View Full Version : How to best advocate for gun-related rights

03-11-2012, 7:58 PM
My father got me involved in shooting when I was really just a kid. Taught me about respect, freedom, sacrifice, etc. Like many of you, I am concerned that our gun rights are being eroded in general, such as limits on what we can own and whether we can carry to protect ourselves and other lawabiding people. I am most interested in protecting and even increasing our rights to own both long guns and pistols, and also having the rights to carry without having to prove any particular, specific need to do so. Given that, what are the suggestions for the most effective ways of advocating for these types of rights, such as supporting to organized groups or getting involved otherwise?

03-11-2012, 9:02 PM
Join NRA (nra.org). See what happens to CRPA (crpa.org). Donate to CGF (www.calgunsfoundation.org) and SAF (saf.org).
Check out and learn from the wiki (http://wiki.calgunsfoundation.org/Main_Page). That should be a good start.

03-11-2012, 9:08 PM
Take non-gun people shooting. Discuss gun rights, gun sports, gun use in terms/tone not scary to non-gun people. Try to de-link gun rights from other political issues so people stop thinking that supporting gun rights = must vote straight GOP ticket.

03-11-2012, 9:57 PM
I suggest joining Gun Owners of America andtry getting people into buying their first gun

03-11-2012, 10:12 PM
I suggest joining Gun Owners of America

I thought the OP wanted to be effective ("best advocate for"). :rolleyes:


03-11-2012, 11:10 PM
Educate yourself.

If you don't know what's going on and understand the issues, you will never be effective.

Once you are educated, educate others.

Dreaded Claymore
03-11-2012, 11:34 PM
Educate yourself.

If you don't know what's going on and understand the issues, you will never be effective.

Once you are educated, educate others.

I concur with Wash, and I'll add that one way to educate yourself is to hang out here on Calguns. I've learned an awful lot here, and it may work for you too. Pay particular attention to Hoffmang (Gene Hoffman), Wildhawker (Brandon Combs), Gray Peterson (Gray Peterson), Jdberger, Steyrlp10, and a few others whose names I forget. They know what they are talking about.

Edit: Depending on your political persuasions and tolerance for verbal abuse, you may wish to avoid the Off-Topic forum. Save the drama for yo' mama.

03-12-2012, 12:21 AM
Gun rights can be won in California, but it means we have to be creative, we have to be the adults and let the other side behave like children.

Gun rights are what secure all the other right.

Gun rights are part of the bill of rights, if you are supporting destruction of other people's rights, you undermine your credibility when you complain about your rights.

Don't be too qick to judge others, not all conservatives are pro gun and not all liberals are anti gun.

Be willing to work with people on things you agree on and set aside differences on things you disagree on. This is very hard for many people, but if you will do it, you increase your effectiveness.

This is planet Earth, not Vulcan. If you want to reach humans, you have to talk to their hearts, not heads because humans are wired to operate on their emotions, their feelings.

Facts and logic get people to ponder, feelings and emotion get people to act.

You care about the gun rights issue, something motivated you, the question you have to ask yourself is this, how can I explain my passion on gun rights to a non gun owner in such a way that they see protection of gun rights as important to protecting their rights.

Calguns is growing off the internet, find events in your area and meet people because to a large extent this is a team effort. BTW, we have fun.


03-12-2012, 5:26 AM
Take non-gun people shooting. Discuss gun rights, gun sports, gun use in terms/tone not scary to non-gun people. Try to de-link gun rights from other political issues so people stop thinking that supporting gun rights = must vote straight GOP ticket.

Take non-gun people shooting is probably the best way. But delinking gun rights from other political issues is pretty tricky, and will be like watching paint dry. The reality is if you want gun rights you have to vote pro 2A politicians into office. And they are more likely to be republican rather than democrat no matter how much anecdotal evidence there is about democrats you (or anyone else) know who like guns. It makes no difference if your democrat friend likes guns if he votes people like Pelosi, Boxer, Obama et al into office.

