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Reader CTSheepdog writes:

As you all know, the post-Sandy Hook era has not been a happy one for Constitution State gun owners. Irrespective of the federal and Connecticut state Constitution’s protection of gun ownership rights, the Hartford Legislature passed one of the most invasive gun laws in 2013 in the form of PA13-3. A primary proponent of that gun law was Connecticut Against Gun Violence known locally as CAGV. In the days prior to Sandy Hook, CAGV was likely on its last legs, running out of money and support (it failed to get a stand-alone magazine capacity law passed the prior year). But Adam Lanza’s rampage changed the landscape . .

and allowed CAGV to rise, form new alliances and fill the vacuum caused by Lanza’s depravity. But now, those in Connecticut are wondering if CAGV’s ability to use that tragedy has reached its expiration date . . .

Exhibit 1 would be the failure earlier this year of SB-650, An Act Concerning Temporary Restraining Orders (and the similar HB6848). This CAGV-supported domestic violence bill that would have impeded the rights of gun owners who were simply accused of domestic discord. While that bill was proposed by Governor Malloy, had the support of many violence prevention organizations and seemed destined to pass in Democrat-controlled Hartford, the bill failed to come to a vote.

While it is possible the politics of the bill became untenable, it was also likely that opponents made a strong case that all the “protections” sought in the bill were already available through existing legislation. Hmmmm.

As Exhibit 2, I bring you news that CAGV has just announced the cancellation of the organization’s third annual conference on gun control dubbed Meet the Leaders. Here is CAGV’s explanation on Facebook:

“We regret to inform you that we have cancelled the CAGV Conference that was scheduled for October 3rd at Yale University. Unfortunately there are circumstances beyond our control that made this difficult decision necessary. By registering for our conference you demonstrated just how committed you are to the cause of gun violence prevention. For that we are extremely grateful. The reason we have accomplished so much over the past few years is because you and others like you have committed time, energy and financial support to the cause we all care so deeply about. (The cost of your ticket(s) will be refunded to the form of payment used).”

Circumstances beyond their control? Hmmm. For those of you out there who might say “big deal”, you have to understand that this conference had national scope and would have likely drawn national, if not international, notice. Why?

The most recent invitation, sent with the signature of Mary Himes, CAGV Board member and wife of Congressman Jim Himes of Connecticut, described the event as CAGV’s “opportunity to introduce leaders of all of the major national gun violence prevention groups as speakers”. Himes’ email continued,

“This will be the first time to our knowledge that all of the leaders have appeared together in any one state.”

And who might those leaders be? How’s this for a who’s who of the gun grabber cabal:

Peter Ambler – Americans for Responsible Solutions
Dante Barry – Million Hoodies Movement for Justice
Ladd Everitt – Coalition to Stop Gun Violence
Colin Goddard – Everytown for Gun Safety
Nicole Hockley – Sandy Hook Promise
Brian Malte – The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence
Po Murray – Newtown Action Alliance
Josh Sugarmann – Violence Policy Center
Robyn Thomas – Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence
Julia Wyman – States United to Prevent Gun Violence

Why should you care if you don’t live in Connecticut? Because in the opinion of many, this wasn’t just about Connecticut. That is, given the Dems’ triple majority in Connecticut and the Governor’s anti-gun mindset, the state is seen by many as the petri dish for the experimental plans of the rights restriction cabal. As CAGV noted on their web site Meet the Leaders page (before they took it down):

“Remember our pledge: Change the Conversation, Change the Culture, Change the Laws! We are still committed to this goal. Not only in CT, but in the nation.”

So, with so many of the leaders of the civilian disarmament movement invited to be in one place at one time, what could have happened, “outside of CAGV’s control” to cancel the event? If any one of these speakers, even two, had cancelled, the event could still go on. If they lost the Yale University venue, they could likely have found another with a week’s notice. But an outright cancellation? Why?

My guess: registration was so poor at $75 per head that it would have been an embarrassment to hold the event in a barely filled auditorium. What if CAGV had actually brought together the “leaders of all of the major national gun violence prevention groups”, invited the local/national media and no one cared to show up? What would that say to the world?

I will leave it to you to assess what you think is happening in Connecticut, but this seems to me to be something worth noting. Is this another manifestation of the public’s lack of genuine support for gun rights’ restrictions when there are no fresh bloody shirts being waved.

