Based on the conversation happening in a thread on my Facebook page today, I feel it’s important to pause here and explain a few things.
Regular, everyday, apolitical people do not give a crap about your Second Amendment rights.
Unless they grew up hunting or around cops or military, they don’t even think about it until something or someone MAKES them think about it.
The political question I’m always confronted with is how to get more people to agree with me and vote with me, so that I can hold on to or expand my rights and liberties as much as possible. That means I’m always looking for the angles that appeal to a much broader audience than just the right. And that means I’m focused not merely on articulating my rights and liberties, but on the best possible way to sell them to many others so that I can keep them.
It’s all in the math. I may be 100% right, but if I can’t convince more people of that, if I can’t persuade them that my cause is just, reasonable, logical, then I’m still going to be right; but I’m also going to be in the minority. And I’ll lose everything I fought for.
The left understands this. They have some far-out ideas that they introduce – and slowly, over time, they change the language, the perceptions, the entire conversation. The radical eventually becomes the commonplace. You’ve seen this, you know what I’m talking about.
They haven’t made much progress on the Second Amendment front, though. Gun issues break more and more in favor of the Second Amendment every year. People generally understand self-defense. People generally support responsible gun ownership.
And notice that the legislation being debated in Texas this session was over allowing Open Carry, not over banning certain weapons or ammunition or things like that.
This is driving the gun-banners crazy, seriously mad. And they are trying to do anything they can to make gun owners appear crazy, to make open carry advocates look like lunatics. Hence, images like the one I shared earlier – guys with lots of guns in a restaurant, and text encouraging folks who encounter people carrying openly in restaurants to walk the check, with language like: ‘You have the right to avoid potential threats to your life!’
Their goal is to make gun advocates look crazy.
My goal is to thwart them.
I do that by focusing on learning what the people in the middle, those apolitical people, are hearing from us, and what they respond to, and then equipping our allies to reach them. That’s why I share what I share on social media (with my own commentaries often added), and why I write what I write at Free Radical Network, and why I take part in The Refinery Show each week, and why I help clip out bite-sized portions of the show each day to give folks on our side important things to consider.
So whether you support the right to open carry (I do) or whether you think it’s ill-advised to do so (I often do) is a matter of internal debate that NOBODY IN THE MIDDLE GIVES A CRAP ABOUT.
Second Amendment advocates spend a LOT of time arguing these issues with each other. In the meantime, the left continues its drumbeat, one meme at a time, one press conference at a time, one horror story at a time. They ARE reaching the middle. They ARE penetrating the bubbles that apolitical people reside in. And those people, if they are convinced by the left’s arguments, will ban your guns in a heartbeat if they are convinced they’re doing the right thing. And no amount of you being ‘right’ or having your ‘rights’ violated will change the fact that they will pass laws that you’ll have to break, and send you before judges that will sentence you for doing so. By then, it will be far too late.
And this goes not just for gun issues, but for nearly every issue that the rightward end of the spectrum cares about. We enjoy debating, purifying, classifying, segregating with each other to the point where it’s nearly a sport with us. But while we do that, while we argue and call names and ruin potential alliances, the left marches on. While we focus on minutiae, they have the Long Game in mind.
So my hope is that the folks who love liberty will review their priorities, and concentrate less on defining liberty and debating it and parsing it and diagramming it, and more on selling it to people who really need it.
Who, by the way, happen to be people we really need in order to get it and keep it.