Winning battles but losing the war

I recently spent 10 hours in the car driving which gave me some time to reflect on how the battle for our 2nd Amendment rights has played out over the last few decades.

It was around 1986 that I started to think about our 2nd Amendment rights and how important it would be for me to become active in fighting to maintain them. I was a Junior in high school at the time and Ronald Reagan had recently signed the Hughes Amendment into law thereby banning the manufacture of new machine guns for civilian sales. It was this breech of faith by a President whom I had admired up until that point that opened my eyes to the fact we couldn’t trust politicians, no matter how “conservative” they professed to be, with our Constitutional rights.

Before the Hughes Amendment became law, the late 1980′s were an outstanding time to be an American gun owner. Imports of firearms were plentiful and affordable and ammunition was abundant and cheap. Even as a high school kid with a part-time job at Burger King I could afford an AR15 and ammo to shoot it most every weekend. I dreamed of the day I would be old enough to buy my own M16. At the time M16′s were about the same price as an AR15 with the only difference being the $200 tax stamp required for the version with the happy-switch.

It wasn’t just the lack of heavy handed gun control laws that made life in the 1980′s enjoyable, it was also the prevailing attitude by the public towards firearms in general that was different than it is today. As a kid growing up in Kansas firearms were an accepted part of daily life. We took our shotguns with us to school and left them hanging on the rear window rifle racks of our pick-up trucks so we could go hunting after class. No one thought twice about it. My good friend received permission to bring is Beretta 92SB Compact to shop class to make wood grips for a class project. No one panicked or tried to have him or his parents arrested, it was just a pistol for Heavens sake.

The next “conservative” President to occupy the White House was Reagan’s former V.P., George Herbert Walker Bush (41). Gun owners rejoiced as they believed their 2nd Amendment rights were to be protected under the NRA lifetime members dutiful watch. Bush wasn’t in office long before his administration took the step of banning the import of many semi-automatic rifles in 1989. Then in 1990 Bush gave us the “Gun-Free Schools Zone Act“. Before leaving office Bush renounced his lifetime membership in the NRA because of a newsletter published by the gun rights group that called federal agents “jackbooted thugs”.

Then came President Clinton who gave us the Brady Bill and the 1994 “Crime Bill“, better known as the Assault Weapons Ban. At this point American gun owners had seen two Republican Presidents and a Democrat President impose new restrictions on our Constitutional right to keep and bear arms. We were getting hit from both sides and public opinion seemed to support these measures.

Throughout the course of the 1990′s guns slowly went from being an accepted part of our daily lives to being viewed as instruments of evil that needed to be regulated. A rash of school shootings made it taboo to have firearms anywhere near a school, plus under the Gun-Free School Zone Act it was now a crime. The media ran exposés about the evils of guns in American culture and they worked tirelessly to demonized “militias” and “patriots”. Slowly the general public began to turn away from the 2nd Amendment and gun owners were now viewed as extremists that needed to be controlled.

By the end of the 1990′s it seemed as though a total ban on semi-automatic firearms was now within reach of gun grabbing politicians. America was under siege and we were losing the war for our rights.

President Bush (43) came into office and with him came a renewed hope we could turn back the tide of anti-gun laws. As it turned out, much like his father before him, President Bush wasn’t a friend to gun owners as he supported an extension of the Assault Weapons Ban which was set to expire in 2004. Miraculously the ban did sunset and Bush never got his wish. Thumbhole stocks and 10 round magazines became a thing of the past for most of the country.

Then things started to change. Slowly we made inroads in rolling back draconian gun laws. As I mentioned, the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban sunset, but that was just the tip of the iceberg. Throughout the 2000′s we saw more and more states pass concealed carry laws giving their citizens the right to carry firearms for personal defense. We saw states such as Kansas loosen restrictions on NFA items such as short barreled rifles, machine guns and suppressors. Then the coup de grâce was the Supreme Courts ruling in the Heller case which solidified the fact the 2nd Amendment does protect an individual right to own firearms. Further, it forced cities such as Chicago and Washing DC to remove their bans on various firearms and allow their citizens the ability to keep and bear arms for personal defense.

It seems that today, in 2013, we’re living in a gun rights renaissance. But are we?

While we’ve seen huge strides forward in protecting our rights we still face one major problem – the lack of cultural acceptance of our 2nd Amendment rights. The gun-grabbers have been soundly defeated in law, but they’re still winning the cultural war. The gun-grabbers have been forced into a long term strategy to achieve their goal of a complete ban on all firearms, and from what I can see it’s working.

You see, we’ve been too focused on the present and lost sight of the future because of our constant struggles to defeat the endless barrage of anti-gun legislation. Meanwhile the gun-grabbers have been hard at work changing public acceptance of the gun culture. What am I talking about?

What happens if your 14 year old son wears a NRA t-shirt to school in 2013? He’s expelled and even arrested. What happens if a man poses for a Facebook picture with his 1 year old daughter and a BB gun? He’s arrested and charged with child endangerment. What do you think happens when two 6 year old boys are playing cops and robbers and hold their fingers up as imaginary firearms while at school? They’re suspended of course!

