Mimsy Were the Borogoves

Editorials: Where I rant to the wall about politics. And sometimes the wall rants back.

Make a difference as a voter

Jerry Stratton, August 28, 2008

A few days after writing Telecom Immunity, I received the Senate election issue of America’s First Freedom. The NRA has become the model of an effective issues-oriented political organization. How does the NRA succeed where others, like the ACLU, fail? They weren’t always so successful. In the seventies it looked like an absolute gun ban was inevitable. Once the government sets its sights on prohibition it is practically impossible to stop. Alcohol prohibition took the Great Depression to repeal and still left it up to the states. Great Britain has moved from banning firearms to arresting newspaper deliverymen for keeping printer’s knives in their cars.

So how did the National Rifle Association reverse what looked like an unstoppable trend? Rather than more and more gun bans extending to more and more knife bans, existing gun bans have been allowed to sunset, most states now support concealed carry, and politicians go out of their way to downplay their anti-second amendment votes. What happened? The answer is in this issue of the NRA magazine:

The mainstream media focuses on the partisan breakdowns, but for gun owners, what counts is if there is a majority in the Senate that supports Second Amendment rights.

Second paragraph in, they make sure that politicians know they’ll recommend voting for second amendment supporters regardless of party.

The endorsements that follow are bipartisan. From Alaska’s beleaguered Ted Stevens (R) to Montana’s Max Baucus (D) to Virginia where they give a shout of support to both the Democratic and Republican candidates, politicians know that if they support self-defense, the NRA’s members will support them. They’ll support them with votes, with contributions, and with action.

If you want to make a difference as a voter, that’s how you do it. Vote the issue, not the party.

In response to Don’t wait—capitulate: The ACLU’s doomed campaign against telecom immunity is a classic example of why you have to be willing to vote for Nobody if you want to be taken seriously in politics.