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Old February 14, 2013, 10:52 AM   #1
Al Norris
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It's Time to Choose a Side

We all should be very aware of the political climate within the U.S. right now. The gun issue, while cooler heads appear to be gaining traction within the U.S. Congress, is still an abnormally hot issue. It appears that while those in Congress are cooling off, those in the various State Houses are not.

So we are facing attacks on our Second Amendment Rights, both nationally and, for many of us, within our home States.

While browsing over at MDShooters.com, I came across a reference to a blog at Down Range Firearms Training, that makes a lot of sense, as to where we are, what we are up against and what we all need to do. Owner Matt DeVito, has graciously given permission to repost his essay in its entirety. The original is here: It’s Time to Choose a Side (This Will Offend You) « Down Range Firearms Training



It’s Time to Choose a Side (This Will Offend You)
Written on February 12, 2013 at 7:47 pm, by IanDRFT

As the impending legislation of an “Assault Weapons Ban”, and a “High Capacity Magazine Ban” draws imminently closer, I’ve noticed a distinct rift amongst gun owners. This gap, or dare I call it a “separation”, was evident BEFORE Aurora, Colorado, before Clackamas, Oregon, and before Newtown, Connecticut. This split has existed between those who consider themselves “action shooters”, and those who feel they are “sportsmen” for quite some time.

As I said, there was a distinction made between the different “classes” of shooters LONG before any of the most recent tragedies had occurred. There was even a notorious article written by Jim Zumbo in 2007 in the Outdoor Life Magazine, where he said that AR-15’s were “terrorist weapons”, and had no “sporting or hunting” purpose. Even after that article, and Zumbo’s admittance to being wrong, the misconceptions continue today. Look at the debacle with RECOIL Magazine this past fall. That WHOLE article was a win for the “other” side. I’ve seen it for years at my local shooting range…err…I mean “Sportsman’s Club”. The trap shooters fight with the skeet shooters, the cowboy action shooters fight with the IDPA shooters, and the long distance shooters fight with the silhouette shooters. I remember sitting at a meeting once at my local club, as words were exchanged between “sportsmen” of different disciplines. All I could think to myself was, “wow, all an anti-gun person needs to do would be to sit in on one of these meetings, and they’d have endless fuel to add to their fire!” Any anti-gun person could sit there, listen to insults being hurled around, childish accusations being made, and argue that if we couldn’t even get along with each other, how dare we claim to be responsible enough to own guns? It was sad to say the least, and I had hoped that the shenanigans that I witnessed were only confined to the four walls of our meeting hall. Boy was I wrong!

As the AWB of 2013 looms closer and closer, the rift seems to be growing more and more. There seems to be a distinct line in the sand that many gun owners are refusing to cross. There is the crowd that believes in our RIGHT to own MODERN SPORTING RIFLES, then there’s the crowd that sees no need for anything more than a 3 round bolt action hunting rifle. There are those that will argue that they see a need for those types of “high capacity” rifles, but not for use in the hands of civilians. They don’t see a “sporting” purpose for the rifle. They don’t believe they have any application for hunting, competition, or self defense. Ask your local hunter how many rounds his pump shotgun holds. If he tells you 5+1, ask him how many pellets of 00 buckshot that is. If he answers you 54 pellets, ask him why it’s ok for him to be able to defend his home with 54 projectiles but you can’t defend yours with 30? Ask him why it’s totally acceptable for him to be able to shoot nine projectiles uncontrollably with one pull of the trigger, but why you can’t deliver one well aimed round from your 30 round magazine with each pull of the trigger.

At the end of the day, why is it necessary to fight amongst ourselves? At which point will we, as a culture, the “gun culture”, stand side by side in defense of our sport, or hobby, our RIGHTS? After all, that is what we are fighting for. There is no PRO-gun or ANTI-gun, we’ve gone way beyond that at this point. We are dealing with the Bill of Rights, the Second Amendment, the RIGHT to keep and bear arms. This fight has gone past the norms of the pro/anti gun debate. We are now talking about our RIGHTS as Americans. I stood on the stairs of the Massachusetts State House, and watched a Chinese-American citizen, Chinese by birth, American by choice, who had more of a solid grasp of logic, and understanding of this country’s history than many of those who are born and raised here, speak on these RIGHTS. The Second Amendment isn’t about hunting, or muskets, or militias. It’s about the RIGHT of a FREE man, to defend himself against tyranny, and those who would choose to oppress him.