Google is full of such news stories from around the nation. The gun grabbers have successfully programmed the masses into believing that all guns, even imaginary ones, are evil and need to be banished from our society… even if they are legal to own. That, my friends, is how we’re going to lose our gun rights over the course of the next 30-50 years and this is where American gun owners are falling short in their duty to protect our 2nd Amendment rights.

While we need to continue to focus our efforts on defeating legislation in the short term, we must reengage the battle for our culture. We can do this through education, outreach programs for new shooters, supporting groups such as Project Appleseed, organizing community shooting events, writing well reasoned letters to editors of our local papers, etc. There are countless ways we can bring firearm ownership back into the mainstream and stop the progression of the belief guns are evil and their owners are fringe walking lunatics. It’s incumbent upon all of us to begin thinking about our long term strategy for winning the cultural war and forever securing our 2nd Amendment rights for future generations.

The battle for our rights, and the rights of our children, begins today.

MAC

MAC is an avid shooter, former MCSF Marine, Armed Citizens United board member, NRA member, Oath Keeper and is commissioned as a Colonel by the Governor of Kentucky. Known for his videos on the Military Arms Channel, he also writes for The Bang Switch, for Shotgun News (Be Ready!) and freelances for Guns & Ammo. MAC has been a life long shooter who has an interest in all things that go "bang" but gravitates towards military type firearms.

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  • http://prairiepatriot.blogspot.com Prairie Patriot

    One thing anybody can do is to invite friends who are on the fence to go with you and actually shoot. One friend in particular was interested in possibly purchasing a handgun after I took him. The more folks invested in owning firearms, then the more they will begin to realize that they are being vilified for owning. And no one likes to be vilified.

  • Michael Stratton

    I’m a born and raised Kansan. Grew up with firearms in the house and know how to handle them. It pains me to see kids like that ridiculed in school’s because of people being anti gun. Teachers should just teach not enforce their views on kids.

  • Bill

    It truly is a travesty that the antis have programmed the masses to punish us and our children for eating a pop tart wrong or playing army. It’s another tactic to turn the favor against not just the Second Amendment, but liberty and the Bill of Rights itself. Making it incorrect to love our country and its freedoms.

  • http://gravatar.com/lundphoto lundphotoDarren

    Have you been watching what the city of Seattle is attempting to do?

    http://www.king5.com/news/cities/seattle/Gun-Free-Zone-campaign-220280421.html

    • Boris

      Seattle also just elected an avowed socialist to the city council.

  • NateMA

    The best way to fight the culture war is to take others shooting. Teach people how to aim, how to shoot, and how to protect themselves while also teaching all the safety rules and to SHOW them that guns are not evil objects, that they are very useful, and fun, tools. Spread the word. Take a friend shooting.

  • Christian

    I grew up in Kansas in the late 80′s and 90′s and I remember that hearing gunshots was not uncommon. You would hear people target shooting in the evenings, hunting in the fall, or shooting varmints at night when they would sneak into the yard. I would come to class late in high school with my dad after turkey hunting in the mornings and changing out of my camo in the restroom. Nobody at school batted an eyelash at me and most of the students were jealous because they wished they could go along! It’s amazing to me how even in that “anti-gun” period of time how relaxed people were compared to today. I’m glad to see people are finally getting fed up and respectfully sharing their opinions with the rest of the county. We even have left-wing news agencies sponsoring stories busting myths about those “scary guns.” Let’s keep up the good work!

  • Gee William

    The outrage over these incidents with these kids gives me hope that we actually ARE winning the war. Gun ownership is up and ever growing and it’s growing fastest in non-OFWG demographics.

    I agree with you, we need to keep up the fight on the grassroots level and introduce new shooters whenever we can. More gun ownership = people concerned about 2A rights. Oh and we need more gun owners to join the NRA and the GOA. 300 million guns and probably 100 million owners and only 5 million members for the biggest pro-2A group in the country, that’s just plain ole bullshit.

  • Andrew

    I mostly agree with you, but I think one key point you are missing is usually the parents, and ordinary folks involved in those school cases are outraged. While it’s true there are some school/elected officials that do these crazy things, time and time again I think we see the average person reject that, and stand up for gun rights.
    Now given one generation, would the little kid who got banned (or knows someone who did) for holding up his hands and saying “bang”, be for, or against guns? I would like to think he’ll know it was absurd, but maybe he won’t.
    As someone else said, the best thing we can do is invite others out shooting, and grow the support for the Second Amendment.

  • Chris Hanson

    Great Article MAC. I agree. Thanks for all you do. I just became interested less than 2 years ago, bought my first rifle….a 91/30 and have never turned back. I continue to be amazing at all of this. Our country was built on freedom, being responsible with our freedom and all of this ridiculousness is due to others not being responsible stewards of that freedom. I am trying to help our cause and as a new voice don’t often feel I am doing enough but I am right there with you in your thinking. Ours is part of the fabric that makes this country stronger. The dividing voice is small but very loud and we all take it in instead of have more courage to quiet it. This change happens in our local communities, with our families…it has to start there. Hopefully with work we can catch up to that crazy train and shut it down. Too much fear in people that listen to messages born out of fear agenda. Took my 6 year old son to gun shop yesterday and we had a great conversation and lesson on gun safety, function and history, it was a really cool outing for us. Best to you!!

