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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.

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  1. Local Elected officials are where it is at. You can walk up to them, look them in the eye and demand to know why there is a city ordinance stating it is illegal to have no less then two trees on your property. Or why the local charters give too much power to HOAs.
    It is harder for them to weasel out and “appeal to authority” when they are in position, and are the authority. They cant play as much lip service when they are with the rest of us “Plebs”

    • The government closest to the people is always the most responsive. Besides that, when corruption occurs on the local level, you can deal with it and drive on. Corruption at higher levels is always more insidious and nearly impossible to purge.

      But we have huge voter turnouts for national elections and sparse turnouts for local elections. Go figure.

  2. The President is only a small part of the elections today. Vote your conscience for sure, but make sure you tend to all the down ballot and local races that affect you far more on a daily basis. As for gun control specifically, research pro gun candidates and support them if you see fit to agree with the rest of their platform. In a nutshell, go vote!

  3. Vote against (D) voters. They will be around long after the election. It’s their broken sh_t that we fight against every day, it’s their broken sh_t that we argue against every day. It’s their broken-a_ _ opinions of their own authority that makes honest to GOD rights a struggle to maintain, while rights to do/be/foist upon broke D1<K sh_T upon America.

    F the (D) down to the absentee voting granny in the nursing home.

    • Wow, I had no idea you would show such disrespect for rights of women, rights of voters, and the rights of the elderly that you would say “down to the absentee voting granny in the nursing home”. That’s pretty despicable. I cannot relate to that mentality if it means voting for the R. I guess I’ll vote against (R) voters. I WISH there was a better R candidate to vote for. Maybe the GOP can get their act together in the next 4 years and give us a better R to vote for.

      • Maybe he simply meant that we need to make sure our (R) voting grandmother in the nursing home votes, because the (D) in the next room will probably vote twice.

      • Looks like someone was triggered.

        The comment was about the people who are voting, but their vote has been hijacked by fraudsters. But you knew that. You’re just intentionally misrepresenting the comment to find a way to be offended.

      • I think Joe R was referring to the “Absentee” voting granny as Voter Fraud, highlighted by a recent article of a guy going to nursing homes and taking peoples names to “register” and “Vote” democrat.

        • It doesn’t matter who wins, we’ll still be fighting the evil POS (D) through and long after this election.


      • No, I meant ALL (D) VOTERS. Their candidates are barely the tip of the iceberg. Don’t even try to deflect on the quality of the current (R) candidates.

        Conservatism is key. The rest is bs.

        This web blog is TTAG – THE TRUTH ABOUT GUNS. Well, the FING undeniable truth is that we have to defend and beat back the barbs of attack on our Constitutional rights and globalists willing to do the world-melting-pot (lets all be F’d up). ALL the problems we argue against are from liberal_progressive_communist_globalist [and] (D)bags, and my comments obviously hit too close to home for Rod to the A.

        I’ve railed against the evil (D) since my very first post on TTAG – GO LOOK IT UP. And I will repeat my oft repeated comment here:

        M A Y
        T H E
        P R O B L E M
        I S
        P A R T
        O F
        Y O U
        YOU ARE
        P E R M A N E N T L Y
        B R O K E N


          Anyone alive long enough to remember Dan “Rosty” Rostenkowski? EVIL (D) FROM SCHITCAGO [GO FIGURE]

          The evil (D) Senator’s ran a slush-bank called the House “Post Office” where “mailing costs” funds could be drawn EVEN THOUGH THE SENATORS WERE NOT CHARGED FOR POSTAGE BY THE USPS.

          The (D) are scabs, and wherever you find them sh_t is broken and broken down, AND THEY ARE GETTING PAID HANDSOMELY FOR IT.

          F ALL YOU (D) in the goat a_ _.

          YES, America is at war with its (D) citizens AND VICE VERSA.

        • Thanks Act-shun, I know, when you come from a broke d1,k country any very slight commitment to a nationally important idea appears like zionist ferver, but if you were from here you’d get it.

        • “Conservatism is key. The rest is bs.”

          As usual, with no definition of “conservatism”. WTF is that supposed to mean? I have thought for 50+ years that a conservative wants smaller and more responsive government which spends less, taxes less, and balances the budget. I will happily agree that definition of conservative is key. But given the past few decades, I suspect that is not what you’re talking about. What you’re talking about is apparently a secret, since no one claiming to want it is willing to define it.

          Supposedly conservative candidates rarely even mention balanced budgets or cutting spending any more.

        • ” I have thought for 50+ years that a conservative wants smaller and more responsive government which spends less, taxes less, and balances the budget.” [smaller less intrusive government]



          Why do people have such a hard time with this?

    • A vote for the Republicans is a vote against dead people, all of whom vote Democrat.


  4. I voted for trump/PENCE weeks ago…every election we vote for “deeply flawed candidates”. The last good democrat may have been John F. Kennedy. Deeply flawed, randy womanizer and yeah his daddy was a criminal. Compared to the Clinton cartell he was a saint. Whomever wins we are in deep shite…

  5. Good point addressing the downballot races. I also note that while we’re focusing on SCOTUS as our last bastion of freedom, we should be paying attention to the lower Federal courts.