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  1. It was an honest mistake. They were not supposed to charge $75.00 per head, they were supposed to pay $75.00 to anyone who showed up.

  2. I’m thinking a bit more nuts-and-bolts than appearances: too few signed up to cover the “expenses”, which no doubt would include hefty dollops for the gun-grabbing luminaries invited to share their , ahhh, brilliance. And they couldn’t induce Bloomie to foot the bill without getting top billing for himself. Generally, the grabbers don’t get big crowds for their events anyway, they rely on the assistance of the “news outlets” to cover for them on that score. But whatever the reason, the “circumstances beyond our control” is weasel-word BS for the fact that their big show was a bust before it even got started.

  3. It was the hideous orange flier.

    No, wait….

    It was the content of the hideous orange flier.

    Ah, that’s got it right.

  4. Can you imagine if the media and the democrats didn’t carry their water? They would be right up there with the flat earth society and the order of redmen.

  5. The battle to protect the RKBA will be won by sapping the resources the public is willing to direct to this one cause as compared to lots of other competitive Progressive causes. A soft underbelly of the Anti-movement.

    The Progressives ambitions are limitless, by definition. So many causes; so little time and money. Unlimited money from tap-roots like Bloomberg and Joyce foundation can’t translate into votes alone. Money has to create an illusion of popular support. Sometimes, money can create that illusion; often, it simply produces the opposite. A carefully framed photo of a couple-dozen Moms. A half-filled auditorium.

    Most ancient battles turned course when the spear-carriers panicked, turned-tail and ran. Likewise, popular movements turn course when too few advocates show-up.

    A major thrust of our efforts must be to communicate the futility of gun-control. The Antis are undermining their own case when they carp against the all-powerful NRA that CONTROLS the debate about gun-control. Damned RIGHT! we must say. The NRA has the seat at the head of the table because they represent their 5 million members.

    (Bear in mind that it matters NOT AT ALL how many of us believe the NRA is selling-out gun-rights when representing us at the table. This logic merely requires that the hoplophobes be convinced to FEAR the UNRELENTING POWER of the ominous NRA. Why fight such a “monster”; better expend one’s efforts on other matters.)

    Let’s get those CWP numbers growing. Remind the hoplophobes that 45% of households keep guns. Today 5% of adults have carry permits; in a couple of years it will be 10%; then 15%; then 20%. Never get into a pissing match with a man who buys his ink by the barrel. 1st corollary: Never get into a missing match with a voter who CARRIES his barrel concealed.

    Sure, lots of those 45% of households are headed by Fudds. Lots of those people who get their carry permits don’t carry. These perceptions are not well understood by the hoplophobes; they are not measurable. Their perceptions of the facts apparent to them will influence their choices of where to expend their energy.

    • Agreed. Perception is everything. I happen to believe we have some truth and facts on our side, lucky me..

      It’s not your strength, it’s the strength your enemy thinks you have. If the NRA is ‘controlling the conversation’ fine. Is it true? Does it matter if people think it’s true?

    • “…Damned RIGHT! we must say. The NRA has the seat at the head of the table because they represent their 5 million members.”

      And about 90 Million other gun owners who are pro-2A but not NRA members.

      I was once chatted up for hours in a college library by a couple of hardcore gun lovers. After talking about our dream guns, and new actions that had just hit the market, I asked them if they were NRA members. Their response was basically “what reason do I have to join the NRA?”. I gave them several recent examples of court cases where the NRA directly protected or expanded their rights, but they just shrugged.

      Just because someone is Pro-2A, doesn’t mean they are politically active gun owner. The vast majority of them just want to be left alone, and aren’t hanging on every press release. Becoming an NRA member just isn’t much of a priority to them, because they don’t really believe they can lose their rights. They don’t know the enemy.

      • Lucky duck…

        I’ll just have to settle for drooling over her Facebook page while I reload some .458 Socom.

    • Scorpion, actually, in the first email CAGV sent out to their minions, Watts was listed as a speaker. She was replaced by the dude in the second email invitation. That was a number of weeks ago so it was likely a real scheduling issue, rather than a reaction to limited interest.

  6. Am I the only one who thinks their “all the leaders of all the groups” brag sounds like some supervillain’s schtick?

    I can totally see Casanova Frankenstein puzzling out a seating chart for his big villains’ reunion dinner. “Let’s see, where to put the CAGV…? Not next to the Disco Boys, they use guns. The Suits…too corporate. The Not-So-Goodie Mob, the Susies…dang it, guns again. Aha! We’ll put them at the far end of the table next to the Frat Boys; if some lethal hazing breaks out, we won’t lose much.”