  • D. Hide

    As a young man in his early 20′s, I am well aware of the attitude of my peers on many things and have been for years. I also live in a small part of the country that’s mixed about 50/50 politically and I myself hold many views that bar my identification with strict political leanings (eg left/right, liberal/conservative). In my estimation, I say that Generation Y is not as anti-gun, even culturally, as Generation X was and is. We’re getting better.

    It helps that I am a first-generation non-white American, though I am a natural-born citizen. Your friends, if they are your friends, will understand you if you take it slow and give them the opportunity to express their feelings. I’m a nerd just like them and I carry all day every day. I’ve even taken a couple to the range and it has had just a tremendous positive impact on their views on guns and gun owners, it really helps. Of course, be safe and be patient, as always. And try not to talk about guns for hours on end, they get bored lol…

    • beefeater

      Part of the problem is that gun rights advocates need to stop blaming things on “liberals” and the “liberal media,” and coupling gun rights with other political issues. The majority of voting Americans are moderates, and every time they see idiots like Sarah Palin or Rick Perry speaking at an NRA event, or Wayne LaPierre makes some ridiculous statement about arming teachers, you lose them. You want to win the war? Get moderates on your side. Realize that someone can be pro-choice, pro-single payer healthcare, pro-gay marriage, pro-higher taxes, and pro-gun (or any other combination of political views). The NRA and many if the more vocal pro-gun advocates don’t seem to realize this, and that will lose the war.

  • James

    It truely saddens me as a Canadian looking outside in, that our neighbours down south are going through almost identical circumstances to what we went through before our draconian gun laws came in. Canada was similiar to the 1980′s America that tim is talking about here. The only difference is that our losses will never come back, and Canada lacks one thing that America has; a constitutional right to keep and bear arms. NEVER, I repeat, NEVER GIVE UP YOUR RIGHTS!! Otherwise you’ll wind up like us, or worse.

  • Texas TopCat

    Good insightful article. We are not doing well in the large liberal population clusters, but most other places it is better. Part of the issue is that it is difficult to get good sense of how many active gun owners are out there. Many people will just refuse to admit to gun ownership when asked since the government establishment seems to be looking for excuses to punish gun owners. If I get a call from a polling group, my response is “no guns in my house”. If a doctor that asks “I would never own those evil things” (of course in less I want him to order blood lead screening tests). For example, in looking at the DPS sight I see that there were 800 new CCW permits issued for my zip code in 2012. I go to the local range and see lots of business and lots of new shooters of all ages and sexes. I think that the women shooters will be our salvation in the long run.

  • Leo

    I’m just a little older and I think that the battle for the 2nd is lost for good. As you mentioned the new generation is being indoctrinated into believing guns are evil by the schools. Birth rates for conservatives is most likely lower than liberals. It is just a matter of time. I am a member of the NRA but in the past they have stood for compromise. They supported the Brady Bill. They supported the 1934 NFA laws. Former NRA President Heston said on TV that he did not think we should be able to own an “AK-47″. I would guess more than half the NRA members do not believe we should own AR-15s. The restrictions will just keep getting passed year after year one at a time. The pro gunners will die off and it will be over sad to say. Of course we have to keep fighting, what else can we do? I have met people that believe in self defense but have a hard time with people owning the semi auto rifle with 30rd magazines. I try to explain it to them but it is a hard sell. One former co-worker thinks it’s crazy that I can sell them a handgun in a private sale with no back ground check. In owning guns for self defense the idea of self reliance is an important factor. Many people grow up today with the idea that government is the big daddy, unwilling to fend for them selves. These people see no advantage to gun ownership.

  • BHirsh

    Outreach and concentration on eliminating the fantasy bogeyman image is crucial, to be sure, but I’ll stick with the Bill of Rights and righteous SCOTUS precedents, because it exists to cement rights into immutability whether anyone likes it or not.

    It is already the judicial philosophy of the Court that the right exists independent of any written instrument, a view that extends back to 1875. With this acknowledgement, the Court admits that the right cannot be made to disappear even by Constitutional amendment.

  • Pingback: MAC: Are we winning all the battles but losing the war? | The Gun Feed

  • Falcon

    About half of the Whitehouse anti gun plan of action is squarely focused on schools and young people. If that doesnt indicate a long term strategy I dont know what does. They know they cant beat us as long as we are aware of what is going on, so they have to get the young people who havent formed an opinion yet against us.

  • Magister

    I actually have to disagree with you Mac. As a late 20′s guy I’ve seen both sides of this subject. I know plenty of people in my age group are the typical mindless drones who think guns bail out of their safes at night and go on shooting sprees and baby hunting, only to come back and lock themselves before sunrise.

