Victory Is the Only Thing

To Control the Agenda, We Have to Win!
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With the national and state elections — including for president and many state governors — only four months away, the single most important thing to remember is the party in control calls the shots in Congress and state legislatures.

It’s Not Black Or White

The overriding challenge, especially for those in the Second Amendment movement, is to capture the majority by electing candidates from the same party who have been fighting increasingly restrictive gun control laws for several years. In a battle such as this, it is better to support someone with whom you may agree perhaps 75% to 80% of the time than it is to refuse to vote, or to cast a protest vote for some third party not-a-chance-in-hell-of-winning individual, thereby allowing the other major party candidate — with whom you disagree 100% of the time — to win.

This is the hard reality: With the future of the Second Amendment at stake, this is no time to be falling on a sword.

The Republican National Convention is this month — July 15–18 in Milwaukee, Wis. — and it seems a foregone conclusion former President Donald Trump will be his party’s nominee. If he is on the ballot in November and wins back the White House, this is only the tip of the political iceberg. He will need a strong Congress, especially a Senate majority. The senate is where judicial nominations are confirmed, hopefully to put forth a conservative, pro-rights agenda for the next four years.

Figure it this way: Every political office from the presidency on down to state legislative races depends on your vote. Not your neighbor’s vote, not your spouse’s vote, nor the guy you work with, the mailman or your barber. Your vote, and this year, if you really care about preserving Second Amendment rights for your children and their children, you must use it. No excuses: No more of this “my vote doesn’t count,” or “I don’t want my name on a list” nonsense. Take this to the bank — your name is already on somebody’s list, and your vote does count, but only if it is cast.

Remember Pericles (495-429 B.C.)? He was the Greek politician, general and something of a philosopher to whom this carved-in-marble quote is attributed: “Just because you do not take an interest in politics doesn’t mean politics won’t take an interest in you.”

In the case of American gun owners, politics has already taken an interest in you. As this column has repeatedly stated, politics is a contact sport. It is not a spectator sport. Like it or not, you are on the playing field. Don’t let somebody else convince you to sit on the bench, especially this year.

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Convention Center

At the Republican National Convention, the party will adopt a platform. Pay careful attention to how the party addresses the Second Amendment. Likewise, as your state parties hold their conventions, make note of any references to your rights under the federal and state constitutions regarding bearing arms, regardless of which party is convening.

And this brings us to the 80% rule, which applies to both political parties and non-committed voters. For GOP voters who want to win — instead of complaining for the next four years — this is an easy thing to understand: Even if you do not like some of the candidate’s positions, if that person’s victory in November helps secure the legislative/congressional majority, his/her party will set the agenda, control committee chairmanships, assignments and more importantly, stop bad legislation in its tracks. This is all Civics 101.

Now let’s talk about “Civics 201.” If you’re devoted to conservativism or libertarianism, you’ve got to start somewhere. The first move is to capture the majority and hold it through the mid-term cycle in 2026, even if it means voting for someone who is, in your estimation, a “moderate.” This is when you can start shifting the political tectonic plates.

How do you think the liberals shifted to “progressive” and finally to “woke”? They’ve done it incrementally, while too many people were asleep at the wheel. Time to throw it in full reverse, don’t you think? Far too many in the Second Amendment community think one political victory is the end, so they fold up their tents and go home.

Write this on the wall: In some races, only a “moderate” can initially win, but it is still a win.

Looking over the horizon, the Democratic National Convention will be held Aug. 19–22 in Chicago. If you were around to witness the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago, you didn’t just see a debacle, you saw the beginning of the political shift mentioned in the previous paragraph. It has taken 56 years for the party of Hubert Humphrey, John F. Kennedy, Henry M. Jackson to be replaced by Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, Gavin Newsom and “The Squad.”

Pay close attention to the platform Democrats adopt, and see what it says about gun control. It will almost certainly say something about banning so-called “assault weapons.” Don’t be surprised if there is more about waiting periods, one-gun-a-month, reversing “Constitutional Carry” in 29 states, and reducing the number of active concealed carry licenses or permits. Watch out for a national “training requirement.” This is all stuff the Biden party, clear down to state legislatures, has been pushing for several years. For a sampling of this menu, look what has happened in Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Washington, Oregon and California.

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Fight Apathy

This column is devoted to educating gun owners about how the system works, and how you can make it work for your best interests. The other side — the people who want to erase the Second Amendment — has been working for decades on their agenda, and you are the only people who can stop it.

Do not be lulled into apathy by talk of a “Red Wave” in November. It could turn into a disappointing riffle because too many people figured the election was in the bag and they didn’t need to vote. Look what happened in Virginia last year when Gov. Glenn Youngkin was hoping for a total sweep in Richmond. According to the Virginia Department of Elections, out of 6,119,552 registered voters, only 2,507,159 actually cast votes. That’s a dismal 40.96%, and it reflects poorly on the activism, which shifted the Virginia state house and top state offices last election cycle, and took back the Assembly.

Defending the Second Amendment for the next several decades is within your grasp. Use the 80% rule to your advantage because someone with whom you agree with 75–80% of the time is probably someone who can be educated, enlightened and cultivated into being a 100% ally. It takes time and patience.

The late UCLA Bruins coach Henry Russell “Red” Sanders is credited with remarking, “Winning isn’t everything; it’s the only thing.”
American gun owners can reverse the tide. You can change the political landscape, especially in states where the color seems to be shifting to a deeper blue.

But first, you have to win.

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