Wednesday, October 17, 2012

A Suggestion

So Obama gives his endorsement - sorta, kinda, maybe - to the call for a new "assault weapons ban". As part of a "comprehensive strategy", he'd like to see "if we can get an assault weapons ban reintroduced." While it isn't a ringing endorsement, the media is playing it that way as are the gun prohibitionists like the Brady Campaign.  So too, in all honesty, is the NRA.

Given that, I expect the sales of ARs and AKs to accelerate along with standard capacity magazines.

Here is a suggestion. Rather than running out and buying your third, fourth, or fifth AR-15 and your second or third AK-47/AK-74, why not take some of that money and make a campaign contribution or series of contributions to pro-gun rights candidates. It has the advantage of helping to elect enough pro-rights candidates which, in turn, will prevent any new AWB from even getting out of committee. Moreover, instead of having to pay some ridiculously inflated price for that next AR or AK, the market rates will remain stable or even go lower.

The NRA-PVF list of endorsements and grades are here and the GOA's list is here. Many state level organizations such as Grass Roots North Carolina and the Illinois State Rifle Association have their grades and endorsements as well.

The price of a box or two of decent ammo sent to the right candidate in a close race helps a lot. Be selective and be strategic. Go for the close races because it will have a stronger impact. Remember also that you aren't limited to giving money to a local candidate. So far this year I've given small donations to candidates in Arizona, Michigan, Indiana, Missouri, and Ohio plus Sen. Jim DeMint's Senate Conservatives Fund.

If you are bound and determined to get another AR, just buy a stripped receiver for a hundred bucks or less. It is the part that has the serial number and thus is the "firearm". You can always pick up the rest of the lower parts and a completed upper at a later date.


  1. Because when I buy an AR I have an AR.

    When I throw money at a politician I am out the money and never get anything to show for it.

    Brady is still law, no?



    Any of them even make the slightest attempt to overturn either Bush's executive order on import bans?

    Yeah, spending money on candidates sure paid off.

  2. Dude, if you were venting please ignore this. Otherwise; Angus, one word: Assault Weapon Ban.

    You wouldn't have had a sunset in that law without hard negotiation by several pro gun orgs. You've heard of the Heller Decision? The SAF suit that hit the gun ban Washington DC had been oh so proud of for so many years? That would never have happened with a Supreme Court... well with the Supreme court it looks like we may have after Obama is re elected. Maybe you just needed to vent up there, but the idea that effort in the political system is a waste is a dishonor to the people who gave their lives for you to -be- -able- to involve yourself in a political system.

    Regardless of what anecdotes we toss back and forth. Like Pericles said “Just because you do not take an interest in politics doesn't mean politics won't take an interest in you”.
    And of course, the article isn't saying you shouldn't "have an AR", at all.

    For folks who have an AR (or two, like the article says) help out some, you are helping yourself. And if you don't have money but have a little time then - The effects of Heller are one Judge from being overturned. Boyd Kneeland

    1. The NRA has helped to put many of the current gun laws in place. Putting time and money into the NRA is helping those that wish to destroy liberty!

    2. I wasn't venting. I'm serious. I donated big in '94, '96 and '98. Brady is still law. 922(r) is still law. 922(o) is still law. The only reason AWB is not still law is because it had a sunset. And it did sunset rather than being repealed. What did my money get me?

      The push for money is always about preventing further erosion of our rights and NEVER about reclaiming lost ground.

      We had to wait for Heller to get any movement and that was entirely too ambiguous to rest much weight on. Why is the supreme court doing this when it should be much simpler for our supposedly much more responsive congressmen can just repeal? Instead we have to wait decades while court fights that we're paying for trickle slowly through the court system to give partial answers to clear issues.

      But they don't repeal and they stab us in the back the moment they are in office and I do remember that. We seem to forget it as a group every couple of years when it's time to defeat the much worse candidate. Again. Every. Single. Election.

      I know he's not saying I shouldn't have an AR at all, but I am sick of spending money with zero hope of seeing a return on the investment. I am sick of the defensive when we should be on the offensive.

    3. Echoing theaton, every piece of Federal gun control legislation prior to the AW ban passed with the NRA's approval, of course of a "compromise" where we didn't lose as much as was original proposed (e.g. handguns in the NFA of '34).

      As for the judicial route, it remains to be seen if it's going to have any substantive effect on the ground outside of the two notorious complete ban cities (D.C. and Chicago and a few suburbs). As I like to point out, our current progress in the Federal courts sure look more like Missouri ex rel. Gaines v. Canada in 1938 than Brown vs. Board of Education in 1954, and by now I would hope we've learned that Republican appointments to the Supreme Courts are entirely iffy.

  3. When your willing to advocate for the destruction of the two party system then I will consider donating to a candidate. I will not give my money to anybody who runs and an R or D. We've allowed the Rs and Ds to rig the system that no other type of candidate has a chance. Until we open the system to all parties that wish to be represented, I will continue to use my money on gold, silver, guns and ammo. As it is, I see no peaceful return to the Republic. If you think Romney will shrink the size of government, you are mistaken. If you think Romney and a Republican controlled congress will change the tax system then you are mistaken. If you think Romney will appoint conservative justices to the courts, just look at who he appointed in Mass. We basically have a BigGovernment party with a left and right wing from which we are forced to choose. When you are willing to vote for the lesser evil because you are afraid of the greater evil you must be willing to admit to yourself that you are willing to vote for evil.