    But on the other hand, I know so many who fully support the 2A, and it seems to be getting better. All those kids who’ve been punished stupidly (and are old enough to know/remember) will likely be on our side. And a recent article I read (I forgot where) reinforced another point: As a gamer I can tell you 9 out of 10 gamer folks ive spoken to fully support the 2A. Yes some of them might spout drivel about CoD and BF3 and some illogical gun tropes, but in the end they’re allies.

    As for losing our rights? I can see them trying, but as a great star wars quote says: “The more you tighten your grip, the more [things] will slip through your fingers.” They’ll try as they always do, we’ll eventually win as we’ve been doing legally. The “glorious empire of bloombergistan” will keep being an illogical dumping ground for stupid. But hey… maybe they’ll try really hard and make inroads. But by that point you’ll have two countries here, by peace or by war.

  • dan

    the culture war will never be won by truth telling citizens…most people want to hear a lie they can believe…they can not and do not want to face anything that is truthful….when they are faced with facts and proof they will retreat..till they can find a different view …which is being supplied by the liars and thieves that control our whole society……so many truthful and good people and groups but they all seem to work against each other and the truth gets lost….soon the truth will be upon all at the same time…..most will submit to evil at their eternal peril….so be it……..most can not and will not stand for anything…….that is their choice…and it will cause them grave consequences…..imho

  • steved

    This is not aimed at anyone in particular.

    Another extremely functional method to win people over is to stop stereotyping them, yelling at them, cursing them, belittling them, labeling them, and dismissing them. People of all political and religious persuasions own, respect, and even love firearms. However it’s a fact: most Americans vote for reasons other than 2A. Most Americans respect the office of the POTUS and other elected officials even when they disagree on policy. Many gun owners don’t also subscribe to (and constantly tout) conspiracy theories about ammo buying, gestapo tactics, birth certificates and school transcripts. Few Americans want to hear how “if they come for your gun you are going to give them the ammo first” (hardy har).

    Guess what I’m saying is it is really easy to turn off a prospective ally, and hard to win someone over who is on the fence when you are abrasive, threatening, disrespectful, illiterate, ill-informed, loony, or all of the above. If they perceive that you fall into any of those categories, most people definitely would prefer that you stay away from sharp objects, much less possess firearms.

    We would all do the cause a favor if we’d just stick to the facts, leave the emotion, ad hominem attacks and the false patriotism out of it.

  • Gee William

    Also, say what you will about games like Call of Duty and Modern Warfare, but those video games ARE having an impact on the current crop of young Americans and they ARE bringing in new shooters. At the very least it’s bringing them to youtube, where they are finding guys like Richard Ryan, FPSRussia, MAC, Cory and Erika, Destinee, Mr. Colion Noir, Hickok45, etc which is only further bringing them into the shooting sports. The internet has been a boon for the 2nd Amendment movement, it allows us to bypass main stream media and get the truth out.

  • Steve S

    No surprise I guess….as our society is governed by FEAR as fed to us by the irresponsible prime-time media (read: “entertainment news). Most people hear a barrage of negativity and bad news every day and not only become numb to it all, but just don’t have anything to say about it…..like how most Americans don’t vote, either. Those respondents above are right; you should take out your on-the-fence friends and educate them so they can make a more enlightened decision on how they feel about guns. I’m trying to convince my “gun grabber” friend to just come along and shoot once……and he’ll have none of it! Some people would rather stay ignorant and vote based on FEAR.

  • Totenglocke

    Apparently you don’t keep track of opinion polls and other polls such as the Gallup polls. We’ve gone from the majority in favor of banning handguns and scary looking rifles to the majority being against bans on such things. We’ve also seen a huge increase in gun ownership, thus making guns ever more socially acceptable.

    • http://www.military-arms.com MAC

      …and yet kids are expelled and/or arrested for wearing NRA shirts, parents are arrested for “child endangerment” for posting pictures of their children with guns, kids are kicked out of school for playing “cops and robbers”, etc. Yes, we have more gun owners than ever, but that doesn’t mean we’re winning the culture war.

      Oh, and polls are mostly useless which has been proven time and time again.

      • Totenglocke

        Yes, those things (in schools) happen because idiot TEACHERS are anti-gun, then there is a massive public outcry over how ridiculous the school is behaving. I’m not sure why you think the minority of the population that are teachers somehow get to decide what our culture is.

        The other incidents about people being arrested for “child endangerment” for owning guns and having kids at the same time? Well you need to talk to your friends the police about that one. This is just another example of why I don’t get how any gun owner can honestly say that they believe the police are on our side or care about people’s rights in any way. If they are willing to arrest you on fictional charges just to promote their personal political agenda, they most certainly do not care about your rights or about freedom.

        • http://www.military-arms.com MAC

          Can you point me to the “massive public outcry”? I don’t think I would count posts on gun boards as “massive outcries” by the public. If anything, these stories get circulated on the pro-gun discussion boards, conservative discussion boards and Facebook and that’s where it ends. If there was a “massive public outcry” these things would stop happening. Instead they happen with increasing frequency.