    The next POTUS will nominate around 400 Federal judges. Look at the damage that Clintonista judges have already caused, and then imagine 400 more rats in the larder.

  6. Trump and the Republicans are the ONLY logical, patriotic choice. There are a million reasons why the democrat party is called the treason party.

  7. In WA, our electorates are basically a lock for Hillary. Can’t do much about that. I voted Gary Johnson. The only way we will get out of this two party trap is to get enough votes for a third party candidate.

    • All the Libertarians needed to do in this election was nominate a Libertarian. But they nominated Gary Johnson instead.

      Sadly, I saw Trump as the superior choice of the four candidates.

      • Curtis,

        “All the Libertarians needed to do in this election was nominate a Libertarian. But they nominated Gary Johnson instead.”

        No shit. And add William Weld, the “originator” of Obamacare in MA. Nice choice. Not.

        The party would have done better if they nominated that pug from the Men in Black movie. 8>)

      • Gary is a Libertarian.

        Unfortunately, he partakes a bit too much of one of those substances Libertarians fight hard for the right to legally use.

    • Squiggy81,

      I cannot ever see a three party system working well because three parties split the voter base too much.

      Suppose the Republican and Libertarian parties produce two outstanding candidates that resonate with 62% of the nation and either candidate would get all 62% of the nation’s votes if the other did not exist. Of course that means the Democrat candidate only has support of 38% of the nation. However, both the Republican and Libertarian candidates do exist and they split that 62% support 32% Republican and 30% Libertarian. Nevertheless, that Democrat candidate has 38% support and wins the election.

      Do you see the problem there? You can have 62% of the country absolutely agree that they do NOT want a candidate to win the election and yet that candidate can easily win the election. This is the problem with a three party system.

      The answer is for the best candidates to run in the primaries of the Republican or Democrat parties with whom they most closely align. And if they align equally with both parties, then run in the party where they think they have the best chance of winning.

      Unfortunately, the very problem that I outlined which plagues elections with multiple parties exists at the primaries! Perhaps the answer at primaries is to vote for elimination of the worst candidates and the voting ends with the last candidate still standing … who is then the primary election winner!

      • But suppose you had a 3rd party candidate that people actually thought could win. In an election like this, that candidate would be a viable option for a lot of people. I’m tired of having to choose between the lesser of two evils, neither of which conform to my libertarian beliefs. Granted, Johnson isn’t necessarily the best choice, but we’ll never break the cycle if everyone accepts this false dichotomy.

        • The mistake that the 3rd parties are making is trying to win presidential elections without any significant representation in either the state legislatures or Congress. If you really want a solid third party, you have to start small. Until you have 10%-20% of Congress, a presidential run is just a fantasy.

        • Squiggy81,

          You are letting emotion (your intense desire for a third party to be viable and/or win a presidential election) override reality.

          No matter how badly you want a viable third party, it does not change the FACT that my scenario shows how a popular third party is guaranteed to lose.

          Even worse, my scenario shows that a third party, which does not have the support of a majority of the voters, could actually win. (Just swap the Democrat and Libertarian description in my scenario.) Do we really want a president that did not even win with a majority of support from the electorate?

        • Squiggy,

          Consider another example:

          Suppose that the electorate would vote 51% Democrat and 49% Republican if only two candidates are running for office. However, Libertarians provide a third candidate and the electorate votes 10% Libertarian, 44% Democrat, and 46% Republican.

          With only two parties, Democrats would win with a clean majority of electorate votes/support. With three parties, Republicans would win with a minority of electorate votes/support.

          Of course you could describe an infinite number of scenarios with whichever party having whatever voter support. Those scenarios still do not change the fact that a third party can often lead to a candidate which would have a majority of voter support losing to a candidate which will win with a minority of voter support. I fail to see how this a good outcome that is good for our nation.

        • This “third party that could win” scenario already happened, in 1992.
          Ross Perot.
          Never ever vote without thinking about that.
          Almost every Perot vote took one away from GHW Bush, and we got eight years of Clinton. The Assault Weapons Ban. The slaughter at Waco. An expanded BATFE with powers far beyond mortal bureaucracies. Supreme Court Justices who think the Constitution is an annoyance. And on and on.
          The Perot voters thought they were being hip and out there and forward thinking. And it led to Clinton, followed by an even worse Clinton yet to come.

        • W.P., I do, very often, mourn that 1992 election, wondering how George H.W. Bush could be so selfish as to refuse to drop out, which would have given the election to Perot. Which is just as valid a complaint as what I’m sure you were thinking. And while I voted for Perot, if he had not been on the ballot, my vote would still not have gone to Bush, he had burned that bridge to the waterline.

      • A three (or more) party system would work if we had preferential voting. Essentially, you could vote Libertarian as your first preference and then Republican as your second preference. If the Libertarian candidate doesn’t get enough votes to win, your vote would then go to the Republican candidate. No longer would “a vote for Johnson be a vote for Hillary”.

    • Ranked choice voting. It’s the only sane way to do it.

