. This isn’t always the case, but it is the rule far more than the exception.
While I consider myself a middle of the road voter and don’t ally directly with either major party, the Go-NH guide told me that if I wanted to vote for candidates that support gun-friendly laws, I needed to be voting in the Republican primary today. Had I chosen the Democrat ballot, I would have left a lot of blanks on it as I will not cast a vote for a candidate who is anti-gun.
The ranking of the candidates was based upon their actual voting history and in the case where the candidate was new or had no history, they were asked to fill out a survey and sign a pro-gun rights pledge.
What was surprising to me is that many of the candidates simply elected to not return the survey at all — both Republicans and Democrats. Particularly when you live in a state as gun-friendly as New Hampshire, you don’t do all that much harm to your candidacy by letting voters know you’re pro-gun rights. It’s a shame because many candidates did not a get vote from me for that simple reason.
The fact is many voters are single issue voters of one sort or another. For some, it’s a candidate’s support for one particular issue that will get them out to vote at all. For me, it’s just the opposite. I might like a lot about a certain candidate, but being anti-gun loses my vote for sure. I won’t budge when a candidate proposes to take away any of my God-given Constitutionally protected rights.
If you have the opportunity today, get out and vote. Perhaps you can consider your participation in the democratic process today a small tribute to all those people who lost their lives eleven years ago as well as to the men and women of our armed forces and first responder communities who have lost their lives over the past 11 years dealing with what was unleashed by the airborne cowards on September 11, 2001.