          Most of our schools are inundated with left leaning staff from grade school all the way up through college. This is another area where we’re losing the cultural war. Once your kids reach school age, they spend more time in these leftist indoctrination camps having their heads filled with socialist thinking than they spend with their parents.

          Why aren’t schools full of libertarian/conservative thinking staff? School age is when our children are most impressionable and many of our kids are being indoctrinated into the leftist agenda through these institutions.

          As for my buddies the police, I don’t think you fully understand how the justice system works. Police don’t enact laws or even prosecute people. They respond to calls and make arrests. The politicians create and pass laws. After that it’s the District Attorney and the courts that prosecute these laws. Blaming the police for what the politicians and courts do is misguided and we’ll never correct the problem if we think in such shallow terms.

          You can’t group all police together, it smacks of the same faulty logic that racists use to group people together. Not all police are the same and the fact is most police are pro-gun and pro-Constitution just as most military people are. You can sit around and bash cops because of various YouTube videos you’ve seen or news reports just like you can group all gun owners into being lunatics because of the daily barrage of news stories where people do dumb things with guns, but that’s rather simple thinking.

          http://www.policeone.com/Gun-Legislation-Law-Enforcement/articles/6183787-PoliceOnes-Gun-Control-Survey-11-key-lessons-from-officers-perspectives/

          • beefeater

            MAC, you are correct regarding the police. The vast majority ate good people trying to make their communities safe.

            The thing that you get wrong is the “culture war” and calling schools “leftist indoctrination camps”. You just drive more possible pro-2A people away. You need to be more accepting of people with different political views, or you will lose the war over gun rights.

          • http://gravatar.com/enscriptchun g

            “Most of our schools are inundated with left leaning staff from grade school all the way up through college. This is another area where we’re losing the cultural war. Once your kids reach school age, they spend more time in these leftist indoctrination camps having their heads filled with socialist thinking than they spend with their parents.”

            MAC, as someone who works in public education (elementary school) and has almost 10+ years of teaching experience, you might be surprised about how politically diverse most teaching staffs are. Yes, many schools lean-left on social issues like gay rights, racial equity, immigration, etc. but on the issue of guns, I’d venture to say the majority of teachers are neither pro- nor anti-gun.

            I’ll forgive you for repeating the tired stereotype that all teachers are evil Marxists that are secreting indoctrinating America’s children. Like I tell the parents of all my students – parents are a child’s first, and best teachers. No teacher has the power to undermine the values and character that has been truly instilled by good parenting.

            Regardless of their political beliefs, what most teachers do care about is the well-being of their students. More teachers would be pro-gun if the gun community made a better effort to reach out to them and communicate that guns are a tool that can protect lives of children in well-trained hands, and that kids properly instructed in gun safety are much less likely to be victims of accidents. I’ve been lucky enough to have police officers come and speak to my students, as well as both active duty and retired military visit my class to talk about their experiences. Kids are naturally curious about guns; it helps to have experienced folks who can communicate both the normality and responsibility of learning to use a gun.

            I do agree with your article that the struggle for gun rights is very much a struggle of culture. The gun community needs to stay involved with their larger community as a whole, especially youth – whether it’s Appleseed, Boy Scouts, youth shooting clubs, etc. Gun owners with kids have the double benefit of being able to instruct their own children, along with inviting the families of their kids’ friends to the range to learn to shoot. Today’s children are tomorrow’s (voting) citizens.

  • Tony Saad

    Excellent article as always!

  • Drmaudio

    You are right on point here. In addition to inviting non-shooters to join us at the range, and setting an example as gun owners, we all need to go to our local school board meetings and calmly and logically argue to do away with “zero tolerance” polices and other brain washing efforts. As Tom Gresham always says, “The people who show up get to make the rules.”

  • rob

    Why is TN a blue state and Commiefornia a Red????

  • David Clark

    “The state must declare the child to be the most precious treasure of
    the people. As long as the government is perceived as working for the
    benefit of the children, the people will happily endure almost any
    curtailment of liberty and almost any deprivation.”
    Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf

  • Ike

    Good article MAC, where about in Kansas were you from? I was born and raised here in Topeka.

    While you are right about us definitely not being in a firearm renaissance, I differ with you on few things. I might be wrong, but I believe that the two “Great Firearms Panics of 2008 and 2013″ are going to have an impact over the next few years to change public opinion. A lot of middle of the road people and some more to left of things decided to exercise their rights and buy guns and ammo when they thought that it was almost inevitable they would lose their rights. I know quite a few people, who just a few years ago, would not have bought the guns or more to the point, the type of guns that they did within the last couple of months. Changing the perception of the nation is going to take time, but I believe that it is slowly changing. The media and especially the educational system, will be the last perceptions to change. It took several decades for the Libtards to gain control of the educational system and instill their unconstitutional views. It’s probably going to take us awhile to remove those entrenched people and restore our rights. We now have more AR15 manufacturers than we’ve ever had with even more people now owning at least one. With us speaking up and more pro 2nd amendment media outlets and social network groups coming out it will only be a matter of time as long as we keep fighting. Keep up the great work!

