With the re-election of Sherriff David Clarke, we can see the beginning of public backlash against the push for senseless anti-gun laws. Gun Control Advocacy has been toxic in a number of races, and most recently we can see it playing out the Colorado Governors race. Incumbent Democrat John Hickenloper is virtually tied with newcomer Republican Bob Beauprez. This doesn’t happen in Colorado where incumbents tend to retire from the office rather then be voted out and democrats traditionally hold the governor’s office considerably more then republicans. The number one issue that swing voters cited in a recent poll – Passage of Colorado’s gun restrictions.
In fact, reaction to the gun control advocacy of two Colorado state senators (John Morse and Angela Giron) resulted in their recall and both were cast out. Here was Bloomberg’s response just last month to a question about the recall:
“The NRA went after two or three state Senators in a part of Colorado where I don’t think there’s roads. It’s as far rural as you can get. And, yes, they lost recall elections. I’m sorry for that. We tried to help ‘em. But the bottom line is, the law is on the books, and being enforced. You can get depressed about the progress, but on the other hand, you’re saving a lot of lives”.
We’ll ignore his delusions of life saving for the moment and just focus on the tactical errors he made. In reality the recalled state senators were from Colorado Springs, the second largest city in the state which hosts the Air Force Academy and the U. S. Olympic Training Center, and Pueblo, the 7th Largest city in the state. I’ve actually driven through Pueblo in 1995 and shockingly was able to stay on concrete and asphalt the entire time… I also spent few days in Colorado Springs a few years back. Believe it or not, they not only have roads, theaters & restaurants, they have clean running water and them fancy new flush toilets all over the place! My guess is regardless of which side of the political fence residents are one, they probably don’t appreciate his comments.
Bloomberg’s mistaken or more likely intentionally false comments are not surprising as he has never been one to let the facts stand in the way of pushing his agenda. The best part of this continued mantra of ignorant BS is that Bloomberg and his money are becoming toxic in some pretty contested states. Even better is that he and his organizations continue to double down on their largely failing attempts. While that is good news, relying on the opposition to screw it up is not necessarily a solid strategy for success.
The NRA has been mostly silent on a number of issues that they have intelligently chosen to support. They are not shouting their successes from the rooftops, nor rubbing it in the face of those who opposed it. Politics and guns are intertwined, and so far this election cycle the NRA has done a great job of staying in the lane of gun rights, and out of the lane of “extremist organization”. I doubt the NRA will suddenly become the organization of choice for democrats after spending all of 2011 & 2012 bashing left leaning ideology as freedom hating control freaks, but they are making progress with what is a simple message. The truth.
The key point here is that the numbers speak for themselves. Despite the emotional tone of the arguments, there are hard facts we can point to. People who fear guns are not attempting to take our freedom, more likely they are simply afraid of something they do not understand. Calling them socialist or fascists or comparing them to Adolf Hitler, does not invent a single person want to actually do the research to find the truth. According to Bloomberg and the like, gun owners are a bunch of intolerant backwoods extremists, clinging to our bibles and our guns. My experience with gun owners is actually quite different.
As foreign as it may be to most of you reading this article, there are many, many people who are undecided on the issue. We see them every week in our entry-level courses. They are turning out in droves to learn something about the issues, and to consider a firearm as tool they may want as an option in taking responsibility for their own safety and security. Those are the people we have to influence.
The fight over gun rights will be won or lost by which side can attract the most moderates. Currently, moderates are rejecting the Bloomberg funded nonsense. That is quite likely to continue, if we give them access to the truth without blending it with a message that is incompatible with their core beliefs. The battle ground states are not Kansas, or Arizona, or Texas. The guns rights battle is being fought in New York, California, Illinois, and Massachusetts. It is being fought in places where a conservative majority does not exist and in places where conservative rhetoric is largely rejected. That is where their anti-gun experiments are victimizing citizens.
I find it amusing that Canadian Libertarian Candidate Tim Moen was the first person I heard articulate what was at the time the polar opposite position to the NRA’s approach to gun rights in 2011 and 2012. He said “I want every married gay couple to be able to defend their pot farms with an assault rifle”. I am not advocating that become the mantra of gun rights in this country. What I am recommending is that we stick to the truth about gun ownership and not lose that message in our personal choice of religion, lifestyle or recreational activities.
The fact is that gun ownership is associated with less crime, less victims of violent crime, and more law-abiding citizens. We have an opportunity in this election cycle to put people in offices who can repeal these unconstitutional state restrictions on American gun ownership. If we simply stick to the core message and the facts, we’ll be more successful. My recommendation this election cycle is that we don’t over reach. People are tired of the unfounded BS that Bloomberg and his lobbies are spewing. We can’t fall into the same trap. And that’s the best part of being right, we don’t have to make stuff up…
Have a great week!
~ Patrick Henry
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