Wednesday, January 16, 2013

The Ground War

The fight to preserve our gun rights in the face of the attacks that have been launched by the Obama Administration will come down to who has the better ground war - us or them.

On Monday, Vice-President Joe Biden met with a group of House Democrats regarding the proposals that would be put forth to advance gun control. In addition to laying out the proposals he was going to present to President Obama, he discussed the campaign to get them enacted by Congress.

But Biden did indicate that the remains of the Obama campaign apparatus may be activated in the effort.

“He said that this has been a real focus on the policy and that the politics of this issue, that a strategy on the politics of the issue hasn’t been undertaken yet,” Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) told POLITICO. “He did remind us that the campaign infrastructure is still accessible.”
Not only is that campaign infrastructure still in place but Obama for America is still actively raising money even though Barack Obama is Constitutionally limited to two terms.

In an article in The Atlantic today, Ron Fournier discussed how Obama and his advisers plan to use his personal political organization, Obama for America, to fight for everything from gun control to higher taxes.

Former White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs, a confidant of the president, signaled the high-testosterone approach shortly before Obama's announcement on guns, telling MSNBC, "The president has the most exciting campaign apparatus ever built. It's time to turn that loose."

He speculated that the National Rifle Association is lobbying lawmakers with the names and numbers of new NRA members in each congressional district, gun-rights supporters galvanized by the Newtown elementary school massacre. "If the NRA has a list," Gibbs said, "then Obama for America has a bigger list."

OFA is the president's personal political operation, affiliated with the Democratic National Committee. One of the great failings of Obama's first term was his inability to mobilize his election coalition to advance his policy goals from the White House.

He's going to try again.
Gibbs is probably right that Obama for America has a bigger list than all the gun rights organizations put together.

However, the people who have supported Obama in the past have a multitude of interests and causes ranging from economic issues to gay rights and everything in between. By contrast, gun rights supporters regardless of whether they belong to the NRA, GOA, CCRKBA, SAF, or any of a number of state-level organizations are focused on one thing - gun rights.

The Pew Research Center for People and the Press released the results of their most recent poll concerning gun control on Monday. According to this poll, a majority of Americans favor more background checks and a new assault weapon ban. A near majority favor restrictions on magazines. In and of itself, this is not good news. Overall, a bare majority (51% vs. 45%)  think it is more important to control guns compared to preserving gun rights.

Fortunately, the Pew Research Center did not limit their research to just who favored what ban and in what numbers. They also studied how committed and how active supporters on each side of the gun control debate were. The results were interesting.

There is a wide gap between those who prioritize gun rights and gun control when it comes to political involvement. Nearly a quarter (23%) of those who say gun rights should be the priority have contributed money to an organization that takes a position on gun policy, compared with just 5% of those who prioritize gun control. People who favor gun rights are also about twice as likely as gun control supporters to have contacted a public official about gun policy (15% vs. 8%).
While the numbers expressing an opinion on social media or signing a petition are roughly equal with a slight edge to those favoring gun rights, petitions and posts on Facebook don't get the attention of those in Congress nearly as much as money and calls from constituents.

Make no mistake that we are in a war but it is a ground war that we can win. Those on the side of the Second Amendment put our money where our mouth is and back it up with calls and letters to politicians.

If you haven't called your Congressman or Senators yet, do it tomorrow. If you don't like talking on the phone, send them a fax. Indeed fax it to both their local offices and their Washington office. If you don't have time to do either of those two, at least go to the Ruger website and use their tool to make your views known. Since it went live on Saturday, almost 450,000 people have taken advantage of that tool which sends a simple letter to your congressman, both senators, governor, lt. governor, and state representatives.

And continue contacting them each and every week for the next few months!


  1. Here's a draft that y'all can use, that addresses the real issue that has yet to be introduced into the "debate":

    Dear [Whomever]:

    The purpose of this letter is to urge you to oppose any efforts by anti-rights factions in the legislature to introduce bans on any class of legal firearms, or any of their component parts. Such action would be an impermissible intrusion on our right to arms pursuant to the Second Amendment to the Constitution and longstanding Supreme Court jurisprudence.

    The purpose for guaranteeing the right as stated in the Second Amendment is to put the people in parity with government troops, if called upon by their states to muster with their own arms suitable for military use, to defend against central usurpation of authority executed by force of arms.

    This is not a radical philosophy, it is not an antiquated notion, it is not imaginary; it is a First Principle of this union. It is THE First Principle of this union.

    Arguments abound about “living constitution” this and “obsolete” that, but if you pull the keystone of our liberty from the structure the structure will fall, and we are not willing to allow that. Times change, but principles don’t.

    To validate my assertion, I direct you to U.S. v. Miller (1939), D.C. v. Heller (2008) and McDonald et al v. City of Chicago (2010).
    U.S. v. Miller established a two-pronged test to define what small arms enjoy constitutional protection. In ruling that since no evidence had been presented to the Court to prove that the sawed-off shotgun in question was an arm “in common use” that bore “some reasonable relationship to the preservation or efficiency of a well-regulated militia”, or was “part of the ordinary military equipment”, the Court could not say that keeping and bearing it was protected by the Second Amendment. In doing so, the Court set in precedent the test that now determines what arms are protected. Fully automatic small arms fail to meet the first prong of that test, but semiautomatic small arms meet both, as do their component parts. There is no dancing around this.

    D.C. v. Heller held that the people have an enumerated right to keep and bear arms unconnected to service in a militia, and to use those arms for lawful purposes such as self-defense within the home (emphasis mine; lawful uses are not confined to the home). Heller cited Miller as the test of what arms are protected, and said further that "[T]he Second Amendment extends, prima facie, to all instruments that constitute bearable arms[.]" - DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA v. HELLER (No. 07-290) 478 F. 3d 370, affirmed.

    McDonald v. Chicago extended that holding to bind the states.

    The duty to comply with constitutional constraints is not limited to the judicial or executive branches; it applies to yours as well. You took an oath to preserve and defend them.

    I call on you to honor that oath and stop this gun ban nonsense before it causes real trouble.

    Thank you for your attention.



  2. My reps are Feinstein, Boxer, and Steinberg. Spitting into the wind would be more effective. Can't vote with my feet yet.