The reason for these current issues is that we have become a country of takers, and not makers. We are relying on others to fight the fight for us. We are too quick to say “it won’t happen to us” or “I don’t own an AR-15, so I’m not worried about it”. Folks have become content and complacent with the fact that a firearms ban or all out confiscation won’t happen. They want resolution, but have no desire to contribute to it. Why? It’s what society has become. Let someone else do the heavy lifting and reap the benefits. If that person or group fails, then fear not, someone will be along shortly to take care of you. After all, this is America right? “Land of the free and home of the lazy.” Why try and be self sufficient when someone else will blaze a trail for you, and then you can just fall in line behind all the other drones?

What does it all boil down to? The truth of the matter is this: they won’t stop until they have EXACTLY what they want. What do they want? EVERYTHING. Reagan spoke of the last bastion of freedom. It’s THAT which the Second Amendment protects. Our freedom. Those who “support” our right to own firearms but do nothing to defend it, are no better than the proverbial sheep. They are afraid. Afraid of what? Afraid of being outspoken, afraid of having a voice, afraid of being more than just a nameless face in the crowd. The anti’s thrive on that. Fear marketing. Taking a quote from Max Brooks’ book World War Z, “Fear is the most valuable commodity in the universe”. By selling fear, and instilling fear in the uninformed, they will try to take our rights way one by one. How are they selling fear? Look at the terms they use to describe our home defense firearms: “assault rifle”, “high capacity assault clip”, “machine gun clip”, “battle field weaponry”. The time is now. Get up off your ass and pick a side. You are either with us or against us…there is no “not with us”. If you don’t choose to support AND defend out rights then you are part of the problem and not the solution. If you continue to try and be an ostrich with your head in the sand, then you too, will eventually have your throat slit…and you’ll never see it coming.

Choose a side…not tomorrow, or the next day, or next week…TODAY. Stand up and fight for what you believe in. Preserve our RIGHTS so that generations after us may feel the exhilaration of a rifle recoil against their shoulder, the smell of gunpowder in their nostrils, and have the RIGHT to protect them, against evil, and tyranny, so that they may live as a free person, in a free country, that respects a person’s RIGHTS.


-Matt DeVito
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Old February 14, 2013, 11:30 AM   #2
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Preserve freedom and save the second amendment
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Old February 14, 2013, 11:40 AM   #3
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There are "sides" to this issue, but we can't keep it real here, so we just say "they" want to restrict our Second Amendment rights, when we know exactly who "they" are. We will keep playing pretend here, so I say I am against "they" and "they" better stop it. Make the bad people stop as "they" are bad.
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Old February 14, 2013, 03:10 PM   #4
GaryH
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I'm in Texas, and I don't see this kind of thing coming to pass here on the state level. However, should it happen regardless of who's legislation it is I will not comply. While others may chose how they want to handle it, I will live free or I will die.
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Old February 14, 2013, 04:21 PM   #5
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I am in CA, and the mood of "them" is in full flower. No question at all where they want to go.

A "prominent" op-ed writer for the Los Angeles Times opined today that the recent shootout in the nearby mountains proved the "folly" of being armed to fight government. The citizen can't deploy that level of force and will just get killed. "Government wins virtually every time." The whole argument that 2A is about fighting tyranny from government is false and outdated.

He also thinks that the current imbalance of force available to government over citizens should be increased by passage of more gun restrictions than CA currently has

We have the ballot box to reign in government, which is what the Founders intended, he said.

He did admit to being less than a "constitutional scholar".

I reckon so.

http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la...2648847.column
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Old February 14, 2013, 10:31 PM   #6
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Hi everyone. First Second post.

My side has always been very simple to state and present, I support the Second Amendment uninfringed; period; end of.

I don't really care who shoots what or why, I just feel that we all should get to make that choice for ourselves and there be no interference or restrictions on law abiding citizens from pursuing their interests with regard to firearms. That is how I understand the Second. That's what I support, that's my side.
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Old February 14, 2013, 11:04 PM   #7
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We are too quick to say “it won’t happen to us” or “I don’t own an AR-15, so I’m not worried about it”.
That was 1994. Nowadays I'm hearing, "well, I got my AR-15, so let the ban come."

