By Rob Morse
Southern California --(Ammoland.com)- How can we save the civil right of self-defense in the United States? It seems like an uphill battle at first. The gun control side has their billionaires. They have the media and many politicians.
What do we have on our side, the side of responsible liberty?
We start with the culture because culture is king. Culture drives politics, and politics drives legislation. To save the civil right of armed self-defense you could
throw a huge party, or hold a large conference for energized activists.
You would gather these activists together and expose them to world class experts on the rights of civilian self-defense. That sounds like a good idea, and is exactly what happened recently at the “Gun Rights Policy Conference”. The misnamed conference was held in Houston, Texas.
The GRPC should be called the “Civil Right of Self-Defense Family Reunion.” This is the 28th year of the conference, so it’s probably too late to change its name. Other events and conventions are about hardware. Whatever its name, this conference is about people.
We could invite lawyers who defend the innocent tourist arrested in New York City for having a pocket knife in her purse. We could invite dignitaries who negotiate international arms treaties and standards.
This is exactly what we had at the GRPC. You don’t believe me and want names? Anyone I mention means I’ve ignored a dozen equally deserving luminaries. How about lawyer Alan Gura who presented landmark cases at the US Supreme Court. Yes, Barack Obama is President, but there is still hope for honest gun owners. Remember that licensed carry is now granted to ordinary citizens in 45 states! Through some citizens are denied the human right of self-defense because of the city or county where they live, that human right is growing across the United States. Maybe you already knew that, but you might have forgotten if you weren’t at the conference.
To water the grass roots of liberty, we would want activist to learn from sociologists and scholars who know the detailed history of modern human rights. These academics can describe the new research and the old. They relate both the worthwhile and the inaccurate reports being thrown into the public debate every day. I’m mixing my tenses again. That was exactly what happened at the GRPC. Professor John Lott spoke, and his name is worth remembering.
You already know about the main stream media’s biased reporting on public violence. As an activist, you’d want to meet members of the media who actually respect civil rights. Yes, there really are journalists, authors and broadcasters who tell our side of the story. We can and should learn from them. What they do is important because the news and entertainment media touch millions of people every day. Thank god some of them are on our side. We can always use more. That is a fact.
Law enforcement officers become experts at separating theory from facts. They see the triumph and tragedy of self-defense more than anyone else as the deal with young gang members and old grandmothers every day. They also know the pitfalls of our legal system. I was honored to met legislators, judges and sheriffs at the conference. You can too. Sheriff John Cooke from Colorado belongs in both the law enforcement and the politician category. Sheriff Cooke was active in the Colorado recall election, and is now running for State Senate. I wish him well.
I’ve given you the highlights, but barely scratched the surface of the event.
The results are tangible and reshape our culture. It is a grass roots activist who reads a bigoted anti-gun article in the local newspaper and scratches out a reply. Ordinary activists talk to their priests, pastors and rabbis to plan gun safety courses for school children. Some activists simply invite their neighbors to go shooting for the first time. They meet with their local legislators. The anti-gun billionaires can’t touch this.
The next gun rights policy conference is in Chicago. You belong there no matter what kind of activists you are. You will go to hear the speakers. After that, you’ll come back again and again to meet people just like you.
I hope to see you there. Rob the reluctant activist…
About Rob Morse:
By day, Rob Morse works in Southern California as a mild mannered engineer for a defense contractor. By night he writes about gun rights at Ammoland, at Gun Rights Magazine, www.gunrightsmagazine.com/contributors/rob-morse/ and writes the SlowFacts blog. www.slowfacts.wordpress.com . He also loves the M1911 and shoots combat handgun on the weekends.