  7. Would it would be worth the $75 to show up in an NRA t-shirt and then shit on the floor, right there out in the open? You know, in a protected by the 1st amendment kind of protest, sort of way.

    • I think that this is called unlawful trespass.

      It’s quite a different thing than a government throwing law-abiding citizens in prison for 3 years for exercising – under license from their home State – a Constitutionally-guaranteed right. (This latter is merely tyranny. You know, merely that thing – the security of a free state – for which the right was guaranteed to secure against.)

      But, never mind. In the fullness of time we will see whether it takes blood-in-the-streets to “secure these rights” . . . when it becomes “. . . the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”

      Who knows what might be the metes and bounds of the principles and powers of any such newly instituted Government. Might be something like that formed in the aftermath of the American Revolution, or that of the French.

      • MarkPa,

        He mentioned paying the 75 dollars to attend. Still I think it would be tacky and antis could point to the crazy gun nut and pat themselves on the back for all their good work

    • Bob, as far as I know, there were two or three denizens of CTGunTalk who were planning to attend. The idea was to be low key take copious notes and toss in some tough questions. One theory running around is that CAGV spies on CTGT and got wind of this which, along with low general turnout, could have been a worse disaster.

      • Hmmmm. Sounds like a strategy.

        How about we keep up surveillance for gun-control demonstrations. Then, we show up at their events with signs. We respectfully ask some questions and the news cameras record that our questions are ignored.

        We get our talking points and signage queue’d up and we might make public events pretty difficult to get traction. What if the optics of questioning signs make a mess of the news coverage? E.g., we have a sign that reads “Defend against Rape!” Just why is it that all these angry Moms are trying to attack a husky young male adult (linebacker type) carrying this sign?

        • Don’t you mean a “Pee on yourself to prevent rape”.
          I’d favor a “Save a criminal, put the GUNS in jail.” sign, myself. Or maybe a sign that says “Getting rid of all guns will mean we have no more crime ever again”

  8. This:

    “The Civilian Disarmament Industrial Complex”

    “the civilian disarmament movement”

    Half of making them make their case is shooting up – sorry, I couldn’t help myself – the stealth objectives. Make them stand on the arguments they are willing to admit. So:

    “Oh, OK, you aren’t a civilian disarmament movement. So, what’s your evidence that the stuff you propose is any different from what’s on the books already / will do any good / will do anything but disarm citizens (vs. doing nothing about criminals and crazies?)”

    “Oh, OK, you aren’t a Civilian Disarmament-Industrial Complex. So, if the new laws you propose won’t do any good (in terms of violence reduction you are claiming) why do them? BTW, additional paperwork; additional reviews; additional work for cops: in-home checks, raids, charges, reasons for ‘probable cause’; additional kitchen-sink charges driving accused to plea-bargain; additional revenue from confiscations and fines … sounds like an industry to me.Sounds like a complex that works as a system. Sounds like disarming otherwise lawful citizens makes the fodder for this machinery. Is also sounds like you are more or less ‘beaters’ driving the prey toward the skirmish line of harvesters – so, who are your campaign contributors?”

    I am all for reducing violence inflicted on innocent folks. Let’s do that. Frame your gun legislation in those terms, with numbers, pro and con.

  9. So what was the biggest uncovered expense?
    1: Appearance fees for the anti-leaders
    2: Ample armed security for the event
    3: Massive, empty hall rental

    • Sian, the public becoming aware of the poor turnout along with several POTG in the crowd dominating Q&A.

  10. RE: Dante Barry – Million Hoodies Movement for Justice

    I might own a hooded sweatshirt but there is no way in Hell that I own a “hoodie”.

  11. I tried to sign up for this event last year in an effort to do some opposition research. I was denied. It appeared they googled my name and found it on the form 990 of a pro gun rights group I’m affiliated. Ha.

    It would be great if we co-opted this event and turned into a pro-gun forum.


    p.s. I wonder if Yale would make its facilities available to CT Carry or CCDL

    • Doubtful, I fear. But hey… why not go for it anyway? We never thought we’d get CCW in IL a few years back. If we’re winning this well we might be able to pull it off with the right pressure.

