Guide to the national political conventions

What to look for, what to know

The Democratic National Convention will be held July 13-16 at the Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and the destination is deliberately political. The reason — the Badger State was one of those “taken for granted” by Hillary Rodham Clinton in 2016 and she lost there.

The convention will draw a reported 3,769 delegates. According to Wikipedia the nomination will be secured by the votes of 1,885 of those delegates. There will be speeches by the bushel and if you’re a gun owner concerned about protecting the Second Amendment, listen for these terms from any candidate, guest speaker and particularly the nominee: Gun Safety, Gun Reform and Gun Responsibility, especially if used in the same sentence with “while protecting Second Amendment rights.”

As if anybody mouthing this rhetoric in Milwaukee will have the slightest concept of Second Amendment rights. You’ve heard it before, “I support the Second Amendment, but …”

The Waters Run Deep

Perhaps the depth of far-left hostility toward the Second Amendment and American gun owners became clear when the former president of the Brady Campaign spoke at the national gun rights rally last November in Washington, D.C.

Dan Gross, who left the Brady Campaign about three years ago, stunned the small but energetic audience when he told them, “I’m here because I’ve seen how all of you, decent, responsible, law-abiding gun owners, are relentlessly, and, I believe, unfairly, demonized.”

“I’ve seen firsthand how an ideological hatred of guns and the people who own them is more important to some people than the actual goal of saving lives,” Gross added a moment later to raised eyebrows and dropping jaws.

This column subsequently spoke with Gross via telephone. In a refreshingly candid conversation, Gross stood by his words. It must have been shattering to some of his former colleagues at the Brady Center. At the time, Gross had been working with firearms instructor and rights activist Rob Pincus on a new project showing some promise.

Fair And Balanced?

Balance what you will hear from speakers at July’s Democratic convention with what you may hear in August when Republicans gather for their convention in Charlotte, N.C. on Aug. 24-27. The convention will be held in the Spectrum Center and there will be somewhere around 2,500 delegates.

Make up your own mind whether one party wants to eviscerate the Second Amendment based solely on what is said at the two conventions. Examine the respective party platforms and how they address the right to keep and bear arms.

At A Crossroads

As a nation, we’re approaching the proverbial fork in the road. The poet Robert Frost put it in proper perspective in “The Road Not Taken.” We can take the road less traveled — perhaps where the footsteps of our fathers and their fathers, who placed their liberty and the liberty of their children and grandchildren on a much higher level than creature comforts, might be found. Or — we can sit back on our apathies and let someone else essentially vote away our rights. There is no viable third option.

Take some advice from a man who has been dead more than two thousand years. The Greek philosopher and leader Pericles reportedly had written around 430 B.C., “Just because you do not take an interest in politics doesn’t mean politics won’t take an interest in you.”

We are there. Whether Pericles actually said it matters much less than the fact politics has indeed taken an interest in you. Pretending it hasn’t happened doesn’t change the situation and all the lame excuses won’t make a difference.

Excuses, Excuses

My favorite excuse is “I don’t want my name on a list.” Got a car? Own a home? Carry credit cards? Do you have a driver’s license? Do you have insurance? Your name is on more lists than you can imagine so stop kidding yourself.

Then there’s, “I don’t want to be called for jury duty.” Simply brilliant — voluntarily give up your opportunity to explain jury nullification to a room full of captive listeners.

“I’ll be on a hunting trip.” Fine, get an absentee ballot.

Dan Gross showed a lot of backbone showing up at a rally of gun owners. It took no small degree of courage and whether you like him or not, he deserves your respect. When we chatted, he admitted to apprehensiveness as he waited his turn at the microphone. Nobody knew in advance he was going to speak. He just showed up, but after all, “just showing up” is a big part of life. Now it’s your turn.

It doesn’t take any courage at all to vote but sometimes it takes a bit of grit to stand up and be counted, to draw a line in the sand and tell the blue state bullies you’re done talking and you’re through backing away.

Ninety Days To A Reckoning

You’ve got a little more than three months to decide whether your rights are worth a few minutes of time to fill out a ballot. Study up on the issues, and find out about the people running for office in your district and state. This column has spent the last year explaining how this is done. Prove we haven’t been wasting our time.

There are somewhere north of 100 million law-abiding gun owners in the United States. If you are one of them, your vote counts and their votes count but only if those votes are cast intelligently and not “in protest.” In order to change something, first you have to win and then you’ve got to protect what you’ve won.

Watching the conventions in Wisconsin and North Carolina should provide all the incentive necessary to get you up on your feet. You will accomplish nothing on your knees.

There have been times lately when it seemed like the gun prohibition lobby was ready to pour urine in the graves of gun owners and the Second Amendment. But think back to the evening of November 8, 2016. The anti-rights gun control crowd expected Hillary Clinton to stroll into the White House. They got the surprise of their lives, because of you and people like you, who left the comfort of their easy chair and voted.

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