This opinion piece contains a lot of food for thought for the trying times ahead for gun owners.
United States of America – -(AmmoLand.com)- This month, the seating of a new anti-gun Congress, makes for a good chance to provide Second Amendment supporters who are new to actively working to protect our rights some pointers, as well as to give those who have been long-time activists a bit of a refresher (it never hurts). We all know our objective is to preserve the Second Amendment. But how do we get there from here?
That is a good question, but before you know how to get there from here, you first need to know where “here” is. So, the first step for a newly-politically active Second Amendment supporter isn’t to set up a protest of some anti-Second Amendment politician. It’s to hit the books and the internet search engines – because you have a lot to learn. Defending the Second Amendment involves more than spouting off in a comments section, where everyone already agrees. All too often, the Second Amendment supporter who goes off half-cocked ends up helping Bloomberg.
You need the facts on Second Amendment issues. NRA-ILA has a number of fact sheets that can give you a good handle on the federal issues we face. You don’t have to be a member to access them, either. But that is not all you need to learn in order to effectively defend the Second Amendment in the political arena.
You need to learn more about your local community – who represents it in your local state legislature and Congress, how they have generally viewed your Second Amendment rights. You even should learn what the current laws are at the state and federal level. This knowledge matters because an argument that would work well in rural Kansas or Wisconsin isn’t going to work in the suburbs of Philadelphia or Washington, D.C., and a message that works in the suburbs could be counter-productive in New York City, Seattle, or Boston.
The approach should also change based on your elected officials’ track record on the Second Amendment. If they are loyal friends, often a “thank you for your support” is all that is needed, as well as their sense of what the situation is on the ground in your particular legislature. If they are on the fence about some issues, politely discussing the facts – especially when you can show them that gun-control extremists are not being factually accurate – could win them over. As for determined opponents… well, you smile sweetly for the cameras, agree to disagree, and work to vote their anti-Second Amendment butts out the next time they are up for election.
Why hit the books so much? Well, when people protest, the media will come to cover the protests at some point. It may only be your local newspaper or TV station, but don’t knock it. Many big-name reporters with national profiles got started at smaller outlets, so if their experience with Second Amendment supporters is a positive one, it will have benefits down the road. It also gives you a chance to reach your local community. But that only works if you are knowledgeable about the issues, and aware of the situation.
Find Support: NRA FrontLines
Another thing to do to help your learning process along is to see if you can find other Second Amendment supporters in your area. One good way to do this is to join a network like NRA-ILA’s FrontLines. This way, you will not only have the benefit of working with others who have experience in being politically active in defense of your Second Amendment rights, but you will also not feel alone or isolated. In an era where the Second Amendment faces social stigmatization, this is far more important than you can imagine.
If you are reading this, then you have the objective of protecting our Second Amendment rights and securing the legacy of freedom and an effective means of self-protection for future generations. But you cannot figure out how to achieve that objective unless you are aware of the current situation. Only then can you figure out how to get there from here.