  12. Bottom line? There is a presidential election thingie happening during what would be called a greater depression if the government were honest about the numbers. EVERYBODY has other things to talk about than guns. Even the Republicans can only find time to barely mention being 2nd amendment supporters before yammering on about illegals and tax plans.

    This is just as much our problem as it is theirs. They can’t gain any traction to get their gun grabbing turning into campaign issues, but we can’t get class 2 deregulation made into an issue either. We need to end short barreled long gun registration and completely deregulate silencers, turn them into just another muzzle device that can be ordered by anyone that can click “add to cart.” We need to get 7N6 back. We need to get import restrictions lifted – if it’s legal to buy and to build, why is it ILLEGAL to import? Why is the class 3 registry closed to new entries? Not asking to defund the ATF, or to change the legal status of machine guns in any way, other than to make it legal for a non-prohibited person to go through trouble and expense of dealing with the ATF to buy a new one that’s going to end up a barely used range toy because it’s too damn expensive to shoot.

    None of this is actually radical at all. It’s really very modest in that the federal government remains in charge. The ATf remains untouched or unaltered. And you think ANY of the Republicans will even talk about ANY of it? The same apathy that’s stopping them is stopping US.

  13. By the way it was not at the end $75 per ticket. I noticed this weekend on twitter that they were offering the tickets at $25 or $20 each because of a generous donation they had received to lower the price of the tickets. I assumed at that time no one was paying and that donation was a smoke screen to just lower the price and get more to sign up. I guess it did not work.

  14. What exactly is “Civilian Disarmament Industrial Complex”? Which is to say, what is the industry that supposedly benefits?

    FWIW, in case of military-industrial complex (which is a real thing), it’s the arms industry.

    • One part of the answer is the MSM. Is not the media an industry? Does that industry have an agenda of its own?

      I think that the answer is “Yes” in our society. So far as I’m aware, newspapers have traditionally maintained an Op-Ed page where they espouse the opinions of the publisher and those which the publisher sees fit to give free space. This is – arguably – a dangerous idea: that one man should buy his ink by the barrel whereas Thomas Paine would have to fund the self-publication of his pamphlets.

      In the 18th and 19th century the technology of printing and publishing admitted of few economies of scale. Independent newspaper publishers were legion. Great consolidation of mass-media occurred in the 20th century; and, seems to be reversing with the Internet today. Still, the MSM is an oligopoly; and will remain so for another decade or so.

      • I don’t see how the media industry profits from anti-gun rhetoric, though. Even if I accept your premise that media is anti-gun in general, it is so because it services the interests of people holding that view, not because it is profiting off such propaganda.

        MIC is a coherent whole because it encompasses the government and the corporate side of a lucrative business arrangement where both sides benefit, so both prop each other.

        IMO, “… Industrial Comlex” has become kinda like “…gate” – a rather meaningless attempt to shoehorn a specific term to cover a very broad range of completely unrelated things, to the point where it’s just a way to say “these guys a bad” in a round about way. Please don’t contribute to it. Words have specific meanings, and when they’re washed out, it makes sophistry easier.

        • I acknowledge the validity of your points. Just trying to do my best to contribute to your inquiry.

          So, if a company makes bombs or bombers its easy to see how they profit directly from advocating worth-while wars.

          Main-Street-Media companies don’t make bombs, bombers nor distill alcohol as a gasoline additive. Is this enough to isolate them?

          To some small degree, MSM accepts advertising dollars from government agencies to advance their programs; e.g., encourage qualified persons to apply for food stamps. To what extent do these small influences accumulate? To what degree can it affect whether ABC gets more or less advertising revenue than CBS. Probably minor. Yet, dollars are not the only thing men “invest” in. People are “invested” in ideas – ideology. We now have enough history to realize the extent to which individuals in the MSM were invested in the success of the Soviet Union. We ought to be alert to the possibility that numerous individuals making up the MSM are invested in a common agenda; that being Progressivism and its politicians that promote its agenda.

          Ideology is apt to be as potent – perhaps an even more potent – corrupting influence than profit.

  15. Any politician that has voted for gun control has committed treason and a breach of contract. He/she swore an oath to defend the Constitution. THAT is a verbal contract. By breaking that oath he/she is in breach of contract and can be sued in a tort action. Go for it, someone should get some money out of it and it will hurt him/her and maybe shut him/her up. No double standards put the DC politicians on Obamacare and SS.Thanks for your support and vote.Pass the word.

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