For the most part, gun owners I'm talking to are apathetic and disinvolved. Saddest are the ones who remember the AWB, seem resigned that it will happen, and don't take the trouble to engage in even the most rudimentary civic involvement on the matter.
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Old February 15, 2013, 12:34 AM   #8
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At various times, the anti-gun crowd has been after the "cheap" Saturday Night Special, the full size service pistol with double-stack mag, the high powered "sniper" rifle (that bolt action hunting rifle), the "assault" rifle, and now even "evil" looking shotguns. They've restricted imports and tried to sue domestic manufacturers out of business. The truth is they want all the guns and it would behoove us to keep in mind my state's motto --- "United we stand, divided we fall."
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Old February 15, 2013, 01:12 AM   #9
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I choose the side of law.

If guns were illegal, I would abide by the law. Fortunately, the Second Amendment guarantees the individual right to keep and bear arms, subject to reasonable regulation.

The devil is in the details, of course, and there are laws being proposed (heck, who are we kidding, ON THE BOOKS...) that are, I believe, unconstitutional. However, the way to deal with this is through the system and the courts.
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Old February 15, 2013, 01:45 AM   #10
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I choose the side of law.

If guns were illegal, I would abide by the law.
If guns were made outright illegal, I cant say I would choose the side of the law. That is the first step towards tyranny and I would not stand for it.

Here is a video of an activist who was at Tiananmen Square, and now an American citizen and gun owner. See what he has to say about the government disarming its citizens.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature...&v=I6_vCbi0JeI
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Old February 15, 2013, 02:40 AM   #11
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It is imperative that we stand for all rights. I do not agree with some rights but I defend the people who chose to exercise those rights.

We face a group whose goal is to eliminate private ownership of guns except for a select few.

The ban on assault rifles and high capacity magazines is a first step for that group.

The next go around they will seek to ban all pump shotguns or lever action rifles because they can hold too many rounds. See the New York law.

We must all hang together or we will hang separately.

Until recently I did not believe that ARs had a place in hunting. I bought one for a number of reasons but I discovered that it is an outstanding hunting rifle for controlling varmints and the wild dogs which plague the area were I live.
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Old February 15, 2013, 03:14 AM   #12
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I chose my side years ago

I did choose sides years ago when the first AWB went in effect, I didn't let anything get away from me then, and I won't comply with any new ban now, if for no other reason than to give me legal standing in court battles.

These jack booted government thugs can just come and take them by force and prosecute me! (If I survive the raid).

I don't just stand by and wait either, I have written several dozen letters to government officials stating my position and will to defy their new bans. I have been to rallies, I give money to pro-gun organizations and try very hard not to do business with anti-gun companies or spend money in anti-gun cities.
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Old February 15, 2013, 07:48 AM   #13
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It appears that while those in Congress are cooling off, those in the various State Houses are not.
Theres a very good chance two or three states will enact NY style gun control this year.
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Old February 15, 2013, 08:12 AM   #14
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"well, I got my AR-15, so let the ban come."
Yep. I heard this the other day from a friend of a friend as we were discussing 2A and proposed legislation. Unreal. My friend and I set this other guy straight, but I have a feeling there are a whole lot of people out there with the same attitude.

Great article, by the way. Really hammers home the point that there is no middle ground here in this constitutional crisis.
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Old February 15, 2013, 08:37 AM   #15
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I know many people have been very active, but in general it is time for us to get off our collective asses, not only when it comes to LEGALLY standing up for our gun rights, but also to start figuring out a way to make stuff in this country again and be the economic leader of the world. The gun industry in the U.S. seems to be one that actually manufacturers stuff here.
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Old February 16, 2013, 07:59 PM   #16
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If a local or federal law were to ban firearms, I would stand on and with the the higher law, the constitution. Both the US constitution, and the State constitution...If that ends up causing me to be charged, so be it, then we fight it out in the courts..

you don't ever give up your ability to resist. Otherwise you might as well lay over on your back and expose you vulnerable underparts like a submissive dog.
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Old February 16, 2013, 08:35 PM   #17
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Very good article. It is well nigh time for each individual to decide on which side of the aisle they stand. I, for one, will never submit to bans or any of such "malarkey", as Uncle Joe would say. It is, indeed, time to put aside all of the political correctness that is destroying this country and draw the line in the sand. Time for National Shooter's Day, where everyone who believes in the 2A fires a gun(min 5 rounds, blanks if necessary) at the same time all across the country. Let freedom ring!
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Old February 16, 2013, 08:51 PM   #18
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There are "sides" to this issue, but we can't keep it real here, so we just say "they" want to restrict our Second Amendment rights, when we know exactly who "they" are.
If you think you can categorize anti-gunners that easily, you need to do some more research. The fact is that you can find anti-gun and pro-gun persons in virtually any category, ethnicity, demographic or political leaning.

