Thursday, April 28, 2005

Can We Move Gun Rights Forward?

I don’t know what’s wrong with me today. Maybe it’s post vacation blues, maybe it’s because I haven’t fired a gun since our shooting clays expedition in Tunica, MS on April 13. Maybe it’s because I’m about to turn 50. I don’t know what's got me down, but today I doubt we can win back our gun rights (click here for a list of rights I want us to win back). Of course, if I could single-handily figure out a way win them back, I’d probably be earning a living working in a gun field—my ideal job by the way (any offers? No! Drat!!!).

Can we win back our gun rights through grass-roots organizations? The NRA's our most powerful pro-gun organization, but its leadership doesn't always fight for increased individual gun rights. While Gun Owners of America and Jews for Preservation of Firearms Organization are uncompromising they have little influence.

Come right down to it, most gun owners are not members of anything unless they’ve joined AARP (just got my membership invitation in the mail yesterday; it’ll be a cold day in hell before I join them or any other group that doesn’t honor my gun rights).

Why would any gunnie refuse to join a pro-gun organization? I understand why certain gunnies believe the NRA is not for them. Fine, but join something to make your voice heard. Look at these numbers, 4 million NRA members, or GOA with about 350,000 members versus 80 to 100 million gun owners. In other words, most gun owners join diddly-squat.

Don’t these gun owners know anti-gunnies want to end their gun rights as they enjoy them today? And don’t call me paranoid. There’s too much evidence pointing to anti-gunnies’ final goals. At best, they would leave us with single-shot rifles, double-barreled shotguns, and carefully designed handguns that make them impractical for any use other than certain “approved” types of target shooting. Of course, they would tell us even these arms must be stored in a police-ran arsenal. They would then have the gall to tell us, “See, we didn’t disarm you, we only wanted common-sense controls.”

What other ways of winning back our rights do we have? Courts are a possibility even though court cases are unpredictable to begin with. But, I really have a bad feeling about courts and Second Amendment rights. Most judges on higher courts (state, appeals, etc.), whether liberal or conservative, aren’t sympathetic to gunnies. It could be they’ve heard too many gun violence cases while presiding in lower courts, they are or have become urbanized and not exposed to positive gun uses, or they simply like their power too much. I believe most would not return a favorable ruling.

Take a look at the recent Supreme Court case, Small v US. Seemingly pro-gun judges like Thomas and Scalia voted against Small who was convicted in a foreign court and claimed he couldn’t own a gun. Liberal judges like Breyer, Souter, and Ginsburg voted that a conviction in a foreign court doesn’t automatically bar one from owning guns. Who could see that one coming?

I’m pessimistic about political solutions. The Republicans are less gun-grabby than Democrats, but not exactly gun-friendly either. Republicans could be an even greater danger since they seem to respect gun rights. They have come up with a formula for potentially banning guns—the Second Amendment is an individual right, but subject to government controls on who can own guns and the government can regulate guns favored by criminals. Sarah Brady eat your heart out.

So we can't really win at the ballot box. There's too many moonbats and not enough ardent gunnies. Even gun owners won't always vote in their best interests.

There’s one saving grace, America’s too divided right now for much of anything good or bad to happen. Look at the last election. Kerry was a terrible candidate and he still got 49% of the vote mainly because urbanites couldn’t stand Bush. Kerry's voters were primarily coastal elites who can foist their beliefs, including gun control, on us simply because there’s so damn many of them.

Although it's tempting, we can’t really kick blue states out of the Union. For one thing, while moonbats are concentrated in the cities many good people live in the rural/exurb parts of the blue states. I wouldn’t want to condemn them to blue-state-hell that people in Boston, New York, and Chicago would create. I’m not listing any California cities, you all live in blue-state-hell now anyway.

So what’s a sad gunnie to do? I'll continue to support gun rights organizations while holding their leaders’ to their promises as much as I can. I'll vote only for politicians who support my gun rights (although I may have to choose the lesser of two evils in close elections). I'll put pressure on my Congress Critters. I won’t follow Bill’s (Yosemite Sam) solution of “just shoot the bastards!” when it comes to moonbats. I don’t think we are there yet.

In the final analysis, I don’t think we'll lose gun rights in the next few years, but I have doubts about reversing current gun control. Oh well, one must take what one can get.

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