Thursday, February 14, 2013

What the gun control "debate" is really about


Advocates of the Second Amendment keep offering reasoned arguments, facts and statistics, and logic in this debate.  The other side ignores all of this and keeps pushing, keeps nibbling away.  They are engaged in a raw exercise of power in this battle of the Cold Civil War.  OK, then.  Both sides can play that game - and quite frankly, our side needs to start playing.

Before we apply raw political power, we need to understand where that power is applied to have effect.  Since all gun control legislation requires a vote from the  national or state Legislatures, power should be applied there.  This happened in a big way in 1994 and that gave nearly two decades before the gun banners screwed their courage to the sticking point to try again.  So how do we apply power to the legislatures in a way that needs no explanation for the point to get across?

Consider the past year.  Nearly 20 million background checks were performed as part of firearms purchases in 2012.  Suppose each one of these people - clearly unhappy with the direction we're headed and caught up in panic buying before guns are banned - suppose each of them donated $10 to a "Second Amendment Political Action Committee".  That would be $200M right there.  That's a lot of power.  You could target 200 districts with a million dollar campaign against a politician who votes for gun control measures.

But we want to maximize that power, to effect the greatest action for our side.  For many elections, primaries are a cake walk - incumbents don't have to spend anything.  Finding themselves against a well-funded opponent (and make no mistake, it will be easy to find opponents if you spot a million bucks) will sap the vitality of the incumbent's campaign and may even see challenger victories in some of the primaries.  Some incumbents who win will be weakened enough that they lose the general.

The parties will hate this and will put pressure on potential challengers not to enter the primaries.  It won't matter - for any incumbent who was unopposed in the primary, donate to his opponent in the general election.

Even a 20% success rate means 40 gun banners are evicted from office will send a huge message to the rest.  And remember, the election cycles are two years - if 20 million guns are bought next year, and everyone who buys one donates $10, that means the 2 year campaign budget would be $400 Million.  That's 400 districts that could be targeted at $1 each, or 200 districts at $2M each.  The success rate goes up.

But here's where it gets interesting.  After one or two cycles of throwing the bums out, the other bums will get the message and gun control will stop dead in the water.  After all, politicians love nothing so much as their seat, and so nailing some careers to the barn door will have a salutatory effect on the others.  So what do you do with all this raw power, itching to help out the cause of the Second Amendment?

Simple: target state legislatures.  Imagine $200 M targeting Massachusetts legislative elections, to repeal the "May Issue" concealed carry law and replace it with "Shall Issue".  Imagine how many election cycles it would take to burn the political infrastructure of gun control to the ground, and then plow that ground with salt.

Remember, we don't have to win them all, or even half.  We too can chip away, year by year, election by election, destroying the political careers of those who push gun control.  Or who refuse to roll back the worst of the existing laws.  This isn't subtle or complicated, it's a simple exercise of power. Also, this is not partisan, Democrat vs. Republican.  It's about getting rid of people who vote for particular bills.  Don't vote for those bills and you won't get primaried.

Of course, we still have logic and facts and figures on our side.  That won't win, but they're very nice indeed.  But it's time to get real about how the game is played.  If people are willing to pay $250 for an old beater Mossin, then toss a sawbuck in the coffee can.

Anyone know how to start a Political Action Committee?


perfidy said...

I am actually in the process of doing that right now. Will be up in the next couple weeks. Bill of Rights PAC - starting with the 2nd.

My friend tried to convince me to focus on the 3rd Amendment, but I'm not sure that's the best idea.

Anonymous said...

Good idea, a bit late. This level of gun sales won't continue much longer - once the panic buyers figure "whew, I've got mine" they'll be out of the market. Ammo sales? A half dozen boxes of 9MM on the shelf and panic buyers are out of the ammo market as well.

If it's legal, a $10 boost per gun from the manufacturers and a $1 bump on each box of ammo to the PAC would be the way to go.

Don't get me wrong - I think we really need to apply the tools of the left against their pet politicians. Ruthlessly, nonstop, and with great vigor. I'm not convinced depending on Joe and Jane gun buyer will be the most successful way to financially support the effort, and I'm concerned about who would drive the effort should funding be procured. My big worry is that some deposed Republican would handshake and smile his way into running it.

Glen Filthie said...

All true - at ground level.

I think there is a bigger picture: Obama is fanning the flames of this "debate" to take attention away from the dismal economy, the dismal state of foreign affairs, the imploding health care system and any number of other failures.

Even if he got his way half the states would tell him to FOAD, the cops wouldn't enforce it and the joe on the street won't comply with it - just ask us Canadians. We have the dumbest gun regs on the planet but they only apply in liberal cesspools like Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver.

This is about dividing and conquering. The problem with it is that when you start dividing them with stuff issues like this - you divide those in your own camp too. There are actually lots of lefties that don't drink the gun control koolaid - inluding those that made it. Didn't Biden step on his d*nk and admit that gun control wouldn't solve all the problems recently? Aren't half the states and sherriff's depts. telling the Whitehouse to FOAD?

There is more to this than meets the eye.

Sean D Sorrentino said...

It's a Super PAC you want to run.

Mark Philip Alger said...

Not disagreeing, but... well, OK, disagreeing. The banners get ANY traction at all on emotional grounds. So fight back there.

Like Dunblane: "All it would have taken would have been one mother-bear teacher with a 9-mil on her hip to save all those innocent babies. Their blood is on YOUR hands, you gun banners, who seek to leave the innocent defenseless in the face of savage predators."

Or Mike Williamson's rant.

Don't apologize. Attack.