    • http://www.military-arms.com MAC

      I grew up in Lawrence and spent plenty of time in Topeka.

      Panic buys are short lived. Once the threat subsides you’ll see many of those firearms wind up on the used gun market. I don’t count panic gun buyers with the hardcore pro-gun community. I see them more as opportunists trying to get theirs before they’re banned. When the threat of a ban goes away, they find other things they would like to spend the money on so the AR15 gets sold for a new gadget.

      Not everyone does this, but quite a few people do. I know this from working in gun stores… :)

  • Gee William

    I think the message here is this…

    “The fight is far from over, in fact it will never be over, we must keep fighting for our rights, and take back lost ground… not just settle for status quo.

    Great article MAC, whether you know it or not, you’re a leader in this fight and your efforts are appreciated.

    • http://www.military-arms.com MAC

      Thanks Gee, your support is greatly appreciated.

  • Brian in MN

    David Clark says:
    Reply

    “The state must declare the child to be the most precious treasure of
    the people. As long as the government is perceived as working for the
    benefit of the children, the people will happily endure almost any
    curtailment of liberty and almost any deprivation.”
    Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf

    Apocryphal

    The video is just plain sad. Presumably the AT was speaking to a room full of people and not a single one objected to him stating in very direct language that he means to brainwash the American people.

  • Stomper

    Wait until the full “weaponization” of ObamaCare kicks into full swing. It will be a backdoor gun registry of gun owners, it will cost you extra in premiums if you own guns like it will be extra in premiums for smokers. It will also be used to deem many citizens “unfit” to own firearms and put them on the ” restricted list”.

    Fun times are a commin’ my fellow 2A supporters, line by line, door to door, one gun owner at a time.

  • http://gravatar.com/ownersrep2012 Jim Holladay

    Sadly I think Mac is exactly right. I have lived in Colorado my whole life. I grew up in a rural area and if we weren’t participating in other sports we were out shooting or hunting every evening. Look what has happened to us since all the people from out of state moved in and ran for office. I think the only hope is to become politically active (which is something I have always tried to avoid). Showing my age, when I grew up kids did stuff outdoors with others now they watch tv or play video games.

  • Hybris

    I have a dream… a dream that one day once again a citizen of the US can walk into a gun store and legally buy a quality full auto firearm be it from an American company or a foreign one for less than $1500 dollars.
    I am a guy in my 20′s living in Kansas and I got into guns because of video games.

  • http://mcthag.blogspot.com/ McThag

    The Jackbooted Thugs line was in 1995, during the Clinton administration. He renounced his membership well after he’d left office.

  • Josh B

    Ive actually started offering little classes to teach people about and how to use firearms. Im letting them use my guns at a private range for free. All they need is their own eyes, ears and ammo.

  • http://thedaywalkersdad.blogspot.com/ TheDaywalkersDad

    There’s several problems involved in winning this war.

    1) Americans are impatient. We expect everything to happen at the speed of a drive through. If we don’t get immediate results then many lose interest, and give up.

    2) Americans are lazy. Perhaps not all Americans, but a large portion of this nation is lazy as hell. Everything is supposed to be done or handled by someone else. “It’s not my job,” is their rallying cry. We all see it on a daily basis.

    3) Americans are uninformed. Too many of us rely upon the mainstream media for our news. If all you watch is CNN or MSNBC while eating dinner, then you have no idea what’s going on in this nation. If you local paper consists of mostly AP articles regarding nation and international stories then you’re grossly uninformed. A great many or our countrymen believe that if they haven’t heard about something happening then it’s clearly not occurring. MSNBC didn’t cover it, so it must be made up. You don’t believe me? How many of you have heard again and again that, “No one wants to take away your gun?”

    4) Some place trust in politicians over their own free will. I’ve seen this waaay too much. I know AR, AK, and Glock owners that have told me that they disagree with the President on gun control. Bear in mind that these people would happily drink Obama’s bathwater. The problem is that while they disagree with the Prez, they were unwilling to contact any congressmen or join the NRA. These individuals care more about blindly supporting Obama (won’t even bother discussing why) then they do safeguarding their rights.
    I know one gentleman with about a 85 IQ. He’s not overly bright, but manages to get through the day without walking in front of a bus or off of a cliff. That’s an achievement for someone of his intelligence. Several months ago, this man asked me to teach his wife how to shoot because they both wanted to get their CCW permits. He has a Hi Point 9mm, btw. In the very next breath he told me that he supported the President’s plans on gun control because, “Obama wouldn’t be doing it if it wouldn’t work.”

    5) Too many Americans only care about their own guns. I know hunters that support AWB, and others that are fine with high capacity magazine bans.

    6) Fewer and fewer youths are hunting. They aren’t getting exposed to guns in a positive way at an early age.

    7) We’re lied to. It’s bad enough when Americans are uninformed, but it’s even worse when were told lies night after night by both the media and the government. The 97% statistic regarding recovered guns in Mexico comes to mind.