    1. well, theaton, if you want to dismantle the two-party system, you'll have to re-write all of the parts of the ZConstitution regarding election of the President.

      Because the Founders set things up that way precisely to avoid the uncertainty and frequent minority/plurality coalition governments that occur with the other system (basically variations on the Westminster/"parlimentary" system).

  4. It is obvious that some of those commenting don't think much of this suggestion. So be it. To each his own.

    To those objecting to giving money to partisan candidates, remember that many city councils and town boards of aldermen are non-partisan. If you don't think that they can't impact your gun rights, think again. Here in NC where most councils are non-partisan, having pro-gun council members and aldermen makes the difference in how they treat park carry. Are they going to try to skirt the spirit of the law and be hyper-restrictive or are they going to say nothing is off-limits to concealed carry?

    Finally, if you don't want to give money, that's fine. Groups like Grass Roots North Carolina and whatever your state/local gun rights organization still needs people to hand out literature at the polls or help with mailings. I just put labeled and stamped 937 postcards in the mail for a good pro-gun candidate who lives 300 miles away as part of GRNC's Remember in November efforts. I watched the Cards vs. the Giants play baseball and put labels on. How hard was that?

    1. I think that was Angus' point. You get much more bang for your buck supporting state level groups that have shown results than in supporting national level groups that are satisfied to tread water or politicians that you can only trust as far as you can see them.

      Many of those grass roots state level groups have had great success actually going on the offense and getting bad gun laws repealed. Look at Virginia and what the VCDL has accomplished there. One gun a month - repealed; Restaurant gun Ban - repealed; bans on park carry - repealed; etc etc etc.

      How many national laws have the NRA gotten repealed in the past, say, forever? (and don't cite the AWB, as Angus pointed out, it wasn't repealed, it expired...allowing something to expire is not at all the same thing as going on record voting for a repeal).

      In fact, many of the wins the VCDL and other organizations in Virginia achieved were in spite of the NRA backing alternative, weaker bills...or opposing the change outright for political purposes.

      Of course, after the bills were passed, the NRA claimed credit, even on the ones they opposed...go figure.

      The point is: put your money where it actually has some chance of doing some good. Until the politicians and NRA start showing us some results, there is no reason to keep pumping money into them.

      We are winning this war. The anti's are on the run and the majority of the citizenry is on our side. Lets act like it and start getting some of these egregious, arbitrary, convoluted laws repealed while we have the chance.

      Until the politicians and NRA are willing to do that, my money goes elsewhere.

      BTW: Full disclosure, I'm an NRA life member and instructor. The NRA does a lot of good things in the realm of gun safety and education and in the past 20 years or so they've been good at defense in staving off further infringements, but they need to get off defense, go on the offense and start taking back some ground.

    2. @Sailorcurt and others: I think I've given a misimpression in my original post that I was saying to give money to the NRA-PVF or that you had to follow their endorsements. I say use their endorsements along with that of GOA and other groups to get an idea about a candidate. Use that as a start and then do your own research.

      I don't give money to the NRA-PVF because I disagree with their philosophy of incumbent protection aka endorsement. I give money to individual candidates directly.

      The thrust of the argument that I was trying to make is to spend some money on those candidates where your money can make a difference and who can make a difference for gun rights if they are elected. Sometimes that is at the national level, sometimes at the local level, and sometimes in between at the state level.

      I've heard Paul Valone of GRNC say more than once that they are really looking for candidates who will not only support gun rights but who will become gun rights advocates. Those are much harder to find and when GRNC does find them they put a lot of effort into supporting them.

    3. In all fairness, the NRA has one huge rollback accomplishment, the FOPA of '86, which I'm told helped to prevent the BATF from extinguishing the nation's gun culture, a proposition I find believable given how bad they were before then.

      And, yes, I know that bill had the Hughes Amendment poison pill outlawing sales of machine guns made after its passage, a terrible precedent that lead straight to the AW ban (and our all but unbelievable success today, but no one thought that back then); the argument was that if it wasn't accepted for the passage of the entire bill, we'd have no or a small enough gun culture today that we'd probably be losing; I don't know where I come down on that question, I just acknowledge it's a debatable point.

      And we have a few smaller ones as of late: the Katrina bill that even Senator Obama voted for (and that has teeth with a private right of action), CCW in National Parks, carriage of guns by Amtrack, there's some more including relaxation of import bans of military surplus guns.

      One way of looking at it is that we're working to dismantle well more than a century of gun control (pre-Civil War, even, the earliest efforts were to suppress dueling); progress is going to be measured in decades. That said, the Republican party is happy to take our money and votes but has no interest at the leadership level of doing anything in return, and that's not going to change for the foreseeable future.