Voting is the Foundation of Gun Rights
By Jeff Knox
Manassas, Virginia – -(AmmoLand.com)- When football legend Vince Lombardi famously gathered his team to talk about fundamentals, he went to the most basic level: “Gentlemen,” he said, “this is a football.” Like Coach Lombardi, I want to get back to basics. In politics, just as in football, “winning isn't everything, it's the only thing.” When it comes to effective political activism that quote needs to be turned around; “Voting isn't the only thing.
Voting is everything.” While there are many important things that rights organizations and activists do, it all boils down to the one thing: The Vote. The vote is both the object and the instrument of political power and if we can't wield it effectively, all of our other efforts are useless.
The ultimate objective of the gun rights movement is to win legislative victories to keep politics and politicians away from our guns. To achieve this goal, organizations like The Firearms Coalition must do three things: Recruit, Inform, and Activate. The three are symbiotic, each feeding the other. In its simplest form it translates to: Build a List of names, Tell them What's Going On, and Encourage them to…
Take some Action.
The actions we ask them to take are things like recruiting friends, contacting politicians, and sending money, but the most important activity we encourage is getting involved in elections and voting.
The two activities which seem to garner the most attention are sending money and contacting politicians. Indeed, some organizations seem more interested in collecting money than anything else, and many activists believe that contacting politicians is the key to victory. Both are missing the mark. Money is simply the fuel that drives the Recruiting, Informing, and Activating. Contacting politicians, while important, only wields as much power as the threats or promises it conveys for the next election cycle. Politicians' overriding objective is to gain and retain power – to be elected. There is only one way to reliably influence a politician: Impact His Ability to be Elected. The power of our movement is in the number of people we can generate to vote our way in an election. All of the other activities are important, but they mean little if we don't have the votes to effectively reward or punish politicians on Election Day.
So why am I talking about the importance of voting when we're in an off-off-year election year when there will be no presidential or senate races and only a handful of special congressional elections? Because now is the time to begin preparing for next year and for 2012.
There are important statewide races this November in Virginia and New Jersey and GunVoters could make significant gains in both states. Those elections, and the special congressional and mayors races, will send a message to the politicians for 2010. Whether the message is to start working to earn GunVoter support, or that they need not worry about GunVoters, depends on how we perform in this year's elections.
In order to make a serious impact this year, and be ready to roll out in force in 2010, GunVoters need to gear up now. We must educate ourselves about the races, the candidates, their records, and their promises and we need to be building networks and support systems to be ready to mobilize on Election Day.
GunVoters can get the information they need, share the information they have, get valuable tips and insights, and build useful networks with likeminded people in their own states and around the country by joining and participating in the discussions at www.GunVoter.org.
The site has over 1000 registered members and thousands of discussion topics along with historical documents and other resources. There are dedicated areas for discussions of Tom Gresham's popular Gun Talk radio show as well as links and discussions about articles from Gun Rights Examiners. GunVoter.org also offers dedicated forum space to grass roots groups and associations. If you're a Facebook user, be sure to become a fan of the GunVoter.org fan page and take the “Are You a GunVoter” poll.
If you have never been to GunVoter.org, or haven't been there recently, please stop by and join the discussion. If your group or club needs a web site, forum, or other technical assistance, we can help and we can set you up with your own area on GunVoter.org absolutely free. Drop me a note on the GunVoter site and we'll discuss ways we can help.
The power of the “gun lobby” is GunVoters. Share the power. Participate in www.GunVoter.org.
Neal Knox – The Gun Rights War is now available for immediate delivery!
Visit www.NealKnox.com to order your copy today!
The Firearms Coalition is a loose-knit coalition of individual Second Amendment activists, clubs and civil rights organizations. Founded by Neal Knox in 1984, the organization provides support to grassroots activists in the form of education, analysis of current issues, and with a historical perspective of the gun rights movement.