    So what can we do?

    I used to make it a point to take as many Dems to the range as possible. If I could expose them to handguns with hi cap mags and ARs then I assumed that I could educate a voter. I can’t tell you how many new shooters that I have heard say, “What good would it do to ban 17 rnd ‘Clips’ if all you have to do is slap in another one.” Yes, they still say ‘Clip.’
    I gave up on the Dems back in March because I couldn’t get a single one to contact a congressman about the anti gun Bills being proposed. NOT ONE of them would take an interest in their rights or voice dissent against the party that they want free $hit from.

    I now try a different tack. I’m helping out all of my pro gun friends with ammo when they can’t find it. I also take them to the range if their politics are right. Fence sitters are also welcome.
    Family members are signed up for the NRA and other organizations.
    I make links available for everyone to contact their politicians.
    My daughter’s friends have an open invitation to go shoot, and I’m willing to pick up the tab most of the time.

    I don’t know if we really have much of a gun future in the long term. Just about everything possible is against. The biggest threat is the FSA media in my opinion.

  • Curtis

    A friend and colleague of mine was standing in the doorway to my office talking to me today, and without thinking about it, I started handling my folding knife (in a very in-aggressive manner) as we talked. When he saw it, he awkwardly said, “um…I’m going to go back to my office now,” and I said, “What? It’s Just a knife.” His response: “I don’t want to get hurt.” Really?!? What was I going to do? Hurl the knife across the room at him? Jump up, and start attacking my good friend with my knife?

    Later, as I was thinking about the incident, I remembered reading this article before leaving for work today. The sheltered and afraid culture we live in today is truly astonishing. A good way to battle this is to let those close to us see that their friends, who are good, responsible people, own, and are comfortable with these items that scare them.

  • Ted

    To MAC and other readers,

    A response from a liberal:

    There was an essay written by a retired Chicago police office published about a year ago in the New York Times (yeah, I know…) that may illustrate for you guys the way much of America views personal carry, and the real need/effectiveness thereof. I’ll post it below.

    I mention this because I probably/may represent much of that portion of America that you guys complain about above and so seek to influence, and that article popped into my head as a measured response to what I read here, and one written with a tremendous amount of authority and first hand knowledge of the matter.

    If you read it, I think you will agree that the essay rings with a certain (significant) amount of common sense, and truth, much more so than the argument of “Hey the Second Amendment says I have the right to keep and bear arms” and so I want handguns available in vending machines or whatever. (I know, nobody here’s really advocating that, right…?)

    My point of all this is that it’s written in the Constitution (!!!), so to a large degree you have already won the argument (Have Guns -vs- Disallowed From Having Guns). However, if you take an extreme approach, saying I want the right for anyone to walk around with a concealed Uzi (not looking to inflame, not looking for flames here, just saying that’s the way much of the above is perceived), well, that hardens opposition, significantly. And when you have mass shootings, tolerance for extremist views on guns withers rapidly. People will stop giving a damn about the Constitution, or anything else for that matter, when they contemplate the prospect of their beautiful 7-year old child with a bullet in their head. Until the mass shootings stop, and until it becomes extremely difficult for criminals & gangs to obtain guns, public opinion will continue moving away from you.

    Taking people to the gun range does ZERO to address these problems. Totally misses the point.

    It’s my opinion that all of you would benefit tremendously by reading this essay if you want to understand the way much of the country thinks, or views the arguments you raise:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/26/opinion/armed-but-not-so-safe.html?_r=0

    July 25, 2012
    I Carried a Gun, and It Was Heavy
    By MICHAEL A. BLACK
    Chicago

    AS the families of James E. Holmes’s victims continue to deal with this senseless tragedy, anti- and pro-gun groups are exchanging their standard barbs on gun control in America. Representative Louie Gohmert, Republican of Texas, recently suggested that if this incident had occurred in his state, where many citizens carry concealed weapons, the crazed shooter could have been quickly terminated. I wonder if the congressman considered the confusion and terror that occurs in a real-life firefight?

    I spent over 30 years as a police officer in the Chicago area, and I was required to carry a weapon both on and off duty. A few years after 9/11, laws were extended to allow officers to carry their weapons across state lines and retired officers to continue to be armed, the logic being that those men and women had been screened and trained and knew when and how to use their weapons in emergencies. Excluding our brave military personnel, police officers are probably the only individuals who rush toward the sound of gunfire.

    I’ve faced people with guns many times and arrested violent, armed offenders for such crimes as robbery and homicide. Although my gun often left its holster on those occasions, I am grateful that I never had to shoot anyone. I never lost sight of the responsibility of carrying a weapon. Despite what many people think, it’s not something to be taken lightly.

    Illinois is the only state that does not allow ordinary citizens to carry concealed firearms. A few years back, I was visiting my father at the laundromat where he worked, when one of the regulars, who knew I was a cop, asked if I was “strapped.” When I said yes, he complained that he should have the right to carry a gun, too, since he was “a law-abiding citizen.” I’d heard this knucklehead spout off about minorities on numerous occasions and didn’t think he was a good candidate to be packing a weapon in public, though in many states, he could have been. The Trayvon Martin case shows the consequences of an untrained person with a gun. Police officers must go through psychological screening and a lot of training before they’re allowed to carry a weapon, and even then problems sometimes arise.

