The Republicans have swept into Senate control in the mid-term elections and increased their margin in the House. At this writing, the GOP, which needed six seats to secure majority control of the Senate and oust Harry Reid from leadership, has gained seven. And in the House, per USA Today, “Republicans appeared headed to their biggest majority in decades.”
With these national results, gun owners can breathe a little easier, at least as far as the potential for draconian federal citizen-disarmament bills being passed and bad judges and administrators being confirmed. But, just because a judge is favored by the GOP is no reason to automatically assume he or she will be a friend on the bench, and who knows how the resolve of Republicans will crumble the next time a “gun-free zone” is exploited by a deranged killer and the political vultures who follow?
Meanwhile, at the state level, a different picture emerges. Even though Republicans made gains, key races where guns played an issue proved disappointing to activists trying mightily to punish anti-gun governors.
A case in point is Colorado, where incumbent Democrat John Hickenlooper narrowly beat back Republican challenger Bob Beauprez. Another was New York, where Andrew Cuomo’s trouncing of Rob Astarino wasn’t even close. Most significant may have been Connecticut, another close race, where Gov. Dannel Malloy prevailed over Tom Foley in a race in which gun owners found themselves divided until Independent candidate Joe Visconti finally dropped out the weekend before the election. Add to this problematic political climate the reality that there is no shortage of “moderate” Republicans who hold the right to keep and bear arms in disdain — and who evidently don’t get why principled gun owners return the sentiment.
The so-called “Constitution State” poses another significant danger, as many gun owners have refused to obey anti-gun-registration edicts they view as tyrannical, and now face the danger of zealous enforcement. It’s not just the stuff of “right-wing paranoia,” as no less a “progressive” establishment media source than The Hartford Courant demanded the state identify and go after “scofflaws,” and no less an authority than Gov. Malloy’s Criminal Policy Liaison, Michael Lawlor, has pledged to do just that. With gun-rights activists having essentially dared the state to put up or shut up, the odds just greatly increased that the more adamant among them will not go gentle into that good night.
Another danger manifested itself in Washington State, with the electorate there overwhelmingly allowing themselves to be manipulated by billionaires into giving up rights they as yet do not value. Most who voted for Initiative 594, billed as a “background check” bill, were unaware that even the National Institute of Justice has admitted, “Effectiveness depends on the ability to reduce straw purchasing, requiring gun registration…” Still, there’s no denying plenty of anti-gunners would like to see that and more imposed, and they’re gearing up to repeat what they see as a successful plutocrat-funded Astroturf template to roll out over the grassroots in other states.
With all of the above as the new political playing field gun owners find themselves on, several new dynamics come into play. First and foremost is the threat to fundamentally transform America — not by Obama, but by a Republican establishment represented by the likes of future potential presidential contenders Mitt Romney and Jeb Bush, both of whom are stumping for “amnesty” for the millions of illegal aliens residing in the United States.
They and other leading Republicans are endorsing a policy advocated by Obama’s Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson, who takes the radical position such criminal foreign nationals have “earned the right to be citizens.” While there’s no shortage of wishful thinking that this will broaden Republican appeal, credible analysis shows political sentiment among the “undocumented” overwhelmingly favors the party that includes “strengthening our background check system … reinstating the assault weapons ban and closing the gun show loophole” as an integral part of its official platform.
Next, of course, will come the incursions launched against the states by elite outside special interests. What such coalitions lack in terms of active supporters they more than make up for with seemingly limitless millions of dollars and a sympathetic media. Now that he’s seen his expectations pay off in Washington State, and now that he’s tasted blood, it’s not hard to imagine Michael Bloomberg going into an eye-rolling feeding frenzy.
So what does all this mean to us as gun owners?
If you thought it was time to relax, forget it. There has never been a time when committed involvement has been needed more. We have a president who is defiant, and vowing to stay the course. We have a media that will continue to act as Fourth Estate Fifth Columnists instead of as government watchdogs — except against Republicans who don’t advance “progressive” goals fast enough. We have a Republican establishment that needs to be constantly watched and have its feet held to the fire, and held accountable for betrayals of principle. We have a Democrat establishment that will beat on them for “compromise” until they give in — if we allow it.
We need to declare no new gun laws and mean it, and we need to do more than declare, we need to work. We need to replace the “Enforce existing gun laws” mantra (which is really no different than saying “Enforce existing Intolerable Acts”) with “Repeal existing gun laws.”
To do this effectively, we need to be involved and organized. It’s not enough to just leave an occasional opinion comment under a blog or in a forum post. We need to be force multipliers, and when we see good information, we distribute it, because we realize the mainstream media will never help propagate positive gun news. Yes, we need to join a national gun-rights group, but not stop there. We need to join our state group. We need to vote. We need to communicate with our representatives at all levels, and let them know gun rights are important to us.
We need to help when asked by our groups to do simple tasks, like sending emails, or more involved ones. We need to cast our prejudices aside and not squander the valuable resource social media places in the hands of activists — and realize if we don’t pick it up and use it, our enemies surely will. We need to introduce new people to shooting. We need to occasionally open our wallets to help get things done. We need to be willing to spend some time protecting and advancing liberty.
If the most important gun-rights leader in your life is not the one reading these words — that is, you — it’s time you reconsidered why that is. Chances are you’ll also realize that the greatest enemy we all face is not Obama, or the Democrats, or Bloomberg and his minions, or squishy Republicans, or idiot “real reporters.”
The greatest enemy we face is apathy.
Are you involved? How? Tell us in the comment section.