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View Full Version : Combating Bad Laws - What can a citizen do


Dessun
10-27-2009, 4:29 PM
Fellow Americans, I need some help. After becoming a gun owner, I became aware of and awoke a desire to fight against bad, illogical, poorly constructed, even unconstitutional. This includes all laws, not just anti-gun laws. I’ve decided I want to become informed of bad laws in the process and fight against them for the good of Californians and all US citizens. I'm tired of seeing the sad state of our government.

On this regard I have many questions:

Where can one go to find-out what Bills politicians voted for at the State and US level?

How can I contact candidates on the ballots to determine their stance against illogical laws?

How can I get the message out to other people about bad/good Bills and candidates? What is effective?

How can I influence the legislative process as a citizen?

Where can I learn about the Bills that are being worked on? Are there any watchdog groups out there who inform people about potential bad law in the making?

Are there any websites that lists non-partisan, neutral, pure logic and fact on Bills, law, politicians, etc?


I look forward to you responses.

dantodd
10-27-2009, 5:21 PM
You are now in the right place for information and calls to action for when and where to contact your representatives.


To fight these bad laws there are 2 primary organizations in CA. The first is the NRA. We are the only state in which the NRA has a full time lobbyist. He's excellent and helps fight bills before they even get to the floor. The second is the CalGuns Foundation. They file suits against bad laws and help defend gun owners wrongly accused!

YOU ARE IN THE BEST PLACE AT A GREAT TIME!

7x57
10-27-2009, 5:44 PM
Fellow Americans, I need some help. After becoming a gun owner, I became aware of and awoke a desire to fight against bad, illogical, poorly constructed, even unconstitutional.


Welcome to the war. :chris:

Actually, you're joining the fight when we're on the offensive for the first time in more than half a century. With luck, you'll never know how bitter and discouraging the fight has been at times in the past. Our job now is to make sure that doesn't happen again.


Iíve decided I want to become informed of bad laws in the process and fight against them for the good of Californians and all US citizens.


:thumbsup:


Where can one go to find-out what Bills politicians voted for at the State and US level?


I'll let someone else give that one a real answer. But sometimes more useful is to look at their NRA rating. The NRA spends more time than we can keeping an eye on what they've done.


How can I contact candidates on the ballots to determine their stance against illogical laws?


This tends not to be too effective, because their communications will be written to offend the fewest people and therefore be as vague as possible. You have to learn the code words, and even then you don't know much. Even the most anti-gun politicians will "support the second amendment," subject only to "reasonable restriction," hoping that you won't notice that to them there is no such thing as unreasonable gun control.

In those terms, the NRA's Wayne LaPierre and the Brady Campaign's Paul Helmke have the same position--except what they think is reasonable. Wayne, I think, believes it's reasonable to disarm convicted felons. Paul believes it's reasonable to disarm law-abiding citizens. See? Both believe in "reasonable" gun control.

One might say that much of the problem is that "reasonable" is defined by the most unreasonable, and unreasoning, people in the world. :mad:


How can I get the message out to other people about bad/good Bills and candidates? What is effective?


Join your local NRA member's council and participate in their efforts. Get involved in CGF activities. Those are the two groups with the best outreach in CA, though what they do depends on the initiative of the local members. Beyond that, it depends entirely on your rhetorical abilities and personal style. If you can sell ice cubes to eskimos you're good to go.

We have hopes that CRPA is becoming effective at more and more things, but they have a long way to catch up at this point.


How can I influence the legislative process as a citizen?


1. Vote. That's so simple it's almost insulting to your intelligence, but you probably have no idea how many California gun owners don't vote.

2. Vote as though gun rights matter. A lot more gunnies seem to vote as though gun rights are irrelevant compared to other concerns--fair or not, the "Obama gunnies" tend to take a verbal beating here. Some here are one-issue voters--I'm not, but I weigh gun rights as a primary issue in how I vote. Someone who can't trust me with arms cannot be trusted with my government, if I can find another option.

Party correlates with voting, but not extremely--Harry Reid, for example, actually has an NRA "A" rating and has earned it. I probably couldn't bring myself to vote for him personally, but on gun rights he seems to be fine (voted against the Clinton AW ban, for example) and is a perfectly logical candidate for the one-issue gun rights voter. So don't trust the party affiliation if you can find more specific information.

3. Join/donate to the California gun-rights organizations that are actually useful and produce results: NRA, CGF, CRPA. Don't bother with those that mostly raise money by bashing those on that list (<cough> <cough> GoC <cough>).

4. The process is designed to basically keep you from influencing it, frankly, so lone-ranger approaches are too easily deflected. But coordinated action is a different story. The NRA funds a full-time lobbyist in Sacramento (Ed Worley). Part of his effectiveness is that when he passes the word, we start making calls and writing letters. He also knows when those calls are counterproductive and when they are not, for often arcane reasons of politics. So watch the NRA alerts and Calguns and coordinate with the army.