    I once told a rookie that you never forget the first gun you take off the street. Mine was taken from a guy named Homer in 1978. It was close to midnight, and we got a call reporting two men trying to break into an apartment building. I pulled up and caught the guys — Homer and a friend — at the doors. It turned out that the caller was an ex-girlfriend of Homer’s who lived in the building and had made it clear that he was not welcome. Homer had a record — and a .22-caliber handgun in his pocket.

    A month later, he saw me outside the courtroom and cordially waved. “It ain’t nothing but a misdemeanor,” he said, which at that time was true. “I’m just gonna plead it out and get rid of it.” And that’s what he did.

    The last shooting incident I was involved in happened at 3 in the morning on Dec. 26, 2010, my last Christmas before I retired. We responded to a report of two men arguing, one threatening to shoot the other. My radio blared, “Shots fired! Man with a gun.” When I reached one man, running in the darkness between two houses, he had already been shot by another officer. When the officer had ordered the man to stop and identify himself, the man had pointed a pistol at him. The officer ducked behind his car door and fired half the bullets in his Glock 21 before finally hitting the offender once in the left buttock. We eventually found the shooter’s silver semiautomatic deep in a snowdrift.

    The suddenness and confusion of that moment points out the folly of the politician’s belief that an armed civilian could have easily taken out James Holmes. Imagine the scene: speakers blasting, larger-than-life heroes and villains on the screen, and suddenly real gunshots, a man in a gas mask firing one of three weapons — a shotgun, handgun and rifle, with extended magazines for extra ammo capacity — into the panicking crowd. Even a highly trained, armed police officer would have been caught off guard. Try adding a bunch of untrained, armed civilians into the mix — this type of intervention could have made things much worse.

    Illinois is routinely called the “most repressive state” by gun rights groups. It requires everyone to obtain a firearm owner’s identification card before purchasing firearms and ammunition. This gives the police another tool to work with if an armed crook is caught without a card. It also creates a paper trail for repeated, in-state purchases. Perhaps if some kind of effective tracking safeguard had existed in Colorado, James Holmes’s purchases — all of which were legal — might have been flagged.

    The pro- and anti-gun groups need to sit down and let common sense rule. We register automobiles and require proof of driving proficiency before granting driving licenses. Is it so unreasonable to consider a national or state-by-state registry for firearms? While I’m not totally opposed to concealed carry laws, why not require comprehensive background checks, psychological screening and training? And while it might be considered un-American to prevent an ordinary citizen from owning an assault rifle, would it be too much to ask why he needs to have a specially modified 100-round magazine?

    As a former policeman, I know that such measures would help law enforcement do its job. As an American, I hope that they could help us head off the next tragedy of this type.

  • http://Redit Irv S.

    Can an old dude offer some perspective on how far the Right has been eroded in
    just one lifetime?
    I was on the High School Rifle Team, (Yup guns in school.).
    The coach thought nothing of allowing us to take our rifles out for some extracurricular
    practice at a local commercial range, Even gave us a 500 Rnd. brick of free Remington
    ‘green box’ ammo. (The Federal Government supplied it free because it supported a
    civilian marksmanship program.)
    We met on a Saturday and took our cased rifles and range-bags on public transport
    go the the range. A cop saw us. Four kinda scruffy under 18 kids.
    Asked where we were going. We told him.
    “Yeah, I know the place.”– ” Those aren’t loaded are they?” – -” No Sir. Disassembled,
    bolt’s in my pocket.” –” OK. You kids have a good day.”
    This was in NEW YORK CITY.
    Can you see the headlines today:
    “Four alleged teenage terrorists apprehended with arsenal……”
    To hell with ‘holding the line! – We’ve got some ‘rolling back the line’ to do.

  • http://suburbansdomain.blogspot.com Suburban

    Our problem in propaganda.

    “Propaganda in favor of action dictated by the impulses that are below self-interest offers false, garbled or incomplete evidence, avoids logical argument and seeks to influence its victims by the mere repetition of catchwords, by the furious denunciation of scapegoats, foreign and domestic.” – Aldous Huxley

  • brian z

    and let’s not forget the toy gun buy back here in california. are you freakin kidding me!!!!! couldnt believe it when i heard it!!! toy guns make kids want to use real guns for crime was the gun-grabbers logic!!! un-freakin-believable!!!!!!

  • Tim H.

    “While we’ve seen huge strides forward in protecting our rights we still face one major problem – the lack of cultural acceptance of our 2nd Amendment rights.”

    Could perhaps Thomas Jefferson provide us a clue as to why?

    “God who gave us life gave us liberty. And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are of the Gift of God?”

    MAC, let me ask you this, how would you in just one sentence, or two at most, best sum up why there exists a Natural Law right to keep and bear arms?