Game On!

Campaign ’24 Is Cranking Up
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Remember Sep. 12, 2019? It was on that date, during an early Democratic presidential candidates’ debate, when far-left former Congressman Robert Francis “Beto” O’Rourke blurted to the audience at Texas Southern University, “Hell, yes, we’re going to take your AR-15, your AK-47!”

His remark drew a huge applause from the university audience, but across the country, viewers had just witnessed the death of O’Rourke’s campaign and probably his political career even if he didn’t realize it himself. Less than two months later, he was finished. The comment — a heat-of-the-moment remark that revealed O’Rourke’s true intentions toward guns — destroyed his political ambitions. He has become the perennial candidate.


Pay Attention

No Republican in his/her right mind will make the same mistake. But there will almost certainly be questions about gun control and the Second Amendment, and we all need to pay close attention to how the current candidates respond.

As noted last month, according to a tentative schedule I had at this writing, Idaho Republicans are scheduled to caucus March 2, there’s a Republican primary in the District of Columbia March 3, North Dakota Republicans will caucus March 4 and primaries are slated March 5 in Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Utah (Democrat primary, Republican caucus), Vermont and Virginia. These are the “Super Tuesday” events that will dominate evening television. Listen and learn!

The following Tuesday, March 12, will see primaries in Georgia, Mississippi and Washington, and Hawaii Republicans will caucus. One week later, on March 19, there are primaries in Arizona, Florida, Illinois, Kansas and Ohio. A few days later, on March 23, there’s a primary in Louisiana and a Democratic primary in Missouri.

If you live in one of these states, be sure to vote in your primary. Don’t let somebody else make decisions for you. Candidates will be racing to the nearest microphones to offer their thoughts and get some face time. Take notes.


Cut to the Chase

Want to quickly separate the good guys from those who offer lip service? Attend a caucus meeting in your precinct and be willing to stick up for your Second Amendment rights.

You need to find out where these will be held. One good place to start is the bulletin boards at the local supermarket. Watch for a notice in your community newspaper. Look on neighborhood social media pages. This “activist thing” takes some work but you just might end up saving the day by preventing something stupid from happening.

If you have candidates’ nights at the local library or city hall, be there, and bring a friend. Last time I stopped by such an event at the local town hall, the first thing I noticed was a contingent of women wearing orange T-shirts from “Moms Demand Action.” They turn out in such numbers to intimidate candidates. Your bunch should be just as impressive, and better-behaved. When you catch someone telling a lie, call them on it pronto and have the facts to back it up.

Lie: The Second Amendment is there for the states to have a militia.

Truth: “Pardon me, but that’s simply not true, and three rulings from the U.S. Supreme Court since 2008 have said so. The Second Amendment protects an individual’s fundamental right to keep and bear arms, and it’s not about hunting.”

Lie: You need a license to drive. You need a license to catch a fish. You should need a license to own a gun.

Truth: “You evidently don’t know the difference between a right and a privilege. Driving is a privilege. Owning a firearm is a constitutionally protected right. You don’t have a right to catch a fish, and the license allows someone to catch fish. But having a gun is a right, and rights are special. You don’t need the government’s permission to exercise a right, and you don’t need to provide a reason to exercise the right.”

Lie: No “good guy with a gun” has ever stopped a mass shooting.

Truth: “There are several documented incidents involving legally armed citizens stopping a mass shooting. Elisha Dicken stopped a killer at the Greenwood Park shopping mall in Indiana in July 2022. Jack Wilson stopped a murderer who opened fire in a Texas church in December 2019 and the whole thing was live-streamed. There are many more examples.”


Memorize the Survey

In 2022, Reason magazine’s Jacob Sullum reported on what he described as “the largest and most comprehensive survey of American gun owners ever conducted.” It was an eye opener with some details you need to remember if ever in a verbal confrontation with an anti-gunner.
The survey was commissioned by Georgetown University economist William English. Remember his name.

Finding#1: Firearms are used in self-defense about 1.7 million times a year. Handguns are used most often in self-defense situations (65.9% of these incidents) and in 81.9% of these cases a shot was not fired. Just over 25% of self-defense incidents occurred within the gun owner’s home, and 53.9 % happened outside of the home, but on their property. Another 9.1% happened in public places, and 3.2% happened at the workplace.

Finding #2: The overall rate of adult gun ownership is estimated at 32% of the population, which is consistent with polling by Gallup and Pew Research, English found. These good citizens own an estimated 415 million firearms, including 171 million handguns, 146 million rifles and 98 million shotguns.

Finding #3: About 48% of gun owners said they had owned magazines that hold more than 10 rounds, and about 30% of survey respondents own, or had owned, a modern semiautomatic rifle.

Finding #4: According to English’s abstract, 56.2% of gun owners carry a handgun for self-defense at least part of the time, and about 35% carry a gun more frequently. Sadly, 34.9% of gun owners said there had been occasions when they wanted to be armed, but local rules didn’t allow it.

If you have an opportunity to participate in a candidates’ forum in your community, bring up these points and ask the candidates for a response. You might get some honest reactions, or you might get word salad. Be prepared for the telltale “I support the Second Amendment, but …”

Ask them if they think last October’s mass shooting in Maine might have turned out differently if even one of the victims had been armed. Ask them whether they think the citizens of Israel wanted guns when their homes were invaded last fall by Hamas terrorists.

This is part of democracy and you cannot just sit this out. Stop treating elections like a spectator sport. Eight months from now, you have a chance to legally overthrow the government. You just need to vote in November. Between now and then, be ready to defend your rights.
You can do this, trust me.

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