Now what?

Win or lose, we have to keep fighting!
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Due to magazine lead time schedules, at the time of this writing the November election had not yet occurred. In the weeks ahead moving into the holidays and a new year, we’re either celebrating how the anti-gunners took one on the jaw, or bracing because the next couple of years are going to be an extended version of “Hell Week.”

Time To Stand Up

Either way, it’s up to Second Amendment advocates to defend their rights. Some months ago, responding to a comment on social media, I observed blowing off steam on Facebook is not a substitute for voting. I’ll amend this now to also suggest it’s not a substitute for genuine boots-on-the-ground activism, either.

Politicians don’t pay much attention to Internet outbursts but they do pay attention to a thousand letters and emails. A few hundred telephone calls really impress them as does a good turnout of citizens wearing NRA caps or jackets at a “Townhall” gathering.

We’ve seen this from the other side. Ten or a dozen people wearing bright red “Moms Demand Action” T-shirts is hard to ignore when they’re all sitting together. Fifty people wearing NRA caps or “Second Amendment First Responder” patches from the Second Amendment Foundation will be noticed, too.

There’s a trick to this worth remembering. If you and fellow gun owners plan to attend a public meeting, be there early and fill the forward rows of seats so you’re the people the politicians see staring at them.

Still Spunky

Earlier this year, when thousands of beleaguered citizens showed up at state capitols demanding a return to some semblance of normality, it demonstrated there is still plenty of spunk in the American spirit. If you were there, you felt it. If you watched, you understood it.

Gun owners were a big part of those demonstrations. They learned who their friends were in government — and also their foes.

But those demonstrations provided another lesson. Grassroots activism does not require a big organization, or people in expensive suits leading such events. Average people put those together and they can do it again.

First Order Of Business

Your first order of business in 2021 is to work with friendly state lawmakers to introduce and pass legislation making it illegal for any governor to close gun shops and shooting ranges under any emergency or disaster, whether natural or man-made.

It’s not too early to start. December is a month when lots of interest groups work with various state lawmakers on proposed legislation.

If the pandemic panic of 2020 taught us anything, it showed us some governors believe they can shelve the Constitution under the guise of public health concerns by declaring gun stores and ranges “non-essential.” There is nothing “non-essential” about the exercise of a constitutionally delineated fundamental right.

Such legislation must include a stipulation no sheriff’s department or municipal police department can suspend, even for one day, the process of accepting and processing new applications for concealed carry licenses or permits. Violations should be expensive; perhaps fine the agency $1,000 a day for failure to comply.

If an agency can book prisoners into city or county jails and take fingerprints in the process, they can damn well accommodate honest citizens. Precautions can be taken, such as wearing protective masks and providing gloves for employees taking the prints.

Equally important is such legislation should limit the governor to a single emergency declaration which cannot be extended beyond 30 days without a two-thirds majority vote by the Legislature. We saw too many governors, drunk with power, continually move the goal posts during the “re-opening” process — it cannot happen again.
This is the United States, not a police state.

Make Your Own Candidate

If lawmakers are sheepish about this, immediately start recruiting someone to run against them in 2022. Start raising money to fund the campaign and make sure early on these candidates are properly vetted so they won’t become an embarrassment.

In Virginia, you don’t have to wait! Your legislative elections are in November 2021 — just 11 months from now — and it’s time to start recruiting and grooming candidates to take back the legislature and the governor’s office in Richmond. Don’t forget the office of attorney general will be on this ballot, as well. This is not just about reversing an outrage; it’s about teaching a lesson to anti-gun Virginia Democrats they will never forget.

After accomplishing this, make sure every gun control measure adopted by Ralph Northam and his legislative cronies is immediately and unceremoniously repealed. All it takes is for every gun owner in the Commonwealth to vote!

Item Number Two

If your sheriff, mayor, members of the city councils and county commissions stood against shut-down orders in your state, support them and vow to help get them re-elected. Help raise funds for their campaigns. Invite them to social gatherings to share their ideas and hear yours.

On the other hand, if your elected officials rolled over, or even adopted some of their own county or municipal orders, recruit good men and women to unseat them at the next election.

Most important in this process is the ability to work together with people who share the same goals, but may have different ideas about how to accomplish things. This means no angry outbursts, arguments or name-calling, especially on social media.

You and your friends might want to consider approaching other like-minded citizens to start a PAC (Political Action Committee) for the purpose of coordinating activism and raising funds to pay for it. Check your state laws about PACs, and do things squeaky clean.

Opportunity Knocking

The next few months will provide opportunities to affect change in your state. The next year will offer even more challenges for those always fighting the proverbial good fight.

In an ideal world, we would never have to worry about our rights. But this is the real world, and we’ve all got to be on our game because no matter how many we win or lose, the other side has an insatiable hunger for our Second Amendment rights.

The pandemic panic earlier this year should have convinced every 2A rights activist the real disease is public apathy and fear. Those who would rule rather than serve spent every waking hour trying to convince people they would get sick.

It’s time to make those people sick instead.

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