5. If you know of a pro-gun candidate with a chance of winning, volunteer on his campaign. Just make sure it's real first (Calguns is a good place to see what is known about candidates). But most people cannot be bothered to do the hard ground work--man phones, pound pavement, get out the vote on election day. Many times those efforts make the difference between winning and losing.


Where can I learn about the Bills that are being worked on? Are there any watchdog groups out there who inform people about potential bad law in the making?


Your two best options are the CalNRA legislative page

http://www.calnra.com/legs.shtml

And this Calguns forum.


Are there any websites that lists non-partisan, neutral, pure logic and fact on Bills, law, politicians, etc?


The strictly correct answer is no, since simply believing in the citizen's right and duty to arms is intensely partisan (but partisan in terms of core ideology--party is only a crude indicator and not to be trusted if you can find better evidence). Like with any matter you do not have direct sensual evidence for, you have to decide who to believe. Most of our lives are, in a sense, based on trust.

If you mean accurate, you can trust CalNRA and Calguns. Calguns reacts faster, being a forum, but requires more time and effort to sift through, being a forum. CalNRA specifically reflects the NRA's positions, but as the NRA is the single most effective gun-rights lobby in Sacramento I regard that as a plus and not a minus.

Hope that helps. This is the best place for advice as far as California goes, and you'll get plenty of other advice to supplement the above (or contradict it <gasp>).

7x57

Dessun
10-27-2009, 9:23 PM
Thank you, 7x57, that was a well written response to fighting bad anti-gun legislation. It's my fault, I forgot to mention in my post that I wasn't just talking about bad guns laws, but about poor politics on a mass scale. It really bursts my bubble when I see the poor state of our government. I changed my post to reflect this.

mikehaas
10-28-2009, 7:42 AM
I assume you are a member of NRA? Second, go here...
http://calnra.com/volunteer/
...and enter your information.

Work to stay informed and follow the lead of those in the cause that have been doing this a long time.

Don't go off "half cocked". DON'T TALK TO MEDIA refer them to NRA Public Relations at 703-267-3820. Resist the urge to "DO SOMETHING NOW!!!!" - instead, watch and learn. There are those that have done damage to the cause (and are actually doing so right now) by ignoring the advice of very experienced people and letting their impatience get the better of them.

Each of us of us have gotten off our butts and the couch for the same reason - anger. The trick is to now channel that anger into something productive - it's more of a trick than it sounds. The most common mistake "woken up" gun owners make is they immediately start considering themselves experts.

Don't try to become a celebrity in the gun movement. When an RKBA activist starts screwing up, you can bet it's "EGO" at the root of it.

What is needed are dependable, responsible soldiers. People that will show up at hearings, write letters, make phone calls - RESPOND AS A VOLUNTEER WHEN ASKED (don't just post messages on pro-gun forums and think you're accomplishing anything.)

And most important: DON'T FORM ANOTHER "GUN-RIGHTS" GROUP! Most of the ones that exists now are nothing but money machines for private concerns (all are private companies except for NRA) and not worth the air it takes to say their name.

BTW, I no longer include CRPA in that list - they've worked hard to fix their internal problems and are now doing yoeman's work in working with NRA.

KylaGWolf
10-28-2009, 10:08 AM
Desun First off welcome to Calguns. As someone else put oh so much better than I can the NRA and Calguns are good places to start in helping to change things for the better.

dantodd
10-28-2009, 10:12 AM
Don't try to become a celebrity in the gun movement. When an RKBA activist starts screwing up, you can bet it's "EGO" at the root of it.

This is not always true. The Heller case comes to mind where a very smart man went against the advice of the NRA and did a lot of good. I would not say that it was completely driven by "EGO" though I will admit that Dick may not be of the most pure heart. It is not automatically a "screw up."

wildhawker
10-28-2009, 10:15 AM
And most important: DON'T FORM ANOTHER "GUN-RIGHTS" GROUP! Most of the ones that exists now are nothing but money machines for private concerns (all are private companies except for NRA) and not worth the air it takes to say their name.

BTW, I no longer include CRPA in that list - they've worked hard to fix their internal problems and are now doing yoeman's work in working with NRA.

Mike, I assume you also include Calguns and its volunteers in that list along with CRPA, who all work very hard alongside NRA in the fight for our rights.

dantodd
10-28-2009, 10:17 AM
Mike, I assume you also include Calguns and its volunteers in that list along with CRPA, who all work very hard alongside NRA in the fight for our rights.

Nor SAF I would presume.

Dessun
10-28-2009, 10:23 PM
Thanks everyone for chiming in. This is CALGUNS obviously, but I just wanted to mention I want to give support against ALL types of bad laws, not just anti-gun laws. For example, anyone heard about that flavored cigarette ban? I don't like cigarettes but I don't like that law, FUD imo.

MikeHaas thank you for your insight. No I'm not interested in being a celebrity nor leading an organization. I'm just want to be a normal citizen who keeps an eye on what our goverment is doing and does what I can to tell others why some of it is a bad idea. For this is I need two things (one you mentioned): sources of information, as unbiased as possible, and a method of spreading the word (volunteerism in your case).