Basically, you missed the ENTIRE point of the article. The point is that we like to think that we can categorize people with labels. The specific point is that many people like to think that gun owners are all pro-gun. That is NOT true--they are "pro-my-gunners", but they can very well be "anti-your-gunners" in the sense that they're only worried about what they owned and are more than willing to own those who own other categories or classes of gun under the bus. There are many gun owners who will turn their back on certain categories in the gun community and either ignore legislation against those categories, or, worse yet, SUPPORT such legislation.

Unless we can deal with these issues constructively, as opposed to trying to oversimplify by applying easy labels and overgeneralizations, we're not going to get anywhere.
Quote:
We will keep playing pretend here, so I say I am against "they" and "they" better stop it. Make the bad people stop as "they" are bad.
The ones pretending are the ones who believe that it's possible to accurately determine someone's stance on gun control merely by applying a convenient label and/or making assumptions based on other aspects of the person's beliefs and philosophies.

That's the kind of problem the article is trying to defeat by pointing out that we, as gun owners, are actually divided against ourselves, at least in some respects.
Quote:
These jack booted government thugs can just come and take them by force and prosecute me! (If I survive the raid).
They will NOT come to take your guns, and you will not get the chance to go out in a blaze of glory. You will go out silently, or with a whimper, but the odds of your getting a chance to actually stand up to an LE who is trying to confiscate your guns are almost non-existant.

We can look at what has happened before to see what will happen here if bans are passed.

The laws will be passed and voluntary compliance will be expected. Most will comply, some will not. The ones who do not will not be actively pursued. It's pointless and dangerous to do so, and it is critical that no line-in-the-sand moments be created that might spur violent, or worse, organized violent resistance.

So they'll just wait for people to get turned in by ex-spouses, careless comments, mistakes, etc. They have time--we don't.

The bottom line is that we will win or lose this battle in the legislatures and at the ballot boxes. If you're willing to die to keep your guns, then you should be willing to write your legislators; join, and donate to, gun organizations; volunteer to support pro-gun politicians; etc.

The problem is that it's easy, it takes no effort at all, nor does it exact any penalty, to talk about what will happen "when they come for my guns" but it takes time, effort and money to do practical things that can actually protect gun rights. So we hear a lot about what's going to happen during gun confiscation but it's much less common to see people working against it right now--when what they do can really make a difference.
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Old February 16, 2013, 09:36 PM   #19
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"If you think you can categorize anti-gunners that easily, you need to do some more research. The fact is that you can find anti-gun and pro-gun persons in virtually any category, ethnicity, demographic or political leaning."


Funny, every scientific poll I have seen shows the exact opposite. But why not just pretend - I like that. Pretend world. P.C. world.


"Whether someone owns a gun is a more powerful predictor of a person’s political party than her gender, whether she identifies as gay or lesbian, whether she is Hispanic, whether she lives in the South or a number of other demographic characteristics." (BTW I love the gender equality of the NYT)
http://fivethirtyeight.blogs.nytimes...vide-is-sharp/

Facts are stubborn things.

Here is one party's official platform.
http://www.ontheissues.org/celeb/dem...un_control.htm

Here is another party's official platform
http://www.ontheissues.org/celeb/rep...un_control.htm


I am torn between the two, the platforms seem to be exactly the same. I can't tell any difference. Living here in California, I've noticed we have the same general legal scheme for firearms as Montana and New York and Idaho are mirror images and Illinois, Maryland et al are the same as Wyoming. Yes it is just all the same. Makes no difference. I feel so good now.

Kumbaya - We all equally love firearms. Kumbaya
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Old February 16, 2013, 09:50 PM   #20
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Everyone knows that generalizations contain some truth--that's the only reason they exist at all.

The point of my post and of the article in question is that they do not tell the whole story and we do ourselves (and those we label using generalizations) a disservice if we assume otherwise.
Quote:
I am torn between the two, the platforms seem to be exactly the same. I can't tell any difference. Living here in California, I've noticed we have the same general legal scheme for firearms as Montana and New York and Idaho are mirror images and Illinois, Maryland et al are the same as Wyoming. Yes it is just all the same. Makes no difference. I feel so good now.

