U.S.A. – -(Ammoland.com)- “According to their official platform, the California Republican Party believes the United States Constitution guarantees the right of its citizenry to keep and bear arms and that the state’s gun control laws only serve to disarm law-abiding citizens, not criminals,” Gun Owners of California notes in a blog post decrying the state GOP’s deliberate indifference to acting on its pledges. “They are on the record as opposing any further gun control legislation and support the right of all California citizens to own and bear guns and ammunition for any lawful purpose.”
“If this is the case, then why would the California Republican Party continue to snub the hundreds of thousands of gun owners in the state?” GOC asks. “Why does the political party – the one that supposedly is the champion of the Constitution – treat California’s gun owners like annoying flies to be swatted away?”
Probably because equivocal platitudes Golden State Republicans offer to establish their 2A bona fides with those who don’t look deeper than rah-rah sloganeering are just that. The late RNC Chair Lee Atwater is reputed to have asked “Who else are gun owners going to vote for?” when informed performance didn’t live up to the promise. Being allowed to continually get away with that by “lesser of two evils” gun voters means there’s no incentive to change and to walk the talk.
Those in it for personal and political advancement will say whatever it takes to win. When they perceive that no longer works to their advantage, they guiltlessly reverse polarity and do what they think will serve them best, and the hell with those who brought them to the dance in the first place. Besides, who else are gun owners going to vote for, right?
None of this is news to California’s activist gun owners, of which I was one when I lived there. And in many cases, the misinformation being fed to them comes from groups they look to for leadership.
Case in point, the myth of Ronald Reagan being a great friend to gun owners, “substantiated” with anecdotes and citations to make that case, is directly contradicted by his actions.
20 years ago, I created a poll asking gun owners what they thought of a certain politician, listing some of the anti-gun actions he’s taken when in power, but not identifying who he was.
“[N]early 80%…who voted based solely on his actions deemed them ‘traitorous,’ and the vast majority of the balance deemed them ‘misguided.’”
It was, of course, Reagan. And he hosed us on immigration, too, leading to the seismic demographic shift in California that has anti-gun “progressives” gloating (and “gun rights” groups hiding behind a hollow “single issue” excuse), and encourages remaining Republicans to act more and more like Democrats if they want to have any skin in the game at all.
So why should California Republicans (and those from other states where they think they can get away with it) do anything more than give lip service to gun owners, assuming they even need to do that? After all, they’ve been getting away with serial betrayals for years.
Remember Gov. Pete Wilson?
“Pete Wilson has been strong and reliable on gun laws,” said Bob Walker, president of Handgun Control Inc. in Washington. “I think Gov. Wilson has always had a reputation for moderation. We think this is a very moderate and sensible approach to the problem.”
How about Attorney General Dan Lundgren?
“Many owners of the named firearms did not comply with the law, so Attorney General Dan Lundgren allowed persons to register them after the deadline. Fearing criminal penalties for possessing an illegal firearm, many owners reported their firearms under Lundren’s ‘amnesty’ program. In August 1998, however, a California appellate court held the Attorney General could not legally allow the gun owners to register their weapons after the March 1992 deadline. That ruling came after many owners had already identified themselves by registering late. The Attorney General had led the law-fearing lambs into a trap: citizens had voluntarily informed the state that they were felons.”
Then there was Gov. George Deukmejian:
“We’re coming up on the 24th anniversary of Iron Duke’s outdrawing the gun lobby to enact the nation’s first assault weapons ban — an action hardly anyone could have predicted, given his political past. Deukmejian owed his gubernatorial election in 1982, in large part, to gun owners.”
And don’t forget Arnold Schwarzenegger with his predictable results. He was someone a handful of us warned California gun owners against before he was selected to represent the GOP, only to see our warnings ignored or overwhelmed by misdirecting “gun group” voices.
So, with Republicans like these, who needs Democrats? (Sorry, GOC, if you’re going to insist there are “many freedom-loving Democrats,” it’s on you to show us their votes don’t enable the tyranny-loving kind. If owning a gun was all it took, we’d have no better pals than Lon Horiuchi and David Chipman.
Meanwhile, the rest of us are left with the existential question “What do we do?”
The same thing every human being faced with a demand to surrender or resist has always had to do: Make an existential choice.
Anyone who tells you we need to empower a known betrayer or “we’ll lose our guns” is really only saying that when push comes to shove, they’ll lose theirs.
About David Codrea:
David Codrea is the winner of multiple journalist awards for investigating/defending the RKBA and a long-time gun owner rights advocate who defiantly challenges the folly of citizen disarmament. He blogs at “The War on Guns: Notes from the Resistance,” is a regularly featured contributor to Firearms News, and posts on Twitter: @dcodrea and Facebook.