The Michael Bloomberg-backed Washington State anti-gun initiative and so-called “smart gun” technology were the two top stories of 2014 as far as firearms rights are concerned, Seattle Gun Rights Examiner Dave Workman opined in his Monday column. That matches closely with the topic discussed last night on the nationally-syndicated Armed American Radio program with host Mark Walters. The shift in “gun control” efforts from the federal level to the states was discussed with guests, including author Alan Korwin, economist and Crime Prevention Research Center founder John Lott, and myself and blogger/firearms expert George “Mad Ogre” Hill (with further salient commentary from production engineer Sean “Seanto” Young).
While I agreed that I-594 represented a very significant development, my view is it was symptomatic of a larger issue that plagues the gun rights community: apathy. Despite Bloomberg claiming 90 percent of the public supports deceptively-named “universal background checks,” the election results in a decidedly “blue state” came in at under 60 percent of votes cast, and considering that only around half of those eligible cast ballots, it means controls were imposed by about a third of the voters. Many of those were heavily influenced by a well-financed, professional propaganda campaign, further backed by the likes of Bill Gates and Nick Hanauer.
Had more gun owners taken it upon themselves to first of all become informed on the measure and the valid arguments against it, and then become force multipliers to expose the manipulation, spread the word, educate, get out the vote, show up to vote, and contribute financially to the opposition effort, things could have turned out differently. As things stand, Bloomberg & Co. are trying for a lather, rinse, repeat in Nevada, and uninvolved gun owners will only guarantee another victory for their enemy.
Without a critical mass of dedicated ground troops to counter seemingly inexhaustible billionaire financing and professional organization, committed gun rights advocates were reduced to being reactive and on the defensive. No one wins a fight without going on offense. And the same level of “Let George Do It” detachment contributed to further setbacks at the state level, notably the reelections of Dannel Malloy in Connecticut and John Hickenlooper in Colorado.
Had time not run out on last night’s program, there were three other topics I considered significant, and all will only grow in importance in 2015 and beyond. The first, which I did manage to squeeze in a word about, is “amnesty” for illegal aliens and the effect that will have on the electorate when millions with a predisposition to support Democrats and “gun control” become eligible to vote. If any issue has the potential to undo and reverse all of the legislative and judicial gains gun owners have enjoyed to date, and worse, that’s the one.
Also of significance is the increased hatred and violence the police find themselves targets of, with the fires being ignited and fanned by self-styled “progressives.” It’s a curious contradiction, as that is also the faction that screams the loudest for a state “monopoly of violence,” all the while disparaging the true egalitarian power-sharing that only an armed populace can enjoy. The point here is, perceptive and essentially moral peace officers will see who their potential allies are – or would be for those perceived as rights-protecting Oath Keepers, as opposed to agents of oppression. Those who would participate in confiscations, or otherwise infringe on the right to keep and bear arms and other liberties, are ultimately undermining their own interests, not to mention those of their non-police loved ones.
Finally, another huge phenomenon, one that we’ll surely see more of, made headlines in 2014: resurgence of the time-honored American practice for nullifying edicts, civil disobedience. From patriots in Connecticut who refused to register their property, to armed citizens at the Bundy ranch who would not be cowed by BLM firepower, to aforementioned Oath Keepers refusing to come down from the rooftops in Ferguson, to this month’s “I Will Not Comply” rally in Olympia featuring colleague Mike Vanderboegh and others, a growing number of gun owners are taking steps to nullify edicts by flagrantly defying them. At least when done en masse, they’re apparently getting away with it, and making those raging for enforcement look impotent. Look for the phenomenon to grow as more gun owners take notice and decide the most effective activism may be to repurpose Nancy Reagan’s “Just say no” slogan.
To listen to the entire broadcast from last night, visit the Armed American Radio archive for December 28. Alan Korwin appeared in the first hour, John Lott and trainer Rob Pincus in the second, and Hill and I in the third.