Kumbaya - We all equally love firearms. Kumbaya
No one is claiming it's all the same, and it's disengenous and unproductive of you to attempt to make it seem so.

The point is that we need to be aware of reality, with all its complexities, as opposed to trying to simplify things to the point that we ignore important facts. The fact that the article points out is that gun-owners are not a homogenous bunch. Not only do we not all have the same political leanings, we don't even all feel the same way about specific firearms. Many of us are willing to actually support certain firearm bans if we perceive that we will be unaffected in the short term--it's been proven time and time again.

Finally, you are clearly aware of the fact that it is against TFL policy to allow arguments to degenerate into purely political debates. Further creative attempts to circumvent that policy or publicly whine, or "snipe", about it will backfire.
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Old February 16, 2013, 11:00 PM   #21
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My choice was made in 1968. i will not agree to any gun control-period.

The anti-gunners have been able to drive a wedge between hunters, shooters and us awful folks who support the NRA.

We have people on pro-gun boards who are willing to subject themselves to governmant mandated regulation in order to sell their guns. We have others who are willing to outlaw those awful high capacity magazines. Some don't like those awful black guns that "spray and spray" bullets.

The anti-gunners are doing it right this time around. They are hitting hard at the onset of a new administration. They will pass some of their useless feel good gun control schemes and get away scot free at election time because many gunowners will not remember or will not care which political hack voted to take away their gun rights.

Then we have the "me" folks. These are the ones who only care about "me". i've personally heard gunowners say: "i've got my AR-15, why should i care if they pass an AWB". Politicians can mandate registration of semi-auto guns later simply outlaw them. That has happened in CA and NJ.

Do not ever assume that because a national politician belongs to a certain party that he/she will support your Second Amendment rights. The AWB passed the US house by a vote of 216-214. 38 Republicans voted for the AWB, 76 Democrats voted no.

i'm bent out of shape because our previously pro-gun OK senator Coburn and senator Schumer are formulating a plan to take way our gun rights.
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Old February 17, 2013, 05:36 PM   #22
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I picked my side decades ago. I am on the side of the Bill of Rights, all of the amendments, and will fight in anyway I can to preserve these.
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Old February 17, 2013, 05:54 PM   #23
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The power of people is very strong. The ability to get them united is another story. If people could unite we could win this whole battle,
Please all of us need to stand together for this fight for our rights. Just once people lets do this together
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Old February 17, 2013, 07:51 PM   #24
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The reason for these current issues is that we have become a country of takers, and not makers. We are relying on others to fight the fight for us. We are too quick to say “it won’t happen to us” or “I don’t own an AR-15, so I’m not worried about it”.
I saw this in action at a small, local gun shop a few weeks ago. It's on my normal Saturday chores route, so I was hanging out and chatting with a couple of the regulars. The two proprietors were VERY busy.

In walked a guy I had never seen before. He was wearing a sweatshirt emblazoned with the name of a nearby shooting club, so he wasn't a newbie. He started complaining about all the new anti-gun laws being proposed and he asked why the NRA isn't "doing something" about it. I pointed out that the NRA IS doing something about it, but the NRA's position is so well-known that many politicians routinely tune out the NRA. I told him what we really need is for each of us, as individual citizens, to write or e-mail or call our elected representatives and tell them we don't want more anti-gun laws.

I said, "Today is Saturday. You can write the letters tonight and drop them in the mail to go out on Monday."

His response? "Yeah, whatever," whereupon he turned his back on me and proceeded to ignore me completely. In other words, it was too much trouble for him to write a letter or even to fire up the computer and pop off an e-mail. He expects the NRA to do it all for him. And when the NRA does its best and that isn't good enough, you can bet he won't blame himself for not having written those letters. He'll blame the NRA for not having done "enough."

As the saying goes, "With friends like that, who needs enemies?"
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Old February 17, 2013, 08:45 PM   #25
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I have written, e-mailed etc. I got a few (not many) replies back.
Even from strong 2A folks (Sen.Mike Lee for example) the responses were so weak in their wording that you had no idea where they stood. Rob Bishop was the one exception to that rule.
They were all very obviously form letters, which didn't bother me that much, but the responses made me wonder whether anyone was actually paying attention to anything more than the general topic.
In other words, did anyone actually note where I stood on the topic? I'm not going to stop, but it does make me wonder if something else would be more effective.
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