      I’m just about to the point of ignoring the presidential candidates entirely from here on out. The system is stupidly broken, especially in my state, where an open primary system let Democrats vote for Trump and Clinton both.

      Support good local and state-level candidates. They’re more relevant to your daily life anyway. And eventually some of them could become national candidates that are actually worth voting for.

      • Ing,

        If your state has an open primary system, why didn’t the Republicans exploit that feature like Democrats and vote in both primaries?

      • Ranked choice voting requires an amendment, could just as well require another ballot if no one gets more than 50%.

  8. I didn’t think I could vote for Trump. But my state is so hotly contested. It felt like the right choice. It did make me feel ill afterwards. But I do agree with this article.

    Go vote. Take everything into account. Don’t be a dick to people about who they voted for. Lifes too short.

    Stay safe out there no matter what hits what tonight.

  9. Get out and vote for Trump to ensure that Hillary does not win the election!

    In case you live in a blue state and want to claim that your vote does not count:
    (1) How do you KNOW FOR CERTAIN that 50.00001% or more of voters in your state will vote for Hillary? If everyone who despises Hillary votes for Trump, your nominally blue state might actually have enough votes for Trump to win your state.
    (2) Even if Hillary carries your state, reducing her popular vote margin reduces the strength of any claims that she has an “overwhelming popular mandate” and weakens her political momentum going forward.

    Those are two incredibly compelling reasons to vote and vote for Trump.

    Note: I commented nearly verbatim under the previous post. Since that comment is directly relevant to this post, I am including it again.

  10. Vote Trump. Why? Because the alternative is far worse. Oh, and the “blue state” dynamic is completely out the window this season. The only solidly Demokkkrat state is CA. Everything else is actually far closer than the media would have you believe. There’s a reason why Trump spent all that time stomping around MI and PA.

    • “The only solidly Demokkkrat state is CA.”

      I would argue that all of the gun-control Meccas like New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Illinois, and Hawaii will vote a majority for Democrats.

      I agree that other states such as Wisconsin, Michigan, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania that often go Democrat could definitely be in play. Note that all of those states are “shall issue” when it comes to concealed carry and all of those states have few if any laws that criminalize magazine capacities, semi-auto rifle ownership, etc. With concealed carry gaining huge momentum, that could just be the deciding factor and explain how some of those states will vote Republican this time.

      • You’d be surprised. The wildcard is what the statisticians refer to as the “shy” Trump voter. Right now, estimates range between 5% and 10% of total. When you put that into the math, very few states remain solidly blue. In fact, the only one that does not go down to the margin of error is CA. (That’s with a 5%-6% shy voter estimate which is about the same as Obama got.) Historically, a 8% to 10% “shy” voter estimate is not unreasonable given how popular media has been demonizing Trump.

        My money is on a solid Trump victory or even a landslide if the current model holds.

  11. I think with Trump we can make the argument that the no-fly, no-buy idea is unconstitutional. I think he’d listen. I think he could even be persuaded if the argument is compelling enough. I don’t think that’s even possible with Clinton.

    That may turn out to be wishful thinking.

    • I am reasonably convinced that the SCOTUS members Trump would appoint would toss “no fly no buy” so fast it would make your head spin, as it *IS* unconstitutional!

  12. Say what you want about Trump (and man there is alot) but he is a legitimate candidate. Hillary . . . the DNC got caught, along with her camp, rigging the primaries. She did not win them fair of square. None of the other candidates had a chance.

    Seriously, I feel like the world is on crazy pills. This is about as big as it gets regarding elections and few people are bringing it up or the fact that Bernie went away, after knowledge of this collusion, way too easy. You can bet that if Trump bought the primaries there would be calls from the press not just for him to step down but to be arrested.
    The Clinton Foundation and Hillary herself are currently under investigation. Am I in a mid-sized, third world country or the USA?

  13. Most people don’t put much thought into local and state-level races.

    Depends on where you live. I live in a deep red state. I have little to fear from local and state governments. Culturally, they are consisted of individuals similar to me. My fears come from cultures outside my own. Like federal level legislation. That kind of legislation simply doesn’t have a foothold in my state.

  14. We’re gun owners. We own, carry, and train to use firearms for the one-tenth-of-one-percent situation.

    I own guns because I like them, like range time, and like to piss off people that try to decide my life for me. So that is “100%” for that situation.

  15. If you look objectively at Obama’s two Terms, you can see that although he had a sympathetic Congress only the first two years, he managed to do tremendous damage to the country by who he appointed to head the key Departments and Agencies that belong to the Executive Branch. HilLIARy Clinton and John Kerry are arguably two of the worst Secretaries of State we have ever had. Eric Holder and Loretta Lynch are arguably ideologues who have made the Department of Justice a corrupt joke. Obama and sycophants have bragged about their job creation success when they have mostly created low-paying service industry jobs [to the point they have to raise the minimum wage to offset the fact people can’t live on the “jobs” Obama “created”]…and the list could go on an on…
    The point is people underestimate greatly and chronically the power and influence POTUS and the Executive Branch wield. Changing the POTUS, and particularly the ideology the POTUS adheres to, CAN make a difference and THAT is why this Election is so important.
    Vote Trump 2016!

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