By Jeff Knox : Opinion
Buckeye, AZ –-(Ammoland.com)- The Virginia Citizens Defense League (VCDL), one of the most effective and respected grass roots rights organizations in the country, has launched a petition on the official White House petition site, and they need your help to take it over the top.
The petition, authored by VCDL President Philip Van Cleave, calls on President Trump to push Congress to pass national reciprocity legislation now.
President Trump voiced strong support for this legislation during his campaign, as did most Republican candidates for the House and Senate, but the bills have been stuck in House and Senate subcommittees for months (years really).
GOP Smoke and Mirrors
As we reported back in April, Republicans have been trying to lower expectations for any sort of rights legislation this year, claiming that other, more pressing issues are demanding their attention, and suggesting that gun rights will have to wait until next year for action – then next year we'll hear another excuse.
This is exactly the sort of smoke and mirrors act that rights voters have been complaining about for decades, and which undermines trust and support for Republican candidates. Over and over again, we have heard Republican candidates declare their unwavering support for rights legislation during campaigns, only to see that legislation languish in committees and die on the vine between election years. By not bringing these bills to the floor for record votes, politicians leave GunVoters with no clear record of actual support, and no improvements in America's gun laws.
This means we have only the words of the politicians to guide us in our voting, and with every false start, and failure to take action, more GunVoters become jaded, convinced that their vote doesn't really matter. So election year after election year, more gun owners choose to go hunting or just stay at home on Election Day, muting our voice, and hurting our cause.
What we need is not more words, but action. Even if the legislation can't garner the needed votes in the House or the Senate, bringing it to the floor for a record vote demonstrates a commitment to keep promises. It gets GunVoters fired-up and engaged, and it gives us a clear record upon which to base our votes in the next election.
At this point, with Republicans in control of the White House, the Senate, and the House of Representatives, there is no excuse for not bringing pro-rights legislation to the floors of congress for record votes. Not doing so only hurts Republicans, and helps Democrats.
The Democrats have chosen to identify themselves as the party of gun control, and Republicans have come out in defense of gun rights. But without actual votes on legislation, those are just words. We're tired of all talk and no action. If Republicans expect to get strong GunVoter support in 2018, they must start walking the walk, not just talking the talk.
The VCDL petition requires at least 100,000 signatures in order to be brought to the president's attention. It currently has just over 10,000. That means it must garner another 90,000 to gain official notice – and we only have two weeks to reach that goal.
Petitions on the White House site are given just 30 days to reach 100,000 signatures, or the petition is simply deleted. The VCDL petition was posted on July 18 2017. So we only have until August 17 2017 to collect the needed signatures. That's a lot of signatures in a very short time, and we're way behind the curve.
Gun owners are not big on signing petitions. Most of the petitions we receive are actually just vehicles for fundraising and list building by one group or another. That is not the case with this petition. Signing the petition does not give your contact information to VCDL or any other group. It is no different than writing to the White House directly. Yes, the end result means that the White House has your name and email address, just as they would if you sent a letter to President Trump, but that information is not shared with VCDL or anyone else. There is absolutely no excuse for anyone who claims to support gun rights in general, and national concealed carry reciprocity in particular, to fail to sign this petition.
The only chance we have of getting the needed signatures in the time remaining, is for you to take the following action:
- Go to the White House's “We the People” petition site by clicking here, and sign the petition by entering your name and email address.
- Forward this article to every gun owner you know. Share it on Facebook. Tweet it out on Twitter. Post a link on every forum site you know.
Encourage everyone to follow your example and take the same actions.
This is a grass roots effort. There is no multi-million dollar campaign behind it, just committed lovers of liberty. Don't leave this up to others to get the job done.
You are the gun lobby. Success or failure depends on you. Make sure Donald Trump hears our voice, and uses his influence to get Congress to act.
Take action. Sign the petition. Share the information. Urge others to do the same.
About Jeff Knox:
Jeff Knox is a second-generation political activist and director of The Firearms Coalition. His father Neal Knox led many of the early gun rights battles for your right to keep and bear arms. Read Neal Knox – The Gun Rights War.
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. The Firearms Coalition has offices in Buckeye, Arizona and Manassas, VA. Visit: www.FirearmsCoalition.