There is a stir among gun rights advocates - or at least, presumed gun rights advocates. On the one hand, there are the open carriers and opponents of I-594 and their advocates in the state of Washington (and other places like Texas and New York where even Sheriffs are recommending that your thrown your SAFE act pistol permit recertification invitation in the garbage), and on the other hand are Alan Gottlieb, Dave Workman, Bob Owens (who seems like a late comer to the pragmatic approach), and [read more]
In my “Albany Insider” column today, I wrote how Tom King, the head of the state Rifle & Pistol Association, was critical of the increasingly angry and inflammatory rhetoric at pro-gun rallies. King said he fears that the ugliness that has popped up at the rallies is actually hurting the pro-gun cause. He also said it’s time to stop the rallies, arguing that they won’t result in a repeal of the SAFE Act. He wants to instead focus on trying to get the law struck down in the court …
I won’t post his silly letter, but I thought it would be appropriate to highlight this paragraph.
Fellow gun owners I submit this to you for your consideration. We will never convert the 22% rabid anti-gunners, we don’t have to convert the 32% avid pro gunners but we must convert a sizable portion of the 46% of those somewhere in between if we want to retain our 2nd Amendment Rights long term. These are the soccer moms, the guys who say I’ve never shot a gun but would like to try it and the people worried about their safety. How do we do that? Not by standing on stage screaming obscenities at Cuomo and certainly at large rallies where people stand on stage, pound their chest and tell the attendees to prepare for war. That frightens the very people we want to attract to our side, the people who will insure (sic) 2nd Amendment Rights for our grandchildren.
As a sidebar comment, the people he wants to attract will not insure (sic) 2nd amendment rights for our grandchildren. But second, this letter is as emblematic of everything that’s wrong with the NRA as I’ve ever seen. It’s the perfect example of how not to think about our rights.
The strategy he advocates is why we’re where we are, among other reasons like loss of our national moral conscience. He wants first to turn to the black robes, and failing that (as it certainly will fail and has already failed), he wants to turn to popular opinion.
Like so many other NRA board members, he wants to be oh-so-respectable and loved by the people. Don’t appear extreme and scary, says he. Never mind the warnings that should be issued to the collectivists should they continue with their pursuit of confiscation and onerous laws and harassment. Never mind that they could be declaring war as an unintended consequence of their lust for power. Don’t be scary to the people we want to persuade.
I rarely cite polls or popular opinion because while they may matter to the exigencies of my life, they don’t matter to my rights. I have weapons because God gives me the right to own weapons, not the second amendment. The opinions of the people are as subject to the vicissitudes of ideology as the times in which they live, and the mind of man cannot be entrusted with the rights of mankind. If Mr. King is placing his trust in the people, he is building his house on sand.
My rights are what they are by divine pronouncement. It is righteous to own guns because it reflects the character of the Almighty. Without this I’m no different than the statist thugs and collectivists who want to disarm me, except we happen to be on different sides of an issue. It means everything … everything … to be right and righteous.
Until the NRA board of directors is as convinced of the foundations of their rights as I am, they will be a weak and neutered organization, fit for nothing much except a good magazine once a month.
UPDATE. David Codrea links some history on this. Jacob is a real piece of work. Come on into my house, Jacob, and let’s throw down. I’ll call you out for being the sorry, pathetic, collectivist piss ant you are. Or did I already just do that?