A friend of mine recently read my article on Hillary Clinton vs. Donald Trump. I wrote that if the Democrats nominated Hillary and the GOP nominated Trump, I’d support Donald Trump. “Are you still on board with this?” my friend, a former Bernie enthusiast turned Trump supporter asked. Yes. I stand by what I said: if you value the right to keep and bear arms, vote for Trump. Now I know . . .
. . . that Donald Trump is a deeply flawed candidate. But as serious and concerning as those flaws are, they pale in comparison to a Democratic candidate who’s openly proclaimed gun owners her “enemy” and even “terrorists.” Besides, the downside to a Trump administration are nowhere near as dire as many fear.
If elected, Mr. Trump will face a legislature that will jealously guard their power from him — if only because the opposition party has primed itself to think of the new POTUS as the embodiment of pure evil. Not to mention that half of “his” party is still angry at Trump because of what he’s said said about so many of them through the campaign.
If you want to roll back the imperial power of the presidency and the administrative state, Trump is your best shot. If you find the thought of yet another president providing bully pulpit support to anyone bent on civilian disarmament abhorrent, vote for Trump.
There’s more than one reason to vote today, even if you live in a state where the polls (ah, the polls!) call the presidential election a foregone conclusion.
Here’s a funny little secret that few appreciate: on most issues, the lowest level of government has the most influence over your life. The local school boards, the zoning boards, mayors, county commissioners, county sheriffs, district attorneys, city councils, local magistrates…these are are the people and the bodies that create the majority of the laws and regulations governing your day-to-day existence.
They’re the ones who will be enacting ordinances that might directly impact your life as a gun owner, and as an American. They’re the ones who will make hiring decisions for local police forces. They’re the ones who will prioritize which laws should be enforced (or not). They’re the ones who will decide if a fellow with an FFL can open a gun store in your area. They’re the ones who will decide how your schools will teach your children about firearms and other issues.
As for state governments, did you know that the GOP controls state government outright in twenty-four states? That Republicans control 70 out of the nation’s 99 state legislative chambers? That Democrats have outright control of only seven legislative houses?
The GOP is not always a reliable friend on gun issues, so don’t take too much comfort in that. But if we’re at a stalemate in the courts and federal government regarding infringements on gun rights, we can continue to make progress at the state and local level. Those races are, therefore, very important.
Most people don’t put much thought into local and state-level races. That’s probably why Michael Bloomberg — and whatever you want to say about the old plutocrat, he’s no dummy– throws so much of his cash at state races for offices like attorney general. If you find the presidential race to be too hard (or distasteful) a choice to make, show up and vote for those people. They need your support.
The cynical man in me used to remind people about how little one vote really meant. But you know what? To hell with that. Life’s too short. We’re gun owners. We own, carry, and train to use firearms for the one-tenth-of-one-percent situation. Election day should be no different. Go vote. Go make a difference.