Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Leaving Blue States Behind

Bill (Yosemite Sam) and I try to avoid “me too” posts. We write about gun nut things important to us. But, today I have to make a “me too” post based on an issue that is dear to our hearts.

Kim du Toit wrote about moving away from states ran by gun fearing wussies (GFWs). He and his wife liked Chicago but couldn’t stand local and state gun laws and other factors. They looked at several states including Texas, Idaho, New Hampshire, Arizona, and Oklahoma. They decided to settle in Texas.

Bill and I faced a similar decision. We’ve covered our decision in numerous places (not only is it a "me too" post, it's also redundant--oh hush Bill), but let me summarize. We moved to Massachusetts in August 1999 for me to accept a job offer I couldn’t refuse (almost twice my salary). We were living in Texas when they offered me the job. Bill is a born and raised Texan and I’d lived in the Lone Star State for about ten years.

We weren’t totally ignorant of Massachusetts’s gun laws, but were still surprised at their unfairness. We played according to their rules. We got gun licenses and even registered a few guns we owned and wanted to shoot—we left others with parents or in a storage shed out of state. We joined GOAL (Gun Owners Action League) to fight for better firearms law.

We reluctantly came to the conclusion that Massachusetts was lost to gunnies. People’s attitudes convinced us that Massachusetts gun laws were not going to change. For instance, one of my co-workers who supports rights for licensed gunowners said he was very proud of his state when Attorney General Tom Reilly won a court case that allowed him to apply “Consumer Protection” laws to guns. Now even Glocks are too “dangerous” for state residents to own.

Most people in Massachusetts support its gun laws. Many feel these laws aren’t strong enough. Few people want to make it easier to own guns. GOAL does much good work. Still, one of its legislative victories was helping to pass a bill to make gun licenses smaller in order to fit wallets. There’s no chance of passing a law that would actually eradicate licensing and registration. Massachusetts’s citizens wouldn’t stand for it.

We considered staying and fighting but realized it’s an exercise in futility. Bill and I moved to New Hampshire. I traded a two-mile commute for a 38-mile one way trek (Bill's drive is even longer). I get tired of driving to and from work, but I wouldn’t trade my gun rights for a shorter drive. And to be fair, we’ve actually made other gains such as being able to afford a house.

There’s a certain nobility to fighting a loosing battle (hum the “Impossible Dream” while reading), but the key word is loosing. We decided that it’s nobler to reinforce pro-gun beliefs in a state being overrun by Massholes (defined as Massachusetts residents who flee high housing costs and creeping socialism and then do everything they can to import to New Hampshire those conditions that caused them). Bruce, JayG, and frequent commenter Seth are fighting that good fight in Massachusetts. Still, I invite them to move here to help us fight a battle we can win.

I also read comments on Kim’s post (32 as of this writing) and Kim replied to them at 7:54am. He said exactly what Bill and I felt when we moved here. More eloquently than I, he answered the points of those who defended staying in anti-gun states. He said, “…the best way to battle the overall disease is not to stay and fight a hopeless cause. You need to move to a place where the disease is spreading, and fight it there.” Amen brother.

Here’s one final point. Bill and I recently vacationed in Texas. We drove from New Hampshire to Virginia, to Mississippi, then to Texas. We came back via Oklahoma, Missouri, Kentucky, and Pennsylvania. We covered a wide swath of this great nation. We spent most of our time in red states. When we hit the New York border, I looked over at Bill and told him, “It doesn’t even look like America here.” I don’t know why I said that, but there was a difference. New Hampshire feels like America even though it seems like an American fort surrounded by blue savages. For those who want to, come up here and help us defend it.

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