03-12-2012, 5:35 AM
To show how times have changed. I saw an episode of Perry Mason last week. There was a scene in an airplane where a man opened his briefcase and a revolver fell out. The gun rolled underneath the seat to the next row where Perry Mason was seated. He picks up the gun, and without batting an eye hands it to the guy in the seat in front of him saying only, "I think you dropped something". That was California in 1959.

03-12-2012, 8:56 AM
But delinking gun rights from other political issues is pretty tricky, and will be like watching paint dry.

The OP is talking about advocating for rights, not how to change the current political picture. Advocating for rights, making guns socially acceptable and disassociating "gun culture" from political color and negative stereotypes is what will affect people on the fence to the point where they can listen to an argument.

So, yes, take them shooting and be very deliberate in explanation of safety procedures that you are using all the time. After the session, watch their ears and minds open to accepting new ideas, particularly in light of them just having exercised a full control of a powerful and scarry (to them) tool.

03-12-2012, 9:37 AM
The OP is talking about advocating for rights, not how to change the current political picture.

Sounds good in theory.

03-12-2012, 10:00 AM
Many good suggestions above. In addition, here's a link to "What YOU can do **RIGHT NOW** to support RKBA efforts in California" (http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=362574).

03-12-2012, 10:23 AM
I am a big fan of taking people shooting, heres a quote from a recent range trip I posted in shoots, meets, range stores, but nobody seems to go in that forum!

"I love how the opportunity of being at the range gives you a free "go" in educating newcomers on how stupid our laws our, which is met with a "are you serious that is so stupid" response, and usually have a chance to try and answer their "well how do we get rid of those laws" type questions. "why can he use the "large loaders?" Sally asked me, (referring to his standard capacity mags vs my bullet buttoned 10 round mags.) Well there was something called the Assault Weapon Ban. Does his gun look/sound/shoot any different than mine? No? Well here is why mine is not a registered banned gun (they wont let you register new guns), yadda yadda."

From my thread "Got to shoot me some banned semi autos (http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=546685)"

And another quote from the Mitt Romney Ted Nugent discussion thread.

What I'm saying is, to the un-indoctrinated gun person, an "assault weapon" (anything they put on Law and Order, or talk about on the news, that is fully automatic, black and scary with a "banana clip") really does seems scary, and bad, OF COURSE you want to keep those "enhanced lethality" guns "off the street". But they really are just a semi-auto rifle.

In just the past year I've taken at least a dozen new shooters to the range who all would likely have felt that renewing an "assault weapon" ban, would be a good thing. When I pointed out to them that the black gun they shot would have been banned if not for a mag lock, they said, "why, that was really fun, why do you need that 'bullet button' on it? I don't want to ban those! Where can I get one?"

03-12-2012, 1:22 PM

* Vote. Support Pro-2A politicians anywhere you find one. This includes not just the president, but your elected representatives at the Federal, State, and local levels. Find out who the candidates are for City Council and the county Board of Supervisors. Consider what kind of people are serving on the school board, and what kind of judges you are supporting.

* Support Pro-2A lobby organizations like the CGF, SAF, NRA etc. The coordinated, organized efforts of these organizations are critical to protecting our interests.


* Get involved in Pro-2A educational efforts like Boy Scouts shooting programs and Appleseed. The attitudes our children have about firearms will be critical in shaping the future of the 2A landscape.


I think the single thing you can do to have the greatest impact, is to help normalize other peoples' perceptions of guns. Too many people (especially here in California) have wild misconceptions about firearms and firearms owners. Many think only cops, criminals, and nuts own firearms. Quite a few don't even realize that regular citizens can legally own firearms. Its easy to help change these perceptions. We all know people who have negative preconceptions.

