Thursday, May 17, 2018

Falling Towards Reichenbach

Lately I've noticed an uncomfortable trend among gun owners to hold the attitude of "It's all going to fail anyway, so instead of trying to make things better let's just get our licks in while we can."

I understand the sentiment. We are genuinely tired of constantly being demonized, and many have decided that since the anti-rights folk are going to treat us hatefully we ought to be hateful to them right back.

The problem with this tactic is that it's ultimately self-defeating. If your opponent is being unreasonable the solution is not to be unreasonable as well. We should be trying to broaden the support base for gun rights by appealing to the undecided moderates instead of trying to punish those who disagree with us.

There are currently about 5 million members of the NRA, yet it's estimated that there are 100 million gun owners in America. If a political bloc of 5 million votes scares the hell out of politicians, then a bloc of 100 million would make them crap their pants. Why, then, is the NRA not doing more to get those other 95 million to join?

There is a massive base of gun owners who believe in the Second Amendment but don't want to support the NRA because they disagree with the stances that come bundled with it. For example, if you're a gay gun owner and the NRA shifts hard enough to the right that its values include "gay people are threatening the sanctity of the nuclear family", then you'll be less inclined to support the organization regardless of your views on gun rights. 

I've seen this happen before (when the NRA started this culture war crap with Angry Dana videos) and it's only going to alienate more allies. With formerly pro-gun states like Florida actually passing gun control laws, this is not the time to drive allies away; this is the time to bring as many into our tent as possible so that politicians in non-blue states fear getting a failing grade from us.

But fighting makes people feel good, so that's what happens. And that's nothing but trading punches as we plummet to our doom.

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