* A good start is simply outing yourself as a firearm owner. Let your coworkers know that you shoot. Don't make a big deal about it, but when someone asks what you did over the weekend, tell them. "I shot an IPSC match", or "I took my daughter trap shooting", "I took a precision rifle class", or "I helped teach some Boy Scouts to shoot" are all great conversation starters. You will probably be surprised at how positive the responses from your coworkers are.

* Take Newbies Shooting. When some express interest, talk to them about it. Offer to take them shooting, especially if they have never shot, or haven't shot since they were kids, etc. Don't get pushy and evangelical about it. Just put the offer out there. To most non-shooters this sounds pretty fun and adventurous.

When you do take them shooting, make it a fun social event. Take the time to talk about safety and explain how things work. This will help put them at ease, then don't pressure them or rush them, let them try it out and experience the sport. Outdoor ranges are better for this as they tend to be more social and casually paced. The whole point here is to make sure their first experiences are positive ones. You may be pleasantly surprised when they come back asking you about their first gun purchase or looking for a class to learn more.

07-15-2012, 5:33 PM
As a follow-up to my original post: Well, I've researched the recommended organizations, read and re-read pertinent posts on the subject, talked with shooting buddies etc. Seems like nothing "effective" is happening to further rights to possess firearms for defense. Or, maybe its just that progress of not apparent and very, very slow. If Yee's bill can win, current tactics/counter-tactics must not be effective and we are losing!

One of the problems I have observed is that advocates, or those in the know that posts point to as being authorities do not keep the common folk like me very informed about efforts that are underway. It is hard to buy into the efforts/donate to the cause when one is not sure what is going on. Is it really necessary to be so hush-hush? I can appreciate a need for discretion in some matters, but more info/more frequent updates would be welcome and helpful.

For example, what is going on with th effort to gain a shall issue approach in Orange county? If we donate to that cause, how are the funds used? I am not interested in offending those that spend time organizing and advocating, but I am feeling a little frustrated with lack of movement/progress. I am known to be somewhat impatient... Seems like we should maybe focus on getting the right politicians and public officials voted in. Thanks.

07-15-2012, 5:53 PM
I enjoy shooting down coalition to stop gun violence twitter posts. @csgv if you want to join the fun.

After of course you buy yourself and all your family members an NRA membership and take all your friends shooting and convince them to stand up to politicians who want to ban carry and types of guns!

07-15-2012, 6:12 PM
I still stand by my position to educate yourself.

If the mag magnet guys hadn't been idiots (and the gun shows kicked them out like they should have done), we wouldn't have AB249.

If UOC advocates hadn't riled up the soccer moms, AB144 would never have been introduced or passed.

If Ed Peruta hadn't filed a bad copycat carry case in San Diego while the Sykes case was slightly delayed making Sacramento county virtual shall issue, Orange county might be under serious pressure to go shall issue.

As much as I hate to say it, well meaning but stupid gun owners (who do not know enough about California politics and the legal system) are our worst enemy.

Gun owners have to be kept in the dark because we can't risk giving the antis our complete game plan and some dumb gun owners would use that plan badly or just get really pissed off because their particular county isn't the leading edge of our civil rights struggle.

Strategy is important and a winning strategy is to only fight battles we can win and fight those battles agains the weakest opponent we can find so that our efforts are as effective as possible.

Strategic errors are what has slowed us down and if hasn't been real gun rights advocates making the errors, it's the impatient "me, me, me" crowd.

As far as donating for a county goes, I've sponsored SF, Alameda, LA and Santa Clara counties. Santa Clara because I live there, the others because they are the biggest abusers of LTC discretion. I don't expect that any of those counties will be where the LTC battle is won because the real win is in the 9'th circuit court of appeals which applies to all 58 counties and the rest of the district as well.

If you want to win you have to think about the big picture and about how slow our courts work and how quickly our legislature can screw things up if we give the antis anything to complain about.

It is frustrating but if you see how close we have come to a big carry win only to be sabotaged in San Diego, that is the real frustration.

07-15-2012, 8:37 PM
Look at what got you involved...

"My father got me involved in shooting when I was really just a kid. Taught me about respect, freedom, sacrifice, etc."

Return the favor to your kids and others who were not fortunate enough to have a father who did this for them.

What will help the most is expanding the pool of active gunnies in Califorina. Don't pollute the experience for folks with too much politics. Shooting and gun rights are not the private domain of one political party. Trying to do that in CA will forever marginalize us. Appeal to folks who are non-traditional shooters. Hippies make grat gun folks, they love thumbing their noses at "the man" and there is nothing "the man" likes right now, especially in California, than restricting gun rights.

07-15-2012, 10:01 PM
Speaking as someone who's lived in Chicago and now resides in South Dakota, note that gun rights are NOT equal to political affiliation. The 2nd Amendment of the United States Constitution doesn't care if you're Democrat or Republican, just like the right to Free Speech doesn't change because of your ballot format.

Its easy to confuse gun ownership with political allegence as in most-NOT ALL- places in America conservative/libertarian politicans respect the 2A more than Democrat candidates, with notable exceptions on both sides. As the saying goes however, correlation does not equal causation.

In anti-gun areas, we must face the concrete reality that the Democrat majority is there to stay. Much as we all wish it were not so, that's demographic fact.If political affiliation is necessary for gun right recognition, then we may as well shut down this site right now.

If its not-and I believe it isn't-then we must all work at convincing the liberals and Democrats that gun control is an unwise policy no matter what your political beliefs are. A home invader doesn't care if the owner votes for Obama, but they will certainly care if the rightful owner has a loaded AK with a 30 round mag in it.

To that end we must do three things:

1)be personally responsible about gun ownership. If you CCW, do NOT be "That Guy". Don't be the moron who's flashing your carry gun at every house party talking about Ted Nugent and bragging about putting a hollow point into a mugger. The anti's have painted a scary picture of the armed American walking around with spurs jingling looking for trouble, and regrettably many gun owners seem determined to uphold that stereotype. For the sake of all our rights, don't.

2) Leave your politics at the door. Discuss firearms and safety, sure, and the practical benefits anyone can understand such as personal security and government intrusion into private life. Under NO circumstances should you disrespect a stranger's political alignment on first contact, and I daresay nothing about politics should be mentioned at the first range visit either. You may think Romney would make a better President than Obama, and they may think Hitler's a better candidate than Mitt R, but all of us can agree that government shouldn't control every aspect of our lives. Instead of saying "Democrats impose gun control laws like the 10 day waiting periods and magazine bans", stating that " government has no right to determine how long you should wait to buy your own property" establishes common ground instead of destroying it.

3) Cut back on the tactical technobabble. We on this forum know about FTFs, Jeff Cooper, Glocks vs 1911s ,so called stopping power, and the merits of a Magpul vs Troy industries AR15 sight. A newbie will ask for an interpreter if you start your discussion with "we're going to be shooting my Magpul MOE AR15, with a Pmag tactical magazine , two point sling and Eotech holo sight built on a Cali-legal RRA lower. Ive got the sights set for my 3-gun meets, so dont touch em! The trigger's two stage so be mindful of your press. " Less yak, more shooting. They'll get to the cool toys later.

4) For the love of Buddha, Joesph and Muhammad don't quote the 2nd Amendment. Relying on the 2nd Amendment to convince someone of a pro-gun position is like a Muslim arguing that we shouldn't eat bacon because of a passage in the Koran. Id guess most of us here don't follow the Muslim belief system, so why should we care what's in their holy book beyond academic interest. That's how most anti's see the 2nd Amendment, as a passage of text in someone else's holy book which doesn't apply to them. Thus do not rely upon it to convince someone to value gun rights.

07-16-2012, 6:20 PM
I make it my personal mission to introduce at least two people to shooting per year. I wish it could be more. And... last year, I was lazy and just taught my mom and brother... but next year is looking good.